Oh the People You Meet

“Go out into the world today and love the people you meet. Let your presence light new light in the hearts of people.”
MOTHER TERESA

I know this blog has been more on the “Love” side of Life, Love and Yoga this week. A little relationship heavy – whether friendship or love interests. But that’s the beauty of this blog and how I’m able to churn out material five days a week… I write what’s on the brain.

One of my girlfriends is dealing with a mini-break-up. I call it a mini-break-up because they didn’t date long enough or build enough depth in their relationship for it to be a full-blown break-up. The guy just doesn’t want to leave it alone- even though he broke up in the first place. The classic, “I’m done with you, insert separation anxiety here, I want you back.” If you keep letting it go on, you can add ‘repeat’ to that cycle. She, fortunately, is not- thank goodness.

She told me about this and she is so kindhearted, she wanted to help ease the break-up for him. But I wanted her to see differently. I wanted her to see that by ending the cycle, not only would she be learning from this experience, but she would also be a teacher for him. He can now go and self-reflect. Everyone can learn something from everyone- if they want to.

I do think sometimes we drag things out longer than we need to… but that is on us. That is our own inability to be firm, confront our questioning voices, overcome our fear of the unknown, or face the displeasure of starting over.. whatever it may be that keeps us there. Ok, there may be some self-inflicted time wasted. But the relationship itself? Never a waste.

There was a reason/is a reason, I believe, people come in and/or go out of our lives. People for years, people for minutes; however long or brief. Maybe the kind barista jogged something in your memory from college. Or the taxi conversation taught you something new. Or it could be a long-term relationship. It can be anyone, really. How do you discover/realize those learning opportunities?

How to Learn Something From the People in your Life
(whether good/bad/significant/or slight):

1. Pay attention. If you don’t know who’s around you, you won’t get to learn anything.

2. Engage. If it’s for a moment, say hi, start a convo with the neighbor. If it’s for years, dig deep, get to know that individual.

3. Observe. Don’t be in your head all the time, get to know the other. See how they interact with you, with other people, the world.

4. Be thankful. Take a moment to acknowledge this interaction.

5. Reflect. What did you learn? How will you change things? Did you learn something new about that person, a place, an idea? Did you learn something new about yourself?

I think this philosophy is what makes heart-break a little less achy. Yes, it still hurts to let go. It hurts when the person you thought could be yours, isn’t. It hurts that they don’t feel the same way you do. But they gave you an experience. A life lesson. A learning. A deeper sense of yourself. A barometer, a benchmark, a way to be a better person, lover or friend.

Thank all those people- the ones who built you up and the ones who tore you down- in person, via text, over the phone. Or, thank them silently to yourself if you’ve parted ways. They helped shape you in some way, and believe it or not, you did the same for them too.

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