During graduate school, I had a friend who served as both BFF and life-raft. We often shared coffee after class, discussing lectures, classmates’ literary interpretations, and various life events.
At that time, I enjoyed my friend’s perspective. She excelled in literary criticism and found fine points in plots and characterization I hadn’t yet noticed. She also could satirize all the professors and many of our classmates.
Later, when we graduated and began drifting apart, I discovered that I was part of her satire also. She criticized me, my writing, and my choices. Where once I felt supported, I began to feel diminished.
One day, I wrote an article I especially liked, and with a few edits, my boss published it. When I shared it with my friend, she cut it to pieces and said I’d never be a true intellectual or literary scholar. By then, she was applying to Ph.D. programs, and I realized that we’d reached the end of our road together. That day, devastated and heart-broken, I began to understand the meaning of being in a relationship for a reason, a season, or with a few people, for a lifetime.
As we travel our life journey, we discover many truths. Among these, we learn that change happens and relationships end, whether marriage, partnership, friendship, school, or business.
To heal and grow from these passages, we must both acknowledge and mourn them, so we can progress in new, healthier ways for us. Consider these suggestions for navigating endings in your life now:
- During your daily contemplation, meditation, prayer, and reflection, choose to remember the blessings, even if only a few, from this experience.
- Note on paper or tablet, where you can refer to it later, what you appreciate about the relationship and how you’ve grown, especially if the relationship was unhealthy.
- If you must communicate with an “ex,” strive to connect in emotionally healthy ways which ensure your safety and security.
- Avoid condemning yourself, the other person, or the relationship. Each relationship is sacred in its own way because of how it shapes us.
- Avoid attempts to “fix” the other person, repair the relationship, or rehash old arguments. Instead, take care of yourself and all you need to heal and thrive.
- Rather than rush to fill the void of loss with a new relationship, allow yourself time and space to rest, trusting that new roads already await you.
- Seek ways to serve others, such as tutoring a child or serving dinner at a soup kitchen, especially if you tend to wallow or mope in sadness.
- Connect with a spiritual community where you continually are reminded of your worth, your wholeness, and your divinity as one of God’s Beloved Creations.
Overall, remember that the other person, as we are, is a Beloved, Divine Child of God. And God is always with us and within us as we travel along our next, new roads.
© 2018 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks. All rights reserved.