Past Friendships and Your Inner Peace

by Solvita Bennett on October 22, 2011

5 TOP Lessons I’ve Learned from Past Friendships…

"Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great."

Mark Twain

Dear Friend,

…Today I'm going to share with you some lessons I've learned from past friendships, which may help you to get more clarity with your experiences, gain a better understanding and therefore find self-esteem and inner peace.

… I've had many friendships in my life and I’m sure you have too. At a deeper level we attract people to us which reflect our inner state of being. We have friends from past, even when we have changed beyond recognition, we have friends which are current who reflect our passions, spiritual level, emotional intelligence, values, priorities… There are people who are attracted to us for the support we can provide. There are those who inspire us and help us grow…

Well friendships are not always easy and straight forward and there are many reasons we drift apart from people we were so much attached to.

…Friendships like everything in life have their natural life’s cycle. We are often drawn together by circumstances like work, interests, children and then when our circumstances change so the friendship may end and we part.

It is very important to have friends and more important to have friends that serve your higher authentic self. When friendship becomes draining or you feel overwhelmed, the time is to let it go. There is nothing more damaging to our well being as being stuck in an unhealthy friendship.

Let’s see 5 TOP Lessons I’ve Learned from Past Friendships

#1 Envy and Jealousies. There is nothing more damaging when this toxic emotion steps into a friendship. When your friend feels envy and is jealous about your successes, people you meet, the things you do, you will not receive the support and understanding your Higher Self needs. The truth is there is not a lot you can do and no words will help. This friendship is very likely to end.

#2 Spiritual Growth. We are bound to outgrow certain friendships. Nothing more changes people than spiritual growth. When we grow spiritually our values, beliefs, attitude and even outside circumstances change rapidly. An example is, if you used to have a great time drinking or gossiping  now as you grow spiritually you may not find this so appealing any more. For this reason you may well drift apart.

#3 Circumstances change. Let’s say you are single and your friend is single too, you spend a lot of time together and then your friend gets married the circumstances change, you don't see each other as often and just drift apart. Circumstances are often resulting for gradually drifting apart. I have more than three friends, which I don't meet anymore just because of a change of circumstances.

#4 Emotional dependence. I think this is my weakest point. I often attract people who become emotionally depended on me. I am strong and know that I can help a lot in terms of emotional support, the pitfalls are, that people who are emotionally depended can become too attached and we will feel drained or suffocated as time goes on. This friendship can’t be equal and even though you can help, your friend at the same time will never be able to do the same for you. We need freedom and space to grow and evolve, so we can move on in life to become what we are meant to become. This point is very much overlooked and it is not obvious to many as we love to help and serve our friends. However sometimes we have to take care of our needs first, so our service can reach more people and not only the one person.

#5 Competition. Well this is very common, especially when we grow up, we like to compete with our siblings and so we bring these traits into our friendships later in life. A friendship can’t flourish when competing as there will be too much hurt and pain. When we can’t celebrate our friend’s success as much as it would be ours, the friendship will never be healthy and will end.

The ways in which people end friendships can be very different. Sometimes it is very hard to talk, as people often become defensive or blaming of others. There are a lot of feelings involved in any friendship and often unresolved issues from our childhood come up as a result. When those feelings are not acknowledged and understood, no amount of discussion or words can save the friendship.

There is a lot to learn from friendships… Friends are like mirrors of our inner life, some are there to share with us the same passion, interests, and some are there to challenge us to grow even more, if we can recognize this challenge.

Without interactions with others you would never know who you really are. Nothing can be better than to have a healthy, soul nourishing and loving friendship. Also you have to know when to let a toxic friendship go my friend. You are not a slave to your friends, when you give, help and support someone and receive nothing in return. Be honest to yourself and be open to a much healthier, more harmonious and uplifting friendship. There is time when you have to let go, it can be painful, but your happiness and inner peace is vital for your well being.

You will feel when a friendship is healthy, as you will feel uplifted and happy every time you see your friend. You can’t change the other person, however you can change yourself. When you change and grow, you will attract people that reflect this change. When you are positive, strong and confident, you will also draw to you people who present those characteristics.

Know your worth my friend and you will be able to set the boundaries which your friends will respect. You deserve the best!

Let’s see how we can let the resentment and hurt of our past friendships go and look forward to more meaningful, nourishing, happy and encouraging ones. The way to have friends is to be one to others. Real friend will respect your past, believe in your future and accept you for who you really are unconditionally. Often what we see missing in others we are missing in ourselves

I'm still learning how to be a good friend – let’s do this together!

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. I'd love to hear from you! :)

________________________________

  Solvita Bennett is sharing her wisdom with people from different backgrounds to find their Inner Peace and Happiness. With more than 20 years of study and practice of Personal Growth coupled with more than 10 years experience in professional teaching gives her the ability to share her ‘Secrets to Inner Peace’ in a Simple, Easy and Practical way.

Research shows that more than 95% of people lead their lives with worry. Don’t let this happen to you! Get your FREE copy of her Special Report “7 MASTER KEYS TO SOLVE THE WORRY" now.

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{ 93 comments… read them below or add one }

Jandi Theis October 23, 2011

Great article! I love the line “When you change and grow, you will attract people that reflect this change.” …so true! Thank you!

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Solvita Bennett October 23, 2011

Thanks for stopping by Jandi… yes this is what I see in my life clearly ;)

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Hughie Bagnell October 23, 2011

Excellent Lessons Solvita! Thanks for sharing…Hughie :)

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Solvita Bennett October 23, 2011

It is great to see you here Hughie ~ thanks!

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denny hagel October 24, 2011

I have always held the belief that nothing is an accident…everything and everyone is strategically placed in our path to help us grow and reach our highest potential. Thanks for sharing a brilliant article Solvita!

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Solvita Bennett October 25, 2011

Denny, this is what happens it is clever and not by accident, we can learn a lot and so we can also grow and evolve! Thank you!

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McKenna Gordon October 26, 2011

When you look at things this way, it’s hard not to see blessings during trials.

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Yes Mckenna ~ absolutely!!

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Jennifer Bennett October 24, 2011

Great points Solvita! I have found that good, healthy friendships are such a necessity in our lives. But as you stated, when we allow the lessons that you mention above to “invade” it can change a relationship. Specifically envy, jealousy, and competition. Too many friendships fall apart due to these characteristics. Thanks again for such a great article and great reminder! Blessings to you my friend!

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Solvita Bennett October 25, 2011

Those characteristics are the worst for friendships, it is so true! Thanks Jennifer ~ it is great to see you here my friend! :)

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Lori Thayer October 24, 2011

Great article Solvita. Friendships do change and evolve. Sometimes it can be difficult to accept the change. One things I try to ask myself is if the friend is adding value to my life AND am I adding value to theirs. It should flow both ways.

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Solvita Bennett October 25, 2011

Yes- it should flow both ways! Thanks Lori!

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Olga Hermans October 24, 2011

Thanks Solvita, knowing how to build friendships that are right for your own growth is an art in itself I think! Not becoming dependent on each other is crucial and just staying who you are as well! Thank you for these great tips that help us so much to move forward.

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Solvita Bennett October 25, 2011

Thank you so much for stopping by ~ really appreciate your comment Olga!

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McKenna Gordon October 24, 2011

Love this post, Solvita. Everything you say is so true. We need to seek FULFILLING relationships and skip out on the empty ones. :)

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Solvita Bennett October 25, 2011

Yes McKenna this is exactly what we have to seek and also be ~ creating and having fulfilling relationships is an art which we can learn…

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Beth Heilman October 24, 2011

What a fabulous article, Solvita!! True friendships lift us up, support us and make us better than we could ever be on our own. Those are the ones that survive anything and are the real treasures. Thank you for this!!

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Solvita Bennett October 25, 2011

This is so true Beth ~ real treasures ~ love it! :)

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ENO Nsima-Obot MD October 25, 2011

I have to admit that I miss some of my earlier childhood friendships. They seemed unadulterated. However even as I have tried to recapture the magic of those times, I realize that my current friendships must serve to uplift me spiritually as you share. I have even taken to isolating relatives who do not serve the purpose of spiritual upliftment. Thanks for a great article!

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Solvita Bennett October 25, 2011

Hi Eno! Yes ~ I know what you mean. It is not easy and there will never be a perfect template for a friendship, we learn a lot and know better what we want when having more life experiences. We need friends and friends need us, the healthy friendship is always uplifting and nourishing…thanks for stopping by! :)

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Anastasiya Day October 25, 2011

Brilliant article (as always)! Thanks for sharing :)

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

You are so welcome dear Anastasiya! Thanks for stopping by!

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AJ October 26, 2011

Brilliance as always!
Thanks for the advice and guidance,
AJ

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Thanks AJ!! :)

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Kim Garst October 26, 2011

Great article and you are so right about those friendships! Choosing wisely is so crucial and eliminating those that bring us down is essential. They can be a part of our heart but not an influencer in our life or they will bring us down to their level. Thanks for sharing!

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Thanks Kim ~ it is great to see you here!

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Peggy Malone October 26, 2011

I love this article Solvita! I especially love what you mentioned at the end of the article: Often what we see missing in others we are missing in ourselves… This something that I try to be aware of when I’m having a difficult time with a friend or loved one. This alone has really helped me when navigating the ups and downs of relationships.

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Yes Peggy ~ this is how I look at it to determine what I have to work on within myself, such a great indication!! ;)

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Alexandra McAllister October 26, 2011

WOW! Great article Solvita! You write: “Friendships like everything in life have their natural life’s cycle.” I now understand this…we sometimes grow out of a relationship. Thanks for all your advice!

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Thank you Alexandra ~ It is great to see you here!

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Julie Weishaar October 26, 2011

Wonderful tips and advice on friendships Solvita. I have been burned many times in my life – I used to tend to “assume” that other’s intentions and actions were the same as mine. I give 100% – many don’t. I hope as I have “matured” (nice way to say “OLD” LOL) I have learned from past mistakes and am more selective in who I give my heart and friendship to! :)

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

This is one of the ways ~ we become wiser and more selective Julie!! :)

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Richard October 26, 2011

Will definitely return to enjoy more of these inspirational articles, a wealth of wisdom. Thank you Solvita.

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Thanks Richard ~ it is great you stopped by!

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Sherie Venner October 26, 2011

Solvita, this is a wonderful post! Thanks for pointing out that friendships have a natural life cycle…..that puts things into perspective in so many different ways!

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Thanks Sherie for stopping by and see you soon!

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Tara October 26, 2011

I never thought about friendships having a ‘lifespan’ and so expiring, but it makes sense :)

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Thanks Tara! :)

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Beau Henderson October 26, 2011

Thank you for sharing this Solvita. You have really highlighted what happens when friendships just run its course. People are in your life sometimes for a reason or for a season. Not all friendships last a lifetime despite our best intentions.

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Love it ~ sometimes for a reason or for a season!! Thanks Beau!

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Carl Mason-Liebenberg October 26, 2011

A few years ago, I stepped out, made some decisions for personal authenticity. In the porcess, I encurred a major shift in my firendships. In many cases, it frankly hurt like hell. Other instances surprised and blessed me. I mourn some of the lost relationships to this day. I also celebrate the new and truly authtentic ones that were revealed. And now, living in South Africa, new relationships are being forged. Its not easy, but it is a pleasure!

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

This is what we have to be willing to do ~ regardless of the past build new and fulfilling friendships. Thanks Carl!

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Dr. Daisy Sutherland October 26, 2011

Hi Solvita!! Excellent article!! I found all those reasons you shared to be very true…I’ve had many friendships come and go for the same reasons. Perhaps that is why I don’t have many I can call ‘true’ friends. The ‘true’ friends I do have I appreciate completely and because they feel the same our friendship has lasted. My ultimate true friend is my husband which I truly adore but it’d be nice to have some ‘real’ girlfriends too:) Working on it! :)

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

I’m working on it too Dr Daisy and learning on the way! Thanks for your comment ~ really appreciate!

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Ingrid October 26, 2011

You are so right! The one that stands out are emotional dependency relationships. They can be so draining that you suffocate yourself in that person’s drama. Run to the hills and escape as fast as you can. Surround yourself with positive energy!

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

This is an art ~ not to be sucked into the drama!!! Thanks Ingrid!

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Elise Adams @AdamsOrganizing October 26, 2011

Great article. I’ve been meditating on similar subjects lately. It is really fascinating to look back over the years and realize that the progress is reflected in my friendships and connections. This is a way I’ve found to vault myself to a new spiritual/professional level as well–seek out those further along than I am instead of only seeking people in my comfort zone.

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Yes Elise ~ sometimes very strong and positive people can be intimidating, but to rise to their level is a bonus for yourself… We must step out of our comfort zone from time to time, so we can break through limitations ;) It is great to see you here my friend!

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Edwina Parker October 26, 2011

Thank you, Solvita. What a wonderful article. The spiritual growth is one that has been at the forefront of my life for several years now. I still love them but we have so little in common now that it makes friendship difficult.

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

I can understand that very well ;) thanks for stopping by Edwina!

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Rhonda Uretzky October 27, 2011

I love how you are appreciative of every experience of all your old friendships. The Buddhists teach say you must cherish your enemies and those who irritate you, even more than those who are nice to you, because your enemies sacrifice their niceness in order to reflect back to you you those things you must work out of yourself in order to become enlightened. Hmmmm…..

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Love the enlightenment past friendship give us ~ there are a lot wisdom hidden within and clues for our growth…thanks Rhonda!

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Michelle October 27, 2011

There is so much wisdom, especially in the Bible’s book of Proverbs, about choosing good companions who will lift you up rather than pulling you down. You’ve written an excellent article delineating some of the very measuring sticks we can use to gauge this. Thanks, Solvita!

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Thank you Michelle!!

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Amity Hook-Sopko October 27, 2011

Wow, you don’t know how affirming this is, Solvita! I’ve been through something similar where a relationship served a mutual purpose for a time. It was excellent, and when it was finished… it was just finished.

Sometimes it’s hard to see it end. But with a bit of time and grace, you move on with lessons learned and fond memories.

I feel 10 pounds lighter after reading this :)

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

I love the lightness Amity ~ this is a great feeling! Thank you!

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Helena Ritchie October 27, 2011

Great article! The one that really spoke to me was how spiritual growth can cause us to outgrow friendships. I’m always amazed and a little saddened at how quickly relationships change when I’ve gone through a period of growth.

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

When we grow spiritually the change is what happens and it is not only within…it reflects outside and the speed is just fascinating, we have to keep up Helena ;)

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Karla Campos October 27, 2011

Thank you Solvita, great article. Sometimes when it is time to let go of these types of relationships it is very painful because you feel like you are betraying the friendship, but it must be done because like you say relationships change with circumstance.

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Thank you Karla!

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Anita October 27, 2011

These are all so important …I recently got caught up in a relationship with a friend who consumed my time and suffocated me. Its amazing how we can be aware and still allow this to happen. I love to help people but learning to help them NOT at the expense of myself, has been a lesson I have had to learn a few times unfortunately.

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Yes Anita ~ this is what happens, we are aware and still let it happen…However it will happen less and less, because of the awareness…

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Norma Doiron@Social Media | Graphics | Web Design | Health | Wellness | Weight Loss October 27, 2011

“When you change and grow, you will attract people that reflect this change.” That is so true, Solvita. Appreciate your post & point of view!
Norma Doiron @ The LEARNED Preneur╰☆╮

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Thanks Norma ~ appreciate your comment!

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Lorii Abela October 27, 2011

Your words of wisdom are inspiration to people! Keep them coming. Lorii

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Thanks Lorii!

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Betty Nelson October 27, 2011

Thanks so much for your wonderful site…..we all need your reminders for wellness and health!

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Great to see you here Betty! We all need reminders ~ including me! ;)

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Debra Eckerling October 27, 2011

My favorite line: “It is very important to have friends and more important to have friends that serve your higher authentic self.” So true!

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Thanks Debra! :)

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Colleen Kartchner October 27, 2011

Great article, these are important principles to live by, thanks

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Thank you Colleen!

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Lorrie October 27, 2011

Solvita, this post is so timely, thank you. It is hard to trust again once we have been betrayed by a friend, but we must to fully experience what it is to be human.

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Life presents us with different situations, so we can become greater and greater in creating better life for us and others. Thanks Lorrie!

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Nancy Olson October 27, 2011

I love number 2! What use to be so important out with the girls and see what is new with them, who they have heard things about and get the latest. NOW that is the least of my worries. Thanks for the great read!

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Yes Nancy …when we grow we are thinking different thoughts and also attracting different events and people into our lives…Thank you!

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Kelly October 27, 2011

Very nice article, Solvita! Like you, I believe that all of our relationships are mirrors. I also believe that we teach people how we want to be treated. We definitely need to set healthy boundaries in all of our relationships.

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Thanks Kelly!

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Rob Russo, Wild Sage Homestead October 27, 2011

Great post and so true. Friendships can be so complicated, often strained, and we must remember to surround ourselves with positive, uplifting friends that offer support.

Often it is necessary to cut ties and move on. It seems heartless, but trying to force friendships will never work in the end.

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Yes Rob ~ forcing never works!! Thank you!

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Susan Preston October 28, 2011

Thank you, so much for an Amazing article Solvita! It really resonated with me, especially #5. I ended my last 2 friendships because of that very reason. But, I also learned that it creates a vacuum effect and when I released what was no longer working in my life…amazing new relationships flourished.

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

This is what happens, when we have the courage to get out and stop sabotaging our lives, something much better flows into the place! Nice to see you here Susan!

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Sue October 28, 2011

Solvita…I loved this article. So easy to read and uplifting while at the same time very thought provoking! so thankful for the many friends I have met here through Social Media who truly reach out to “care” from the heart!

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

We can feel the energy, when it comes from the heart Sue! Thanks for stopping by!

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Michele October 28, 2011

Dear Solvita,
I always look forward to reading your posts and this was just a good as I had anticipated. Friendships can be a sticking point for so many reasons and memories of the past can keep us bound. Letting go can be the best thing we can do to honor the past and respect ourselves too. Thanks Solvita!

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

Thank you Michele ~ absolutely! :)

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Jennifer October 29, 2011

Very nice article Solvita. The way I have ended most friendships is by changing and growing ~ the old ones just seem to fade away. I look back on some of my old circle of friends who seem to be doing the same thing today that they did 10 years ago and I think “Wow, I’m glad I’ve grown.” While change is almost always uncomfortable, it’s also a great sign that you are continuing to create a better life for yourself.

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Solvita Bennett October 29, 2011

This is very true Jennifer ~ I better go for growth even though it can be uncomfortable for a while than stay the same…we can always step into a better and greater version of ourselves. Thank you!

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AJ November 21, 2011

Great wisdom Solvita!
I had to scroll down a long ways to put in a comment, you are popular:)
Nice job,
AJ

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Jasmine February 22, 2013

Thanks Solvita……what a wonderful article…..just last week i thought of releasing one of my friend from my heart….even after being nice, appreciative and positive towards her for the last several years,.she has been increasingly trying to put me down with “labels” in front of others……i have been getting vibes of her jealousy and insecurity but would ignore it and concentrate on some of her good qualities… .but she would still continue to put me down in front of others though i would smilingly give her back, it never stopped……sometimes i wondered and failed to understand why should she behave like this with me ? finally realised that her mind is too negative to look at me positively…she gets pleasure by giving me labels to put me down to raise her self-worth….because she lacks those qualities which she sees in me and feel jealous of….hence i started ignoring her and thought its better i distance myself from this friendship after all these years..there is no point having such a negative friend who ruins ur peace of mind…..my peace of mind is definitely more important that having such a friend ..though i cannot completely avoid bumping into each other daily but certainly does not deserve this jealous friend in my life anymore !!! Reading your article today made be more confident of my decision and choice of friends…. I have been choosy about friends and was rebuked for this but feel proud now that i dont let negative friends remain in my life and have let go of them in the past too……..not worth it !!

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Solvita Bennett February 23, 2013

Dear Jasmine, how nice to see you stop by! Real friend will pick you up, when you are down,stand with you no matter what, give you support, warmth and be a great company for you. When you are able to offer the same qualities to others and don’t receive bitterness and feeling of unworthiness in return, it is better to move on… You will find friends, who will reflect the qualities you have. Smile and trust yourself. Don’t judge your old friend, just move on and enjoy new friendships as they come along. :)

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Donna June 25, 2013

I helped a friend when she lost her husband.  Now she is smothering me and wants to do everything I do.  She joined my  church, joined everything I am involved in.  It's driving me crazy and I'm feeling smothered.  Her husband has been gone now 3 years and I think its time she venture out and find someone else.  How do I get her to see that 3 years of this smothering is enough?

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Solvita Bennett June 29, 2013

Hi Donna, thank you for stopping by! Appreciate your question, however the right answer can only come from you. As you know you and also your friend well. It looks like your friend simply adores you. It can be also that she has become extremely attached to you. People can become attached to many things, people, ideas, thoughts…. Surrender to God all this situation. With help from Divine Power you will find the best solution. Meditate on it and also ask for forgiviness. Forgiveness is an amazing (fast) way to God. So wonderful to hear about your kind heart. Never stop helping others as it is an amazing expression of your Higher Self. Serving others lifts you up and at times 'not helping' is the best solution too. When we look at nature and especially birds. Some birds have to push their children out of their nest, so that they can finally learn to fly. Thank you! :)

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