connectioning: deciding what can and cannot be mended

my aging (plastic) garden Buddha: not worth mending, but not yet broken enough to lose its place of honor on my porch

some things are able to be mended. others are not. some things are worth mending; others are not.

how do I figure out which is which?

I do not know the answer, consciously. I trust my gut. I know what I can realistically mend and what I can’t. wool socks are easy, to a certain point. cotton or poly fiber socks, definitely not. but there’s a level of threadbare/ too many holes even with wool socks where it isn’t really realistic to keep mending. I follow Marie Kondo’s advice to thank the sock and let it go. 

I suppose it is the same with friendships. there is a point at which mending makes no sense anymore. too many little problems have added up, or there’s a very big repair that just isn’t worth the pain. at that point, it only makes sense to say (thank you,) goodbye and move on. 

this is sometimes very painful - when it happens as a result of an argument - aka, a big messy rip. and sometimes it happens naturally, more of a growing apart - threadbaring - process than anything else.

because friends aren’t things, sometimes this metaphor doesn’t actually hold together. because with friends, sometimes time helps mend what I thought couldn’t be mended. and that can be a beautiful thing, when it happens. 

(I’ve had two wonderful friends return as friends after a long period of time had passed between our unfriending. and another couple of friends who reached out after time had elapsed to mend the rift between us, while also acknowledging that we wouldn’t be able to be friends anymore. I’m so thankful for all those people.) 

all my life, I worried I was doing friendship wrong, that this kept happening. why couldn’t I keep my friendships going? what was wrong with me, that I kept losing friends?

and there is indeed a level at which I definitely do need to examine what’s going on with me and my friendships. but I don’t think the issue is actually with the ending of my friendships, but with how caretakery (codependent) I tend to get during the friendship. it is somewhat ridiculous that I have realized this is a big issue for a really long time and yet let it continue to persist (and even get way, way worse in the last few years with the person who unfriended me in a very painful way this August). that’s my own issues with boundaries. and I am definitely going to be working on those. that’s one of my priorities right now, boundary setting and keeping.  

but now I think this may also be part of how ebb and flow works in relationship. 

we grow together and we grow apart. no one is perfect and arguments happen. part of my boundary keeping process is reminding myself that I am not responsible for fixing everything.

(I cannot fix everything, no matter how hard I try.)

some friendships are worth both people putting in the effort to mend.

sometimes one person may want to put in the effort and the other person may not. 

and sometimes neither person thinks it's worth that effort. 

maybe despite my boundary issues, I am not the bad friend I have worried I am, that I am willing to walk away from relationships that are past their mending stage. and maybe that’s actually part of my boundary keeping, and I might not be so bad at boundaries after all. 

(and I really just let my boundaries slip over this past year or two because reasons.)

hmmmm. I don’t know the answer here and that’s ok. 

I don’t always need to know. 

it’s ok just to feel. 

and it is definitely ok to let go of what can't be mended.

thank you. I love you. I release you.

may all beings have all that they need.
may all beings realize their own worth.
may all beings be freed from suffering.