This is not a random shout into the dark, of course. I have been trying to think about what stops me writing to you lately and thinking about it in terms of relationship and as a therapist. The thing about this is that a therapist is always trying to have a relationship with you, but the person you might be wanting to have a relationship with (maybe an old friend) is not a therapist. I say this very obvious thing because your main obligation in therapy is to turn up and have a conversation whereas if you want to maintain a relationship with someone, you have to do quite a lot more.
Again, this seems like quite an obvious thing I am saying but, many years ago, it was something I didn’t think about much. And as a consequence, there weren’t too many friends around me. I was never sure why until I realized that lasting relationships with people you love do not happen by luck and/or obligation. They happen because you put the work in.
You put up with some things that may not be optimal. You spend time figuring out where you stand on certain issues that arise and how important they may be in the long run (the really long run which is actually quite short – life). You decide what is really important to you – work, spiritual life, creativity, love, friendship. See how I put work first? Hmmm.
You look at the balance in the relationship. Is there as much joy in it as there is work? All relationships take some work, you know. Some take an awful lot. Only you can know whether you are prepared to spend yourself in this way. Because the gains can be huge. Joy, for instance. Laughter. Intimacy. Fun. Adventures. Peaceful being with. Being understood and really seen with love and understanding. True reciprocity. These things seem worth pursuing.
So is there a space in your life from which an old friend has gone missing, someone you cherish and do not want to lose? Send a card. Call him/her up. Give yourself the gift of reconnection. And let someone know you care.
Lots of love,