I don’t know about you, but when I care about someone? I care forever. I don’t just drop them or set them loose easily. I don’t walk away at the first sign of trouble and I am not afraid to support my friends and my family through the nitty-gritty times in life.
I am not a person who will just stop calling you or caring about you. I make time for my friends and others in my life that are very special to me. I hesitate to say “family” because most people automatically think that means your birth family and my birth family is not in my life at all for excellent reasons. I do have family now though. My husband, children and my husbands amazing, big, funny, crazy, and loving family. Did I mention crazy? 😉
For more years than I care to look back on, I hung on to destructive family members and “friends”. Okay, more truthfully? Decades.
I hung on because I was waiting for them to see me as important. I wanted them to see that I was a loving, caring, and giving. I wanted to give them my love and my support however I could but I also wanted a real family that would offer those gifts back to me. I would have settled for a phone call once every month or two, a card or a call on my birthday, a “Merry Christmas”… but these things rarely happened.
Eventually I had to stop trying because I was expending a ton of energy and getting nothing but heartache back. That did not help me heal or grow at all.
After letting people go one by one (it took me 10 years to actually give up on all of them), I began to realize something that I now see as a very important lesson. I realized that for every negative space I emptied out, I was making room and creating energy for the positive.
Letting go of someone who spoke to me disrespectfully made room for people who respected what I said.
“Phasing out” siblings that ignored me and cared little about the efforts I made to reach out to them made room for members of my husbands family whom include me happily in anything they do.
Saying goodbye to friends that I loved with all my heart yet were not capable of giving that back in many ways gave me time to heal from being set aside like I didn’t matter. I was able to eventually move on and make many new friends or reach out and give more time to ones I already had. I no longer count on one person alone and I try to make friends with people who also have more than just me. It feels really good to feel cared about, important and loved amongst my small(ish) group of close friends. I am also able to offer them more of my time and energy so they know how important they are to me.
I guess what I am trying to say is that removing hurtful or toxic people from my life has made room for more support and love from people that really do care. It was hard to do all this as it goes against every grain in my body but it was so very worth it in the end!
The next time you need to say goodbye to someone you truly care about, try to remind yourself that you just made room for a healthier and happier relationship. It helps to keep your eye on the prize. 🙂