The Surprising Lesson I Learned After a Friendship Breakup

February 2, 2020

The Surprising Lesson I Learned After a Friendship Breakup

Last year I went through a pretty difficult break-up, with one of my best friends. Break-ups are hard, no matter the circumstance, but this one really stung, and to make matters worse, I never really fully understood why we had a falling out (I was completely ghosted).

Like with any break in a close relationship, you go through all the possible feelings. The anger, the doubt, the guilt, the sadness, the regret, and then finally, the acceptance. I found acceptance in the fact that a relationship that I valued so much, is no longer, but truthfully, it’s been a long journey.

The interesting thing about feeling really grounded in acceptance, is that life tends to present you a lesson, to really see just how settled you are with it.

Recently, I was in a social setting, where someone who I didn’t know, randomly, and completely unprompted, starting raving about my former friend. I stood there, stunned, and listened. I heard how well she’s doing, how inspiring she is, and how incredibly kind she was to this person. And, let me tell you, I didn’t like it one bit.

It was so hard to swallow, I didn’t love to hear just how well this person, who hurt me so deeply, was doing in her life. I wanted so badly to interject the “if you really know the whole story” thing, but I just kept my mouth shut, and let out a controlled, “wow, that’s really nice” in response.

Inside, I was a mess. I was rattled and disappointed, and I really had to sit with myself and figure out why I was so upside down that this person’s success made me feel this way.  Did I want her to fail? To not be okay? To be a mess without me in her life? Truthfully, initially, yes. (Not proud to admit that).

I really didn’t like putting so much energy towards hoping someone would fail, which is exactly the surprising lesson I learned, in this moment, about friends and break-ups.

Just because a relationship didn’t work out for you, and your energy, and your life, doesn’t mean that person has to fail in other relationships, and in life, moving forward. I realized this, it does me no good, to harbor ill will, towards someone who has no representation in my life. And truthfully, don’t we all, deep down want people to succeed? And to be kind? And to be liked? Don’t we want society to be good? Even if it means rooting for people who have wronged us (from afar)?

The world is hard enough, cruel enough, difficult enough as it is, for us to be wishing for other people’s failures. In fact, I started to think, if everyone wished ill will on someone from their past, we all would be cursing each other for eternity, and I just don’t think we need that in this day and age.

My lesson from this was simple. I can honor my former friend’s accomplishments, achievements, and successes, from a distance. I can let the feelings move through me and I can find happiness when someone else is doing good in the world, even if that means that person isn’t doing good by me. Because it’s 2020, and we all know that toxic negativity is ever present, and if we all can find some space in our hearts to root for all of us, we might feel, and be a bit better and happier.

Here’s to all of us rooting for each other.



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