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Thursday
Jun202013

The Relationship Tango

 

Years ago there was a spam email that made the rounds, entitled, “A Reason, A Season, Or A Lifetime.”  Although it was kind of sappy and lame, I printed it out and copied it because it had a good message–if you could get past the part that said, “Send this email to 10 friends,”…. blah blah blah!  The gist of the email was an explanation of why people come into to your life–for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.  It appears that the author is unknown, but the message is a good one that I often repeat with clients who are struggling with some sort of interpersonal loss.  It speaks to the dance we do with other people, whether they are just passing through, or there for the long haul.  Here is my own spin on this poignant poem.

A reason” may be that someone came into your life to answer a need, help you through a difficulty, or perhaps to provide guidance.  The poem says that the encounter may end for any number of reasons, but not necessarily because of any wrongdoing.  It may not last long, but we learn from it if we don’t get caught up with rationalizing and self-blame.

A season” is when a person comes into the picture with the purpose of teaching something you need to know, or maybe an experience that needed to be realized.  But, only for a season.  Maybe it was a lover, someone who taught you to dance, play an instrument, or helped you to find some sort of joy in life.

Lifetime” relationships teach us lessons, helping us to build an emotional foundation.  Keep in mind that these relationships are not always parents or families of origin, as many of us know that families can sometimes hurt more than they help.  The “lifetime” people, whoever they may be, teach us to handle conflict, argue, trust, commit, and love.  It’s not always perfect, but we know they are there: we can move away and come back, always with the warm, comfortable feeling that they are still a part of our lives.

What about your life?  Who are the “reason” people that made an impression on you? What did you take away that was valuable?  Sometimes we find these answers in retrospect, after some time and distance from the situation.  What would you say to this person if you could?  How about the “season” relationships?  What did you learn?  Can you “pay it back?”  Remember to appreciate the “lifetimers” in your life.  How are you contributing to and nurturing these very important relationships?

Sappy, yes, but I like the concept.  I think there is something to the notion that others come and go for many different reasons, leaving their own unique mark, which can alter the way we maneuver through our lives.

 

 

 

 

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