I’ve always been the girl who only had one or two “best friends”, but never a big group. Big groups made me nervous (although I don’t think I would have known that at the time).
I went to college in the “Sex in the City” era, and my mom always had an entourage of women around here, so I grew up thinking that’s what every woman had. This big circle of women engulfing you, surrounding you, keeping you safe.
But I never had that.
I thought it was “just me”. Maybe I wasn’t that liked. Or that cool. I don’t know. But I never felt like I fit in. Literally and figuratively. I was extremely tall at a very young age and can remember wanting so badly to just “fit”.
I think deep down there’s always been a part of me that’s felt insecure when it came to fitting in, belonging, and friends. So I’m very sensitive when it comes to friendships. Only feeling truly safe with a rare few people.
Over the years, I’ve had a few significant friendships fall apart. People who I was at one time really close with, that I no longer am. And it’s been a process of learning to grieve and let go of those once very intimate relationships.
From talking with so many of you over the years, I’ve seen how this is a common thread all women experience. Losing, or having to let go of, people we once shared everything with. Especially as we age. Our values, priorities and even our identities shift, so our friendships do too.
Which can leave us feeling disoriented. Questioning ourselves.
Have I done something wrong? Is she made at me? Is it my fault?
Wanting so badly to have an explanation or answers to better understand why someone who was once a grounding stabilizing force for us, no longer is.
Healing after a friendship falls apart, can be so difficult, and yet something all of us at some point has to do.
Years ago I had a friend I was really close with. At the time, I would have considered her one of my best friends. We were raising our babies together and experiencing things together in an influential time in both of our lives.
A few years into our friendship we had a falling out over something really silly. I thought we’d be able to move past it, but for whatever reason neither of our egos could.
Last year, she passed away unexpectedly. I never had the chance to say I’m sorry. And more importantly, I love you.
Since then I’ve been reflecting back on not just that friendship, but on so many others that have taken an unexpected turn.
What I wish I could have done to find more peace in their closures. To find forgiveness, peace, and love, not for them, but for me.
And I wanted to share a few words that have helped me, in hopes that it may help you find healing after a friendship falls apart.
While I originally wrote these words for a friend of mine looking for closure in a friendship, these same principles can be applied to any relationship you’re looking to find more peace in.
First and foremost, I want you to know that you are not alone in feeling this way. I’ve been noticing the theme of pain in women’s friendships coming up so much these days and while it’s heartbreaking, please know that you are not alone.
I hear you say that you want answers, some type of closure. But it also sounds like you recognize that what you’re hoping to get from her (either in an apology or explanation) isn’t going to happen. What we think we need, and what we actually need, usually isn’t the same thing.
I wonder instead, if what you actually need is permission from within you, to let this go.
When big moments of unexpected loss/trauma like this happen, it shakes our self-perception of ourselves. Makes us think that somehow whatever happened is a reflection of US. What did I do? Did I say? to deserve this?
Subconsciously we carry guilt/shame that we must have done something to deserve this. Which is why we so desperately want an explanation. A way to justify to our deepest soul, that it wasn’t our fault.
So listen to me. It wasn’t your fault.
Let whatever guilt/shame you’re subconsciously carrying go.
Her actions are NOT a reflection of you.
People see you, not as you are, but as THEY are.
And we want to make sense of it. Our minds so badly want to make it fit into a story that makes sense to us.
But we can’t. Because we’re living a different reality. So trying to “make sense” of what happened becomes an impossible feat that only leaves us more frustrated and feeling alone.
Whatever happened, happened. She came into your life for a lesson. Find out what it was. Learn it.
And then when you’re ready. When it feels less charged. Forgive her. Quietly and silently, and in your own way. Not for her, but for you. Send her love and compassion. Send her empathy and understanding.
Not because she is worthy of it, but because YOU are worthy of it. Because deep down it’s what you want.
Permission to once again to love her. As the woman you once knew. As the friend you once knew.
While your friendship may no longer be there, and that relationship has come to an end, what you experienced with her was real. It’s safe to hold that vision of her sacred and honor her, and the friendship you once have.
Give yourself permission to grieve what once was, forgive what happened, and continue to love the woman you knew.
And more than anything, continue to keep your heart clear and open.
I don’t know if you’re familiar with cord-cutting. It’s not something I teach, but it’s something I practice.
Energetically we’re all connected. People can feel our energy, or when we’re thinking of them. It’s why when you think of someone out of the blue, and they call you the next day. Whether we realize it, our thoughts/energy/feelings travel. And they can get enmeshed. Intertwined.
It sounds like you have a lot of enmeshed feelings with this friend. It may be time to energetically cut cords.
While you can find healers who do cord-cutting, you can also do it on your own. You have more power within you than you realize to be able to do this on your own.
First, prepare yourself in meditation. Get grounded and centered for a few minutes. Find your root chakra. Drop a cord down to the center of the earth (you’re just visualizing this, obviously, but I want you to really see it). Feel yourself anchored into the earth. You’re safe, Grounded. Energy is flowing freely into you.
Then see yourself with beautiful white light surrounding you. Feel it about 3 feet all around you. A protective energy field, filled with love and compassion. See yourself bathing in it.
Now, see your friend in front of you. See her face, her features, everything you remember about her. Notice immediately how it charges you. Relax into it. Let it go.
See her now bathing in how own white light, similar to yours. Surrounded by the same love and compassion. Each of you separate, in your own fields. Stay here for a few minutes and just breathe seeing each of you being held. Separate, but equal. Both safe, relaxed, and held.
Now, when you’re ready, begin to see several cords connecting the two of you. I usually do this by seeing a cord connecting us at each chakra point (but there is no wrong way to do this, so don’t overthink it. It is not an exact science). Picture whatever type of cord you want. But regardless, I really want you to see the connection.
Now with love and compassion, using your own energy source (you can picture a light) move through each of the cords, cutting them. Releasing her. Releasing you. Starting from your root, and moving up to your chakra. Gently and compassionately moving through each cord, seeing them separate.
Say to her silently. I let you go. I am no longer attached to you. I offer you peace. I offer you love.
See her receiving it.
See her thanking you and offering you the same. Allow yourself to recieve the compassion and love.
Then very slowly, begin to see her image fading away.
Coming back to your center, and your cord that’s still attached to the earth. Feel yourself safe and held in love. Complete. Whole. Unattached. released.
If you have any residual feelings/anger/charged energy – send it down your ground cord, into the earth where it’s alchemized. The earth is our great composter, send any unwanted feelings down your ground cord and into the earth.
Stay here for 3-5 deep long breath cycles (or however long feels good) and bathe in this new found freedom and lightness.
When you’re reading, gently bring your awareness back to the present moment and the space around you. Slowly begin to flutter your eyes back open. Notice how you feel. Take a breath of gratitude for doing this work.
My hope is that this exercise helped you to feel a little lighter and freer, and find healing after a friendship falls apart.
Learning to find comfort and peace in change and loss is some of the hardest work we’ll ever have to do and yet, so important. As change is the only constant in our lives. For every beginning in our lives, there is almost always an equal or opposite ending. It’s impossible to avoid.
So I hope this exercise can be another tool for you as learn to find healing after a friendship falls apart.
For more on friendships and the struggles so many of us women face in feeling a sense of belonging, here is a post I wrote on feeling alone in a season of growth.