I was recently tagged on facebook, by someone who knows me extremely well, with a quote, which read as follows:
“There’s a point in your life when you get tired of trying to fix everything and trying to make everyone happy. When you decide to finally quit, it is not giving up. It’s realizing you don’t need certain people and the BS they bring to your life.”
Ok, so now that I have your attention, how would one interpret this?
Is it alright to let things be and give up relationships, which are no longer fulfilling for us?
In my opinion, absolutely.
Relationships need effort and nurturing from both sides to survive. This does not mean that the level of effort to maintain it is always balanced. But, there needs to be at least minimal effort from both sides if the relationship is going to be a long term one. It is unrealistic to force relationships that are no longer working naturally, or if you realize they were never really working well in the first place.
People come in and out of our lives for so many different reasons. I am a true believer that we cross paths with people in order to learn something from them. Even if the interaction is brief, we crossed paths for a reason. This does not mean that every relationship or friendship we have is meant to be long term.
As we grow and mature, we get to a point in our lives when we realize that life is complicated. The world can be a scary place. We hope to surround ourselves with people who are in our corner, who support us, and who are there for us in times of need. Being surrounded with a posse the way we always craved in high school is no longer a motivating factor. And in times of crisis, when we really need to call on these relationships, we learn very quickly who our real supporters are, and cleanse ourselves of those that are holding us back. This does not imply that there was a confrontation of any sort. The relationship has merely taken its course, and it is time to let it go.
So what about all the emotions that go along with letting the relationship go?
All this being said, I realize that it is all easier said than done. In fact, being able to let go emotionally is a process, which often requires loads of time, space, and the opportunity for grieving.
It is especially tough when the relationships that are ending have been long-term friendships, intimate relationships, or those with family members. Or those which have not provided us with any sort of closure. These can be especially painful and the emotions that they bring forth should not be dismissed.
One of the first steps toward healing is being able to adjust our expectations as the relationship changes. A lowered expectation is equated with fewer feelings getting hurt in the process. This is particularly relevant when it comes to family, as it is not always possible to cut all ties. However, we are in control of the amount of support we seek and the amount of energy we are prepared to give back.
Whichever road we choose, and whichever path we choose to get there, we must remember that we are in charge of our own decisions, destinies and our own emotions, as we know what is best for us. And try not to let anyone else tell you otherwise.
Photo: © Anatoly Tiplyashin | Dreamstime.com
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