Category Archives: choice

Everything changes

They say that the best friendships are the ones where you don’t find yourself fretting about the other person – whether you’ve seen them that week or what they think of your recent decision to change career. You know you love them, and they in turn love you, so what’s to worry about?

Well, the thing is that things change. People change. Life moves on and sometimes the friendships we formed when we were younger and which seemed so unbreakable get tested as we grow into adults and begin to go our separate ways. It’s only natural that this should happen, and it certainly isn’t a bad thing. And yet, we so often find ourselves trying to resist this change. To turn back the clocks and make everything OK by continuing to meet for a glass of wine every Friday night, even though it isn’t all that convenient anymore and our priorities have moved on. It isn’t that we don’t care. It isn’t that we don’t love the other person, or that we wouldn’t be there for them if they needed a shoulder to cry on. It’s just that we’ve changed and repeating the same old patterns of behaviour is starting to stifle us. In short, we’re ready to move on.

So, the key question is this: how do you move on from a friendship without feeling like a really bad person? I mean, what if the feeling isn’t reciprocated and the friend is heartbroken? What if they say things about you to your mutual friends out of anger? Even if you choose not to tell them directly, and opt for a more subtle approach of occasionally making other plans and phasing out your Friday night drinks dates, the friend may still react badly.

The truth is that friendships can be as complicated as romantic relationships. We can find ourselves feeling just as hurt, let down and confused.

I have witnessed friendships fall apart because one side has moved on and the other person can’t find a way to accept or forgive. I have also witnessed the effects of clinging on to friendships for the sake of politeness and not rocking the cradle, even though it’s obvious that things need to change.

Are you with me? I hope you’re following and that some of this chimes with your own life experiences. If not, I promise to make more sense next time!

Whatever your reason is for wishing to move on, you have every right to do so. This is your life, and you have every right to live it exactly how you want to. Would your friends advise you to stay in an unhealthy romantic relationship? No, they wouldn’t. So why should it be any different when it comes to friendships? There is just something so inherently unacceptable about ‘splitting up’ with a friend that we end up feeling like pond scum for having even considered it. We may even try to find a way out by waiting for them to do something really bad so that we can say: “Oh well, it was their fault for behaving badly. I had no choice in the matter”.

Splitting up with or phasing out a friend may cause you to feel that someone has indeed got a problem with you. And to be honest they probably have! This is something we have to face up to and live with if we wish to live as adults and free spirits, and if we wish to grow emotionally and spiritually, rather than surrounding ourselves with what feels ‘safe’ and ‘normal’.

You are OK. I am OK. The friend you don’t enjoy the company of anymore is OK. But we can’t always please others with our life choices and decisions. Let’s dare to be true to ourselves, and worry less what others think. Whenever I have been brave enough to do this in my own life, inner joy and happiness always seem to follow.

Bye for now x

Surround yourself with inspiration

Have you ever felt utterly frustrated? Of course you have! You’re a human being after all. But have you ever looked around you and felt the frustration of knowing that not a single person in your life can truly and fully understand what you’re feeling? Maybe your mum understands your desire to do something creative, but can’t understand the risks you’re willing to take to live your life in a truly creative way. Perhaps your closest friends can see how much you’re hurting over something, but they don’t really understand the reasons why. Maybe your cat looks at you in an empathetic way as you sit crying into your branflakes, but you know you can’t actually have a proper conversation because of the whole language barrier thing. (Honestly, I think if my cat could talk I’d feel a lot better about a lot of stuff in my life, but probably also fed up of hearing her demand more food and fusses!).

The point is, that people can only ever understand aspects of ourselves. No one can ever jump into your skin, experience everything just as you have experienced it, and know exactly the right thing to say to make you feel understood and supported every step of the way. And if this was the case, there would be a lot less to learn in life, and a lot less personal growth to be experienced.

What we can do is ensure that we actively surround ourselves with what we know we need. Be it like-minded friends, inspirational books and films, the cat… We have a choice in life as to what we do and who we spend our time with. It doesn’t really feel like there is much choice involved in life a lot of the time, but trust me when I say that it’s in these moments that we most need to stand up and be counted. To make ourselves heard and ensure that we are making decisions which feel authentic and honest. If you’re not emotionally strong enough to ditch that toxic friendship you’ve been holding onto because you feel too guilty not to, do something which feels more within your grasp. Maybe suggest that you’d rather see a different film at the cinema, rather than just accepting what others choose for you. Give your opinion on a subject where you’d usually remain quiet. Paint your nails when you know the dishes need washing, and that painting your nails means you can’t do the dishes until the next day.

We have all had those days which seem to be going from bad to worse, but which suddenly take a positive turn when we bump into an old friend who inspires a rebellious or creative side of us which we have a tendency to forget about. Or perhaps you sit down to watch some television and end up watching an inspirational film which tells the story of someone who pushed past their fears and made something happen for themselves. I find films and books and online articles particularly inspiring because they take us outside of our usual day-to-day lives and remind us that there is so much more ‘out there’ to be explored and discovered. They provide us with that valuable perspective which can transform a day from mundane to joyous.

Inspiration is all around us, at every moment of the day, but if we’re so wound up with trying to please others and satisfy preconceived ideas about what our lives should look like, we won’t see the inspiration. We will only see messages which confirm what a let down we are, or how misunderstood we are by the people around us. Choose to live outside of the box, and seek inspiration and guidance throughout your day. Soon enough, you will be a source of inspiration and liberation to your close friends and family.

Bye for now x