Day 356 Question 356:
When is the time to walk away and when is the time to stay?
There comes a time in all of our lives when we get stuck at a crossroads. We have absolutely no idea what direction to head. Do we listen to our head or do we listen to our heart? Unfortunately the head and heart are usually in conflict….on completely opposite ends of the spectrum. I have found that what your head is telling you is usually your logical self that is crunching numbers and weighing all of the pros and cons while your heart is telling you to take a chance…to just dive in because you only live once. I have learned over this past year (and probably longer without even realizing it) that we are so much more than our thoughts…we are our soul and our emotions that make us human.
There is nothing more important in life than finding your happiness and the peace that is within each of us. We will have times of chaos and heartache but it is important that we fight to overcome those things. With that being said, I think it is important that we understand and accept our emotions and once we do that we can see clearly whether we should stay or whether we need to walk away. I have to give you an example because it is so fresh in my mind. I have this acquaintance on Facebook. I know her through a mutual friend but we don’t know much about each other. What I do know is that she spews a lot of her personal life on her Facebook wall for the public to see. For the past year or so, her and her boyfriend have been on the biggest emotional rollercoaster imaginable. They are together and so in love and five minutes later they are broken up and he is the spawn of the devil then ten minutes after that he is so sweet and loving and…well you get the point. Right after New Year’s Eve she went on a long rant about how he is alcohol dependent and how it is over. She went on and on about how he won’t leave her apartment (he is not on the lease) and she has been to the police and they said they can’t do anything because she has been letting him stay there. I immediately felt like that was an excuse on her part but who knows??? She went back and forth with friends about the situation (yes in a public venue) and what got me all caught up was that she said she loves him with all of her heart but she doesn’t love how he treats her. I couldn’t wrap my brain around it. This is a man that is more or less abusive that has proven that she is not a priority in his life and he sucks the happiness from her but she loves him. I know people will say you can’t help who you love but my question is, what is there to love? This (in my opinion) is not love but instead it is need…it is the need to not be alone. It is the need to feel wanted…even if it comes sporadically. I may not be in love at the moment but I undoubtedly know what love is and that is not love….that is codependency and loneliness and abuse…..to self and to another person. I can’t tell you how long it took me to figure this out. I can’t tell you how many relationships and dating experiences I had where I compromised all of who I was to make another person happy and never did anything to make myself happy. When it comes to deciding whether to say to go it really is simple (at least it should be)…..it comes down to questioning your own happiness. If you are in a relationship of any kind and you find that happiness comes few and far between then it might be time to let go.
I have an adopted sister that I have not seen or spoken to in almost 7 years. When I say that to people, many tell me that I need to do everything I can to mend the relationship because she is family. I understand where people are coming from but people don’t understand where I have come from in my relationship with her. My sister made it very clear since we were little children that she resented me and that she was never going to like me let alone love me. My sister made my childhood and teen years very difficult because she was mean and very hateful and she caused great strain on our family as a whole. Throughout all of this time I tried…I tried and I tried and I tried. In the back of my mind I kept saying that we are family and one day she will see that I am trying and she will change. That day never came. I finally had to decide whether to have her in my life or not and although she is family I could no longer sacrifice my happiness to try to get her to like me. The time came to walk away because I was never going to be enough for her….or right for her. I didn’t deserve to be treated like that because this is my life and I value my life and happiness more than anything because it is the only thing that is truly mine so if it means letting go of family then it was what needed to be done.
I understand the struggle with deciding when to stay and when to walk away. If we decide to walk away we know what emotions are going to follow and those emotions are never pleasant. This is easier said than done but by allowing those emotions to come we also allow ourselves to see our strengths…even through the heartache we chose to leave because our happiness was being sacrificed or compromised. Our happiness should never be sacrificed just to please others….our happiness should increase because of others. When we find that that is not the case, it may just be time to walk away.