The other day a photo popped up on my Facebook feed. I knew everyone in the photo but not everyone was tagged. It didn’t make sense that everyone would get tagged but one and then it struck me that maybe we weren’t friends anymore. So I popped over to that person’s page to see.
Sure enough, we weren’t. I’d been unfriended. It’s not the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last. For a brief moment I felt myself taking the unfriending personally. Feeling defensive…a little angry…and then I stopped myself.
I paused and thought about my relationship with this person. I remembered when I’d first met them…I didn’t necessarily like them. Nor did I necessarily dislike them. It was more that there was no real reason for us to get to know each…no real reason to be friends.
Over time, the situation changed and our paths began to cross more regularly. Eventually, we found ourselves in the same circle and we forced to get to know each other. To my surprise, I found that I liked the person. I enjoyed their sense of humor, which I hadn’t really understood before. I found them to be incredibly smart and a gifted leader. I enjoyed being around them.
Now that I find myself out of the mix…having moved into different circles…I can see why we might not be Facebook friends anymore. Once again, our situation has changed. I don’t know the struggles they are dealing with anymore than they know my struggles (I mean, beyond what I share in the blog…if they even read it).
And because our situations have changed, so has our understanding of each other. No longer are we interacting. No longer sharing stories. No longer understanding one another’s motivations. Essentially, we are more like strangers now.
A part of me finds the thought that someone I used to know is now a stranger, sad. Another part of me finds that thought exhilarating. Knowing that if I bumped into them, we would recognize each other’s face but we’d basically be starting from scratch getting to know one another.
Maybe we’d like each other. Maybe we wouldn’t. That’s really neither here nor there. The point is that neither of us are the exact same person we were a year ago…or however long ago a decision was made to stop being Facebook friends. I don’t know the person’s motivation and it doesn’t matter. When I objectively look at the situation, there’s no real reason for us to remain friends if we weren’t both finding value in doing so.
See, I believe that everyone comes into our lives for a reason. To serve a purpose. Either I’m learning from you…or you’re learning from me…or we’re learning from each other. But there’s no accidents. Each and every human I interact with I 100% believe there’s a reason for. That interaction could be 30 seconds or 30 years. It lasts as long as it needs to. As long as it takes for something in one or both of us to shift….even if that shift is just a smile.
And that’s how I chose to look at this unfriending. It doesn’t have to be something ugly. Our time influencing each other has merely come to an end. The purpose has been served. Perhaps someday the situation will change again.
Until then, much love and kindness as you travel your path, old friend.