I have met so many people in my life. Although that has happened since I was a child, the majority of those that I recall easily has been in the time of my college years and beyond, my time as an adult. In those thirty something years, I have met and become close with people that I went to college with, worked with, socialized with, or served my community with. All different aspects of necessity for my life.
I have also gone through very specific stages about these persons and friendships in my life. I started to use the word, “phases”, but a phase would seem more fleeting and passing than what this has come to be for me. Stages of development, growth, understanding…. that is what I describe here. For every person that has entered, and since left, in some cases, my life, there is a lesson and a message that I will take with me for the rest of my life. Until recently, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to know what those lessons were. Otherwise, I would have to come to some type of acceptance about a person having been in my life, and then, well, sort of fading away out of my life. I wasn’t sure, even as recently as a few months ago, if I wanted to try to have understanding about why that person, or persons, was no longer an active participant in my daily living. What could be any valid reason that a person would leave my life, without being told to do so? What explanation would make any sense whatsoever of why a person was unable to answer a telephone call, an email, just to say hi? What would keep someone that I had known in the past from staying in touch?
I am no longer haunted by these questions when it comes to those who have entered my life over the span of time, and then left it again. I have come to a peace with it, a peace that has been much time in coming. I recently had a person seek me out, and find me, yet will not tell me who they are from my past. At first, that concerned and upset me, because I could not recall who this person is, from the vague clues being given. Now, I realize that it does not really matter if the identity is ever revealed to me by this person; what matters, is that they were a part of my life, a meaningful part, in the past, and that there were lessons in that. I am not sure why the lesson of the lessons of others has picked now to show itself to me and have full meaning. It isn’t like I didn’t want to understand before; I guess I really was not ready to fully understand.
Now, for me it has become so simple. A person crosses my path, comes into my life, walks with me along the path for a day, a month, or ten years. Or, maybe they are always walking the same path with me, sometimes a bit ahead, sometimes behind, sometimes right beside me. Whoever it is, whatever face is on that person, and for however long that they are with me, the lessons are clear to me now, for each one. Some of the lessons that have been brought to me by these angels on earth are self-love, kindness, sobriety, resilience, intelligence, giving, integrity, fun, and humour. Even with those persons who left my life under very negative, hurtful circumstances, the lessons are still there, and they are not lessons of bitterness, resentment, and negativity, which I anticipated being so. I think that they are not so tainted because I have embraced forgiveness, compassion, and understanding for what they did, and why they needed to do it.
Those that have come to my life with a purpose, left their footprints forever on my heart. For some, that trail of footprints is long; others are there only briefly, but the mark is unmistakable. In my memory, those footprints have been formed as one tread softly along, not stomping on my heart. Even if we had struggles, now they do not feel painful, but rather, as two people just doing the best that they knew how to do with and for one another. Footprints in the sand, like on a beach that has no tide, so they never wash away…. those are the footprints that I imagine to be on my heart left by such visitors to my life.
I believe that over the course of time, I have left my own size 8 1/2 D width footprints on the hearts of others as well. Maybe one of those persons is the one who is seeking me out, maybe others will over time as well. I cannot know for sure. All I can know, is that the impact that they have had on me is forever and signficant, and I can only hope that my own on their lives, my footprints, will be there with them for all eternity.
Do you leave footprints, or have footprints left in the sandy beaches of your heart? Do you forgive, and let go, so that you can gain understanding for another, and for the lessons learned? For me, understanding brings freedom, freedom to walk the beaches of our hearts and souls and to know that when we live our lives in true love, so will we be given, and so will we be able to continue to journey and love and understand one another.