Tag Archives: relationships

Doors that Close and Open

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Relationships have a natural ebb and flow to them. Sometimes a connection that sparks due to shared interests and proximity can cool off when a person moves away. While this can be sad, it also creates space for new relationships.

I heard a quote once that people are friends for a reason, a season or a lifetime, and that seems to fit. While having lifetime friends feels wonderful, we only have so much room in our lives to dedicate to that kind of relationship. Sometimes change is good and allows us to be open to new people in our life.

And even then, each relationship is very different.

One of my oldest and closest friends is someone I’ve known for over twenty years. She’s the sister I never had, and people even comment that we look alike when we’re together. I see her once or twice a year and when I do, it’s magical. We laugh, we cry, we open our hearts in a way that I don’t do with many people. We don’t see each other often and almost never connect when we’re not in person, but we both know that we would do absolutely anything for the other.

Interestingly, through much of our friendship we also agreed that while we love each other dearly, we are enough like siblings that we couldn’t spend a lot of time together without arguing. We learned to act accordingly and it’s made our relationship so much stronger as a result. Though now that we’re older, I think this has changed a bit. We’ll have a great opportunity to see where things are at as she’s moving much closer. I’m excited.

I have other friendships that seem to require the proximity and sadly faded when that was lost. In some cases, we’ve come back together and became friends all over again at a new part of our lives. With others, I have some really wonderful memories.

Relationships are defined by the people involved. It’s hard when one person changes the rules without agreement or communication. Some recent Facebook interactions have me thinking about this. The joys of social media, right? You can hide behind your laptop and connect with people, without actually making a connection. Interesting.

Whether it be a reason, season or lifetime, I greatly appreciate the people in my life. While there are times I’d like to shell off in my house and try to say I’m an introvert, I know I need to face that I’m not! It’s my connections to other people that give me pain sometimes, but also give me great joy and a sense of belonging.

Our relationships also give us such a wonderful opportunity to learn more about ourselves.

 

 

The Path Through the Woods

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell

Fall is my favorite season. I loved everything about it when I lived near Boston. I loved the kaleidoscope of stunning hues of red, gold, orange interspersed through greens, browns and blues. The bright red shock of birch and oak leaves and the cool breeze becoming more crisp while whipping off the water, causing the fallen leaves to stir.

ImageAutumn is a magical time of transition and beauty.

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Like the seasons, relationships change too. They can grow closer or more distant, eventually dissipating like the fall leaves sprinkling the ground. Each leaf was once a thing of beauty that will be taken back up to feed the tree to grow new branches and leaves. The cycle repeats.

Late fall, once all the leaves were on the ground and the trees were bare, before the first snow fall always made me sad and nostalgic for what once was.

Sometimes it seems that closing doors bring about the energy that it takes to open a new door. I’m not going to offer a biopic of all of my failed relationships, but I’ve learned that relationships often have a duration and that it’s ok—because from each I learn new things about myself and others. Each relationship prepares me for the next in its own way. And there can be joy in cherishing the wonderful memories instead of sorrowfully clinging to what once was.

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Doors open when we let go of relationships that no longer serve us. Learning to look towards the opening door instead of longingly at the closed one isn’t easy.

It’s also not easy to reopen closed doors. I recently received an email from someone I considered a very close friend. We had drifted despite my best efforts to maintain the friendship. I realized that as much as I cared, I couldn’t, and didn’t want to, do it on my own. I said goodbye in my way and decided to remember her with love instead of hurt.

Her email asked me to forgive her for being a bad friend, and for her lack of communication over the last couple of years. It offered no excuses just a simple apology and a statement of her feelings.

I’ve missed her friendship, and when I allowed myself to realize that the distance between us wasn’t all about me, it allowed me to let her go when she needed that. Then it enabled me to welcome her with open arms when she came back. I don’t know where things will lead, but that’s ok. That’s really not the point.

Gremlins

Every now and then, life offers an opportunity to see how far you’ve come. It provides the chance to test your resolve and to see if you will fall into the old habits of behavior, or whip out your shiny new learnings and do something different. Lissa Rankin, a blogger, public speaker and motivational person calls this dealing with your “gremlins.” Gremlins are those nagging doubts, insecurities and ineffective patters of behavior that we all have.

Something happened the other day that sent me for a loop and got my gremlins all in a tizzy. I had a relationship for a couple of years with someone that I cared about a great deal. Things went south, and I ended the relationship that we had because it had become toxic for both of us. Since then, she has reached out in her way, but what she was doing wasn’t working for me and left me feeling upset and frustrated.

Time for Something Different

I received a message from her a couple of days ago, and I decided that it was time to establish my boundaries with her. This is something that I really struggle with but have been working on in all of my relationships. Her response was really awful—attacking and hurtful. The strength of the anger in the note made me jump back in the chair when I read it.

Me vs. Gremlins

It took me a little while to process it, and though I really wanted to, I decided to not respond. My inner nurterer wanted to reach out to her as I know she’s hurting. I didn’t because it’s not ok to violate my boundary, and it’s not ok to attack someone like that. She’s now at an age that she needs to learn this lesson. I also felt a need to smooth things over and I didn’t because I don’t want to get back onto that emotional roller coaster that we once called a relationship. Maybe at some point we can try again, but it’s clear in my mind that the time is not now.

A New Chapter

I tend to internalize things and slowly, I’m learning that it’s not always about me. It’s my responsibility to set boundaries and if someone has an issue with that, it’s their issue. As a child, we don’t have much of a choice with many of our relationships. As an adult, I won’t apologize for making sure relationships feel good. I’ll do what I can to fix things and if I can’t, then I’m learning to let go.

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