Today’s life lesson is not one that was taught to me by anyone, but more of one that I have learned via trial and error over my vast time walking this rock. This lesson is probably the easiest to understand but the hardest to do. We tend to get so wrapped up in what we are doing and what we are feeling that we stop looking at things in a broader, more stable way. We get comfortable. We get more egocentric. And this lesson is not just about relationships, but everything we do with our lives. Work, study, hobbies, talents….everything.
If it is meant to be, it will be. If it is not, then let it go. Sounds simple, right? It’s not. Because there is more to it than that simple statement. Let’s look at both parts separately.
If it is meant to be, it will be. It is easy for us to say we know what we want, that we are in the right place, at the right job, with the right person. When life is good, it feels like everything is as it should be. Happiness is in abundance, there is no need and little want. But what many of us fail to realize is that good things don’t just stay good, we have to constantly work on them. When we get comfortable and stop putting forth the effort we did to get there, we get caught falling behind and losing sight of the goal. Whether at work or at home, if you do not put the effort into what you are doing everyday, over time it gets noticed and you will soon not get the gratification and acknowledgment you once did when your energy, commitment and passion were put into what you were doing. Yes, some things were meant to be, but you have to make sure you are fighting to keep it. If its work, do you best everyday. Put forth the same effort and energy daily. Leave with a sense of accomplishment, not a sense of despair or worry. Do your best to leave work at the office so that you can focus on the rest of your life. If it’s a hobby or talent, it won’t get better if you don’t practice and push yourself to get better. If it is a relationship, finding the right person and both of you committing to each other is the EASY part. The hard part is making it last. We find happiness and get comfortable. Or we work so hard to “catch” the other person that we forget it was everything we did to get them that they fell for. Be yourself. Let them fall for all of you, the good and the not so good. There will be ups and downs. It’s how we deal with both highs and lows that will make our “it’s meant to be” last. Communication, compromise, honesty, trust and a good sense of humor will make it all be okay. But ALWAYS remember, you can only do your part. You will NEVER make or convince some to be or do something they are not.
Which brings us to part two. If it’s not, let it go. Easy, right? Wrong. There is so much tied into what we have in our lives: time invested, emotions, comfort, security, knowledge, our own feeling of self-worth, sympathy or the ease at which things function for us (being lazy). Sometimes we stay a jobs longer than we should. We feel a sense of loyalty that more often than not, is not given back to us by our employer. Or we like what we do and who we are doing it for, despite the fact that we are not getting our needs met. Other times we grow comfortable and do not want to put forth the effort to grow further or we fear that there is nothing better out there or you are not good enough to do better. Same holds true with hobbies and talents. We don’t finish art projects for fear of messing what you started up or that it will not turn out as good as it is in your head (story of my artistic life!) Sometimes we come up with excuses not to work on our craft. Even other times we hear that we are so good at something that we get satisfied with where we are at and don’t push ourselves to be even better. And worse yet, we never explore these things at all for fear of not being able to do them. And lastly, and to me the worst of all, is not being able to do this in relationships. If one person is putting in all the effort, its time to move on. If you think you can change the other person by showing them how much you love them, you are mistaken. Move on. If you are staying with a person because you feel you can not do better, the longer you stick around, the more you push away the potential person who IS meant for you. “I don’t give up. I’m not a quitter.” That is all fine and well when it comes to things that deal only with your choices, beliefs and needs. Okay, I am going to fall back on a lesson given to me. My dad and grandma both told me at one time or another: “It takes two people to make a relationship.” One person may be able to do all the things alone to kill it, but one person alone cannot do what is necessary to keep a relationship strong and happy. If the other person has no desire to change or seek help, you are fighting this battle alone. Weight the options. If you are unhappy more than you are happy, its time to take a good hard look at letting go.
If it’s meant to be, go for it and do everything you can do to help is succeed. Put forth the energy, passion and commitment needed to help keep those happy feelings of work, life and relationships going. And it may just last forever or run its full course. If it’s not meant to be, let it go. Learn from it. Do what you need to do to better yourself because of it. Don’t let it hold you down. Yeah, I know, easier said than done. But if you don’t, think about where that will leave you…