Today I received an email from one of my aunts - and then from another aunt and my mom - that provided good reasoning regarding reason, season, and lifetime relationships.
People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They assist you through a difficulty, provide you with guidance and support, aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrong doing 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. 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 you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it because it is real. But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. 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. It is said that love is blind, but friendship is clairvoyant.
It made me think about some of the friendships I've experienced. People who have played a pivotal part in my life fit into those categories. I think family fits the lifetime category, so a note to my family - if you are reading this - that's where you fit!!
My friend Courtney fits the "reason" category. She came into my life during an extremely difficult time and through the course of three years, we shared such an emotional roller coaster. There were births (her family), death (both families), broken promises and broken relationships, and finally, new loves for both of us. And for one reason or another, we drifted apart. Now, I'm sure if you would ask her, she would say we drifted because I met someone. And if you ask me, maybe, when I finally turned 40-something, I grew up. (No comments from family members on that one! )
Do I have any "seasonal" friends? Now that I'm not teaching full time, there is one teacher who fits this description. We think alike, but in those rare instances when we don't, this person accepts my beliefs. Always makes me laugh!
Lifetime friends, in my opinion, are difficult to come by. I think about when I was in high school and the core group that hung out together. After graduation, we went our separate ways. I saw two or three of them during the years between graduation day and our 25th class reunion. Then, I saw maybe six of them. Our lives had changed so much; it seemed difficult to find anything in common with them. Friends from college? I had three close college friends: one got married and moved to Colorado and I haven't talked to her for 15 years; one disappeared when I got divorced; and one used to live about 90 miles from me, but we haven't talked since we graduated from college. Work friends? I question if it is a good policy to socialize with people you work with! Sometimes, maybe, but after listening to them complain in the teacher's lounge during lunch break, I decided it would be much more relaxing and peaceful to consume my salad in my classroom.
So, back to the lifetime friend issue. Family? Definitely some of them. Most people have favorite family members. You know, the ones who you wish you could see more often, the ones who know how you think, the ones you believe you are the most like. I once wrote a these lines during a family reunion:
I glance at each of you
"Who are you?"
I see bits and pieces of each of us
Connected by a common bond.
I know nothing about you except that we are
That takes us back to the lifetime friendships. Scott is a lifetime friendship. (Too bad it took me this long to find a nice guy, but I guess that is part of the lifetime lesson.) He's taught me so much about being unselfish and loving someone unconditionally. And of course, he's taught me so much about life on the farm. (Go on, I know you want to quiz me about the differences between a heifer and a steer. Stop laughing. Now.)
Another lifetime relationship is Jae. We've known each other for so long, and we've shared significant milestones in our own families together. There is mutual respect that does not falter, and there is unconditional love because we know we are human beings and we are not perfect. We accept each other, fatal flaws and all. (And we both know we have a lot of fatal flaws!!)
And if friendship is clairvoyant...I woke up this morning at 8:31 because I heard Jae yell my name. Later in the morning when I checked email, there was a message - from Jae - sent at 8:31. Weird, huh?