Since its two days until Thanksgiving, I figured I needed to find a message that expressed the sentiment of the season. My musing led me to recall a profound e-mail I'd received from my aunt a few days earlier. It said:
People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it, it is real. But only for a season!
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.
When I reflect on the message contained within these words I can't help but think of my friends...and not just any plain old friends. I'm talking about my writing friends. Over the years I've been in RWA I've delighted in meeting other women (and a few men) who share my passion for love, romance and making the best darn Happily Ever After. We are a special breed, especially those of us who venture into the unknown worlds of the paranormal, futuristic and fantasy realms. Eventhough we deal with societies and characters that exist originally in our sometimes overactive imaginations, we still have to get them on the page. And that is where people you've met can be grouped into a reason, a season or a lifetime.
I still recall the first paid workshop I attended at my local RWA chapter in Raleigh. It was Deb Dixon's GMC and Hero's Journey jam-packed into a single day. While there, I was given the fundamentals for Goal, Motivation and Conflict which provides a skeleton for every book I could ever create. I don't think I have to tell any of the writers out there, but this was a lesson that will last throughout my lifetime of writing.
RWA Nationals is the season that comes once a year. I was lucky enough to attend this year in Atlanta, and have never felt so welcome by a large group of strangers. As a mousy, shy introvert, Nationals had me sweating bullets. My pink First Sale ribbon was like Willy Wonka's Golden Ticket. It drew stares, questions, and congratulations that made me beam, even while descending floor-by-floor in an elevator packed sardine-tight with writers eager to get to the next event.
And as of late, I have been inundated by encouragement, advice and commiseration from my friends for a reason. I never expected that the bad news about TIES OF VALOR being pulled from Triskelion's publishing schedule would illicit such a response. And I was honestly surprised that so many people cared about me. Every one of those compassionate e-mails and posts gave me the heart not to give in to tears and not to give up on my dream which is still in my hands to achieve.
So today, lend someone a sympathetic ear, give somebody your honest opinion to help with a problem or just sit beside someone for support. You never know how far or how long one simple action will resonate.