My son and I recently watched a Tyler Perry movie where his beloved character, Medea, shares some thoughtful advice with a family member about the roles people play in our lives and it goes as follows:
“Some people are meant to come into your life for a lifetime, some for only a season and you got to know which is which. And you’re always messing up when you mix those seasonal people up with lifetime expectations.
I put everybody that comes into my life in the category of a tree. Some people are like leaves on a tree. When the wind blows, they’re over there… wind blow that way they over here… they’re unstable. When the seasons change they wither and die, they’re gone. That’s alright. Most people are like that, they’re not there to do anything but take from the tree and give shade every now and then. That’s all they can do. But don’t get mad at people like that, that’s who they are. That’s all they were put on this earth to be. A leaf.
Some people are like a branch on that tree. You have to be careful with those branches too, ‘cause they’ll fool you. They’ll make you think they’re a good friend and they’re real strong but the minute you step out there on them, they’ll break and leave you high and dry.
But if you find two or three people in your life that’s like the roots at the bottom of that tree you are blessed. Those are the kind of people that aren’t going nowhere. They aren’t worried about being seen, nobody has to know that they know you, they don’t have to know what they’re doing for you but if those roots weren’t there, that tree couldn’t live.
A tree could have a hundred million branches but it only takes a few roots down at the bottom to make sure that tree gets everything it needs. When you get some roots, hold on to them but the rest of it… just let it go. Let folks go.”
This analogy struck a chord deep within me. There are so many relationships we will have during the course of our life. We all have had people that we have been in love with or had supposed best-friends who have already come and gone. (In fact, I had one particular friend years ago who I would have expected to do my eulogy and we haven’t spoken in years!)
There are people who come in and out of your life and it hurts to go through the process, but the truth of it is you have to let it go. There are more people you will meet; some who will only turn out to be leaves and branches, but always remember to cherish those who are your roots. These are the people who truly know you through and through; it could be a family member, a grade school friend, even a high school sweetheart, but if you can count on one hand the number of friends who are like “roots” then take comfort in the fact that you are truly blessed in life.