Why Was I Placed In Your Life?

 Sunset In Mackinaw City, MI - Photo by Todd Sechel

Sunset In Mackinaw City, MI - Photo by Todd Sechel

Have you ever met someone and felt that person was placed in your life for some profound but unknown reason?  Do you ever look back at events and clearly see the impact a person made on your life?  I’ve often thought about events, lessons learned, and growth I’ve experienced because of people in my life.  When I meet people I often find myself wondering why they were placed in my life.

Another set of questions... Do you think about your purpose and how you are meant to serve the world? Do you want to use your greatest gifts and passions to make an impact and sometimes wonder how? I think a lot about how I am meant to serve the world and vividly remember a day when I had powerful mind shift that now guides me…

I was thinking about the many people I know… how much I care for them… how much I want to use my passions and gifts to help them. What am I meant to do for them? Why was I placed in their lives? It hit me! To really serve and make an impact I need to approach connections with others considering the impact I am supposed to make in their lives, not why they were placed in my life!

This was a big ah-ha moment for me… I love connecting with and impacting others in positive ways. However, I wasn’t being purposeful… I’m sure there were many times when I missed opportunities to serve because I wasn’t focused. And, there were other times when I was more focused on me…

Following my realization, I thought very differently about my connections with others. I started to observe how things change when I am purposeful… needs naturally reveal themselves and I find all kinds of ways I can serve. Reflecting on my observations, I found some themes…

·      Love and kindness… a genuine smile can make someone’s day

·      Empathize… listen and feel together… through this we understand the work that’s needed

·      Teach, challenge, and stimulate growth… this goes both ways… sometimes we are meant to be the teacher and sometimes we need to let another person teach us

·      Share compassion and generosity… give and thankfully receive without expectations or conditions

The key is to take the emphasis off of ourselves and what we get, and to place the emphasis on what we can give.  This doesn’t mean that others can’t help us or make profound impacts on our lives… sometimes what another person needs from us is our openness to them, what they have to teach us, the love they have to give, or the generosity they feel compelled to impart. 

We live in a world where we’ve been told to “look out for #1” and to make sure we understand “what’s in it for me”.  This means that some people may not be open to playing along just yet.  The smile may be as far as we get, but that smile may spark a thought that someone does care.  Or, perhaps we won’t see reciprocation right away.  We have to remember that what we get isn’t the point…

If we’re truly asking why we were placed in another person’s life our work will have an impact.  Through the experience we will also learn and grow… no doubt there will be a reason the person was placed in our lives too!