In order to preserve any relationship - whether it's familial, friendly, romantic or even professional - there's a certain level of nurturing that has to go into it.
For instance, my oldest sister and I have become very much united in the past 4 years since my mom's passing, and despite having differing opinions with certain aspects of life, we make sure we look out for each other. We make sure we both have what we need, and even when life gets busy, we check in with each other.
I can say the same of a good friend of mine I've known for about 24 years. We don't communicate every day and have even gone weeks without any communication in the past but when we do talk, text, video chat, we check in or just jump right in around life struggles and accomplishments. She is my sister by association and someone who has remained simply consistent throughout the years.
During the past 5 months of this pandemic, I have been able to truly strengthen a relationship with one of my siblings. We haven't physically seen each other in over 5 years but we've always had this connection because despite not being raised together and having very different upbringings - we have so much in common. They are physically back at work and so we don't communicate daily as we were doing but it's pretty safe to say, we've built a pretty strong bridge with communication and support during such a complicated time in the world.
The truth of the matter is, if we hadn't been struck with this ugly disease, it's not as likely that they and I would've had the opportunity to truly open up to one another the way we have. It may have never occurred to us to reach out the way we had and I'm excited for a time when life goes back to semi-normal and we can really spend time together in a way we never could in the past. In order for all of that to happen, we are each quietly aware that we will have to make efforts to keep this going without allowing anything to get in the way of that.
With all of that said, on the other side of this... again, this was the biggest opportunity for people to basically "make it or break it." And while these relationships have strengthened, many others have weakened or simply disintegrated. Some of those relationships were practically infant relationships, and some had been established years ago.
People neglect the fact that relationships are like plants. You need to pay attention to them. Give them some light when needed, or move them to the dark (or give them a break) but check in sometimes. You need to water the plant at its pace to ensure it's still surviving. But unlike a plant, the nurturing should not just come from one side. It takes both parties to put in the effort necessary to make things work. It takes flexibility, empathy and understanding as well as compromising.
And when others are not willing to engage in concepts that seem so simple, it's fair to say that it's time to break it, let it go and move on.
When this is all over, I look forward to continuing to strengthen the bond I have with those who've remained consistent over the past 5 months and creating new bonds with people of like minds that I've had yet to connect with.
As mentioned in previous posts, it's important to note... when people in your life, no longer serve you any purpose, it's time to let them go and this test of time was only confirmation of that... Don't you think?