Why It's Okay to Leave People Behind Without Feeling Guilty
Have you ever had friendships where you just drift apart or outgrow? Or perhaps, you've made some significant changes to your lifestyle and your friends couldn't understand why you're not hanging out with them as often? It happens, it's called growth. You begin to look at things differently because of your new perspective and you realize you are on a totally different level than the people in your circle. Sometimes, your friends are on the same journey, which is great. I've had some experience with this in the last four years of completing yoga teacher training. Before training, I decided to quit drinking for many positive reasons (is not drinking ever a negative thing?) Most of my friends were very supportive of this choice; others not so happy because I was no longer their drinking buddy. Many of my friends continued to drink, which I had no problem with; their life, their choice. Unfortunately, I had to leave a few friends behind because they continued to drink to avoid facing the reality of their lives. I used to do that too. But now, that behavior was no longer part of my lifestyle or program. I couldn't just sit there and continue to listen to friends complain about their lives, yet do nothing to change their circumstances. I really hoped that some of these friends would notice all the positive things and feelings coming into my life and they would join me. I wanted to dig deeper and heal my life. I set my boundaries and people began to fall out of my circle naturally.
Now, I also had people leave me behind because I wasn't drinking. Perhaps, they felt threatened by my new way of life and the mirror I was holding up to them made them feel bad for not making changes to their lives? If they did feel bad, they had every right to cut me out. People can only meet you where they are. They saw the changes I was making and maybe they thought I felt I was better than them or maybe they thought I was arrogant? Whatever the reason, projection is a bitch, let me tell you. I had a friend completely lose her shit on me because she thought I was judging her; turns out she was judging herself. I never said one word to make her feel bad or to judge her. See how our thoughts can spin crazy-ass stories? The friendship never recovered. And we haven't spoken since, except for the final text months later where I said I didn't see the point to continue the "friendship." It wasn't serving either one of us. I am not a cold-hearted bitch, I just don't have time to mess with people who are not about growth and trying to better themselves. I've learned from reading Buddhist texts that clinging to relationships can cause needless suffering in our lives. I don't know about you, but suffering isn't my bag.
One of the first things I began to notice was how I felt after hanging out with a friend. If my energy felt depleted, I knew I had to limit my time with them. If I didn't feel invigorated, uplifted, supported, or loved, I began to be mindful about how often I spent my time with them. My boundaries finally began to take shape; I've always had difficulty with boundaries and I would end up over-sharing and taking things way too personally. Those people who didn't respect my boundaries ended up not being in my life anymore. Friendships are a two-way street. There's give, there's take. . .it's mostly balanced. But when it becomes more one-sided, regardless of who is not picking up the slack, let it go. Sometimes friendships end naturally; no need to keep pushing for a friendship that no one wants to maintain. I am very careful about who I allow into my life and what I spend my time focusing on. I have the luxury of being picky and so should you! It's your life, after all. Do you really like maintaining friendships with people who always seem like they need to one-up you or vice-versa? It's draining and childish. Say good-bye to all draining relationships that don't allow you to level up and be the best you!
No one needs to feel bad or guilty for doing what is best for themselves. If there is anything in your life that makes you feel bad, depressed, or depleted, let it go! I meet too many women who have too many excuses to not take care of themselves emotionally, physically, and mentally. They stay in toxic friendships, bad marriages, and lousy jobs that are emotionally and mentally damaging. Next time you are with a friend and you feel drained, anxious, or exhausted; they might be an energy vampire. Feel free to leave them behind or at least limit your interactions with them. Again, don't feel badly about not returning phone calls, text messages, or invitations to those who don't support your lifestyle or those who make you feel bad for who you are. In the words of Evelyn from Basketball Wives, let those people be "non-mother-fucking factors" in your life.
As we approach the end of 2019, take inventory of the relationships in your life. If they are not supportive and loving relationships, don't take them with you into 2020. 2020 is all about seeing clearly into your future. A future with a supportive circle, a positive mindset, and goals to slay. Time to level the fuck up! Your energy is too precious to waste on negativity, envy, and jealousy. All of which are low vibration feelings.
The photo above is from my 35th birthday, which was right after I finished yoga teacher training. I don't have relationships with the women in this photo any longer. And that's okay. Two of them I had to release from my life because I did not feel supported by the friendships. And one of them cut me off. . . which was totally fine, I didn't take it personally. Just because these women aren't in my life, doesn't mean I don't wish them well, because I do. They deserve love and happiness, just like I do. I recently read this quote and I understood it completely, "I wanna see you eat, just not at my table." Remember, some friendships last a lifetime, others are there for only a short time. Have people in your circle that you admire, inspire you, and support you! Life is too short for anything but love and happiness. I feel this so deeply that I have love and happiness in Kanji tattooed on my inner wrists to always remind me to let go of things that do not bring me love and happiness. Here's to great changes in 2020!