“Can we still be friends?” This is a phrase I’m sure most of us have heard at one time in our life. It’s most often heard at the end of a romantic relationship, typically by the dumper and not the dumpee. Sometimes it’s a question. Other times it’s a negotiation point, “but we can still be friends,” intended to soften the blow of the ending that’s being presented.
With many of my past intimate relationships, I always wanted to be friends after the breakup. I felt desperate at the idea of losing this person that I had known so well for a period of time. What would I do without them in my life? More importantly, if we could still be friends, maybe they wouldn’t be as mad at me. Even as the dumpee, I couldn’t imagine life without this person who obviously didn’t want me enough to keep me in their life. But I remember clearly when this changed for me. I was offered the option of remaining friends with someone who I had really liked and seen a future with. My response was clear and unwavering, “Why would I want to remain friends? I have plenty of friends. That’s not what I was hoping for out of our relationship.”
He needed to be friends to feel better about the break up. For me, letting go of him in that moment was the most freeing experience I’d felt in a long time. I clearly spoke my truth in that moment and I was elated! At this time it was clear that it was more important for me to have what I truly wanted than to hold onto something mediocre and not of my own choosing.
Why are we so scared of letting go? Why is there so much fear and what can we do to move past it?
Surrendering to the truth is essential. What are your values, beliefs, and goals? What is the truth about what you believe you deserve and want for yourself? Does this situation support or hold you back? I knew what I wanted for myself wasn’t another friendship with a guy. I wanted a partner for life and since he wasn’t the right person for me, I wasn’t going to compromise my time and energy to make him feel better about the breakup.
Surrendering to the truth isn’t always easy. It requires that you see someone or something in a different light. It requires that you see a situation as it truly is – no filter. It can be painful. But when you see the truth, it allows you to let go of the “shoulds, coulds, woulds”. This new perspective can change everything. It can free you to a new opportunity. It can open you up and allow your energy to go to more fulfilling areas of your life.
There are so many places in our lives where letting go can free us. It’s not just a relational issue. It happens with our career choices. It happens at work when we hold onto conflicts in the work space. We hold onto items in our homes, accumulating too much stuff. Letting go frees our energy. It frees our brains to be less cluttered. It gives us space to breath.
How can you surrender this week to the truth about an area in your life that no longer serves you and what can you do to free yourself and allow change to unfold?