People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. 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. Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They may 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; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people (anyway); 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.

For those who made 2012 worthwhile

So much has happened in 2012 and it’s not over yet. It’s going to be one of those years when I look back 10-20 years from now as a huge turning point in my life.

A while back someone asked me to write about what makes me tick. Intrigued, I pondered how I might answer the question and became completely and totally stumped. I mean, how can one possibly figure out what makes them tick without examining their life from every perspective and without being able to review every memory to ascertain the pivotal moments that molded and shaped their personality, perspective and outlook on life?

Quite the impossible task I concluded.

Most recently, I thought of writing about gratitude.  An easier subject, for sure, but one that has many facets. I became overwhelmed by all the possibilities: should I write about my family and friends, my teachers and professors at school and university, my colleagues? My list could be endless if I considered all the people who have ever touched my life in a positive way!

At that moment, I suddenly realized that it was the people in my life that have made me into the person I am today. What makes me tick is a result of all the experiences and all the lessons I have learned from all the people in my life. And when I say all, I mean all. Not just the ones who interacted with me and created fond memories; all the people I have interacted with, including the frustrating, mean, belligerent, scary, negative, manipulative, soul-crushing and destructive ones.

I need to be grateful for all the people who have touched my life this year.

So why be grateful for those people I don't like and don't care to be around?

The more I think about those people and how they threw roadblocks across my path, made me cry, made me angry, told me I couldn't or wouldn't or shouldn't, the more I realized that I learned to be persistent, defiant, creative, self-confident, courageous, ingenious and rebellious because of their actions. And let's be honest. For this life I am living, where things haven't always gone the way I have planned and where I have faced more than my fair share of challenges, these are the lessons I needed to prepare me to live my life. All these people taught me that I was stronger, more resilient and more capable than I ever imagined.

More elegantly put, in this quote from the movie Mulan, "The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all."

It has taken me decades to appreciate just how rare and beautiful I am between all my struggles. It has also taken decades for me to see and appreciate how deep and how wide my inner strength, courage and passion for life are. While I hold out hope that life's challenges will become fewer as I get older, I nevertheless am more confident than ever that I can survive and thrive despite whatever life throws in my direction.

I have all the people who have touched my life to thank for this. I am very grateful and very fortunate indeed. I truly do have so many blessings to count and be thankful for this .There comes a time, when one realizes that one's accomplishments and unique journey through life have been made richer by the presence of those who have touched one's mind, body, or spirit. Now is the time!

This last year of blogging has taught me so much—about myself, about others, about writing, about life—but there are many times when I feel like maybe I’ve said everything I want to say. More often than not I’ll think, “I should blog about that!” only to realize I wrote up that post just last year. After three years it gets hard to keep churning things out, but the reason I put pressure on myself is simply because I need something — something that makes me feel creative, makes me feel wanted, that connects me to people who feel the same way. True, some days I want to delete it, and maybe someday that will happen. But for now, I still kind of like it and am sticking around for a bit.

And to answer the question I get once in a while, yes, I've thought about doing a book. I think I've defined my voice and perhaps even stepped up my game since I will be coming up with one soon. Anyway, this whole long ramble is to sincerely thank you for your support this past year—not just with the blog and with me as a person. I know readers and blogs come and go, and I am truly thankful for those who are with me today. In my blogging world, every word counts. Every tear, laugh, and bit of wisdom you share makes me a better human being.

Thank you for just being there. (Because often it’s the just being there that matters the most.). God bless you and I love you so much!!

That’s as mushy as I get. Now it’s your turn.