So many times, we will go out of our way to seek out and/or keep certain things or people in our lives. It is familiar to us. We like the way she looks or how he makes us feel about ourselves.  There’s a history of good times  and private moments for which only that person or a few select people could really understand or relate. We compliment one another, and people always refer to us as ‘the perfect couple’. At certain venues and major events, we’re ‘at home’. Everyone knows us and likes us. They want to be around us. We’re the life of the party. We can be ourselves without judgment or consequence.

Other times, there’s this feeling of obligation. Because a person has been so kind and caring to us, we feel we must compromise ourselves in some way to accommodate for their shortcomings. After all, they’ve done the same for us, right? We’ll frequent areas and support venues because it may have provided a safe haven, an escape, from the outside world while trying to regroup before dealing with opposition. These people, these things, have been good to us in our darkest hour or our greatest triumph. Business may be slow now. He’s just lost his job. She’s just lost a loved one. We need to be there to pick up the pieces. We need to reassure them somehow. We’ll patronize the company and encourage others to do the same.

Consider this. As we walk into a new life, we are certain to grow and change. Change is good. In fact, change can be great. But, it can also be uncomfortable. Growing and changing sometimes means distancing yourself or even  letting go things and people that have been a significant part of your life for one reason or another. It is very easy to spout out “I know her” or “He knows me”. But truly, what is really known? Who you were & who they were is what’s familiar. It’s who you are that’s not, especially if the other person or place hasn’t changed. You cannot base your future on the familiarities of those people, places or things of the past if you’re growing unless it’s being reciprocated. They can only relate to you from where you were and not necessarily for where you are.

In an ideal world, it would be wonderful to change and maintain the same level of intensity in our relationships. Here’s the thing. People can and will applaud your changes, but they are not obligated to accept them. They are not obligated to change. And, why should they? Because we want them to? Familiar is comfortable but only to a certain point. Again, you’re familiar with who they are. They’re familiar with who you were. There will come a time when that will no longer be enough. If you no longer drink, you can find another way to support your friend’s business without establishing a bar tab. If someone’s in trouble, you can be a listening ear or redirect them to a place for assistance. In all of our growing and changing, it is imperative to not put ourselves in a position to fall back into unhealthy spaces and places for fear of letting go.