Writing about connections isn't complete until considering-- disconnections. Throughout a long lifetime, I've observed how disconnections impact our lives and expectations. They can come through death or a chosen break-- ours or someone else's.
I had my first friend disconnect from me in high school. I had no idea why, but she just quit talking to me. This was a friend where we had sleepovers and went places together. Suddenly she turned the other way when I walked up. I didn't go to her and ask why. I never even asked friends connected to us both. I accepted the outcome and thought maybe I am better off not knowing what I did-- since I had no idea. I won't say it didn't hurt my feelings. I didn't have all that many friends to not find the loss a big deal. Maybe if I'd been more secure, I'd have gone to her. I didn't and wasn't.
Today, I think about her once in awhile, as I do all I have ever called friend; but even if I came across her, unlikely as we have all moved, I wouldn't ask why. Maybe the disconnection was less significant to her life than mine. Maybe she'd not even remember it happened.
When someone disconnects from us by avoidance or an outright break, is it better to know why or not? I think better if we can fix it as in a misunderstanding. Sometimes though we can't fix it. Then it's best to be able accept that what that person did was what they needed to do for them. What I needed to do was accept it and move on with my life-- nothing wrong with a little healthy reflecting in the process.
When you get to my age, a lot of connections have come and some gone, as I grew out of them, they had mutually served their purpose, or that they lost interest in me as a friend. We aren't all meant to stay connected. You know that old saw-- some friends are for a reason, some for a season, and some for a lifetime.
Learning to let go, especially when the loss is a painful one, is one step toward maturity. Some do this easier than others. For me, especially when the rejection has been by someone I love, I like this quote as a way of releasing, "If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it is yours. If it doesn't, it never was."
Some connections return after years. I think of the mother and daughter, Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, where I guess there was ten years when they didn't talk, at Carrie's instigation. They did then reconnect and stronger than ever. That's not always how it works out.
Religion and politics can be major reasons friendships end. We left a church over realizing we disagreed with its major tenets. My surprise came when some I had called friends no longer were. They weren't angry with me but it simply no longer served their needs to connect to me. More recently, I've had online friendships end over political differences. In a heated political time like this one, not agreeing can be the end of wanting to talk.
Organizations are another place people can end up disconnected. I feel like a political orphan today as the party to which I belonged, from the time I could vote, has moved away from me ideologically (or I changed). I no longer have a political identity, as I definitely could not join my country's other political option. I have considered changing my registration to independent, which means disconnected voter, but it would have a cost-- my state doesn't permit disconnected voters to vote in a primary.
My last thought on disconnection is when you are the one who needs to make that choice, hopefully after serious thought and not an emotional tornado, don't feel guilty. It can be the only choice for emotional and even physical health. It would be nice to tell the person why but that isn't always possible.
When you are the one left behind by others moving on, it can lead to feelings of loneliness or even rage at a system or at the person who has rejected you. That's when the following thought is the positive one-- The best revenge is a good life (using the word revenge loosely). Basically, it means learning from it and making your life good without what you lost.
This image and the one above are from my photos and changed through a filter at Dreamscope.