“If someone comes along and shoots an arrow into your heart, it’s fruitless to stand there and yell at the person. It would be much better to turn your attention to the fact that there’s an arrow in your heart.” ― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
My teenage daughter breaks up with her best friend about once a week. Not an exaggeration. They fight and make up, fight and make up, learning as they go.
I remember having the same kind of passionate, tumultuous friendships when I was her age and even into my twenties. But as we get older and settle into ourselves, our friendships usually stabilize. We make friends at university, at work . . . some come and go and some last a lifetime. And some end, painfully.
If you’ve ever experienced a best friend breakup as an adult, you know how tough it can be. When adult friendships end, there’s usually a deep ache that comes with self-knowledge. We know ourselves better, we understand the world better, and we know we’re probably not going to make up over Snapchat that same night.
It sucks. But we can use the break in our friendship to actually look at the arrow in our heart. Wow, that hurts! How did that get there? What can I learn from this pain?
And we can let go a little. Not to say that we just give up and walk away. But we can face the situation with a clear mind and an open heart. We can be compassionate and grateful toward our friend and ourselves.
Letting go in a best friend breakup is about allowing ourselves and our friend space to exhale. We can let go gently—in a way that honors the friendship and allows it to evolve. And sometimes friendship evolve into an end, and that’s okay.
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