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Endings are Inevitable


Feeling a general sadness this morning. I know that all things eventually come to an end, but sometimes endings are not pleasant, especially those of the friendship kind. Even when we sense a shift in a relationship or connection with someone, we often times don't pay attention to it because it may not be something we want to confront. Yet, when we change so then our life reflects back at us that change. It is inevitable.

I have made changes recently that likely have put off many people who read my blogs and who I know in person. This creates a break in communication in the realm of reality in that their reality and mine no longer match up. When I recognized the changes in myself and then voiced them I knew this break in reality would result and I accepted it. That is just my personality - all or nothing. Often I will choose to burn bridges along the path that is my life. I have no regrets in doing so when I know that path has served its purpose. If I choose to explore the path again it will be with a brand new outlook with brand new connections but I will and am open to returning to previous connections with others if they are. Endings lead to beginnings and then more endings.

An ending occurred not long ago with a friendship I've had since 2003. As with most of my friendships in this lifetime, this woman befriended me and from the moment we met there was a connection felt by us both. Her fiery Aries personality matched my fiery Leo personality quite well and we got along brilliantly for the most part. I sensed from the beginning that our friendship was more for her than for me. Though I did benefit from the connection and the lessons it brought, I did not feel a need or attachment to our connection or friendship. I never did.

From time to time our friendship faced challenges stemming from our differing expectations of it. This is typical of all relationships I've found. Expectation is the root of all upset and ultimately lends to the dissolution of relationships if allowed to fester. I am not sure what exactly she expected of me as that is for her to know and part of her own lesson, but I expected from her the freedom to be myself and non-judgment and acceptance from her. If anyone tries to push me to do or be something I am not, I tend to retaliate. If I sense from them that they expect me to be someone I am not, I resist and try to confront them without hurting their feelings. This is not always what happens, though, and often I would explode in an outburst when this friend pushed her expectations on me and I was unable to live up to them. Thankfully forgiveness was not far behind but the last outburst resulted in a distance between us, one I was grateful for.

In the last couple of years there was more connection and communication between us. My friend had grown and matured substantially and I was proud of her progress. She was almost always the one to reach out as I seldom reach out to anyone even family. I never denied her when she connected with me as I was always happy to hear from her and see her. Yet when we met up it was obvious to me that our friendship had served its purpose and was no longer needed. She took longer to realize this and I waited without irritation. A part of me knew the friendship was more for her anyway. It always had been.

Not long ago I had a very vivid dream. In it I was talking with this friend. She was very upset and trying to communicate to me that she felt it was time for us to go our separate ways. Unable to speak her truth I calmly took her hand and told her I knew what it was she wanted to say and understood and agreed. I told her that if she chose to disconnect from me that I would not be hurt nor hold anything against her. She was super relieved in the dream and I felt generally at ease, happy and full of love for her and her path.

The next day I emailed her and told her about the dream. She responded with relief, telling me she had been trying to figure out how to approach me about our friendship and how she felt it was time for us to go our separate ways. I was amazed that my dream had been true to life and still did not feel sad or upset over her desire to move on. Yet she held on still for a time. It probably took her a couple more months to finally let go. When she did, I could feel it and though I was a tad sad to see our time as friends end, I did not grieve or feel anything but love for her in the end. Our friendship served it's purpose and there is nothing wrong with me for not having the attachment she did for it. Perhaps the entire time the lesson for her was about attaching to others and learning to let go.

All in all, the way we both moved on was positive and without an explosive ending. This is how it should be.

In the past I have judged myself harshly for not attaching to friendships like others do. I also don't feel a need for friendships and choose not to extend my friendship often. In the beginning of this lifetime I was often hurt by my friends. I know now it was because I attached to them, sought from them something I should have been giving to myself. Now that I am older and "wiser" I approach friendship without expectation. Still, though, expectation is thrust upon me time and time again. Often their expectation is that I will call or reach out to them when they need me and will be there when they need me. I, in turn, must also need them. The latter is where I fail. Since I don't feel I need them, I often don't do the former near as much as they would like and it causes upset. Mostly they do not communicate this to me and sometimes it causes them to explode and abruptly end our friendship. The thing is, when they end the friendship I don't get upset. They expect me to and then it causes more upset on their part and sometimes they explode even more to the point of nastiness. When I still do not get upset it gets even worse. I am now "unfeeling", "selfish", "rude" or a million other negative things. In the past I would not understand and it would bother me because I would eventually believe them and think myself selfish or unfeeling. Now, though, I recognize this is not true. All of it is because of expectations.

Observations

Over the course of my life I have observed friendship and concluded that most of the friendships that I have observed were based upon the rule of, "You scratch my back, I scratch yours." For example, my ex-husband's friends were there to give something to him and in return he would give something back. Typically it was help of some sort or inviting him along on a hunt or vacation or giving him a free pass into some place he normally wouldn't have gotten into. I noticed this throughout my school years and into college and beyond when I observed others and from my own experience. From early on it never felt like these were "real" friendships to me. It bothered me that to have a friend you would have to give and take equally from each other, always making things "right" and keeping things "fair". I never wanted a friendship like that, it felt fake and forced and I could see how easily one or both became resentful of the other because usually there is one who gives more and one who takes more. The giver will eventually feel resentful and the taker will not understand why.

When I was in middle school friendship was very difficult for me because I could sense from others what they wanted me to give them and it bothered me that they seemed only to want things from me rather than truly enjoying my company. I had one friend who was friends with me only because she thought I was "rich" (my family had a swimming pool). She would buy me things and if I didn't buy her something in return she would give me the silent treatment, pout or otherwise just be mean. Similarly, she thought I was smart and she wanted me to let her cheat off me all the time. These are just two examples and eventually I got angry and told her off in front of everyone, embarrassing her to the point of her becoming so angry she held a grudge against me all the way through high school. I have since learned to be more tactful (lol) but I do not regret my decision and would make it again. True friendship, in my opinion, is not based on "you scratch my back, I scratch yours".

For myself, I have observed that I have generally withdrawn from opening myself up to new friendships with others, especially women. I tend to keep my distance for a while and over time, after I am comfortable with them, I open up more and more. I generally do not reach out by phone or email very often if we are separated by distance. If we are close in proximity I still will not reach out very much either. This causes me to come off as seeming to not care or want the friendship, but that is not true. I just don't need the connection and prefer to spend my time with people who I can be myself around. Those people tend to be my family. I hate pretense, empty conversation and expectations being placed upon me. I need to feel that I can express myself without the other person taking it personally all the time. I prefer to avoid the part where I am having to beg them for "forgiveness" for me being me. That's just too much work. Friendship shouldn't be so much work. It should be simple and enjoyable.

And then maybe it is what my husband suggests. He says that I am refusing to play the "game" because I've had too many losses. Maybe he is right but in the end it is my decision. There is definitely a "game" being played and the rules are so inconsistent and confusing that I have lost any interest in playing.


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