“Treat people well. The world is small.”

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I have run into so many people from my past these last two months that I knew there had to be some lesson I was missing. I thought about it, stewed over it, and tried to come to an answer. Finally, I Googled lessons learned from past friendships. And I came across this quote in one of those Medium listicle pieces:

“Treat people well. The world is small.”

There you have it. A reminder that how you act and how you treat others is bound to return to you. I have been fortunate because all of these encounters have been pleasant. But it got me thinking about how I usually exit relationships.

I have shared on this website and blog how I value being independent but when I choose to love, I love hard. I describe myself as a fiercely loyal friend. I don’t do the casual acquaintance thing. Though when these friendships don’t work out that means it cuts me a little deeper.

I have had many good friends who over the years I cut from my life because of a misunderstanding or a petty feud. I can’t defend these actions because they are petty. As I think about treating people well, I know I have failed at times.

This has created a new intention for me: as much as I work to forgive others, I hope they can forgive me, and I first have to forgive myself. We are not perfect beings. Our emotions drive us to do strange things without understanding the consequences. You do your best to make amends but then you have to let yourself off the hook. Accept that you have learned all you can from that relationship and move forward.