Often when we go through periods of personal growth, we lose some of our ‘old’ friends along the way.
It may be that they just not understand where you are going and they want the ‘old you’ back. Which is not possible, because you cannot (and don’t want to go) back to who you were. These friendships fall away.
It might be that suddenly you don’t feel a connection with a certain friend or friends group anymore. You cannot share what is most important to you with them, and their life is so different from yours that it takes more energy than it gives you.
Another scenario is that even with friends who are on a different path, you continue to be friends. Even with all your differences, because you keep supporting each other, honoring each others beliefs and where you are. You support each other as people, unconditionally.
These friendships are very special and can last a lifetime because they’re not dependent on where you are and what you are doing at a particular moment.
But that is not what this article is about. This article is about the vacuum that sometimes exist when old friends don’t fit anymore.
Often there is an in-between space where old friends have fallen away but new friends aren’t there yet. Trust me, new friends are coming but that can take a while. In the meantime you can feel lonely and unsupported.
Here are 3 ways you can deal with that:
1) Remember it is temporary
Remember this picture that goes around on Facebook:
When one door closes, another one opens. The in-between can take a bit of time but it will happen. The more peaceful you are about it, the easier you can attract new people (because no-one wants to be friends with someone who is desparately clinging to you out of loneliness). The happier you are with yourself, the more people will want to be around you.
2) honor your grief
When a relationship or friendship ends, when a job ends, when you move… any change can cause a grieving process. Allow this to happen, allow any feelings that come up and treat yourself very well during this time. Become your own best friend for now.
The fact that a friendship has ended doesn’t mean it wasn’t valuable. Honor the times you’ve had, the fun and support you’ve experienced and then lovingly let go, knowing that whatever it was that you were meant to give each other has been given.
Acknowledge your feelings, allow yourself to feel them, give yourself a hug and treat yourself on a nice cup of tea, a massage or something else that represents self-care for you. My favorite is to roll up on my couch under my blanket with hearts with a fresh huge cup of tea and my favorite show on Netflix :-)
3) Open for new connections
Once your grieving feels somewhat finished, start to look for ways to meet new people. Workshops, seminars, meditation groups etc are great for meeting like-minded and like-hearted people (here’s one if you’re interested!).
And even online there’s a lot possible. Often there are Facebook groups created for courses etc where you can chat with your fellow participants.
My best friends have come from these workshops and seminars, both offline and online. I found that a friendship doesn’t have to be in person to be valuable. When you can text, email or skype someone at any time to discuss what is important to you, that is absolutely amazing.
Remember, you are now creating friendships based on interests and where your heart is instead of on history. Friends from high school, college etc are friends that you sort of bump into because you happen to be in the same class. They may or may not share your beliefs (and that’s okay). However, now you can consciously choose to engage with people who share your beliefs and views of the world. This gives a different kind of friendship. Both kinds are valuable.
4) Trust the right timing
Trust that you will meet the right people at the right time. Sometimes important people come into your life without you even looking for it.
If you find this difficult, explore what it is that you are most looking for. Is it a feeling of support? Is it a healing of loneliness? Is it to have fun? See if you can discover what it is that is most important to you. What it is that you feel you are missing. Then give that to yourself. You can use my inner child meditation to help you with that (click here).
When you have given to yourself what you most need, you can then connect with others on a whole new level.
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