Waste of Time or Lesson Learned?

5 08 2010

“So I call it a lesson learned, my soul has returned. So I call it a lesson learned; another lesson learned.” ~ Alicia Keys

There’s times in your life when you look back on relationships in your past and wonder if it was a waste of your time or not. I tend to try to take everything as a lesson learned, but sometimes even I admit that I’m tempted to be like, “you know what? I wish I had never met him. Screw those lessons. They weren’t that necessary to learn, anyway.”

I know I’m not alone…

And in case you think I’m talking about some long ago situation where I eventually saw the light and can honestly tell you it wasn’t a waste of my time now – let me tell you, that ain’t it. Not two weeks ago, I was telling Pimp C how I felt like I wasted six years of my life, but not just six years with one person – six years with two. So I wasted TWELVE years of my life! (okay, that’s a bit dramatic, but it’s how I felt. Sue me.) But luckily, I was perusing the blogosphere and read this line on a friend’s blog post recently – “Sometimes the one who hurts you the most but moves you closer to GOD is your friend.” Interesting concept.

Now, I’m definitely of the belief that everything happens for a reason and people come into your life for a reason, a season, and a lifetime. But to call them your friend? I had to marinate on that one for awhile. And when I did, I got what he meant – that the person may not be your friend in that you call him up and talk to him about what’s going on in your life and delve into deep, dark secrets… BUT if that situation moved you closer to God, then they fulfilled a good purpose in your life (whether the manifestation of that was a hurtful one or not).

Taking that idea a step further, it brings new meaning to the question of whether the time you spent with someone was a waste or should be taken as a lesson learned. The fact is, if you believe in my friend’s belief, then that necessarily means that even the most hurtful or potentially wasteful situation can be turned into a lesson learned/ a good thing simply by using it to bring you closer to God and grow in your purpose.

That’s something that I may take with me as I continue to move forward. Anytime I start to question whether I wasted my time or wasted my energy on something or someone, I’m going to remind myself what my friend said. And then it can only be a waste of time if I let it be. What do you all think? I know that may seem easier said than done, but is it realistic to follow that belief? And even more importantly, do you agree with his concept?




9 responses

9 08 2010

Of course I believe in that concept. Just remember that relationships have a direction, an assignment, and a deadline. You don’t know what someone’s purpose in your life is, but they will either hinder you or help you in your journey. If it took you six years to realize what they were doing to you, that’s fine, that was the deadline. You learn from all the mistakes and try not to make them again.

9 08 2010

Thanks V.I.P. Great insight!

21 01 2011
What’s YOUR dating philosophy? « Choices, Voices, and Sole

[…] you have to force yourself to date multiple people just so that you don’t feel like you wasted your time in a relationship if it happens to go […]

25 08 2012
Lisa (@Lisapatb)

I would always a lesson learned 🙂

25 08 2012

Thanks for commenting, Lisa! I tend to believe we should always look to things in our past for lessons learned as well now.

26 08 2012
Victoria (@itsgreattoBE)

I think your concept applies to a lot of situations… I’ve been married for almost 19 years to my husband. We met when I was 16 and have been together ever since. He is truly my best friend in life. I can always count on him “having my back” in every situation. For me, starting my own business and not seeing it grow to the expectation I had at this point is where I need to figure out, what am I supposed to be learning from this? I believe God used this event in my life to move me to the purpose I can do the most good. So I keep myself open to paths I find, and don’t become upset about the one I wished I was on. So you can say I agree with your friend… find the silver lining. The best to you! Glad to have connected from Chasing Joy FBF

27 08 2012

Victoria – that’s an awesome way to look at it. Funny enough, while I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason and for the betterment of us, I think we can all agree that sometimes it’s really hard to put that belief into action when we’re in the midst of a situation (whether that’s in a relationship, in our careers, or other). True faith is about doing what you’re doing right now – continuing to move on the path you feel you’ve been called to even when it doesn’t seem like it’s going the way you want it to currently.

Thanks so much for commenting and so glad to have you join me over here from the Chasing Joy FBF!

27 08 2012
Gillian Stephen (@Gillian_Stephen)

Hi, I believe as you do that everyone comes into your life for a reason, that you learn from every relationship and each one gets you closer to what you want. It’s painful now but you will get past this and who knows, maybe the next person who walks into your life might be that special someone who you can conect with on all important levels. Good luck!

27 08 2012

Thanks Gillian! I totally agree with everything you said. When I initially wrote this post, I was questioning some of that stuff because it was soon after ending a really long back and forth relationship. But as the song says, “I can see clearly now the rain is gone” lolol

Still waiting on that person that connects on all important levels though. But in the meantime, I have fun dating and figuring out what I like and don’t like 🙂

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