October 14, 2016
Let people let you go so they can grow.
This week has been a week full of lessons for me. I’ve recorded them all as I’ve learned them and I wanted to share one of them today. I am a person who has been blessed with an endless amount of wonderful friends. I always joke that I was not blessed with money, but instead, my blessing comes in the form of friendships and family. In fact, if my relationships with my friends and family could be adequately compared to money, I would be considered very wealthy.
Being able to have these really meaningful friendships is not something I take lightly. Although this wasn’t always the case, these days, I work really hard to be available, as much as possible, to show up for the people in my life. It’s important to me to be a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, a prayer partner and anything else that friendship means to my friends. I’m prepared to make sacrifices that my friends would never ask me to make. I am trying to be to them more than I need for them to be to me. Needless to say, I am invested.
This week has been a week filled with such deep reflections and I’ve come to realize this about myself: Being invested means that I am so involved in ways where I want to hold on to the people in my life forever. Friendships are not the kind of relationships where a covenant is made, but to me, all of my friendships are based on a covenant that I have made alone to them. I fully expect everyone to be here forever and I will be here for them. No matter where they go and where life takes them. I am always prepared to hold on forever. That’s unrealistic, but that is the way I love. I realize that I see my friendships like I see my marriage. I will drive four hours just to go spend a couple of hours with a friend. That’s a problem. I realize that my desire to hold on to everyone I love is not necessarily beneficial to them.
As much as I am always talking about letting people go who do not benefit my life or my own journey, I never considered the fact that the people in my life need to have the freedom to do the same. Sadly, for me anyway, as much as I think I love them, I just might be the person who they need to let go of. Maybe the person has outgrown me. Maybe they want to accomplish something great and my life and influence is in direct opposition to that. Maybe they’ve met someone and my role in their life has changed. Maybe I am that leaf they need to shed in order to move into a different season in their lives. I should be willing to let the people in my life simply move on from me.
I believe that all of us are here to teach each other something. It could be a multitude of lessons that span over a lifetime. Or maybe it’s one lesson, meant to be learned in a single day or weeks. Maybe it’s for a certain transitional period in our lives and once that job is done, once that lesson has been learned, it’s time to move on. It’s time for the person to let you go and go be a teacher in a different capacity. As individuals, we have to be able to be okay with that. We have to be able to know when our purpose has been served. And if we can’t see it, then at least be willing to allow the person who does see it to let us go. The lesson for today: We have to let people let us go so they can grow.