Coming and Going

For all my close friends and loved ones.

We often come to a place in our lives where, unbeknownst to us, others join us on our journey. The intersection of coming and going is where conversations begin that result in the most salient and meaningful relationships we have that help take us to where we are going.

The journey we are all traveling on seems disconnected, at best. There are desires within all of our hearts for a deeper, more meaningful connection to those we know. Many times our journeys start anew with various careers or life events that require us to make a change, even when we don’t want to.

What determines the impact others have in our lives is whether or not we understand if we are coming or going.

There is a distinct difference in both. Coming from a spot in our lives almost always includes a life change, either initiated by us or by something else. When we find ourselves going, we are starting a new chapter, usually on our own volition. We often bring others with us or, at the very least, keep some included in what we are doing.

We never know how the chapters of our lives are going to be written. We have no grasp as to the magnitude that those who find themselves involved in our narrative are going to play. We are committed, on the front end, to a general notion of friendship. After all, it’s friendship that gets us through various hours of our days while at work or at play.

However, there is a time where our coming and going connects with that of another and forever changes our course and our direction. Inherently, we each have a compass we are following. That compass is directed by our hearts and our minds. It’s the pulse of our psyche that we awake to every day and go to sleep with each night.

The connections we make on these roads become woven in to our narrative and provide an opportunity to form more of a kinship with those whose story blends well with ours. It’s at this point where the coming or going no longer matters and writing a similar story with even greater context becomes our goal.

These opportunities aren’t usually very apparent. Not at first, at least. It requires a willingness on the parts of all involved to open their minds and hearts to one another. It demands that trust and respect are afforded at all times. Without this trust and respect, the full flourishing of admiration and togetherness cannot be achieved.

When it becomes clear that we have one or, in some rare occasions, several of these individuals with whom we have formed this kinship with, it endears our inner most beings to the care of others. The others become not just our friends but kindred souls on our journey through this life.

These kinships carry with them a very real hazard. They present us with an opportunity to accept another in to our hearts and minds. In doing so, we are allowing them to help mold our hearts and our souls for the better, or for the worse.

The inevitability is when, of course, these chapters come to a close. Sometimes these chapters include those with whom we’ve come to love but often the chapters end where one of our loved ones exits along with the final paragraph. It’s a chapter, and a part of the story, that we simply do not want to end. In the world of writing, they call this a story arc — a period in which the narrative changes in either a very good or bad way.

I have found that some chapters in our lives are longer than others. And, some are a lot shorter. In both there is a good and bad. There is excitement in some and sadness in others. In totality, we find ourselves being shaped and molded not only due to the choices and decisions we make but we are also molded by the actions and the love of others.

When a willing participant in my life has exited my narrative, I’ve always taken time to understand their impact, good or bad, and how I can use that going forward. When a kindred soul leaves my life, I am heartbroken that I cannot be directly a part of their ongoing story. It doesn’t happen often as the aforementioned trust and care can only be given to those whom we believe share in some of the same goals and same dreams that we do.

I am always hopeful that when someone exits that it is not permanent. Sometimes we want that and need that. But, most of the time, if we have attained the skill of building relationships we find ways to stay connected and a part of someone’s life that we have fallen in love with as a kindred soul.

Perhaps, when the chapters are written and the story is being told, we will see and learn that more often than we realize we are going with others than we are coming from our past. If we so choose and desire we can keep those lives a part of our story and us a part of theirs.

We can share in their celebrations and mourn in their losses. We can be eternally connected souls whose hopeful, final fate is of the utmost joy and celebration. In sharing this journey and having others join us and us them, we see the cornucopia of God's love and grace enacted fully before our eyes. It’s the grace that others give us — in their acts of love and in their character of support — that we know the love of God is not only real but around us and active every day of our lives.

C.S. Lewis once wrote that we can choose to keep our hearts locked up, stored away, and unavailable to anything that might affect it or cause us any pain. He contended that in doing so, our hearts would change regardless of such safeguards.

If we are to fully know and appreciate our God-given life, we have to be able to appreciate the lives of others who have been entrusted to us, and us to them. In doing so, we can always be assured that they will be going with us no matter where the journey or the road may take us.

And, we can be assured, that through this form of God’s grace we will have an eternal home with those whom we love.

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