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Relationships

Humans are relational beings, we are, for the most part, designed to live in relationship with others. Relationships are not necessarily romantic or intimate. A relationship may be a work colleague or a friendship. Increasingly I am seeing people forming strong attachments to tech, particularly phones and of course there are very destructive relationships formed with addictive substances and behaviours.


This week though I was thinking about friendships, specifically long term friendships. Over the period of years, most people necessarily change, Circumstances, aspirations, life events and personal choices all lead to change. It can be difficult when one person changes and the other does not. A good friend of mine, who happens to be a great therapist once said to me, "not all characters appear in all chapters of our book", and that is true. It is instinctive though to pull back and hold on to some thing which we feel is being taken from us.


It might be more helpful to take a step back, take a little space and time (i usually give myself 24 hours) and then look again at the landscape. Often when events happen out of the blue, out of our control and without our permission we can find ourselves in survival mode. Taking just a little time, even just five minutes can help us to respond more objectively.


It is also ok not to be ok! Some events are unwelcome and not what we would have chosen, not every thing will be as we would have wished.


I often think the sign of resilience is when some one can maintain a sense of self despite a hurricane beyond their control. Ultimately if we can identify what is in our sphere of control and our sphere of influence and then be prepared to accept that every thing else is outside of our control then we are better able to focus our energies to changes we are able to make and sustain.


I guess with long term friendships there is a sense of ownership, of the relationship which you have had, time and experiences, but also the future you see together. One person deciding that they no longer choose this may feel very damaging and painful, in truth though, we get to keep what we have already had, it is the future, the chapters we have yet to read which are being altered and the truth is, we do not have ownership of these.


Before holding on to some thing so tightly for fear of loss, i wonder could we just check that this is some thing we want for ourselves?




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