I would like to share with you my answer to a recent question from a dear student of mine.
Firstly her question:
I wanted to ask you about something… I (shamefully) seem to be losing friends for no apparent reason – either through mis-understandings that are not even confrontational. Also at work, in the one place were I work side by side with another teacher…. a couple of times she has angrily confronted me, mis-judging me and accusing me of blar blar blar and then I’m not even able to respond to her! I wondered if you had any insights as to why this keeps happening to me?
And then my answer:
Firstly let go of the shame. These changes in friendships are a sign of your development. They are an example of evolution playing out in your life. This is a good thing!
Let’s look at the concept of flow in life. Flow is another way of saying progressive change. Change is the one constant in life. At all times, the new is becoming less new, then becoming even less new and at some point it reaches it’s end point and is ready for dissolution. Dissolution is a legitimate and necessary part of life. Without it there is no progress in life.
In order for progress in life to be upheld, Nature ensures that which is no longer relevant is dissolved. Space is then created for something new and, importantly, more evolutionary.
Relationships are no exception to this phenomenon of progressive change.
If you are noticing some relationships are falling into the dissolution category it is simply nature’s way of sustaining progressive flow in your life.
Perhaps there are relationships in our life that at some point were helpful and enjoyable and now they seem to be rough, difficult and less pleasant. The mistake we can make is to think it is the result of some individual action or non-action on our part. It is also a mistake to think that the relationship was a mistake in the first place.
When bumpiness arises in a relationship it is Nature giving us a signal that something needs to shift. There are two possible ways that change needs to play out:
1. a change in frequency of contact – that means either more or less time together
2. a change in proximity – that means either more or less closeness
With this understanding we can accept the flow of people in and out of our lives. Every relationship we have ever had has been for some purpose. Every relationship is bound to change – as is every other part of our life. It is not for us to beat ourselves up because things are moving on. Nor is it for us to try to cling on to something that is due for change. Our role is to stay natural, friendly and ready to let go when and where we need to.
An interesting side note:
When we are progressing quickly we may notice an intensification of the dissolution of irrelevancy in our lives. Think of it like this: when you’re moving rapidly downstream in the river you need to let go of those things that may be weighing you down and inadvertently delaying your progress. If you don’t let go the ride will only become more and more bumpy.