In recent weeks, several people I had close friendships with 30-40 years ago contacted me for various reasons. It was good to hear from them and made me wish miles, busy lives and challenging situations hadn’t pulled us apart. In each case, we are in the process of making plans to get together and catch up.
Here are some reasons to reconnect with people who were important to you in another season of life:
Years ago, I enjoyed watching a British comedy called “Keeping Up Appearances.” The main character is a blatant social climber named Hyacinth Bucket, who, in keeping with her sense of self-importance, insists her last name is pronounced Bouquet. The story lines take her through various scenarios of trying to finagle invitations, arrange encounters, or get people of elevated status to notice her. To make things even more interesting, Hyacinth constantly tries to distance herself from those she considers tarnish her aspirations, including her sisters and their families. While some of the situations Hyacinth gets into are hilarious, the underlying message of the program comes through: it’s best to be honest with yourself and others.
With time, you reach a point when honesty and authenticity matter a whole lot more than keeping up appearances. When you reconnect with those you were once close to, it’s easier to be honest about mistakes, shortcomings, hardships, and lessons learned. Pretenses are put aside because honesty is preferable, and transparency cements relationships.
Part of what makes renewed friendships so special is the history you share. No one else has exactly the same memories and inside jokes. Not only do you have joint memories, you have the connection of the era in which your friendship blossomed—clothing styles, music, popular TV shows, and movies. Shared history evokes pleasant memories and is a bonding agent.
Friendships are important, especially when you are going through hard seasons of life. When you reconnect with friends from the past, amazingly, the closeness is still there. And because honesty and transparency are easier now, you share and connect on a deeper level. Treasure your friendships. They are blessings many people do not experience.
Sometimes friendships wane because of a change in geographic proximity. Other times, they cool because beliefs or interests diverge. But occasionally, friendships end more abruptly because of angry words or hurt feelings. Reunions with long ago friends gives you a chance to clear up misunderstandings. What was a friendship-ender years ago, may seem like a petty foolishness today. Think about the circumstances then, and now. Look at what happened with fresh eyes. You’ve both matured, and with maturity comes wisdom. Forgiveness restores friendships and reignites forward motion.
Redeems the Silent Years
When friendships grow silent, imagination and speculation take over. You create scenarios and invent reasons for silence that likely aren’t accurate. As the years stretch on, it’s harder to be the one to make contact, fearing rejection or indifference.
Reconnecting with friends from the past provides the opportunity to redeem the silent years. So mine your memories and consider reaching out. Or when a distant friend initiates contact, follow through, and enjoy reconnecting with your past and fostering friendship into the future.
“A true friend is always loyal and a brother is born to help in time of need.” Proverbs 17:17 TLB