|Photo courtesy of Annie of History and High Heels.com|
When I graduated undergrad I was really worried about what would happen with all of the relationships I got to engage in over the last four years.I was determined that the only thing that was going to change was the physical proximity and that was something I had no control over. It’s kind of part of graduating. You don’t get to keep the dorm room or campus apartment but you do get a piece of paper that says yo learned an awful lot during the past three to five years of your life and are capable of sharing that knowledge via employment or graduate school. I guess it’s a fair exchange.
In any event as I spoke with my counselor about the matter he reminded me that it was simply not realistic to take every relationship with me as I move forward. I simply would not be able to have all of those relationships at the same caliber and quality. Furthermore he shared that it wasn’t particularly healthy. He CLEARLY had no clue as to the depth, uniqueness, and value of the relationships I developed in undergrad. I didn’t scramble off of his leather cognac colored nail head couch. I didn’t even gaze out the window at the three story Victorian across the street from his office. I stared at him blankly.
He asked me if I ever played Octopus. I smiled. It was a familiar game from my elementary school and middle school gym classes and a game that I introduced to my my campers over several summers when I was in college. I nodded. He asked me to imagine being “it”, holding out both arms, and instead of running and chasing people that my “eight legs” or extended arms were all the people I had ever been in relationship with, not just undergrad.
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I imagined myself in my elementary and middle school gym (yup the schools were all in the same building), being “it” and my arms being linked to a hundred or so people. I then imagined trying to move forward across the gym, floor and it being practically impossible. I was connected to too many people.
“I can’t move,” I said. “Exactly” he responded. One point for the good doctor.
But then he added that if I was constantly bent on maintaining and bringing forward pre established relationships how in the wold was I going to develop new ones. At barely 21 years old that wouldn’t bode very well. Another point for the good doctor.
“Besides Ahyana, people change. Yourself included. And some relationships don’t make it through the changes.” Give the good doctor three points. He was right and that’s not a bad thing. It’s just not good to either not change in order to maintain a relationship or to change and not acknowledge that the relationship has played it’s part in your life and the other person’s persons and its best to move on.
It was all true. It was all true then and it’s all true today. It was all true last week when my sister asked me what happened to a friendship I had with someone for almost 10 years and had known for thirteen. I changed. I don’t know if it’s fair to say he did as well, but I definitely did. I didn’t like the friendship role I allowed myself to fill, being the consistently available, thoughtful, secret keeper, counselor friend, anymore. I didn’t like getting excuse after excuse about why he was too busy to catch up if I was in his part of the country and why he was too busy to see me when he was visiting yet another girl (never a girlfriend) in my part of the country. I didn’t like that when he did get a girlfriend ( I was so happy. Lord I couldn’t take another story of girls he dated because he felt bad if he stopped dating them even if they weren’t what he wanted. I do not lie.) he didn’t want to tell her he was visiting me but that he was visiting “friends” to which I stated “Don’t visit at all.” Or that he wanted me to meet her because he thought it would help her believe he and I were never more than friends (if she can’t trust you how the heck is meeting me gonna change that?). So with all that unlike, I changed. I made the choice to not be as available, no more secret keeping, suggesting seeing a counselor and not me, and kept the thoughtfulness and card sending to holidays and birthdays.
|Photo courtesy of Katie Rodgers of Fashion Paper.com|
I had to release the friendship we had. It was one that made me say “I can’t move.” And I couldn’t move until I let go. I didn’t completely kick the relationship to the curb, but our once clasped hands are clasped no more. We still frequent the same gymnasium though.
Sometimes when we played the octopus game in gym class in middle school we got to break apart for like ten seconds, see how many people we could catch, and then we had to rejoin as one unit. You can imagine the chaos, running from two octopuses, but also imagine how many more people the two separate octopuses were able to get because they had been released from the one original unit. They were able to run that much faster, go after that many more targets, tag that many more kids.
When we choose to release people, circumstances, negative emotions (i.e, anger, fear, anxiety, etc.), our attachment to physical things, dismantled dreams, etc., we get to go that much faster, focus that much harder, and achieve that much more of our purpose. When we release we make room for new opportunities to shape our lives and move us in the direction of our destiny. We get that much closer to self acceptance, applying to go back to school, exercising regularly, not blaming ourselves for our family member’s alcoholism, quitting our dreaded 9-5 and starting our business, finally writing that book, saying yes to the date with the person who has been asking for months and seems pretty safe to meet for a movie and dinner, and so forth.
|Photo courtesy of Andrew Michael|
When we release that which no longer serves the purpose of getting us closer to our overall life purpose in our life we make room for freedom and with freedom comes innovation and motivation. We need innovation and motivation to be parts of the challenging journey that is our life calling. We can’t do that if we deny that sometimes we can’t hold on to every relationship we ever started and engaged in. We can’t do that if we don’t assess where we are from time to time and clean house, letting go of every thought, behavior, and relationship that is not life producing. If it’s not life producing then it’s life draining which means it leads to sickness and death. That dear reader is the very opposite of LIVE-ing.
I’m thinking we are walking this needing to release things in our lives together this week. I’m thinking that as I send up prayers for myself that I will send some up for you too, that you too will allow whatever needs to be loosened from your grasp to be loosened. That in so doing you find yourself picking up speed and running freer and faster toward the abundant life you were meant to LIVE, collecting new abundant LIVE-ing necessary experiences and relationships along the way. Tag! You’re it!
|Photo courtesy of Business Heroine Magazine.com|