My dad was a believer in the idea that friends pass through our lives for ‘seasons and reasons’. He was a realist about the fact that some friendships are destined to be situational, not everlasting. He’d say “people roll in and out and you need to let the door swing both ways”, to benefit each person mutually. When the scales begin to tip so as to favor one person more than the other, he believed it was better to acquiesce than chase because ‘the chase is where you lose yourself’.
I get it now. I wish he were near so I could tell him so. His pragmatic, but no less loving approach to “friends” made it easier for him to navigate disappointment. He wasn’t cold-hearted, but his inclination toward self-preservation would probably be lauded today, cheering his ‘wellness warrior’ tendencies.
Dad had his own brand of joie de vivre, his inexplicable, unharried philosophy about life. He wasn’t much of a spiritual dude, but he found his inner Zen master when he learned the benefits of breathing and meditation to navigate life’s challenges…with mom…and to improve his golf game. Whether he was talking about friendships or disappointment on the ‘back nine’, dad would paraphrase this quote from Buddha:
He liked the last bit the most, as he dared to edit Buddha, “let go of the people not meant for you”.
This was a hard lesson to accept. Throughout my life, I’ve prized my ability to be liked and well-regarded, willing to give of myself – my time, energy and love – hoping only for a return of the same. Rather than twist and contort to become more…. likable…lovable…endearing…trusted…appreciated…I’m learning to listen for, and receive the messages to move on. They’re there if I look closely enough with fresh eyes. Reflection, thinking about dad’s advice, makes it easier to let go. Without malice or anger but because it was time.
My post this morning for Heart of the Matter puts dad’s wisdom to the test. Well, that and a little help from the world of finance. Take a look…and thank you so much for stopping by.
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