By: Maria Pascucci, Founder, Campus Calm
Through the power of Facebook, I was able to reconnect reconnect with a friend from high school. We were best friends in 9th and 10th grade, but as things tend to happen in our teen years, our friendship fell apart. I was devastated. I wrote to make sense of the pain I was experiencing even back then. In time, I recovered.
Via Facebook, my friend apologized to me 15 years later for, as she said, “throwing our friendship away.” I forgave her and owned up to my part in things too. The adult in me no longer needed her apology but the 15 year old in me sure did.
I lost other friends through the years as I transitioned into college, and later, as I transitioned into the woman I am today. Each time a friend and I parted ways, I learned a new lesson:
Accept what you cannot control. Did you have a falling out with your friend? Have you tried to apologize to no avail? Are you spending all your time focusing on how angry you are with your friend because she hurt you, or perhaps you hurt her and now one of you refuses to try to forgive the other?
Consider trying to accept that while you cannot control your friend’s behavior, you can control your own. Take this opportunity to do a little self-investigation.
What can you gain from your fallout with your friend? What mistakes did you make that you can learn from? How can you grieve the loss of your friendship while letting go of your anger? What would be different if you forgive your friend because you know that forgiveness makes you a more peaceful person? What did you learn about true friendship? Would a true friend be unforgiving? How can you be a better friend in the future? And the oh-so-important question: How can you be a better friend to yourself as well?
We walk through many stages of our lives with our friends. Sometimes our friendships survive the transitions. Sometimes they don’t. Blame is useless. So is holding onto anger in the long run. They both prevent us from embracing the lessons.
After we take the time to ask ourselves the tough questions, find our answers and learn our lessons–if we’re lucky– we’ll meet our long-lost friends again someday when we’re wiser, stronger, independent people, able to walk through a new stage in life, together.
In the meantime, focus on being the best friend you can be to the one person who is with you straight to the end, the one person who will never leave you … Y-O-U.