Recently on Facebook I noticed a friends posting that said, “God doesn’t give you the people you want, he gives you the people you need. To help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you and to make you the person you were meant to be.” This illustrates the value of relationships in many ways. What if when we encounter or meet people, we see them as representations of some kind of lesson to be learned. The lessons may teach us about ourselves, others, or the world in general. They may be lessons of support, challenge, joy, or grief. These are just a few of the possibilities. If we are open to them, we can embrace these lessons though they may be difficult nonetheless.
If we consider that we all go through the same developmental stages on our journey from infancy to adulthood, we can recognize that there are places that we all get “stuck.” Which means that even though we are adults there may be parts of us or others that don’t match chronologically. Our personality traits and tendencies develop based on the relationships and experiences we encounter, most of them outside of our control. Take a moment to recall some of the best and worst experiences you’ve had and what you learned from them. Everyone has their own experience of people, places, and things that have affected “who they are.” That is what we bring to relationship, old and new, sometimes with our control and sometimes without our control. We may find that our “ideal” somehow doesn’t match our “real.” When this happens, it really is up to us to decide how we approach it.