When I leave a job or lose a lover, one of the most painful phases for me is meeting the person who'll be taking my place.
Are they smarter? Prettier? Kinder? Will they give all the things I couldn't and do the things I wouldn't? Will they have a knack for analytics or would they never get anxious like I did?
It sucks being kicked off someone's pedestal. But being replaced and watching someone else be enthroned? Brutal.
But the truth is...
We are all replaceable yet irreplaceable.
Embracing both our replaceability and irreplaceability is key to moving forward without bitter feelings.
The harsh reality is anyone could take your place—as an employee, partner, friend. And embracing this shreds our sense of entitlement, pushing us to take responsibility for ourselves and give our best knowing that we could lose what we have—may it be a job, friendship, or a loved one.
A comforting truth is no one else can be you—the good, the bad, the pretty, and the ugly side of you. They may find somebody else to do the job or be "The One," someone new may take your position—but not your identity. They will come in with their uniqueness, but this doesn't erase nor cancel out yours. They'll be special, in their own way. Just as you are special on your own merit.