A Reason, A Season, a Lifetime: How to Finally Get Over the Pain of a Relationship Ending

Do you have one go-to bit of inspiration? Mine is this dumb email forward my mom sent me.

Jun 26, 2013 at 4:30pm | Leave a comment

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My mom not only sent me this great email forward, she also made me this card. In her card-making class. My mom goes to card-making class. How great is she.

I write a lot of self-help type things here, but honestly, the one thing that has helped me more than anything is an email forward that my mom sent me years ago.

I have forwarded this on to more people than almost anything else as a way to help them get through tough times.

It's so incredibly cheesy, I realize, but there is something in its simplicity that is quite stunning.

The first time I read it, I literally sobbed.

Friendships and relationships and even workplace partnerships almost always come to an end -- as is the nature of life (unless I suppose you experience one of those rare occurrences where the spouse dies a day or so after the first one passes, due to heartache, many people say -- and I've covered such funerals before, namely in Iowa).

For the large part though, the nature of life is change. And change can be a real bitch.

It can be devastating.

You can stake all of your certainty and comfort and security on This One Thing That You Know and You Feel Secure In -- and then poof, something happens (a fight, a layoff, death) and that comfort is changed forever.

For me, comfort is often all about framing. Putting something through a different lens to view it in a different way. As in: That crappy job wasn't crappy -- it taught me strength and patience and helped me find my passion in a way I never knew I had inside me before. My failed marriage wasn't a failure -- it taught me more about resilience and finding my own identity than any other experience in my life. It also taught me to love more.

So that's what this silly little poem does for me. It makes me see relationships as not so much a devastating loss, but this wonderful experience I was so fortunate to have in the first place.

Or as Dr. Seuss once wrote: "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."

Perhaps one of my favorite quotes ever.

And here's that Internet forward (thank you, mom), and I hope it provides some meaning or comfort or resonance for you as well.

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"People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person...

"When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

"Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

"Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

"LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant."

— Unknown

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