We are all aware that not everyone we encounter will remain a part of our lives. Occasionally people move away, unfortunately some are taken by nature. Some friendships face a bitter end. Then there is also the simple reason that you grow apart. I want us to focus on the latter.
We often hear the phrase, “Some people enter our lives for reason and others for a season.” A majority of us have experienced the loss of friend. And if we haven't experienced the loss, we certainly have experienced the distance.
Accepting distance and loss prove difficult - but necessary for own sanity. We are taught not everyone is permanent, some people are temporary. But what we are not shown is how to tell two apart - the long-term friends from the short-term ones.
All relationships work on the basis of exchange. An employer provides an employee with work and pay, the employee provides the employer with a completed service. A parent provides a child with the gift of life, the child in turn provides the parents with a legacy.
Friendship is no different. It too works on the basis of exchange, it is only the currency that differs. So when looking at your relationships, look at the longevity of the currency you are trading.
Ask yourself. What do I gain from this relationship? What do I bring to this relationship? Could we do more for one another? How valuable is the currency we are exchanging? Will we reach a point in which this no longer has value? Reflecting on these ideas will aid us in better understanding as to whether this person is here for a reason or a season.
Although we may reflect on these ideas we may still find ourselves in the position in which we are struggling to accept the loss of a friend. To aid us whenever we find ourselves struggling with the loss of a friend. I adopted this metaphor.
I choose to view people as oysters.
Oysters are abundant however, pearls are not. People search all across the world for oysters, to find the rich and radiant pearl that lies within. They approach each oyster with good faith and are often met with disappointment as they open oysters and are greeted with absence of the pearl they so deeply longed for.
In this metaphor, oysters represent the people which you’ll encounter. A majority of the people we encounter are simply for a season. That’s not to say that the friendship will end dramatically nor vehemently. Some people will forever be held in high regard, you will continuously recognise that you are from the same tree, however, your branches grow apart. But you continue to support one another as you are rooted the same.
The absence we face when finding these empty oysters, can be equated to an absence of presence or the absence within ourselves when we are left with nothing. This why we must keep the idea of relationships as an exchange close to us. Friendships begin to decline the moment the exchange of currency is no longer mutually beneficial.
Though, not everyone we encounter leaves us with absence. Some people encourage our endeavours no matter how big or small. Some people go to great lengths to aid us in finding joy, when it has been momentarily displaced. Some lend us their ears without judgment or disregard. Though one form of currency may be void, some posses a multitude. Others have a currency that will forever remain strong.
These are the pearls, the ones we should hold onto, the ones for a reason.