“Walking away has nothing to do with weakness, and everything to do with strength. We walk away not because we want others to realize our worth and value but because we finally realize our own” – Robert Tew
In my last blog post, which was also a submission to the #iamsubject writing project (if you have not read it, you can read it here), I spoke at length about the times in my life where I was faced with situations that resulted in walking away from those things that no longer served me.
If you are like me, you’ve heard this advice before and thought, “What on earth does this really mean?” Walk away from that which no longer serves me. Sure, in concept, when we realize that something is not good for us or we are holding onto beliefs that are not our truth, we should walk away, right? Well it is easy to grasp this idea if we are talking about something like coming upon a bear in the woods while we are hiking. In this case, we will most likely walk away, albeit slowly, because we know that a face-to-face meeting with a bear rarely ends up as a positive experience. Easy concept. The bear poses a threat to our lives and walking away, slowly and thoughtfully, is in our highest good.
Where the concept can be a bit more challenging for me is when there is a heart connection to things in my life that do not serve me. In my case over the past several years, it was a marriage, friendships, my relationship with my children, and my career that fell into this space. While I can write about these changes in a matter of fact way, in the midst of it all, there was nothing matter of fact about any of it. Honestly, I have found that I have a tendency to hold on to things in my life for a very long time; long after I realize that they are not honoring or good for me. I can even fess up to the fact that the Universe has hit me with the proverbial two-by-four on more than one occasion to show me that a situation IN FACT DID NOT serve me any longer.
So, how do you know when it’s time to walk away? I’m not certain that there is a single answer to this question. What is important is that we recognize that it’s time to make a change and then set the wheels in motion to shift the circumstances for the highest good.
I have had a tendency in the past to hang in there, giving every bit of myself to be successful, incorrectly believing that this is what I am supposed to do when I am involved with something or someone. What I have learned is that life does not require us to give our blood, sweat and tears to everything we engage in. In fact, the more we truly understand this, the easier we can ascertain when something is not working for us. I think this understanding is in direct correlation to how much we love, respect and honor ourselves.
Many of us don’t look at hanging in to give every last ounce of ourselves to something, especially something that we are heart connected with, as a bad thing. At times in my life, I would venture to say that I actually carried this personality trait with me like a badge of honor believing that hanging in, sacrificing, and doing it “right” somehow made me a superior person; someone who could look in the mirror at the end of the day and know that I gave everything I could to make it work and if it failed, it wasn’t on me.
As I started to find myself being “forced” to walk away from these different circumstances, I realized that this belief was nothing more than a form of protection and was tied tightly to my subconscious desire to be perfect. My deep-rooted belief was that perfect people are loved. Perfect people don’t give up. They are successful in their relationships, as parents, as employees and in everything they do and say. Oh and how I would berate myself for not being perfect – and surprise, this imperfectness happened a lot!
As I have become more open to the fact that I am not perfect, nor can I BE perfect in all things, at all times, I am opening the door for me to love and honor myself more often. And with this, I find that I am able to recognize and acknowledge, much earlier in the process, when someone or something is not honoring for me. This allows me to walk away from that which does not serve me in a kinder and gentler way, sooner rather than later. And hopefully with less struggle, less self judgement and less carnage in my wake.
Are there situations in your life that do not feel honoring to you? Today, take a few minutes to look at those circumstances and check in to ensure that they are truly serving you. If they are not, are you ready to make a change that will be honoring to you , even if you need to do it slowly and thoughtfully, or will you wait for the Universal two-by-four?
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