I’ve always loved this quote:

” People come into our lives for a season, a reason or a lifetime”  but I think it’s important to remember that we need to learn to recognize when the time comes to let the first two go.

Too often, we cling to people who are no longer good for us because there is comfort in familiarity or because we truly don’t realize that what they were when they came into our lives is either no longer necessary, or no longer applies.

Years ago, in what I not-so-fondly remember as my “wallowing years”, I woke up one day to discover that everyone with whom I was close had very strong negative energy surrounding them like a comforting blanket.  All of us spent a great deal of time complaining about people, events, circumstances and life in general.  No matter what happened, we saw the storm clouds, but never the silver lining.

At that moment of epiphany, I realized that my declaration when filing for divorce that life was to short to be this unhappy had not really gotten very far in the succeeding years.  But changing that meant leaving the warm, comfortable cocoon I’d woven for myself which included most of the people in my life as well.  I had to cut myself loose from several clients which meant finding a full-time job and giving up the idea of working for myself, at least for awhile.  I ended a rather turbulent relationship which, in hindsight, should have stopped before it ever started.  I distanced myself from several people I called friends, and I started dancing again on a regular basis.

During the next few years, I noticed that some relationships ended on their own.  One friend blew a situation way out of proportion and cut off communication with me.  Instead of regret, I felt relief and didn’t bother to try to re-open communications.  We talk now, but only on occasion and as acquaintances, or someone we used to know rather than friends.  My dad chose to end his life, which, in hindsight I might have seen coming had I really known how sick he was.  My daughter, Jenni, moved out in the middle of the night, and cut off contact for long periods of time.  I hear from her occasionally, but when her energy gets too negative, I’ve learned to just pull away.  She also helped end a 20 year friendship with a woman who is the classic victim/enabler.  I see now, in hindsight, that she was in my life for a reason, but that reason had long ago ceased to exist.  When I happen to see her now, it’s as if our 20 year history doesn’t exist, we are so uncomfortable around each other.   She is still in her cocoon, and I am the butterfly, flying free and loving my journey!

It took me a long time to start forming new relationships as I tend to be somewhat shy and had spent too many years interacting with negative people.  I just didn’t know how to develop relationships with people who are more like the me I’m becoming.  But as the butterfly emerges from her cocoon, I am slowly emerging from my emotional one and learning to talk to people more freely, but even better, to truly listen. 

I realize now that I’d learned to half listen to the people around me because I’d heard their complaints so many times that I’d practically memorized the litany.  But the people I’m comfortable with now have healthy, happy, active lives and,  as a result, have much more interesting things to talk about, and the conversation can take the most amazing twists and turns!  I have the opportunity to not only learn more about the people with whom I now associate, but to see where our paths cross and where, in our uniqueness, we choose different directions at the crossroads.  I no longer have to feign interest in what these people have to say because they are, in a word, fascinating!!! 

Right now, I don’t recognize more than a couple of people who are here for a lifetime, but it may just be that I haven’t finished clearing the fog from my eyes.  And frankly, it makes the journey that much more exciting, because there are new discoveries to be made around every bend!  What is especially gratifying  to me is that I find myself loved for who I am and who I can be, rather than what I can be to them!  My friends, today, know I have warts and annoying habits, but they love me in spite of (or maybe because of) those warts and annoyances.  And the ones who are truly my friends won’t be afraid to tell me when I’ve crossed the line and inadvertently offended them.  I’m not perfect, and never will be, but as a work in progress, I hope I’ll learn to be a little less abrasive as time goes on. 

In the meantime, I had put a moratorium on dating when I ended the last relationship, is it really more than 10 years ago???  I needed to work on me and I think, in that time, I’ve done a pretty darned good job of it!  My heart is definitely more open now, but I can’t really be sure if it’s ready to jump into that particular pool yet.  I can still see myself making excuses, the current one being, “I can’t get involved right now as it will interfere with my writing!”  But the conscious me knows that the right person will enhance my writing and perhaps even make it easier to make the time I need.  And realizing that little fact is, in my eyes, a HUGE step! 

For now, I am enjoying the people who are in my life, and keeping the door open to allow others in as well.  I am no longer wandering the path alone, but can have company just about any time I want it, while still enjoying my time alone as well.

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for my happy, positive lifestyle.
2. I am grateful for the new friends I’ve made and the ones I have yet to make.
3. I am grateful for an environment of encouragement, praise, excitement, energy and above all, activity!
4. I am grateful for 3 quiet days to write, exercise, and just be in my space.
5. I am grateful for the 338,000 words I’ve blogged in the last four years which enable me to finally accept the fact that whatever else I do, I need to write!

Love and light.

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