Like the wind, people come and go into our lives on a daily basis. Some of those people touch us and become close to us and change the trajectory of our lives. Others are consistent, like your favorite cashier at the grocery store, but beyond superficial niceties and some care that the person looks happy each day, there isn’t much of a relationship. There are people you walk by on the street who you’ll never know.
And then there are the people you just know you’re meant to have in your life. You click immediately and you do something for one another than other people can’t quite do, and you just know that this person was carved from the same brick of Ivory soap you were and you believe you’ll make beautiful bubbles together every day for the rest of your life.
Until one day the bubbles run dry and you realize that under the surface this person isn’t made of soap after all, they’re made of sandpaper. Sometimes they’re the fine grit sandpaper that just kind of irritates you on occasion (aren’t we all?). Other times they’re the large grit sandpaper that makes you feel yucky and raw and you can’t quite put a finger on why they irritate you so much, but they do and being around them makes you bristle or feel anxious or unhappy.
You can’t change people, and part of being a friend to someone or being in a relationship with someone, is truly loving them unconditionally even when you don’t agree with every decision they make. There are some really great people on this planet and the fact of the matter is that you can’t be friends with them all. You just aren’t going to like all of them and not everyone is going to like you either.
Did you hear me?
Not everyone is going to like you either.
No matter how wonderful you are, no matter how giving, loving, and charismatic you are, there will always be someone you rub the wrong way, and you have to come to grips with that. Like, really come to grips with that, because once you realize that not everyone is going to like you, it will be easier to recognize the people in your life who bring you more strife than they do warm fuzzies.
The thing about people is that they’re just people, and sometimes they’re going to disappoint you, they’re going to make you cry, laugh and love. They’re going to be there for you when you don’t need them to be and sometimes they won’t be there when you do. It’s important to have grace with people, but you also need to recognize those relationships that just aren’t going to work, no matter how much you really want them to.
Friendship shouldn’t have to be forced. If you can’t accept someone and all of their flaws – all of their unique, irritating, wonderful flaws – then it probably isn’t meant to be.
Do things have to be perfect all the time? Absolutely not, but you know the person I’m talking about. You’re thinking of that person right now. That really good, fun person whose Facebook statuses just piss you off no matter what the subject matter is. It’s OK to let those people go. It doesn’t mean they’re a bad person, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It means sometimes it just isn’t meant to be. It means that there’s something you don’t have to be able to put your finger on that just makes that person’s spirit not mesh well with yours, even if at one time it felt like it did. It means that person may have been around for an important season in your life and their purpose has been served.
It’s like those jeans you wore before you got pregnant – the ones that fit your hips just right and showed off all the right parts of your figure – that just don’t fit anymore, even though you’ve lost the baby weight. You put them on and there’s pulling at the pockets and your knees look funny, and where did these hips come from, and you just don’t feel yourself when you’re walking around town in these pants that used to be your second skin.
To save those jeans would mean that they take up valuable space in your closet – space that could be used by pants that fit you better now in this stage of your life – where your body is right now.
Sometimes we have to let things go that used to make us comfortable because really, they no longer make us comfortable, and often they are doing the opposite – they are using up energy we could be spending on better, more important things that better serve us where we are right now. New season, new jeans.
This year, try to focus on learning to pinpoint those relationships and let go where you need to. It doesn’t need to be a production, a simple slipping out of the friendship, quietly, is often all that is needed. Hide, unfriend, clean your list up. Stop wasting precious energy on things that just aren’t meant to be and focus on the things that are.