That got me to thinking about the truth in those words. Sometimes when we are having a difficult time with someone, instead of just being completely frustrated, it is helpful to think about what that person is teaching us. What is the reason they are in our life at this time? It takes some of the emotion out of the situation and lets us be a bit of ‘the bigger person’.
The same thinking can be applied when we have to say goodbye to someone after a season; perhaps because we have moved to a new job and don’t see them, perhaps because the relationship has run its course or perhaps because we have simply moved on. Thinking that the person was with us for the season that we needed them helps deal with the loss.
And those of us who are lucky enough to have great people in our lives for a lifetime really have something to be grateful for this season. These are the people who knew us when, who know us well, and who love us always. These are the ‘Coralies’.
I was feeling pretty good about all of this (you know, being the bigger person and all) until it dawned on me that if I think about things this way, and if there is truth to it, then other people also have the ability to think about their relationship with me this way. Yikes! What a lot of pressure! I am really hoping that I am not being used in someone else’s life to teach them patience (although I suspect that might have been true this week!) or to learn to set boundaries, or as a cautionary tale, or for any of the other multitude of not-so-wonderful reasons that might be possible.
In the same way, since I am a person who really values relationships, I hope that the people with whom I share only a season or two look back on those seasons with fondness and good memories. And I especially hope that the lives of people who are in my life for a lifetime, are better because I am a part of theirs.
This Christmas Season I plan to use my ‘bigger person’ skills to not only allow myself to be forgiving of others and to accept that they may be with me for a reason, but I am also going to make sure that my reason for being with them is to bring something positive, that this season with them will be fondly remembered, and that memories we might make will last for our lifetimes.