Beatitudes of my life

Being grateful for everything in my life…. no matter what…

Thoughts on Letting Go… December 4, 2014

Filed under: Blessings,Friends,Moving,Random Thoughts — beatitudesofmylife @ 3:04 pm
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I’ve never been very good at “letting go”… of things or of people.  Letting go always seemed to be a version of giving up or giving in, and *that* never sat well with me.  I never thought of myself as a quitter, so why should I willingly let go of something or someone in my life?  I don’t think my thought process changed much until this particular move from RVA to Maryland.  letting-go1

I’m starting to accept that there are times when letting go is actually the healthiest thing you can do for yourself.   Spending countless hours trying to figure out what I can do to maintain friendships with people who don’t seem as concerned seems akin to pounding ones’ head against the wall and then wondering why I have a headache.  I believe that friendship isn’t a one-way street.  It is a living and breathing organism that needs to be fed, on a regular basis, in order to maintain any sort of viability.  The most interesting thing that I am learning about friendship is that some are actually able to withstand less “feeding” than others. It seems that some friendships, especially those with whom you have experienced tremendous growth, seem to continue to thrive even with little to no contact… but only if that growth was experienced by both/all parties involved.

That being said, I’m coming to realize that those people who truly want to be a part of my life will always remain a part of my life.  It’s not a question of letting them go or not caring any longer… those people who remain in my life, in any sort of capacity, are those who actually desire to be a part of my life.  These are the friendships that are meant to be nurtured and fed, in whatever degree most comfortable to both.  Some people find it more comfortable to remain on the fringes, playing games on Facebook and occasionally posting a message or offering a prayer regarding the sale of our home.  Others seem to have made the choice to use the “opportunity” of my move to allow a friendship to pass away, whether by choice or because of distance. While I don’t know that I’ll ever be good at “letting go” of a friendship, I have to learn how to be okay with someone’s choice to do so.  After all, isn’t that what friendship is all about…  wanting the best for the other person, as well as for yourself?

As the posted quote says, “Letting go does not mean you stop caring.  It means you stop trying to force others to…”  I really want to learn not to force others to care about a friendship.  While I will give myself permission to mourn that particular loss, but I will not allow that permission to stop me from moving on and letting go.

So, to those of you who have remained a part of my life through our move these past few months, I say a very heartfelt “Thank you”.  Each message, prayer, or gesture, no matter the size, has been appreciated more than I can ever put into words.  There’s nothing like a friend who actually refuses to leave your side, especially when the parameters of the original friendship are tested.  On the flip side, I plan to work harder to be okay allowing other friends to move on with their own lives.  Letting go works both ways and recognizing that can be painfully bittersweet.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that we all need to nurture the friendships that are important, but let go of those that aren’t lifting up our souls.   Letting go doesn’t have to be a bad thing… ultimately, I believe that we’ll all be healthier and happier if we surround ourselves with friends who truly care about us.

Wishing each of you the friendships that brighten your day and lighten your soul…especially during this Holiday season.

 

Where is “The Golden Rule” today? January 19, 2012

Filed under: Life Balance,Uncategorized — beatitudesofmylife @ 8:35 am
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I remember being taught The Golden Rule when I was a child.  You know… “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.  The rule that parents brought out any time you did something mean or rotten to someone else?  The rule that teachers hung on the bulletin boards that decorated the classroom?  The one rule that we were all supposed to live by?  Where is The Golden Rule in today’s society?

I know that it seems as if there is a new Golden Rule that has superimposed the old one… the idea that you must “do unto others before they can do it unto you”… but that’s just something I find totally abhorrent.   If we could all live as simply as following the Golden Rule, don’t you think the world would be a nicer place?

Think about it… you see a woman struggling to put her groceries in the car while keeping her infant from trying to escape the cart seat.  Would it be so difficult to take a moment and offer to help put the items in her car so she can concentrate on her child?  What about the man in the line at Starbucks who seems so impatient and frustrated with the two-person wait for his coffee order.  Would it really ruin your day to ask if he wants to go ahead of you?  Is it too hard to wait a moment and hold the door open for another person… pick up a dropped item… ask if they need help… smile at another human being?

I know there will always be those who refuse offers of help… who have been kicked around by the other Golden Rule.  My theory, though not scientific in the least, is that those are the people who will eventually come around to looking for the good in people instead of expecting the bad.  If you kick a dog enough times, he’s going to flinch if you start to make the motion toward him.  People aren’t so different… if they’re treated badly by society, they look for the bad before being able to see the good.  Maybe if we all start trying to show one another the good instead of the bad, we can create a world where The Golden Rule is the norm again and not  the exception.

“What Would Jesus Do” was really popular a few years ago and was viewed (for lack of a better term) as the “new hotness”.  Bumper stickers, wrist bands, signs, slogans, all asking us to stop and think about what Jesus might do in any given situation… but isn’t that really just the Golden Rule?  Jesus had two main commandments: Love God and Love your neighbor as yourself. We’re commanded to love God, but we’re also commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves.  That second part?  Isn’t that another way of following The Golden Rule?   As Christians, we can talk WWJD all we want, but doesn’t it all come down to “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you”?

I ask, dear reader, that you think about this over the coming weeks.  Before you just let that door slam in someone’s face… before you laugh at the unfortunate person who just dropped their purchases on the floor… before you ignore that plea of help in someone’s eyes as they’re trying their best to make it through the day.  Not just “What Would Jesus Do”, but what would you want someone to do for you?

You might find that it feels pretty amazing to treat others with the respect and appreciation that you’d want in the same situation.   To compliment someone can brighten their day in ways you’ll never know.  To simply smile at a person can lift their spirits and make their day.

In my humble opinion, The Golden Rule shouldn’t be questioned.  It should be the way we all conduct the business of our lives.   Wouldn’t that just make your day?

 

 
Jennifer VanOrman Counseling

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

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