By Melody Copenny
Cherished Women’s Blog Writer
You schedule a dentist appointment. Then depending on how you view dental visits, the days wind down to that either dreadful or anticipated day. I like to put in extra effort on my teeth the morning I head to the dentist. As if my extra brushing and flossing is going to take away all the dark chocolate I ate months prior.
When I was younger, a dental hygienist told me, “floss the teeth you want to keep.” Then she showed me how to properly floss and go under my gums. Her words stuck with me. They still make me think about the intention required to keep healthy things in our lives moving at a constant pace.
What if I applied the same set of words to my writing, running, and relationships?
Write the words you want to keep.
Run the miles you want to keep.
Invest in the relationships you need to keep.
I think the “need” in relationships challenges me. It’s easy to be intentional about the relationships I want. The ones I need are a little different. I don’t always see my need for them, because I most likely don’t want them. Especially if the work it takes to do them is hard.
Relationships are these glorious personal mirrors God uses to show me who I am. Sometimes I love those mirrors. What I see blesses my life and the connection I experience with people who want to know me.
Other times I don’t want to look at the mirrors. They show my disappointments in people. They show me “me.” When relationships don’t work out, I don’t want to look at the hard and difficult. When the engine of camaraderie and vulnerability stalls out. When the whole thing just dies.
In my thirties, I’m learning how to process what I call, “laid to rest friendships.” A few have given up the ghost in the last couple of years. It hurts. Sometimes you want to hold onto people more than they want to hold onto you. Maturity is knowing when it’s time to let go. Some friendships simply run their course.
As adults, it would be nice to have these conversations where you mutually agree it’s time to lay a friendship to rest. But, of course, this doesn’t happen. Struggle and living get the best of us and you don’t have time.
And even when you do, you often choose not to. It’s too much work. Too painful. Too much misunderstanding. The mirrors in friendships are necessary. I need to see myself and what I bring to situations that’s good and what I bring that ain’t so good. And I need to let go of stuff that will not help me invest well in the relationships I want and the relationships I need to keep.
How do you need to “floss” this week?