On Reframing Thoughts And Friendships Post Relationships

. 4 min read

Hi my loves,

I'm writing to you from this beautiful greenhouse of a room in my sister's home. It's gloomy and rainy out, but I don't much care. Partially that's because I've taken in a long walk this morning to soak up the outside world while it was still dry. But then the other partiality here is that when there is a full blown forest beyond these floor-to-ceiling windows, you don't feel so cooped up.

It's so different than being in the city. This, all this greenery that is still pouring into me from the other side of the glass, is exactly what I've been craving for months now. It's unfortunate that it took what it did to bring me here, but then that can also be looked at in another way. It's fortunate, that is, that I was given a bit of a universal push toward a space that I was really longing for.

I try to always flip my thoughts on their head in the case that they instinctively form in a negative light. This reframing has been natural to me since I was young. It's a form of self-soothing, I suppose. Like, when something hurts, I've never understood why one would choose to make a bath of the pain and swim in it. It's always made more sense to me to look at the discomfort and try to find the silver lining it, and from there work to resculpt it into something that may be of benefit. Not at the expense of burrying any sharp edges, but rather to pick up those edges and sand them down so they're less likely to cut, more likely to be whittled into a sort of tool for personal growth and life development.

Admittedly, I have my moments where I do wind up sitting in pooled pain. We all do. No one is perfect. But the key, for me, in those times has been my community. They consistently pull me up and out of the waters, back into the land of the living.

By community, of course, I mean my friends and my family. However, I must say that this also includes those I've been in relationships with, too, which is very interesting and very beautiful.

Maybe that sounds off to you. I get it. I've had people say, "I don't get it. You have these endings with people and you walk away saying only the best things about both the ending and the person. Don't you just want to hit them, sometimes?"

The answer is no though. Not at all. I think, when you are in a relationship with someone you really care for and respect, and your communication is crystal in its clarity, there's almost never a reason for a dissolution of said relationship to lead to anything other than hugs and nods of understanding. Maybe tears. Likely tears. But hit? Or say negative things about? Not at all. Never, actually.

Two relationships ago, I was taught the art of friendship post-romance. And since him, since seeing how that works through my now-friendship with him, I've gone on to always want to create the sort of environment that would allow for friendship down the line, once the sting of love has numbed, and that layer has flaked off.

My reasoning for this comes down to how much I hold deep relationships so dear. It's certainly not everyone I connect with, just as it likely isn't for you. So my line of thinking has become, "Okay, so, if we don't work in this way, that's okay. There's still so much here that I value—our mutual respect and care, your thought process, how it stimulates mine—basically, our psychological symmetry. So if we can repackage this connection, let's definitely try to do it."

Not everyone will agree. And to each his own, of course. But this is how I've grown to be. And it's been of so much benefit. Notably in the sense that I have a number of beautiful friendships, and then also in the lightness of the sense that I feel like there is genuinely no one on this planet that I'd have a hard time running into. There is no one I hold a grudge against. No one I have anything but love for.

(Of course, there are those old friends, or old partners that I don't want to maintain a connection with. But that's not because of spite or anger. It's because a lack of all the above.)

Anyway, I share this as there was once upon a time thoughts that ran through my head like, "It's impossible to feel anything but hurt" (re. an old relationship). And so, for anyone that feels this way, just know that this isn't true. Okay? I promise it isn't true. That's not to say you need to do as I do. Of course not. It really is to each his own. But what I can say is that you can have true release. You can honestly carry no baggage. It's a choice.

That's my experience, anyway.

And if that's not yours, please share with me, if you'd like. I never claim to be an expert on anything. I'm always open and willing to hear other sides, maybe change my own opinion if your point is really well made. But, for now, this is where I've landed. And it feels good. In fact, as I look back out at the trees, it feels like a really deep, really satisfying breath.

Big hugs, my loves.