The art of letting go

Sometimes there isn’t a second chance — and that’s okay

The new year is here!

It’s time when a lot of people practise reflection. It’s also a time for new beginnings and fresh starts. Each year, we tell ourselves all of the ways that we’re going to change: this year I’m going to be more patient, I’m going to be more kind, I’m going to study harder, I’m going to...

Wait! Stop! Don’t get us wrong: it’s important to be the best ‘you’ that you can be, to make plans and set goals. But it’s also important to reflect on how we treat others, and a new year is the perfect time to do that.

Story time!
Seventeen-year-olds Anya and Busi used to be best friends. They went together like honey and pie. Everything was fine, until Busi’s parents transferred her to a different school.

At first, Anya and Busi were able to maintain their friendship through marathon phone calls, all-day WhatsApping, and sleep-overs on the weekends.

Eventually, however, Busi starting making new friends at her new school and had less time to spend with Anya. The phone calls went from daily to weekly to not at all. Busi was busy with her new friends and Anya’s feeling were hurt. Had she been replaced?

“I felt like I was nobody to her,” sighed Anya, “It seemed like Busi forgot all about me once she made new friends.” She missed Busi. She missed having someone that understood her — and she felt angry that Busi didn’t seem to care anymore.

If you were Anya, could you ever forgive Busi and move on?

Well, you kinda have to. Things happen. People change. People grow apart. Sometimes people hurt us without even realizing it. Part of growing up means realizing that we can’t control the way other people act; we can only control our reaction to other people.

It’s okay to grieve when someone hurts you. Breaking up with a best friend is awful — crying is normal and even healthy. But it’s also important to let go of bitterness and negativity, after we’ve processed our feelings. We have to move on, and we don’t want anger to hold us back.

So, what did Anya do? She reached out to Busi and told her how she felt. And you know what? Busi was surprised! She didn’t mean to hurt Anya, and she missed Anya too.

Busi and Anya’s friendship changed and, even though things weren’t the same anymore they still loved each other. Busi was happy that Anya trusted her enough to talk to her about it and Anya found that an honest and forgiving heart can do wonders.

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