When to let someone go?
Ideally never. A great source of our worries, our troubles, our sorrows, our deep hurt comes not from people unknown but from those that are dear to us. In fact it can never come from those unknown. Relatives, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, make life worthy of living adding tremendous joy to our being, but the same set of people can cause extreme pain, can be thorns in the otherwise velvety actuality. Though it remains the cornerstone of our existence that our life is meant to, or as some might say destined to, sway between good and bad times; the suffering inflicted by those we safely tag as our ‘own’, can move us, and in a negative manner, to great ends.
One common narrative is estrangement, suddenly or gradual, of friends. Most of us in our lives forge friendships, normal, mediocre, and great. Normal ones are passing, mediocre last for a while, occasionally flaring, and great ones last forever. Though there are many others that do not fall under these water tight compartments. Actually relations, emotions, feelings can never be strictly defined. Whichever category the friendship be, a great amount of stress caused due to the breaking of that friendship. Such an estrangement at any stage of our lives, as kids in school, as adults in college, or as older people puts us in a difficult situation.
Every other day spilled on social networks are narratives of hurt caused due to the sudden ‘change’ of a friend, the betrayal, the backstabbing, the cold shoulder, etc. Normally seen with teenagers or young adults who do not shy away from expressing their wound, such estrangement can be a source of great disturbance to them. Opinions are quickly formed, peer pressure builds, sides taken, blame game indulged in, impulsive actions taken, all of which compounds the already facing psychological stress.
So why does it all happen? Why does a person, who until yesterday was a dear friend, a confidante, an associate, suddenly turn hostile, unresponsive, or simply cold? Why does the exchange of thoughts, feelings, messages, stop or turn ugly? Why do you get blocked both from facebook and life? Why does the source of joy turn into a source of pain?
The answers are not easy. But definitely they are not trivial either. One could philosophically say that it is owing to the expectation we have from a person, or the attachment we build with one, which results in the hurt when they move away and out of our lives. But it could also be that you suddenly do not feature in the priority list of the individual; or that other stressors in their lives push them away from you. Sadly many a times, the estrangement is stark, and no reason can be safely concluded for it. However another major reason for such estrangements is misunderstanding.
Is there a way out of such situation? The foremost answer could be insulation. We tend to resort to it normally or are tempted to resort to it. But that is not a prudent solution. Building walls only makes us more emotionless. It will affect our state of mind and interaction with everyone around. So what is the way out?
Possibly, and it is easier said than done, to attain a state of detachment through attachment. That ability to let a person go, imagining well that our friends presence in our lives is impermanent, that your friends’ priority lists might not align with yours, or if you can de link your happiness from the presence of your friends in your lives one will not be hurt from the sudden or gradual disenchantment. It does not mean that one doesn’t give ones cent percent to a relationship, of friendship or otherwise; one certainly needs to, giving your best makes you human after all.
Ability to let go is not an easy attribute, but a necessary one. It comes in handy and the more you do it with ease the lesser it will adversely affect you. There is beauty in letting go, forgive more, forget more, and move on. It frees you and the person you let go. Do not stay back in the pleasurable moments, the moment that is lost, is lost forever. Do not make happy memories of the past a benchmark to gauge the hurt at present. Let go, it can be liberating.