A wise person once told me that in order for something to return you need to let go first. During our journey of life we will face many situations where we need to make a decision. The decision about hanging on to something or letting it go. Sometimes it’s easier, sometimes it’s bloody hard.
I’ve been through a couple of those moments of having to let go of things. Probably as most of you too. Relationships, friendships, places, objects, you name it. The entire process of growing up is all about leaving things behind.Think about it: You are a child, growing up, leaving behind your innocence bit by bit. Your life changes so massively from being a child to being an adult. While as a child you basically have no responsibilities besides being you, learning and growing, you take on an entirely different “world” when you become an adult.
Responsibilities grow as much as you do and before you even know it you work and then one day become a parent. On the way there you might have left behind some broken hearts, who knows… Again another step of leaving something behind in a way in order to gain something new. Over are the days you could just focus on being you and living your life. Suddenly you are in charge of looking after your child, making sure you provide your child with the best possible life you can. And all while you pay the bills, clean, cook and so on.
Before you can get properly used to this your kids will move out. Over are your days looking after your hatchlings, they left the nest. What you have left are the memories of them speeding through your home in their diapers. Soon they will visit you with their kids and then, one day, you will realize that your time has come and you are about to leave this world. You will look back to all that you have hopefully left behind. Memories for your children to tell their kids, maybe some good advice and hopefully a loving feeling whenever someone thinks of you.
Recently I thought a lot about what we will leave behind. What I left behind so far where I will be on that one day and what my thoughts might be then.
As someone who has moved from one side of the world to the other I have literally left things behind. There was obviously only that much I could pack in “my bag” and carry along. Places I loved to visit on a regular base where left behind and a lot of our belongings were distributed among new owners. I knew back then that the life I lived up until that point would no longer be the live I would life in the new country.
“The things we leave behind — buildings, people, experiences — rarely disappear altogether. When we look back, we find ruins. Remnants. Echoes.” – Michelle W.
I guess when we leave something behind we always leave a little piece of ourselves back too. This is why the step on our latter through life will echo forever in our mind. We will never forget where we were, from where we come from and how we moved forward.
I left friends back in Switzerland. Friendships I was hoping they would last but didn’t. Friendships I was certain would stay the same and did. And Friendships I thought would not get stronger but did no matter the distance. As I said, when you leave you always leave a piece of you behind but you also take a piece of everything you leave with you. No matter if it is about a friendship, a relationship, a pet, a place, maybe even an object.
There are so many thoughts rushing through my mind in regards to this post and in regards to things that are left behind.
See, I believe that we encounter those people who will teach us something. Whatever it is, good or bad. We will eventually figure it out. Every encounter will leave us with a “tool” for our journey forward. So in this sense we leave behind what we were able to use and maybe incorporate in our life. “Use” sounds a bit negative, right? I don’t mean it in a negative way.
When we go on a trip and we experience the world, new traditions, new places, different languages, different food, we take something away from it. If we are open enough we will be able to use this experiment in the future. Same with people.
I just read a fantastic one liner on Space, Time And Raspberries. It’s something someone said to the blogger on a reunion and I think fits this post perfectly well:
“Old friends remember us in ways new friends can never know us.”
You know why this is the case? Because of all the encounters we had. The way we got shaped by them. The people we met, the places we went, the experiences we made, the things we lost, the things we found and most of all the things we left behind.
If we don’t learn from everything and everyone we encounter during our life, if we do not take anything on board we will rush through our time on this planet in a very blind, ignorant and self-centered way. And I truly wonder if people who do life their live only focused on themselves will ever truly evolve.
This post is a little bit all over the shop… I still hope it leaves something behind for you to ponder about…
Inspired by the Daily Post Discover Challenge – The Things We Leave Behind