I think that every single person we meet over the course of our lives contributes in some way to our journey. Whether you know someone for your entire life or just a passing moment, that connection has the potential to teach us something new.
I once thought that the most important people in our lives were the ones who were there for the long haul, the loyal, ride or die kind of people, the ones who are there no matter what; and, of course these people are important, but I think that for a long time I have underestimated what I could learn from all of the other seemingly meaningless connections too.
Because, even the worst kinds of people can teach us a thing or two about life and, short relationships can have just as much of an impact on our lives as the ones that last a lifetime. This is because they still have the potential to teach us a lot about what we really want and what’s important to us.
What if some relationships fail because certain people are just in our lives to teach us something? Maybe they were never meant to stay.
When you look back on past relationships, instead of seeing them as a failure, ask yourself, “What did I gain from that experience?” Initially you might say nothing, you might even feel like you lost more than you gained; but, if you think hard enough I’m sure you’ll see that even the negative relationships teach us something; and that figuring out what you aren’t willing to accept from another person is an invaluable lesson to learn.
I think it’s important to acknowledge the significance of all our relationships, good or bad, and see them as part of a bigger picture, because we can learn a lot about ourselves just from being around other people. Some people may leave you a little bit broken initially, but in time you’ll be glad when you look back, because the lessons you learn will lead you towards something much greater. For there is more in store for you, and the end of one chapter only means the start of another.
Some people come into our lives and their presence helps us find closure for something we have gone through. They may help us to see life from a different perspective for a period of time, and that might be just what we needed in that moment. It might be that a person shows us a side to people we have never come across before, like a vulnerability masked by an outgoing personality or a new kind of strength and contentment.
Some people will open our eyes and offer a refreshing outlook on life. Others may help us to find confidence in ourselves again, they may teach us something or bring fun to our lives. Then there are those people who are there to teach us a few lessons; lessons in self-respect, love, tolerance, and forgiveness. Learning from others shapes us into the people we become, it was how we learnt to talk from a young age and now it’s what helps us to grow as a person.
It’s all about timing.
I’m a firm believer in life finding us exactly what and who we need when the time is right. Now when I think about the relationships I’ve had and all the lessons I’ve learnt, I don’t see them as a failing, I know that there was a greater purpose and that I am better for what I have come to learn.
When we start to acknowledge the impact passing relationships have had on our life, we start to switch on to what we have brought to other people’s lives too. Suddenly, it becomes much more important, we start to think What do I bring to the table?’ We all have the potential to impact each others’ lives, none of us know everything and yet we all still have so much to learn from one-another. So ask yourself, what have you brought to other people’s lives? Old friends, acquaintances, colleagues, people you travelled with, they will have learnt things from knowing and being around you, without you even realising.
Our species has evolved so successfully because of the connections we’ve made over thousands of years. Lessons have been passed on through generations and over continents. For centuries, we’ve shared ideas and findings that have led to inventions and advances in medicine, technology, and a whole host of other subjects.
We’ve learnt lessons in equality and humanity all because of small connections that grew to be something big and meaningful. Without us connecting with one another, we wouldn’t learn and we wouldn’t grow.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t be disheartened when something doesn’t work out for you, try to see it as an experience that you had to go through to learn something, and that the lessons you learnt play a part in preparing you for greater things to come.