Friendship, Loss, & Self-Love
Written by: Serena
Everyone always seems to acknowledge and talk about romantic loss, and the gruesome heartbreak that comes with it. But no one ever truly speaks about friendship breakups, when the truth is, they might be just as or even more painful than going through heartbreak.
We all can agree that this year came with a lot of new changes, and we all went through some hard lessons. Maybe one of the biggest things we’ve come to face was having to let go of the people we thought we’d have forever. Maybe we finally saw them for who they were, instead of who we wished them to be. And I think the reason it hurts so much, in the end, is because when we meet someone and we grow to love them, we never plan for the ending. No one ever actually plans for those kinds of things. But deep down, I think we assume that friendship won’t be like the romantic love that, lately more than ever, seems to have an end. I think we assume that maybe in friendship, it’s a bond that could and would last. Maybe.
But as life continues to teach us, we see that just as the seasons, friends come and go. And it could simply be for the reason that everyone changes and people grow apart, or it could be that we often settle for a love that isn’t even loved.
In my experience of dealing with toxic love and friendships, I’ve noticed a pattern that existed in the people I continuously invited into my life. They took and took everything I had to offer and gave absolutely nothing in return. And even when I finally realized how bad people treated me while I was bending over backward for them, I still indulged in that kind of feeling. I still imagined friendship meant giving everything you had, even if they couldn’t give back the slightest amount. I thought sacrificing your own well-being or desires for others comfort was the decent thing to do. - I believed that’s what being a good person, a good friend really was. Until recently, I had come to realize that mindset in itself was torturous, and completely, irrationally, self-destructive. I finally learned. I know now that more often, it is our own lack of self-love that allows for the wrong kinds of people to enter our world. The vulnerability that comes with not loving yourself is easy to sense, and even more so easy to take advantage of.
I know it’s hard. Trust me, I do. Loving yourself and building boundaries can take some time getting used to, especially when you had spent your whole life accommodating everyone else. But once you get to a point where you see yourself for who you are, when you see the good you bring out to others, you’ll want the same for yourself. You will gradually learn that from taking care of you and protecting your heart – that this doing will bring you people that will want to do the same for you. When you make yourself a priority in your life, others will do that and more. You know why? Because the love you dedicate for yourself is so powerful. And others can’t help but feel it, and they can’t help but want to give you more of that which you already feel and are.
You are love, and when you realize that you are love, well, then the whole world is yours.
Lastly, I want to tell you, the way you have shown up so selflessly for others says everything about you, and the way they hadn’t says everything about them. If anything, remember that. That is your heart.