I used to think cutting people out of my life had to be a bad thing. I used to think that you had to hold onto people even when you both had grown apart from each other.
Recently I have come to realize that is not true at all.
There are always going to be people who are going to grow with you. These people are your life partners. They can be friends, family, girlfriends, boyfriends, or spouses. They may not grow to the same extent as you, but they grow in the same direction.
Then there are people who just don’t grow. Whether they choose to stay the same because they are happy where they are, or they are stubborn and do not want to put in the effort. They are the people that you begin to resent. They can become jealous of where you are, making it easier for you to let them go and not feel a sense of loss.
Finally, there are people who are growing, but not in the same direction as you. As compared to the people who choose not to grow, they are not life lessons, they are people who have taught you life lessons. They could have, at one point, been your running buddy, or even your mentor. But as time went on you began to take the lessons they taught you and make them your own. This could have caused both of you to begin moving in different directions. These people are the hardest to let go of. You can feel your paths diverging for some time, but you cling onto them because you do not want to give up the relationship. However, as time goes on, you can begin to become resentful towards them.
You can see that you are both growing, but their actions begin to irritate you.
In my life, I have had two of those people come to pass. Both within the last year. The first was my best friend from university. In our third year, she went through a major shift in her mindset, and she really began to grow into her own person. I was happy to be a part of her growth, and I was encouraging her to sow her own path. At that time, our lives were parallel and we were growing together. But then I made the choice to become a health and fitness coach, and I began to grow in a slightly different direction than her. At first, our paths seemed to continue in parallel, but after a few months I could see that we no longer were growing side by side. Her growth patterns were beginning to irritate me, and I could tell mine were beginning to irritate her. IF we had cut off our relationship at that time I know it would have ended in a much more mature manner. But, instead, we continued to push it out, until I could no longer stand it. If we had ended it sooner we would probably not have been as awkward as we were around each other.
The second occurred very recently, and I believe we cut it off just in time. This woman was my mentor, and she has taught me many of things I now know and believe in. But recently, I could tell my actions were beginning to bother her, and hers have been bothering me for a while. She took the leap. We are still in each other’s lives, but not as involved as before. If we had let it go any longer, I know it would have been an awkward ending not just for us, but for others as well.
When I woke up this morning and saw that our connection had been cut, I was upset. I wanted an explanation. But as I began to look back, and really become mindful of our relationship, I realized that this was the perfect timing. Our professional relationship will still be intact without affecting our emotions towards one another. She is still an amazing mentor to me, but it is time for each of us to grow in our separate directions.
Although I have only ever experienced this sort of connection a couple of times in my life so far, I have a feeling that a lot more of these connections are going to begin popping up as I continue down my path of personal development. Mentors are MEANT to come and go. So I urge you today.. if there is a relationship that was once so meaningful and really pushed you to grow WITH the person, but is now causing you to feel irritated, cut it off. Not in a harsh way, but in a way that will allow for you to go back to them if your lives ever become parallel again. Do not resent them. Thank them, and release them. This movement away from each other is just evidence that you are both growing into the people you are meant to be.