Soul Extraction


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I love people. People are one of my favorite elements of our planet. Well, people and flowers.  I love going to the State Fair every year, not for everything fried on a stick, but to watch the sea of people move, almost as one, in a wave-like fashion down the packed streets of the fairgrounds. I love to sit in crowded places and listen to the hum of human voices. It soothes me.

Working a crowd is not my scene, but I thoroughly enjoy getting to know people one on one. I love to sit with a person in a coffee shop and listen to their story.  I want to know where they are from, what makes them tick, what makes them laugh, and the sorrows they’ve known. I don’t forget those stories either. I try to remember the details and the stories become a part of the quilt of humanity I am sewing together in my head.

When I meet someone unpleasant, I always try to remind myself that they too have a story. There’s a reason why people act the way they do. When I forget this detail, I am happy to have friends around me who will remind me.

I once had someone tell me, “Don’t invest so much energy in people, invest more in your life and your work.” What??? That’s like telling a bunny not to eat carrots or a child not to laugh. It’s my nature. People are my life. That sounds like a dramatic statement and it isn’t that I overextend myself, but I love to invest in others, as much I can. Why not add to other’s lives if you are able and when you have the opportunity? It’s part of the journey we are on together.

The people I meet along my way in this world are like treasures. Each highly valued for one reason or another, with something to teach me about myself or about life; Something they do or say that makes me laugh; An alternative viewpoint or experience with which to challenge me.  I keep them close to my heart, even when time and distance separate, the memories of the  people I have known and the things I learned from them remain a treasure.

It’s probably because of my love for people that I get so attached to friends and struggle with so much sorrow when they move away because my friends are never just an accessory to my life, they are a part of me.

And I am faithful, especially with my closest friends. I stick around and work when things get hard. I wait, hoping and believing things will improve and they often do. Relationships with people ebb and flow. I am quite aware of this. My husband says I stick around a lot longer in a relationship than most others would. That might be true. I think I do it because I have faith in humans that most times they come back around and things can be good again. I always seem to retain hope.

Sometimes friendships gradually end over time. I’m ok with that. But sometimes they end because of neglect or hurt. Those are the endings with which I struggle. The hardest thing I ever have to do is to watch a close friendship of mine end. I’m really bad at giving up on someone. For me it’s like extracting part of my soul, the part that they occupied. It’s a painful process and leaves a hole in my heart.  However, I know that sometimes turning away and letting go is the bravest thing to do, even if everything in me cries out, “No!”

If you read my post, Circumstantial Erosion, you’ll understand when I say, sometimes there just isn’t enough beach left on which to rebuild.

Fortunately, time heals wounds and I comfort myself knowing there will be new people to meet and to know. I’m mindful that no two beautiful people are exactly alike. There is no replacing someone whom you have lost, no filling the hole they left completely. But there will be new friends in which to invest and love; new stories to hear and patches to sew into the quilt.  After all, it’s a great big, wonderful world. 🙂

 

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