Friendship analogy from Things I hear’s perspective.
Recently I had a conversation with an acquaintance (let’s call her Kristy), that lasted longer than either expected. I had not classified this person as a friend, but as an acquaintance who I’d usually meet at parties or get togethers of mutual friends. She too classified me as an acquaintance and that was why she called – she had nothing to lose. After the conversation, I had an epiphany! Everything become so clear. I am grateful to and for the people still in my life contributing towards positive growth. I am thankful for the faceless monsters in my worst nightmares who came into my life to wreak havoc, and then leave unceremoniously. I am hopeful that the future people I meet, I’ll be able to differentiate the ones to keep and the ones to let go without guilt.
I realised that we should not hate people for not living up to our expectations because our expectations were never their intended purpose when coming into our lives. Kristy was mad at some people who didn’t live up to her expectations. She was angry. She wanted to see their heads on platters. She wanted them destroyed. But, as #Madea once so eloquently put it, people come into your life for a reason and a season. Experience is the only teacher. In the end, you get to know who came into your life for what reason or purpose. Sometimes, it hard to understand why a person would come into your life to bring nothing but misery and havoc, take it as a lesson, a hard lesson, an unfair lesson but nevertheless a lesson you were meant to learn from this person. Besides your devil could be someone’s else angel.
From this realisation, I equated the people who come into our lives to an activity we carried out as kids. We (adults and older kids) used to harvest large amounts of potatoes. This was done by hand and the process involved digging up the lot and piling it up in a rusty old truck. The truck would transport the potatoes home and empty the content on a large canvas spread out on the grass. The children would gather around to sort. Eventually there would be four piles. One for the cut, scratched or wounded potatoes – to be cooked immediately or no later than a week. A pile of rotten potatoes to be discarded straight away, not even good enough to feed the pigs. Another pile for the greenish looking ones, some with little sprouts, to be stored for later re-planting. A pile for the pristine ones with no cuts, no bruises, no green spots and not contaminated by the rotten lot, to be stored in smaller sacks for sale, giving to visiting city relatives and for future use. Of the stored ‘nice’ potatoes, if not used or given away will end up as seeds. This is a lot like friendships and/or relationships; you must know how to sort the people that come into your life into groups: people (the clean potatoes) who are there to stay and be a productive part of you; people (greenish sprouts) who are part of your life’s journey to help you grow in all aspects of life, sometimes for a short period and may leave at some point; people (cut or bruised potatoes) who come into your life to learn or gain something and then leave, and people (rotten potatoes) who should not be in your life and should not be let in – in dating terms these are the proverbial frogs you have to kiss. The worst kind are the rotten ones who come purposely to contaminate the clean ones.
The most blessed among us will know the rotten from clean ones straight away, but some of us must go through an experience to realise who’ve been rotten the whole time. Positive psychology teaches that we must take such experiences as lessons and move on. However, since we are humans [in most part], we must be wise, whether we like it or not these people will leave psychological footprints that we must live with. It’s up to an individual how they deal with the remnants.