What you should take from people

Firstly, I would like to clarify myself to all the people whose feathers get well and truly ruffled by the idea of taking anything from anyone.  I am all for independence, and I truly believe in giving everything you can to those you encounter.  However, independence is not about being isolated, it doesnt mean you cannot merge aspects of your self with the ideas, characteristics and life lessons of others.  And while giving is great, most people cannot do this indefinitely and selflessly while remaining mentally healthy if they do not also allow themselves to be built up in return.  Even if you are one of those utterly amazing people who has the internal strength to never need anything in return - it is wise to remember that if no-one was prepared to take then the gift of altruistic giving would be utterly useless.

My next move to escape the pitchforks and torches is to clarify my choice of image.  This is the graveyard of the church in the village I grew up in.  Askham in Cumbria will always be one of the most beautiful places in the world to me.  Graveyards in general hold no fear for me, I find them to be oases of calm and peacefulness which are vital reminders of our grounding in the past.  Old graveyards are especially fascinating and I just love the way the stones slowly fade and decay as the people they commemorate return to the earth which cradled them in life.

Which brings me to the point of my inspiration for today - as we go through our lives it is impossible not to lose people.  Whether they are friends, family or lovers...and whether they depart through death, arguments or the neverending passage of time, we lose people.  And when we lose them it is usually either very distressing, generating a large amount of anger or sadness, or it unnoticeably and ambivalently happens as people drift away from us.  The things we loved about those people while they were in our lives are either submerged beneath the pain or simply forgotten.

Not only is this really sad when you think about it, it also greatly increases the depth and impact of the loss in a totally unnecessary way.  I think its pretty common to buy into the theory of someone "living on" in those they have left behind after they die, but perhaps this is a concept that we can apply to all those who we have lost.  Obviously this isnt just about keeping the memory of the individual alive - while this is obviously really valuable sometimes in the case of someone who has died, you wouldnt do this for someone who has drifted out of your life without it really even bothering you.  But from all these people, regardless of who they were or why they left, when they were with you they gave you something that was uniquely rewarding.  And you can use this to improve your life today.

For example, maybe your ex could make you laugh like no-one else ever could.  So take that feeling, and use it when you are down.  Remember how you laughed till it hurt and it will still make you smile.  Or maybe you always knew you could rely on your dad to come pick you up when things got rough.  So when things get bad after he has gone, let yourself feel the calm and the reassurance of his support and maybe it will give you the strength to rely on yourself to get through it.  Or when you have drifted apart from that best friend who always used to call you on the stuff you did wrong, think through what that critically honest voice would say next time you arent sure what the right choice is.  Use the past experiences to inform your future, but tie them into the people that you have loved and who have loved you.  Let that relationship continue to mean something regardless of how the relationship ended, but in the healthiest and most beneficial way possible.  People who truly love people cannot help but to radiate love out to the important people in their present.

And to come full circle back to the theme of giving - as well as letting go of the negative aspects of my past in order to let the people I have loved continue to support me today, I would love to be able to do the same in return.  I want to provide enough of my myself to other people that years after I have left their lives there will still be elements of our relationship they can take and use to improve their present.  Even if its something as simple as being the person who is always delighted to see them, or the person who always makes enough food that there is enough to give any unexpected visitors dinner.  You never know how the little things you do can change someone's life.


  © Blogger template 'Minimalist H' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP