I am grateful for the friends who no longer are in my life for one reason or another. I look back and know that I contributed to the end of the relationship. These are people I spent a lot of time with. We ran around together to the movies, bowling, plays, just hung out, whatever. But then something changed. Something that had been bothering them about me suddenly came to the fore. It was enough for them to no longer want to be my friend. It caught me by surprise. I won't say it didn't hurt. But I also can't say I wasn't guilty of whatever way I had let them down. Intentional or not, I had not been the friend they wanted. And obviously they were not the friend I thought they were.
And that's okay.
People grow. People change. We evolve. We get stuck. But the amazing thing about former friends is just that: they are formers. They formed a lot of who I am today. They taught me to be more aware of myself and how I come across. I have to admit that in those relationships I was also guilty of tolerating things that I should not have. That, too, is another lesson to be learned from former friends. If something bugs you, it should be addressed. Often it hits on a nerve with yourself on something you do like about yourself. That's a tough one...but an important one. Awareness is the key. And the willingness to learn.
That is why I am grateful for my former friends. They were instrumental in the formation of my character and content today. And truthfully, I still love them as if we were still close. And somehow I like to believe, they feel the same. Just not in the same room.