A Reason, A Season, or a Lifetime

Just yesterday, two different friends sent me the following. I paraphrased and synthesized a little, but here is the basic gist:

People come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When someone appears for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need we have expressed. They are there for the reason we need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on anyone’s part, the relationship comes to an end. Our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, and their work is done. It’s time to move on . . . . Some people come into our lives for a SEASON. They may bring us an experience of peace or make us laugh. They usually give us an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe in it—it is real. But only for a season. LIFETIME relationships teach us lifetime lessons, things we must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. We can put what we have learned to use in all other areas of our lives. It is said that love is blind . . . but friendship is clairvoyant. Some people come into our lives and quickly go, but some become friends and stay a while, leaving beautiful footprints on our hearts.

Okay, the “footprints on the heart metaphor” is not quite working for me, but I love the sentiments expressed here. And it got me to thinking. When it comes to relationships, we have such an emphasis in our culture on the things that last forever. We grow up convinced that that’s our only option. If it doesn’t work out for whatever reason, there must be something wrong with us. This notion is inculcated in us from the earliest age:

Then the handsome Prince leaned down to kiss the sleeping Princess and awoke her from her slumber. “My,” she thought to herself as her eyes fluttered open, “they sure have improved room service!” The Princess met the Prince’s gaze and it was love at first sight. She tried to move a creaky arm but it was weak with atrophy. The Prince picked her up in a gallant gesture as her dress ripped from her lithe form. “Who needs this old thing?” the Prince mused as he comforted his lovely Princess, safe in his arms. “We can leave it at the Walnut Room coat hang.” Then they rode off on his majestic white steed and lived happily ever after.

************************ I feel as if I’m waking from a dream. The dream dictates that it’s got to be a certain way, or there is something not working. The dream never says, “well you know, it could be pretty good even if it’s not forever.” It never says, “appreciate what you’ve got, and even if it changes, something better will take its place.” Some people in our lives move on. Or it may be that we move on . . . even from some of the greatest ones. It doesn’t have to mean that the relationship failed. It may just mean that it's served its purpose. If we can come to a place where we value these connections and appreciate what they gave us, our whole outlook changes. Last night at a show, a woman was sitting straight in front of us listening so intently, and all I could think of was how much she looked like my best friend "Lynn," who I had parted ways with many years ago. I was thinking, “there’s Lynn sitting there, smiling so lovingly. What a good connection we had,” and feeling at peace. Forgiveness is a powerful elixir. At the end of the show, the woman came up to me and said, I kid you not, “as I was watching you, I was just so struck by how much you remind me of my best friend.” “Really,” I said, wondering where this was going, “what’s her name?” “Lynn,” said the woman, serious as could be. Honestly, I’m not making this up. I stood there dumbfounded for a millisecond, wondering if she would believe me if I told her the truth. No sooner had I thought it than I blurted out, “OMG! I was thinking the whole show how much you remind me of my best friend Lynn from long ago!” After our celebratory Valley-Girl type exclaiming over this coincidence, I felt the communication coming to me from Lynn, somehow in an energetic sort of way, as if to say, “it was a good season.” And truly, in my heart, I knew it was. **************************