My wise aunt, a therapist, once told me that becoming yourself is not for the faint of heart. With each step towards greater authenticity, expect to lose at least one friend, she said. You outgrow some relationships and draw new ones more resonant with who you are now.
This scared me when I was young, before I understood myself as a seeker constantly evolving. Before I knew from experience that honoring who I am and what I need serves Spirit better than people pleasing and being nice.
This invisible rhythm of loving, letting go, and loving some more now feels inevitable. As I shed stale aspects of me and dare to be more true, I need companions doing the same in their lives.
Still, change can be horribly painful. Sometimes friends have attachment to how you are to them — even if you feel small and stuck inside some projection. Or you realize you won’t let yourself be real with that person, because you don’t feel safe. And so you have to decide to move forward together or apart.
The heartbreak in parting is real, whether there is big drama or a glacial drifting away. Rarely do we part with grace and forgiveness and honor in the moment.
But sometimes you and another brave soul friend break through a kerfuffle to another level of understanding. It’s terribly vulnerable and raw.
I experienced the gift of this with a friend recently. It’s like the Japanese pottery practice of kintsugi, making a broken vessel stronger by filling in cracks with gold. Not hiding the break, but highlighting the repair as a beautiful part of its history.
Look around. Who are you naturally moving away from? Who inspires resentment or frustration? Who makes you feel tired after seeing them? Who makes you feel really good, just being around them? Who challenges you, invites you to take risks that help you grow?
Keep turning to your body wisdom – your emotions and physical sensations – as your guide to who’s right for you right now. Keep your friendships fresh and current.