As the name and number lit up my iPhone, I felt a bulge in my throat and slight tickle of nerves fluttering in my chest. Although our friendship lasted over three decades, a chasm developed between us. Alignment and soul connection to my childhood friend dissipated. In my younger years, I eagerly absorbed everyone’s problems and relished helping others. Yet, as time marched on, the drain from being soaked in others’ issues held me down. Over time, I embraced holding space for others rather than holding on. Thus, holding on required too much of my energy reserves that I needed for me. Holding space allowed for love and support energetically without compromising my resolve. And, then I could let go.
What is friendship?
Everyone has a different definition of friendship. Through watching my grandmother, I learned to be a giver at all costs. Mostly, the takers would coil themselves tightly wound in my energy as they punctured my boundaries for my light. Even though parasitic relationships depleted me, I always allowed myself to be the host for others. Just as my grandmother did.
After graduating high school, circumstances no longer dictated whom I interacted with every day. As a result, friendship became a choice. Nevertheless, I still attracted in friends with heavy burdens who readily dumped them upon me. And, I happily took on their pain. Unbeknownst to me at the time, being enmeshed in others defined friendship. Holding space for others rather than holding on eluded me. Furthermore, it disempowered others from taking full responsibility for creating their lives.
What “friendship” taught me
In my early 20s, therapy paved the way to freedom via learning boundaries and deep self-love. The brick of my trauma, pain, and anger whacked me time and time again with its unrelenting truth and allowed me to finally release. Therapy unhooked my unhealthy need to heal others. Therefore, purging relationships that no longer nourished my soul paved the way to the opening of a new journey just for me. Read more about the benefits of therapy I found here: https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-therapy#family
Despite my plunge into my inner corridors of childhood, I still found myself functioning as a therapist. The energetic imprint of my grandmother’s need to serve others etched its reflection deep within my core being. Attracting in only healthy relationships became a mission that I refused to release. Surrendering myself for the sake of others started to wane from my life. Eventually, it disappeared. Read more about how I compassionately but boldly let go of parasitic friendships here: https://tracinicolesmith.com/release-in-peace-by-letting-go/.
What is no longer friendship to me
But out of the woodwork, they still come. People who I lost touch with years ago return hoping for some of my light, wisdom, and energy. Although I fondly recall most of my friends, revisiting that connection undoubtedly will reverse my progress. Swimming in the unhealthy waters that once felt refreshing damages my progress. Moreover, the sting of the unpleasantness of those waves suffocating me in murky seaweed challenges the vision of my life. Holding space for others rather than holding on to something that no longer resonates with me resonates with me.
At this moment, I leap forward towards my new journey. I have earned the joy that accompanies the freedom I have. The school of hard knocks, mostly at my own doing, forced me to seek healing, clarity, and intentionality in all that I do.
For those who hold onto who I was once, I send immense love, light, and hope as I float away on a cloud to enjoy me, liberated and loving life.