“Where is it written that others must act the way we want them to? It may be preferable, but not necessary.” – Albert Ellis
Reason, Season, or Lifetime
Many of us are fortunate enough to have friends who are a consistent part of our lives throughout all our ups and downs. However, sometimes others we consider friends appear to enter, then depart from our lives for reasons we try to, but don’t always, understand. This piece nicely explains the flow of people in and out of our lives.
“It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.”
People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you figure out which one 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 die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered. And now it is time to move on.
Then 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 you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
Letting go is very similar to forgiveness in that you can worry over something for ages, years even, or you can worry for a minute or two, get over it and move on.
For reasons we can never know, fate brings friend to friend, then leaves the rest to human nature. The results are mixed. While a few special friendships last a lifetime, the vast majority prove easier to leave behind. Some take years to fade away; others end spectacularly. Research shows that the quickest way to end a friendship is betrayal; the second-quickest, a canoe trip.
In fact, we have to lose a few friends before we can appreciate their most important gift: the stories we share. In hearing these stories, you may begin to sense a deeper truth, that our friends and friendships are not as unique as we first believed. They’re more like summer movies: the dialogue changes (kind of) but the plots and characters keep recurring. Jeremiah Creeden has a catalog of the archetypal friends that over the course of a life you’re likely to encounter again and again.
The friendships which last are those wherein each friend respects the other’s dignity to the point of not really wanting anything from him.
– Cyril Connolly
Having realistic expectations for others involves realizing that all of us are less than perfect. Instead of looking to others to meet our needs, we must take responsibility for our own life and make necessary changes that are in our best interest. We must leave our self-blame behind and find ways to untwist our thinking and behavior to make our lives more fulfilling. It is important to value and accept our partners and friends for who they are. It is in our best interest not to spend our energy trying to change them to fit an image of what we believe we need and what they can provide for us.
I am so very grateful for the friends God has gifted me with throughout the years.
God bless these friends.