There are certain people who enter our lives, chaotically turn them upside down, and then briskly walk away and leave.
We may then find ourselves alone, grieving in despair and silence, for the almost-love we never really had.
It can often feel as though no one around seems to truly understand the trauma that we endure from these brief but loaded encounters.
Those around us might tell us to quickly pick up the fragmented pieces this tornado-like love left behind, and that it should be easy for us to move on, as the flickers of romance didn’t remain for long.
But it isn’t always so simple…
Anyone who has experienced this kind of connection will tell you that the dust doesn’t settle easily, and this person’s echo often haunts us as it lingers on.
Although we may dive into the deepest seas to search for answers, or pour over books filled with wisdom until they are tattered and torn, the reason this person fluttered in—and out—of our lives is a very simple one.
It doesn’t matter whether this brief encounter was a friendship, relationship, family member, or a stranger—or whether we were the ones who decided to call it quits, or whether the other person chose to sever the bond––the heartache and reason for them passing through our lives is still the same.
Those who tear through us and spin us around arrive to teach us that there is something missing in our lives:
We are temporarily missing, misunderstanding, and not recognizing parts of ourselves.
We think that everything we felt was outside of ourselves, but every essence we felt from this other person already exists somewhere deep within us—we just failed to notice it as we were concentrating on the “external.”
Every slice of love, laughter, passion, joy, pleasure, warmth, or light that we felt from the other person’s presence also exists somewhere within us.
All that happened is that we were temporarily feeling lost as we wandered through the labyrinth of life, but the moment we recognize that our inner compass is always pointing towards our own heart, a bulb switches on that guides us and enables us to locate our way home with ease—which is a journey back to the heart of ourselves.
It is not selfish or self-centered to focus on loving ourselves or to treat ourselves with care, consideration, and thoughtfulness. It is absolutely essential before we can ever truly and deeply care for another. Once our heart is filled with love for ourselves, that love overspills and naturally spreads so that it reaches every heart around us. The reason self-love is so important is that it impacts and greatly benefits not only us, but every single person we will ever encounter.
The types of people that destabilize us when they come—and then unexpectedly go—are simply teachers of love, so it is absolutely vital that we pay attention to the purpose of the meeting, rather than wallowing in sadness and despair when they leave.
Their electrifying energy arrives to sharply jolt us back towards ourselves.
However, this doesn’t usually happen overnight.
This person didn’t come to us so that we can magically turn the dial, and suddenly everything feels whole and wonderful again.
Self-discovery and self-love are ongoing battles between the heart, the soul, and the mind—and they ask us to gently open up, and to strengthen and heal.
All the things we found loving, romantic, sensual, exciting, adventurous, and intriguing about that other person—we can also find hidden within ourselves.
It is a beautiful thing to share all of these things with someone else. However, until we have located and unearthed them from within ourselves, all we will do is focus on what’s outside of us, and in other people, and we will miss the fulfillment that occurs when we are able to wholly nourish all these aspects of ourselves.
The fleeting types of people are an awakening. They are a gift. They appear in our lives to prepare us so that we are ready for the greatest and highest levels of love and connection—which can only be achieved when we have wholly reconnected with ourselves.
Sometimes people enter our lives to teach us how to trust.
Some arrive to teach us how to work harder so that we show our love, while others teach us how to not be too clingy or needy, and how to gracefully let go.
Sometimes people come disguised as love to teach us what we don’t want, so that we recognize the genuine love that we crave when it arrives.
Some teach us how to be more active in love, and others teach us how to be more calm and patient.
Some arrive and teach us how to give unconditional love, and there are others who teach us to be vulnerable and receive.
Sometimes this person is a mixture of every lesson, and we learn to be grateful and cherish what they offered. And often, the teachings from one specific person continue coming long after their door has closed.
Whether this person treats us terribly, indifferently, or perfectly, the lessons of love they bring remain the same.
When we loosen our grip, and peacefully allow people to come—and if they aren’t meant to stay—with thanks, we can let them go. We will notice that a wide-open space is created, so that love can grow and thrive.
Some people are a word or a line in the stories of our lives, and others are a paragraph. Some will be a page, and some will be a chapter. Then there are those who the book never closes on, despite how difficult it is to read at times, and they stay.
At the end of it all, when we look back on our life, we will see that the ones who were by our sides through our tale of love are the most treasured and significant characters, even if their names weren’t written throughout the entire story.
Without turning our lives upside down, they helped us to learn and to receive everything we needed from love, and the ones who came before them flew by to prepare us for that meeting by sprinkling a mixture of lessons in the name of love.
Whether these people come to us with pleasure or pain, each person shapes us, and with gratitude, we can welcome them in—and when the time arrives, with thanks in our heart, we can let the fated connection go.
Part of the cycle of life is that people will come and people will go, and every connection always contains a unique and hidden meaning.
Author: Alex Myles
Image: Flickr/Igor Menezes
Editor: Travis May