I'll be the first to admit, I have a really hard time losing people. Those who were once a high school best friend, guys in relationships, family members who stray—change is so difficult for me in that way. Though I know it's next to impossible, I sometimes wish I could keep everyone who has had even an ounce of a positive impact on me around forever. However, I also know that God places people in our lives for a purpose—that purpose, whether it manifests weeks, months or even years later, will come, and it's up to us to recognize that purpose in everyone we meet.
The hardest thing I've had to learn? Many people are placed in our lives for a lesson, not a lifetime. It has always rung true to me that each person we encounter teaches us something that, without them, we would probably never know otherwise. The most difficult thing to come to terms with is why people stay for a long time and then go, or stay for barely any time at all. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of soul-searching to appreciate each person we meet. Once we begin finding those lessons, whether they be large or small, we can begin to grow into the person we ultimately want to become.
Take these for example:
- 1.The high school best friend: taught me the sole fact that some people just aren't going to be there forever. At one point in our lives, we may see them never leaving our side, until they do.
- 2.That one guy in that one relationship that one time: taught me that some really good things have to come to an end, no matter how hard that might be to let go of. He also taught me that as hard as you try, you can't change people.
- 3.The man at Starbucks who bought my coffee one morning: taught me to pay it forward. He taught me that the smallest acts of kindness can completely turn someone's not-so-good day around; and that day, it did.
Whether it is that high school best friend who you've since lost touch with, that ex-boyfriend or girlfriend or that random gentleman who bought your Monday morning coffee at Starbucks, each contributes something so special and important to our lives. It is up to us to find those reasons and be thankful for them.
The next time you're feeling upset about someone leaving your life, pause for a minute and reflect on what they gave you. Did you learn something about yourself that will better you in your next relationship? Did you learn a quality that you don't want to see in a future someone?
Once we embrace that life comes with a whole lot of change, especially with people coming and going, we are better able to accept the true plan that is set before us.
Embrace those lessons.