What is it that makes us hang on when we should let go? What is it that makes us stay when we know we should leave? What is it that makes us go back when we should move forward?
Friendships are a wonderful thing—when they‘re good. When both parties are pulling their weight and putting for the effort, friendships are a beautiful thing. But when one person is trying his or her best and the other person doesn’t appear to be trying at all, this can be a recipe for disaster. When broken promises and glib statements abound and one person is left feeling forgotten and extracurricular, what then? When you have communicated and communicated, you have said over and over how this and that make you feel and years have gone by and nothing has changed, does it make you stupid to stay in the friendship? Is it friendship? Because when your friend does not care and treats you haphazardly, what need is there for an enemy?
The time and energy needed to foster a friendship cannot be carried alone both must be willing to make the time. And when one is either unwilling or unable does it make you stupid to stay? To keep putting yourself out there. To keep bracing yourself for the rejection you know is coming. Does that make you stupid?
You have this idea, you know? Of what friendship is and what it looks like and when those expectations promptly blow up in your face and keep blowing up, what then? What about time spent? What about all of the time and energy that you have already invested in the friendship? You listen to the person apologize for the umpteenth time and tell you why they did this exceedingly inconsiderate thing, and you are numb. You hear it but you don’t because you know it is only a matter of time before you are here again. And there will be another lame excuse another empty apology. This is abusive. This is abuse.
Life is filled with choices and most often there are only two: to do or not to do, to stay or not to stay, to believe or not to believe. At what point do you choose the latter? At what point do you say, “Enough. It’s time to go. I am obviously not valued here.”
I believe in walking away. It isn’t giving up, it isn’t quitting, and it isn’t selfish. It’s deciding. Deciding that you and your needs matter just as much as them and theirs. It choosing. Choosing you. It’s love. Because as much as you love that person you love you too. Some situations you walk away from permanently and some for a time. I believe time and distance give perspective. Time and distance give everyone a chance to reflect and reassess.
Taking a break does come with its fair share of concerns: losing the friend, changing the chemistry of the bond, never getting back to what you had. There is always risk. But isn’t that what you want? Things to change. Because the way things were going wasn't working for you? Not taking the time you need to heal can be detrimental. At one point or another we all will need a minute to collect ourselves, to heal, to choose our choice. And we mustn’t forget the most important relationship—after the one we have with Christ—is the one we have with ourselves.
Whether you hang on or let go, stay or leave, go back or move forward, remember that friendships take time and work. One does not acquire good friends randomly. The pursuing of good quality friendships takes time and effort. Once achieved it is a beautiful thing, but it is a labor that never ends—a labor of love. Do not treat your friends haphazardly. Do not make excuse after excuse for bad, unacceptable behavior and then make no effort to change said behavior. Vulnerability and consideration are the building blocks on which quality friendships are fostered and maintained. Who wants to live life barely scratching the surface because he or she is too proud to be open and honest about his or her feelings? Who wants to live life barely scratching the surface because he or she is too proud to be open and honest with themselves?
Do not let pride and stubbornness keep you from achieving greatness. Be a good friend to your friends especially those who have been good to you.