Sunday, October 17, 2010

Coming and Going

From time to time I've had patients tell me that everyone who comes into their lives eventually leaves them.  Upon discussion, they are usually able to identify at least one person  who has consistently been there for them (thereby acknowledging that not everyone leaves them).  Still, they feel abandoned and unlovable. 

I've given this some thought and have reached the conclusion that it is the rule - and not the exception - for most people who come into our lives to eventually leave.  Sometimes there are reasons - someone moves away or you have an argument - and sometimes there really isn't any reason.  You simply "lose touch" with one another. 

I was thinking the other day about the various friendships I've had over the years.  The friends I had as a young child were no longer my friends by the end of  middle school.  I had two close friends as an adolescent who were like sisters to me.  We had a falling out during my junior year of high school and stopped speaking to each other after that.  I became close to a high school friend during college.  We were inseparable for years until she got hooked on drugs.  I eventually had to stop talking to her because I couldn't be a part of how she was living her life (and I couldn't stand watching her destroy herself).  After college I had two really close friends that I spent almost all my time with.  Nothing "happened" that ended the friendships; we just gradually drifted apart and went our separate ways.

And then there are the old boyfriends - the men who, at the time, I couldn't imagine living my life without. 

The fact is this: people come and people go.  Some really special people remain with us throughout our lives -- for me that's been my family.  Still, far more people have entered and left than have stayed.  And that's ok.  I think that's how it's supposed to be.  We cross paths with certain others, learn from one another, and then continue on our journeys.  And sometimes, the impact of those meetings linger long after you've both continued along your separate roads.


  1. I am not willing to accept that notion. While some have come into my life, others are still there but to a lesser degree. I even acknowledge my deceased friends more often than you can imagine.

    Relationships have an ebb and flow. Periods of intimacy followed by periods of distance.

    The door is always open in my home and my friends and family are always welcome and wanted.

    I still have all my close friends from gradeschool. My wife is my High School sweetheart.

    Now with aquaintainces? They come and go of course.

    Perhaps this is what others define as friends.

    If this is the case then we have conceptual differences.

  2. I like the way you put that, about relationships having ebb and flow.

  3. Thank you. These are casual observations I have made over the years...Even in my own marriage or closest friendships/family relationships have this ebb and flow to them...


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