Day 09 : Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
I carefully considered this question, and scanned my mind for any possibilities. I bounced it off of my husband and it came back with an answer.
I cherish everyone in my life. I will hold to them as tightly as I can, if they have any meaning. And, if they do drift, they were meant to.
The character Madea explained in the stage production of “Madea Goes to Jail about the nature of relationships.
If somebody wants to walk out of your life, let – them – go!”
Some people are meant to come into your life for a lifetime, some for only a season and you got to know which is which. And you’re always messing up when you mix those seasonal people up with lifetime expectations.
Later in the monologue, she equates people to parts of a tree. Some are leaves that bud, grow, and blow away at the end of the season. Others are branches, some of which may snap and leave you flat on your back. And then, there are the people that are roots, unseen, deep in the earth.
A tree could have a hundred million branches but it only takes a few roots down at the bottom to make sure that tree gets everything it needs. When you get some roots, hold on to them but the rest of it… just let it go. Let folks go.
I used to have a problem where I’d clutch to people and force a relationship that was only meant for a season further. Eventually, I realized that I was doing myself more harm than good. This was before the wisdom of Tyler Perry through Madea. Sometimes I wish a Madea existed in my life a long time ago. Maybe it wouldn’t have taken me so long to come to my own conclusion.
Eventually, I started letting people go. And worse, there were some I had to evict from my life. My husband calls it, “Flushing the Social Septic Tank”. Anyone I determined was causing me harm for their own benefit had to go. My friendship, affection, and loyalty is worth more than that.
At first, this was a difficult process. I, too, have been evicted from the lives of others. Some of these separations were justified, but many were not. Rejection is not something easily brushed away. It is taken very personally. It often starts to erode my self-worth. I never wanted to be responsible for imparting that upon another being.
After a few major falling-outs, I came to a very important realization. It was often the fear of isolation that drove many of those friendships. And most often, it was the pain of severance, rather than the grievance of a lost friend. Those things shouldn’t be primary motivations for fostering a friendship.
After that epiphany, I refused to enable unhealthy relationships. In all likelihood, it caused me greater pain to pander for affections rather than their suffering after severance.
Many people are ships passing through my waters. Some dock, and others continue wandering in and out of the harbor. Then, there are those that come, dock, and are never seen again. I can’t be expected to board every ship, and certainly not to sail off into the great blue beyond.
In summation: Let folks go. Don’t spend a lifetime mourning their departure. We don’t mourn the passing of seasons. It is nature’s way.