“Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone,” is a profound and beautiful lyric sang by Joni Mitchell in one of her most famous songs, “Big Yellow Taxi.” This can be true in all aspects of our lives. But when it comes to interpersonal relationships it seems to have a deeper impact. Moreover it’s felt when a romantic bond has been created but seems to dissolve…whether it be naturally or through forceful decision making. The next time we find ourselves reflecting upon this sentiment to either strengthen the relationships we have, to salvage something worthwhile, or accepting it’s no longer, we can find strength and comfort that helps us grow into self-awareness. Here’s how.
1.) Enjoy the present moment that’s being shared with another (or others) without fast-forwarding into the future.
By appreciating who or what we have within our current reality allows for the creation and crafting of a positive future. So many times we get caught up in thinking about all we must do, the day ahead, or the next time we’ll see someone again as we’re actually in his/her company. The anxiety that comes with wanting the permanence of a moment to remain is actually what sours it and pushes it away. Simply enjoy it—within all the beauty it has to offer because that’s all that exists right now.
2.) Realizing the impact of someone’s or something’s presence is the best way to evaluate if in fact it adds or subtracts to one’s life.
Sometimes we are blinded by lust, love, heightened expectations, dreams, and intentions that are constructs of our minds rather than what the reality is of a situation or person. By taking a more cerebral approach to determine if there is an added enrichment or negative depletion can help us make decisions. We can either choose to let things grow and form naturally with ease or make choices to cut off what is causing us harm and moving on.
3.) Validation promotes growth whereas criticism harbors resentment. If you take someone for granted they will walk away.
By consciously making best efforts to encourage others with gratitude, they feel validated and perhaps more inclined to stay and continue kind gestures and acts from their heart to ours. When someone is belittled and made to feel wrong and unimportant for good intentions that get unnoticed, sure enough they’ll be out the door. Many times, this in turn can be the wake up call—that once someone or something is gone, the further the appreciation for them grows. Yet it may very well be too late to fix what is already broken. Therefore, build upon a solid foundation from the start.
4.) Sometimes loss is what actually causes a greater gain.
To understand what it is to lose someone or something is in turn what allows us to gain a sense of perspective within ourselves, towards who or what is no longer, and how we are able to proceed forward. There are losses that cause us pain, but there are losses that cause us freedom. Whatever the case may be, it’s a gained experience that shapes a new direction within our lives.
5.) I love you…here and now.
Saying, showing, and feeling love in all its various incarnations is a unique experience for each individual along with those that partake in its exchange. Life is forever changing as does love. Love that is strong today may grow even stronger tomorrow or it may fade. But what remains true is what is said and felt in the present. Whether it be expressed for the first or last time or somewhere in between, simply let it be.