Throughout life I feel that we face recurring themes. And sometimes, it takes a while, and once we learn how to navigate a certain situation, that phase of our life, that ongoing challenge passes us by. These are the things I imagine life coaches, sages, and psychics would say are life lessons.
Life lessons don't happen when you think you need them to, and probably most definitely not when you want to learn then. But life lessons attach to you all the same. Today is one of those days where I just feel like talking about the phase I'm at. Life's lessons are knocking on my door. I know they will come, as they will.
I think, for the last several years really, my life lesson of note is on loss. There are indeed losses you cannot ever get over with. No one else need validate it, no one can mitigate it, there are simply life altering losses that change us (quite literally down to our DNA...it's complicated and simple and really just about methylating a few DNA base pairs under stress...but the point is, it's real. Stress, fear, anxiety, grief, and many other things such as trauma, addiction, and pain, change us...mentally physically, and...biologicially). The loss of my niece changed who I was, my core beliefs, my life's paths, and quite honestly, my well being. This is simply an indisuptable fact of my new reality. The people who were in my life had a hard decision to make -- did they want to accept this substitution in their lives of the person they used to know? At some point, over months and years, each of them had to come to the conclusion that the exact same person they used to know, was never coming back. To their credit most are still here. And the one's that aren't, I neither blame them nor question them. I was no longer able to provide the support and encouragement and vitality they needed at that time in their lives either.
But I have come to a point where I understand that not all that is broken can be repaired. Over these past few years I feel I am facing a life lesson about loss. There have been many deaths, a few lost friendships, and physical or emotional gaps between people who were once so close. I am learning, that sometimes we have no choice, and other times we have to let go with grace. I think the letting go with grace is the current lesson. I used to believe that you never let go of someone if you cared. But I am becoming aware of a different concept these days -- maybe people let go of each other because they do care. Some friendships are painful reminders of places we cannot go back to...and sometimes the kindness is in letting go. Some relationships force us to face some internal demons that people aren't ready for...providing courage may mean letting go. And sometimes, being a stablizer means you cause someone to lean when they should run. Ready or not, sometimes you have to let go.