Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Stoic Friendships: what to do when you feel stuck


Yesterday I blogged about how others look at our lives and they survey fruit. They see what type of results we are getting. They are trying to see if we walk the walk or if we just talk the talk. I believe the same concept can be applied in friendships: you are supposed to see the fruit of a healthy friendship.

Take me for example, I try my best to be a good friend. My friends know I am not perfect but I do try to be consistent, true and encouraging. The past 4 years have been a breeding ground for friendship theories. I learned all about toxic friends. I learned about the anatomy of friendships and how it needs investment, access and strong foundations. One thing I learned recently is how to let go when things haven't been working for a while. If a friendship is not producing fruit, I just let go. 

I can look back 4 years and measure how much effort I put into particular friendships. I can measure invitations to hang out, I can see my encouragement and the endeavor to make something good, greater. I can also measure the results I got. Friendships, like most relationships, are not inanimate. You are either progressing or regressing. It's human nature to feel sad when I look back at 4 years of investment and find it lacking. Character breakthrough happens when I accept regress as a sign that I'm the one who needs to move on. 

Do you wanna know something funny? The people that would be responsible for my 'sadness' are clueless about this whole thing. They are so wrapped up in their own lives (which is their right) that they can care less about my view of things. I find this to be fuel for progress. 

Stoic friendships are not a sign that the other friend is a bad person. This kinda thing just happen. Stoic friendships are a mile marker in the race of life. It says, "time to leave this person here and keep running your own race." And running I did. Every stoic friendship I left behind opened doors for more significant, propelling people. 

I no longer wasted time grieving a friendship gone stoic. I focused my energy on releasing that friend and leaving any regret where it belongs. I prayed and forgave, which opened spiritual doors of freedom. Once I had that clean slate, I was able to find the openness of heart to welcome new friends.  
I am challenging you to survey your life for stoic friendships. You might not want to share this post with them because it will highly offend them. What I would instead is to think about all the effort you put into that relationship over the years. If the friendship is truly stoic, pray God's blessing over that person and move on to the more of God in the area of friendship. Grieving a stoic friendship is not the best way to make room for new, faithful friends. Remember, this is just a mile marker and you get to run on to a better season of friendships in your life.

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