Saturday, July 25, 2009

Relationships and Our Life Path

In one sense, the relationships that we have had are never really over, because our memories and experiences become part of our life, our consciousness, part of our soul. And these carry forward with us. Our life experiences are the one thing that are truly ours. Yes, the relationships are over in the sense that we will continue our life journey while participating in other relationships, but what we have learned is the part that goes with us.

Ending one relationship and tasting the sadness of that experience means that we now have had the opportunity to know the full human range of ecstasy and sadness that this relationship had to teach us, and we have survived to continue on our life path and have more relationships. We always begin a new relationship with hope and great expectations, and that is why when a relationship ends, we are reminded of those stops on our life path, the map of our journey so far, landmarks where those things we want to keep and those things that we want to let go of made a significant impact on us, and we are reminded to carry our lessons forward. These serve to help us choose the best steps for us on that the next stage of our journey, providing us with an inner compass that yields a stronger sense of direction so that we can draw ever more satisfaction from our continuing journey.

We are not defined or limited by what we have done, because our experiences will also point the way to what we can do. Much in the same way that our resume tells what kind of work we have done, that does not define all that we can do.

From each relationship, we retain certain memories that serve to teach us some valuable life lessons. Of course, few of us could remember everything about a past relationship, but those things we choose to keep with us are our milestones. These are our markers of progress on our life path.

The important things we carry forward are not things that we can pack in boxes or haul in cars and trucks. We learn as we go to value what is good and what is worth keeping. We also learn what is important to us, what we are not willing to let go of, and we resume doing those things that we used to enjoy but let fall by the wayside. We realize what lessons we do not want to keep repeating. As we open to new journeys with new people, we explore the areas of the map that are unknown. We will still travel familiar roads on journeys to and from our true selves, we will notice things we have not noticed before.

It is like when we drive down the same road to and from work many times over, and then one day, a store or restaurant catches our eye, and we feel drawn to stop in. The experience is good and we wonder why we never stopped there before. Our habits and patterns can lead us to overlook things, and that is why sometimes the jolt from a change, from an ending, reawakens us and renews us.

What we carry forward are the invisible rhythms of life that work their way outward to shape the expressions on our faces, the depth of our souls, the language of our bodies, the expressions of our creative spirits, the light of life that shows in our eyes.

Each person we have had a relationship with has affected us, and that will always be part of who we are, from that time forward. Some relationships may mutate into a different form, such as a lasting friendship, while others we may choose to let fade. But whether they are brilliant glimmers of soul light or shadows that walk with us, they all form part of the whole picture.
As we extract the lessons from each and drink deeply of their nourishment, there is something for us, something that feeds our hunger, quenches our thirst, and shapes our consciousness, even if some of these gifts of wisdom and love can only be savored from a distance in time, when we have more perspective and see the bigger picture.

When we can own it all, we can uncover the gems that we did not see until we turned them over, the illumination from the light on our path and the mysterious and hard won ways that it often comes to us.

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