When do you stay? When do you walk away? One of the hardest questions we face in our lifetime is knowing when to stay or when to walk away (completely or partly) from someone in our life.
There is an old Chinese belief that I adore. Of an invisible red thread that connects those people around us. Destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or even tangle, but never break.
It reminds me of my parents who even after they were separated and estranged from one another, would often buy the exact same or very similar item as the other and at a similar time without realising it. Evidence to me that some connections remain even when they change on the surface (irrevocably sadly in this situation).
In an ideal world every significant connection we created would last forever. Our best friend from fifth grade? Friends for life. Our first love. Our one and only true love.
Experience and a big dollop of personal history tells us all that’s simply not how human relationships work. People change. Needs change. Life and time moves on. Not everyone lasts the difference.
Sometimes you know at first glance that a person is meant to be in your life. Important or influential in someway. There’s that special thing you can’t put your finger on. Something about them, that you can’t put your finger on draws you in. Every influential person I met, who affected and shaped my life in some way, caught my eye immediately in that way.
My best friend in Melbourne that I met on a street corner while waiting for a cab in Albert Park one evening, my ex-husband who locked eyes with me across the dance floor, my reluctant flat-mate in Melbourne who I loved straightaway despite her initial hesitation of me (she was 30 something and living with her boyfriend, I was a 19 year old Uni student eager to move into her spare room), the surprisingly mo-hawked ex-boyfriend who I met by spilling a drink on him at a bar one night. All of them connected with me instantly, at that first glance.
I care for all of the people I just mentioned above but importantly, over a nearly 20 year year period, none of the above relationships exist the same now as they were when we first met. Some I’m still close with, in touch with. Others not at all.
“There are no accidents.
We meet people for a reason”
Some people stay in your life, some people go. Some people we want gone from our life, others we are saddened to lose. Some people we simply outgrow. Like it or not, our relationships with others (and ourselves for that matter too) are constantly evolving. Which is wonderful, exciting and brings about all the new experiences that life is all about. That defines living.
Whether the relationship is intimate or a friendship sometimes it’s hard to let go when it tapers off to it’s natural (or forced) end. The truth is that it can be challenging to decide to move on from a connection we’ve become accustomed to. It’s difficult to say goodbye to someone who helped mould us into the person we are, who supported us through challenging and loving times. It’s human nature at times to hold onto what we know- it’s safe, it’s warm and it once filled a need.
We can shy away from it all we want but the truth stays the same. One of the worst things you can do is to prolong an intimate or platonic relationship just for the sake of comfort. Not only does it prevent you from making better fitting and sometimes richer connections, it’s also not fun (or fair) for the people involved. Now and into the future. You do a disservice to yourself as much as you do others.
With that in mind how do we know what to do for each person that enters our life?
Consider this below, written by an unknown person.
“People come into you life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you will know what to do for each person…
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty; to provide you with guidance and support; to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand- bringing on a temporary or complete end. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desires fulfilled; their work is done as they are now. The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something important that you previously didn’t realise about YOU. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons’; things you build upon together in order to have a solid and true emotional foundation. The connection is strong, the love unconditional. You want to accept the lesson, to love each other for who you are and to become a better person for knowing them”.
Take a moment and look back on your past relationships. Can you see who fits where? Who was in your life for a reason? A season? Who is a lifetime relationship?
As you look on your present relationships now. Who is in your life for a reason? What have they or are they teaching you? (For good or bad). Who do you feel is seasonal in your life? Who is a lifetime relationship- with you till the end?
When it comes to changing relationships don’t waste energy or emotion fighting against or ignoring the obvious. Relationships can change and the individuals still feature in your life if you want them to- simply in a different way. Choose instead to feel empowered because you are willing to see things as they are. Courageous enough to admit it and to do something about it.
And most of all accept. Believe and see the realness and the heart of people in your life. Everybody is living their lives as best they can, needing and desiring the same things. Growing and changing before our eyes. Be grateful for them, the lessons they have taught you, however long they are a part of your world.
People come and go. Sometimes they return again- for a more profound reason, season or a lifetime. Sometimes they don’t. Acknowledging this allows our relationships to flow seamlessly and positively with our own self as we grow and change.
Who can you appreciate a little more in your life? What relationship is no longer bringing out the positive in you?
Bring more positive change into your life with my free eBook here.