Letting People Go

We change. We grow. We adapt and we evolve. Don’t be afraid to let people go.

As we change, as we grow, as we adapt and as we evolve, others may or may not change, grow, adapt and evolve or they will, but along their own journey and their own tune and their own timing. Our timing is specific to our life, our calling and our journey. Each of us is a unique individual with a unique specific individualized calling on our own life. My journey will differ completely from the journey of my friend or colleague or even my own family.

Over the years I have had to learn to master the art of letting people go whether it’s a romantic or platonic relationship, a social community or lifelong ended friendship. Is there actually an art to master in letting people go? To be honest, I haven’t mastered this art if there is one. I have a hard time with change. It takes me longer than the average person in given circumstances to let people go and in other circumstances it is quite easy for me. In letting people go we must recognize that when people choose to distance themselves or remove themselves from our life our reaction is so much as a choice as their decision to drift apart or end the friendship or relationship abruptly. Our reaction and how we choose to handle it will be the grace we need in moving forward. I left a few friendships behind. I realized a couple of years ago that in order to have the space to grow into the woman I was becoming and move past some fundamental influences from my past that I needed to create time and distance within my friendships to be able to do such. For various reasons in each given case (though there were risks in losing those friendships all together) I found the benefit to focus on myself all the more necessary that I was willing to take that risk. Some relationships I managed to continue some extent of communication. Others I saw that the deadweight of an overdue ended friendship was in my best interest to discontinue. I did it for myself and a year later I can say that I made the right decision for myself to allow myself the room to grow. These individuals at one time or another meant the world to me or in the very least were such an important part of me. I will always look back at the memories fondly and love them each for who they were to me during that time in my life. The season has now changed and so have I. For various reasons with various individuals it was time to just let them go. It’s not necessarily easy but for me it was vital.

I have also been on the receiving end of being let go. It’s always difficult. When we are the ones that are let go we aren’t ready. We didn’t make the decision, they did. We didn’t choose for things to sever, they did and therefore we are not yet ready to close that chapter in our life. This may cause us to feel that we are left in a state of limbo with unanswered questions and unresolved matters. It can be most challenging when trying to understand the circumstances and gain closure for ourselves. I’ve gone through it and sooner or later we find the clarity or the answers and if not then we leave it to God. In cases where I felt the drift and distance occurring and spoke on it it was usually because the other individual was going through their own circumstances and on a few occasions it was because they were purposefully separating themselves for reasons unbeknownst to me. Sure it’s challenging when the sting of abandonment or rejection hits in any given occasion but what I have learned is if people choose to leave…let them. Let them go. Let them be. Best of luck on their journey. It may take time to adapt to their lack of presence in your life but God doesn’t take anything away and not replace it with something else. In the past in one particular circumstance I asked the individual that I just wanted to know whether I offended or disrespected them and if that was the reason because if so I wanted the opportunity to clear the air and apologize for my wrong doing if I had any. In that particular circumstance I was never communicated what the reasoning was and so I had to learn to just give it to God and respect their decision to take a different path. No friendship or relationship is perfect and different people fit into our lives at different times for different reasons. Many of the individuals that we may spend our early to mid twenties with may not make it to our early to mid thirties. That at least has been truthful for me and it’s ok. It’s ok that my circle has changed. It’s ok that I know who fits in where actually it’s more than ok. It is healthy. I have let go of many and it’s been healthy. I held on to individuals that had already served their purpose in my life and I in theirs. I had to recognize that they were no longer producing fruit in my life. Did I just cut people off because they weren’t serving my needs or meeting my expectations? Absolutely not. These were individuals that I tried time and time again to reconnect with, spend time with and grow with and after many attempts I finally saw that the time had expired and that its time had passed.

“Some people just want to be in contact with you and spend time with you just to see what your life is all about. Just to see if you really are how you portray yourself to be”. These words came from a friend of mine after I told her how an old acquaintance had suddenly sparked an interest in getting together after seeing that I had obtained a state employment and had my own consulting business. And it was true. The acquaintance and I had nothing in common. I had tried for years to reconnect with no real interest on her behalf and now that I was up and up it was suddenly good timing. I gave the friendship the opportunity to grow but as in the past there was too much effort on my behalf and so I made the decision to let it go. Occasionally I will receive a message from said individual but I already know the outcome and so I no longer put my effort forth. I choose not to entertain such.

I cleaned up my social media. How many of us having people following us on social media that never make an effort to actually connect, actually make time for us or truly have contact with us? My life, my privacy and my social media presence is not public access. What I choose to share with whom I take into great consideration. Therefore individuals who I could see scoping out my Snapchat or my WhatsApp status but never reach out to me to say hello or any of the such in over 12 months had to go. Your life is not meant to be a form of entertainment to others. I learned that lesson the hard way in late 2012 and again in early 2014. My struggles, hardships and triumphs are only for those near and dear. It became unsettling to see people viewing my statuses who lived 20 minutes away but never made an intention to get together or to send a casual hello. Worse off, the more I was accomplishing as a result of my career or educational goals the more envy some individuals were filled with. The more they saw the more they talked and hence I learned to share victories and successes with a select few and let the others go.

In letting people go I have learned to give them back to God. I pray about it, think about it, occasionally mull over it but eventually I find the closure I need to leave them in that chapter of my life and turn the page. It’s so perplexing when your paths cross again in the future, in the far off future, where you are not strangers per say but have no longer have any commonalities and are now two completely different individuals than you were in the past. Life does that to you, as does experience. You change and you evolve and they may or may not change and evolve but one thing is for sure in letting them go whether good or bad a tidbit of your life for that moment is forever changed. And so while it can be a painful process to let people go we must acknowledge that every season of our life brings new challenges and new potential and that we are all in our own individual season. And so we try the best we can and we adapt and we move on and we keep the memories and moments of who they once were for us tucked in our heart and we hold that part of them near and dear to us but we free them on their path and we trust in God – for they came out from us for surely if they were for us they would’ve never gone away from us.

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