The last few weeks have been full of farewell gatherings – special times to say good-bye after 17+ years here in Mexico. People attended that I met on our arrival here and others who have only recently come into my life. So many different personalities, abilities, and shared activities that have shaped my experience.
A bit of reflection caused me to remember something I learned a long time ago about the different people who pass through our lives… here is my version of a few of them:
VTP (very treasured people)
These people are one-of-a-kind-awesome. Family. Close friends. Mentors. Encouragers. These are the ones who I miss when I’m not with them, whose e-mail I open immediately when it comes through, whose call I run to take. These are the ones that really care about me; they are well aware that I’m not perfect, but they accept me, forgive me, love me, pray for me, and believe in me. In most cases, this relationship is reciprocal – I am also a VTP for them. This is an elite group, and these very treasured people are the ones that have caused my eyes to overfill with tears and who I have hugged tightly because I don’t want to ever let go.
VIP (very important people)
I may not be as close with these people, but they are still special to me. I always enjoy being with them; I love hearing about their lives and families; I often wish we could get more time together. These people are givers, not takers. They add to my life. They are dreamers, learners, doers. They motivate me by their hearts and their actions. They are positive, authentic and growing. They have challenged my opinions; bettered my ideas; confronted me, and worked out our conflicts face to face. Very important people put a smile on my face when we are together, and I look forward to being with them again. I am grateful to have so many of these people in my life. My life is rich because of them.
VDP (very draining people)
I wish this was not a category, but VDP’s are part of my life too. Thankfully, they are not a big group. Some of these people are basically “nice; they just happen to be “needy”… takers instead of givers. They only seek me out when they want something from me. On the other hand, some of these people are not so nice… they are negative, critical, and usually complaining about something. They talk behind my back rather than clarify with me; they criticize instead of helping; they have hurt those I care about. These have worn me down and worn me out. These are the ones who offer the superficial, obligatory handshake or kiss on the cheek, but hardly make eye contact. I honestly won’t miss them…
Each person who touches my life helps form my character, as I do for others. The VDP’s (very draining people) in my life have actually taught me important lessons about finding my true identity, setting up helpful boundaries, and what I don’t want to do to others. I need to limit the amount of time I spend with people who drain me. Mark Twain said, “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” I hope and pray, as I learn and grow, that I will appear very infrequently on others’ VDP lists.
On the other hand, I would like to be a VIP (very important people) for many – I want to add to their life: a hug, a laugh, a resource, a listening ear… and I consider it an incredible blessing to be a VTP (very treasured people) for a few. I need to make sure I get lots of time with these people!
How about you? Do you know who are the VTP, VIP, and VDP in your life? Are you getting the right amount of time with each group? … And who are you for others?