In my newsletter this week, I began writing about vulnerability and shame. It morphed into a piece about friendship losses. Losing friendships has been such a profoundly difficult part of my life--one where I feel most vulnerable perhaps. Friends truly are the soul family we create. I have valued each person I call a friend throughout my life as a teacher, a collaborator, a spiritual partner, and a gift. Upon reflection, some friendships were there to show me parts of myself I would have rathered stayed cocooned in the back closet of my soul, yet those instances have been the greatest teacher, catapulting my spiritual growth. You can read the newsletter piece here. I wanted to share thoughts and tips on how to deal with friendship loss on an energetic level and healing oneself. I am not going to be giving any words on how to heal the broken friendship, but rather how to heal the broken heart.
Here is what I believe is important to care for yourself and nurture your spiritual growth through a friendship loss.
1. Don't call every person you mutually know to tell them about your friendship fall out. Allow yourself one telling of the story to another person--your sister, best friend, mother, therapist, or sponsor. Gossip lowers our vibration. When you retell the story, you stoke your anger. You feed that particularly wolf. If we don't play back the storyline of injustice that we are inventing in our head, and just sit, we can begin to feel the feeling that we've been pushing off and ignoring. So, just allow yourself to feel the hurt, rather than tell the story. See how the first is heart-centered and the second is not. The latter is getting yourself out of your hurt, and moving into other fiery places like your sacral and root where justice can be perverted into revenge.
2. Take responsibility for your emotions. Your friend did not make you angry. You felt angry as a result of your friend speaking her truth. Very different. If she is purposely trying to hurt you, then take responsibility for not putting up your guard. It is not that your friend is not culpable at all, it is simply that we must be able to, as the Serenity Prayer says, "...accept the things we cannot change...change the things we can...." We need to understand what is our emotion, and what is an issue in the friendship. I had a friend who told me she needed space. First thing I did was shoot off an email to her telling her I was there for her. She just told me what she needed, and I did exactly what she asked me not to do. In my desire to fix things immediately, I overstepped the boundary she created. So also take responsibility for your role in the friendship loss. It is important, without beating yourself up, to own your role in the friendship. That takes pure heart-centeredness and self-compassion to own your role without taking all the responsibility. It takes practice to not judge yourself, so allow yourself to be quite terrible at this in the beginning. Just know you'll get better the more you do it, and the more heart-centered you are.
3. Remember you are hurt, injured, and grieving, so treat yourself as such. Self-care is A Number One. Baths. Meditation. Lots of rest. Detox from Social Media. Eat clean, whole foods. Don't drink alcohol or use drugs. Feel the hurt. Cry. Practice Reiki or energy healing on your heart chakra. Or get energy work done. Surround yourself with stones for self-love--rhodochrosite, rhodonite, rose quartz, green aventurine, jade, watermelon tourmaline (or rubelite or pink tourmaline), and any other heart chakra stone you have close to you. I often do a grid for self-love during these times. I use aromatherapy for the heart and healing--rose, bergamont, sandalwood, orange, lemon, neroli, ylang ylang.
4. Write a letter from your Shadow Self. When you are fired up, a great tool is to allow your Shadow self to write a letter. See, your Shadow (a term coined by Carl Jung) is your shame, the part of yourself you might not accept. Maybe you want to believe you have evolved so fully from being petty, angry or unforgiving that giving your Shadow any voice would give her power. If we do not accept these normal human parts of ourselves, our Shadow comes out in all kinds of dark ways. Give her voice. Listen to her. What you are listening for is where your hurt stems from, what places in your childhood this situation is activating, what other situations in your life (past or present) does this pain remind you of, and what you can release. I reassure my Shadow Angie that she is not alone, or that she is not diseased or a damaged person. This is a key to healing. It is not the suffering that is the problem, or the failure of a friendship, it is the feeling of shame, isolation, and loneliness that leads us to numbing behavior, seeking revenge, or self-punishment and depression. "I am the only one who feels this way," our terrible suffering tells us. No one is ever the only person to feel that way. Even if it is the ugliest, most horrible thought, others have had it.
I allow my Shadow Self to have a say. I let her write a letter to God. You can address it to your guides, the universe, or your Higher Self if you struggle with God. Just sit down. Alone. No one else in the entire world will read this. It is secret medicine, and it is the point of the thing. Now, with your vulnerable, most open self, write about every feeling you have had regarding the loss of this friendship (this works with nearly all issues that come from shame.) All the ones you have called ugly, petty, shameful. Write it all. Don't hold back.
When so and so did that, I was so mad, I wanted to punch them in their stupid nose. How could they be so cruel to me? Don't they know who I am? Why don't they like me? Why do I keep suffering like this? I will never love another person again. If I could talk to so and so, I would tell her that She doesn't know what she is missing. I'm a great friend. When she said I was self-absorbed, I was so angry, because my grief is a big deal, and I need to be self-absorbed right now.
Spirit can handle all these thoughts and does not judge. Give them release. When you are writing, you may cry and get angry and say WHY ME?!? a thousand times. That is okay. Give those shadow thoughts a voice. Let them see the light of day. What is giving them power is their darkness. And in the sunlight, you will be able to see that you are just a hurt person. Not a bad person. Here is where you tell the story for the last time. And then you fold up the letter, and put it in a box that can be a kind of God Box, or a Spirit Box. Some people use a shoe box, or a wooden cigar box. Once you put that letter in the box, you have now turned this entire situation over to God, or to your guides. You are allowing them to take it from here. So stop saying the same thing in your head that you just wrote down. Once you put it down, you don't have to pick it up again.
5. Invite your Higher Self into the Conversation. I journal after a God Letter, and ask the question, "Spirit (or Higher Self), what do I need to learn from this situation?" This is where I invite my Higher Self into this conversation. Compared to your Shadow Self, your Higher Self is the part of you that knows your Soul Purpose, your life lessons, and taps into the Divine Source. You can get there through meditation and receptivity. Breathe deeply. Create a Sacred Space. Ask for guidance.
I first write the things I have recognized from my Shadow letter. We hopefully learn the things we need to release (and accept). In my fake letter above, I ranged into self-pity. I also thought I should close my heart chakra. I had a lot of unexpressed emotions for my friend, which is a throat chakra issue. I also had that deep-seated feeling of being rejected. As an adult woman, I can work with that little Angie and comfort her from the rejection she felt as a child. These are things I then write on slips of paper--Self-Pity, Closed Heart, Shut Off From Speaking My Truth, Rejection. I write those out, then I write them on separate pieces of paper as transformational statements:
I transform self-pity into self-compassion.
I open my heart and trust that my Guides will provide me with friendships that are meaningful and important.
I speak my truth with compassion, calm, and love.
I am accepted wholly and fully, just as I am, by Spirit.
One thing to remember, when I asked the question, "What do I have to learn from this situation?" in a Spiritual Counseling session with Rita Strough, she told me, "You are ascending and need to attract like-minded spiritual beings. These friendships fall away so others can come in. You did nothing wrong. They did nothing wrong. You are just making room for new people." That truth I see over and over again in my own readings with people--friendships fall away, so people with similar vibrations can come in. There isn't anything wrong with person A or person B. When we raise our vibration, we attract people with similar vibrations, and release the ones who don't resonate with us. Why would that make us angry? Even when someone hides their fear in attacks against us, we need to realize they are simple not resonating with us. Isn't that a much different perspective than "I am a bad person" or "I'm not likeable"?
6. Release what is not serving your Highest Good. I find ritual very cathartic, and so on release days--Equinoxes and Solstices, as well as Full Moon rituals, when I am absolutely ready to be done of this friendship drama, I might burn the God letter with the slips of paper containing that which I want to release from this situation. If you are working with a medicine bundle, or intention setting, remember that Spirit often gives us these situation specifically SO we release the things not serving us. I keep my transformational statement to carry in my medicine bundle or on my sacred space/altar. I say them every day for a moon cycle. When you are releasing something using the moon cycles, I release during the Full Moon or waning moon period. I set intentions during the New Moon period, and ask for growth in the waxing moon period. And also, I don't just do this. I wait until I am ready to release. Give yourself time to process your loss and understand what it is you are releasing and why.
7. Forgive easily and often. My first and final act (so this should be 1 and 7) is to pray for my friend. I don't know how to forgive in any other way than to begin praying for the other person. It requires nothing but willingness. I don't even have to release any anger or guilt or hurt. I actually get on my knees for this one, because it signals to Spirit that you are ready to embrace the humility needed to heal. Ask for your friend to have everything you want for yourself--peace, friendship, health, happiness, joy and understanding. Ask for your friend to know Spirit. When and if you have more karmic work to do with your friend, ask to bring them back into your life in a way that is peaceful for each of you. Express gratitude for the lessons (no matter how hard) they brought to you, and for showing you the places where you need work releasing attachment and ego. This is the way I have learned to forgive someone--to see them as a Divine Being of Light, as a hurt person, as someone who needs healing in the same way I need healing. If you have a healing or love grid, add their name to it. And add your own. I pray for them, whether I am still angry or not. I believe prayer (to the universe, or God, or your angels) activates your readiness to forgive. Does it mean the anger or hurt immediately dissipates? No. It means, you are showing Spirit you are ready to have this anger removed.
8. Ready yourself for new friends. I do this by working on my heart chakra. Heart opening crystal grids and layouts are wonderful. Yoga can be a great way, and just practicing self-care. Lots of self-care.
What do you think about the end of friendships and healing? What do you do when a friendship ends? Share it in the comment section of this blog.