Every single person we come in contact with has a purpose in our lives. It isn’t always easy to recognize, but they are stepping stones helping us along our journey and path throughout life. Some offer challenges that we must rise above, while others are there to support us when we fall. Some stay for a long time, while others are only in our world for a few minutes, hours, weeks, months, or years. But, no matter how long they stay, or when and where we meet them, there is a reason for our encounters.
Of the billion people who live on planet Earth, there is no way for us to meet each one, so the people we do meet are meant to be there, regardless of whether we want them to be or not, and whether we are ready for them to leave us or not.
This has always been a concept I have struggled with, and many times in my life, I have suffered from separation anxiety. For someone who likes change so much, I have a hard time saying good-bye to the people I love. Unfortunately, with travel, there are a lot of good-byes to be had.
Eventually, the good-byes become easier, especially depending on the length of time spent together. I always cry, but I have realized that reconnecting is a possibility, and social media makes keeping in touch a lot easier. Still, the longer people are in my life, the harder they are to part with, especially when it’s not a farewell I would like to happen.
Everything becomes much more difficult when it is not my choice, and often in life, we have no control over how long people will stay in our lives. But, this idea of thinking of each person as a stepping stone helping us get to our final goal or destination is beginning to make it easier.
By thinking of each person as someone who has helped me along my journey, whether the impact is big or small, is the ideal way to look at it. Some serve a larger purpose, while others don’t stay as long as I would like them to, but in the end, there is something I have learned from each one. This makes regret and resentment virtually non-existent; if we have learned a lesson from each person, than that is a person we should be grateful for, whether that lesson was positive or negative. Either way, we have been brought along the path we were meant to take.
For my birthday, my friend, Lauren, gave me a bracelet that stands for the path of life and the twists and turns we are each taken down as we travel along this strange journey. Here is what the attached card said:
Life is exactly what travel is, it’s a path we follow in the directions of our dreams. We just need to keep pushing forward toward whatever we want, looking back only to remember the good times and offering gratitude for each person our lives have crossed paths with; they were there for a reason.
Every single person, positive and negative, has had an effect on each one of us and is essential in getting us where we are meant to be. It is just as Paulo Coelho writes in The Alchemist,
“We are travelers on a cosmic journey,stardust,swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.”
We have this time together, but we go on beyond this. Our path of life is much larger than we know, but out of a world with billions of people, our chance encounters, or stepping stones, are how we learn and grow.
On this long and winding stretch, I am so glad that you and I have found each other, and I hope that you continue to wander with me in the new year. I promise it will be anything but boring.