Reasons, Seasons, & Lifetimes

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“People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.”

Recently, I’ve been thinking about all of the people in my life that I’ve lost touch with. Whether it’s past relationships, ex coworkers, or college friends, I’ve gone from talking to someone multiple times, every single day, to zero communication, just with the quick change of a circumstance. Sometimes it’s healthy and maybe you didn’t even feel the negative weight of that relationship until it’s gone, but sometimes it doesn’t feel so good. I struggle with the guilt associated with losing touch and have been wrestling coming to peace with some of my relationships that have ended. What happens when someone who used to serve a large purpose in our lives no longer does? Is it ok to just move on and move forward without looking back? If so, how do we properly honor that relationship?

As careers, relationships, and locations change and evolve, the people in our lives ebb and flow. Sometimes connections just evaporate and there’s nothing more to it than that. As I reflect on this I guess there are two paths to moving forward. You either move on, or if there is a strong sense of loss, perhaps you explore rekindling.  I’ve personally taken both of those paths, but for today, I’ll talk about the latter.

This topic recently came up with a client. She is starting a business and wanted to tap into her network. She said, “On paper, it looks like I have a ton of connections but in real life I only have about 3-4 close friends.”

My response? “What’s paper? Facebook, LinkedIn, Gmail?  Well, isn’t that just a compilation of countless long hours at work, dinners, weddings, interviews, events, workout classes, coffee, and everything in between. That’s evidence of a life. That’s not a paper.”

Just because it’s been a few months, years, or even a decade, when relationships dissolve without a reason other than circumstance, the door is left half open. We shouldn’t be afraid to go back into the depths of our timeline to rekindle a relationship. If there are no hard feelings, a blast from the past can be really fun.

The thing that really holds us back is the fear of judgement. We are afraid that it feels so ‘random’ and out of the blue, and without the sense of finality to a relationship, we question the feelings on the other end. Am I going to be judged by reaching out to this person? Does this person even still remember me? Are they mad at me? These unconscious feelings and implicit questions hold us back.

What to take from this? It’s okay to lose touch. Some people are in our lives for reasons or just seasons. But, it’s a beautiful thing when a relationship can be rekindled. Don’t let the lack of closure hold you back. Make the first move. What’s the worst that can happen? Probably that they just don’t answer and you’re right back where you started :)

Nikki Goldman