No matter what point in my personal growth, and regardless of the country where I've met them in my travels, everyone I have met knew something I didn't. Not every time, did I discover that gem, but each time, regardless of my failings, I've learned from them even when we parted ways for the rest of our lives.
My teacher in University once used the words of Socrates to frame the class on the philosophy of relationships:"the secret of an enduring life of healthy relationships is to focus all of our energy not on fighting the old who want no growth together, but on building the new and the abiding who crave it."When a relationship breaks, we ought to do everything possible to fix it, if both parties want repair. But if one leaves, if one chooses to end the relationship with you without reconciliation, then rather than struggling to compromise your ideals to fit a definition of your identity to their expectations, stay true to your integrity, and celebrate the relationships who hold you up and thrive in relations with you.
I lost a woman in my life long ago. She chose the arms of another man, and called to tell me of her infidelity. It crushed my spirit for the trust I had in the relationship. My first question I asked was what I had done wrong. How was I not enough? And in the subsequent months, I eroded in decline of changing my behavior to hopefully make the relationship work. But for her, it was already over.
She hadn't done the damage to me. She did the damage to the relationship. I had compromised myself for her expectations, and in doing so - I damaged myself. It took a very long time to rebuild the erosion I had wrought to myself in that compromise of my person-hood.
A very wise friend, in my repair, advised me to stop fighting to"fix ghosts."He said,"ghosts are not broken. They're just gone."I had been trying to fit myself into an image for which I wasn't created; chasing a phantom of a memory, living in the purgatory of a prior experience.
When I healed, and resumed being true to myself, the right people came flooding beyond my comprehension. Now, I can honestly say that although some people still pass through a revolving door in their process passing across my path, the right people always remain... and I cherish them so.
People are in our lives come and go... Some leave heavy, muddy boot prints; others a lingering fragrant nostalgia. But I've found the hard way that despite some people have such great potential in our lives,"Don't chase people. Be yourself. Do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay,"as Will Smith so elegantly, confidently imparts.