Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Reason, Season or Lifetime

Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Some move our souls to dance.
They awaken us to a new understanding with
the passing of a whisper of their wisdom.
Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon,
they stay in our lives for awhile,
leave footprints on our heart,
and we are never, ever the same.

Recently I've been doing a lot of introspective soul searching, I've been evaluating my thoughts about myself, attempting to redefine myself and simply questioning what once was black and white - is now very gray. In this process, I have put a lot of mental energy into certain subjects, mostly in the form of open ended questions to which I have not necessarily found the answers by way of words alone, but through the people I've met and interactions I've had with them.
A question was raised over at SemiCharmedWife "Can I still be me without my past?" to which has sparked as a massive conversation piece. Personally, I think I am a collective sum of my pieces, a whole of my parts. This being said, my experiences have been a result of the many people I have met along this journey. I've seen some good, some bad and some in the middle. I've placed people on pedestals because I thought they could do no wrong, only to find myself let down in the end. I've also underestimated and judged some people too early only to find they are 'more than meets the eye' and usually a wonderful friend. This is not to say however, that all my first impressions are wrong, it's just that some require more more depth than others.

I've been influenced both positively and negatively by the people I've met. Some have pushed me beyond my limits and I am a better person and some have torn me down, of which I have learned valuable lessons about myself. The problem I have is not the people or the experiences I have had, but the fact that I let them [past memories] control my life, let them define who I am today. The people become a measure of where I want to be (or where I am running away from) and my experiences are a collection of the "me's" that I've been.

What I've failed to see, until recently, is through each of these people, I've learned a little bit more about myself...I am not any one specific person (past or present) but very much unique. I have been able to experience people with admirable qualities and those not so much. I am not a good person because I was friends with Mother Teresa or a bad person because I once ran around with a murderer, but have learned from their attitudes something that can make me a better person than I was then.

They've all come at different times, some when I've least expected, some when I've been in most need and some when I didn't know I needed them at all. Regardless of their timeing, looking back, they were always there when I needed them the most during that part of my life.
I've said many times before, I believe everything happens for a reason and I believe people are no exception. So back to the question that started it all - "Can I be me without my past?" Yes and No. My past would not exist if were not for me, but without it I still could. With it I am just a bit more colorful than before.

Are your friends there for a reason, season or a lifetime and are you better for it?


April said...

I definitely am who I am today due to the many experiences and people of my past...and I wouldn't change a bit of it (except if I could have my Daddy back!).

Semi-Charmed Wife said...

This is a great post! I agree with you--there are people who come into our lives for a specific time and purpose, and there are people who come into our lives forever. It's up to us to figure out which are which. I'm definitely a better person for the people--both good and bad--I've encountered!

Jojo said...

I imagine we think that once the bond between us and those people end...we feel regret, sadness or whatever because we think those relationships will last forever. And once they are gone, we think our "past" together has gone away too. But it is still there standing still with time. But you're absolutely right, we had them for that part of our lives, and there was a reason to it. As humans, it's hard for us to take in perspective of the massive thing that is life and its passing. even the people we think are there for forever is just a little bit of's very hard to define beginnings and endings..ok now i'm just rambling - sorry!

Just Me said...

I have a few friends that are here for a lifetime. I saw your post on Semi-Charmed Wife and saw that you are reading the New Earth. The book has changed a few of my relationships. I think it has made the relationship with my husband easier for me. I think when I realized and practiced the things in the book, I was able to deal with issues in my marriage and life easier. My best friend and I talk about the book all the time and remind each other of the things that we have learned. She is my friend for life and I am so thankful for her. I have other friends that need to read the book :) I do believe that I have friends that are there for a reason, some that keep me straight and point out things that I need to do, some that are there for the fun factor and some are there for other reasons. I don't have big circle of friends and I like it that way but the ones I do have all cater to some part of me and I hope I do the same for them.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

Great post. I have been thinking a lot lately about this quote: "Life is not about finding yourself, but about creating yourself."
I think that's so true. I spent my 20's trying to find myself. I'm spending my 30's creating myself.
I only have a very select few friends that are here for a lifetime, and that is ok with me!