And then have the courage to do it.
Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash
I?m no quitter.
If only because I?m so stubborn, I can?t imagine a scenario too tough or another person so difficult that it makes me want to give up.
I hate giving up.
Because I like to win. And ?winners never quit, and quitters never win.?
But as I?ve gone through my twenties, I?ve learned ? you?re never going to win them all.
And sometimes, letting go and walking away is how you do win.
When to walk away
Whether it?s a job, a relationship, a friendship ? walk away from things that no longer serve you or positively contribute to your life.
That?s not to say that you should immediately abandon a meaningful relationship when the road gets rocky. But it?s okay to choose to walk away ? if you gave it your all, and even if you didn?t.
One of my favorite quotes comes from H. Havelock Ellis:
?All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.?
Of knowing when to walk away, and when to keep fighting.
Knowing when to walk away starts with acknowledging your self-worth.
You know how you deserve to be treated. You know what kinds of situations you want to be in and people you want to surround yourself with.
You know exactly how unique, intelligent, special, and wonderful you are ? and you deserve to be in an environment that makes you feel this way, surrounded by people who cherish you.
Knowing when to walk away starts with realizing those things, and refusing to accept anything less than your own standards.
You have every right to make whatever choice is healthiest for you. It doesn?t make you a lesser person. It means you chose what was best for you, over what someone else wanted to take from you.
It means you valued your own self-worth more than the potential of whatever situation you were in. It means that you were strong enough to realize you deserve better.
It means you were strong enough to choose yourself, instead of sacrificing your happiness for the sake of someone or something else that would never do the same for you.
Walking away is not the same as giving up
Walking away does not mean you are weak.
Walking away is an attribute of the strong, because of the sheer difficulty of it and the willpower it entails.
Don?t let anyone else dull your shine. Don?t let anyone or anything else make you feel like anything less than a million bucks. You deserve to be surrounded by people who uplift you and make you glow, and who make you want to return the favor.
Everyone deserves to be happy ? and ?being happy? is entirely within your own control.
You create the environment you live in. You choose the people you surround yourself with. You choose to be happy, or not. And if you?re not happy, you can choose to walk away, or make the necessary changes.
You have to know when it?s time to let go, and when to hold on.
It?s all in your hands.
How to move on
Not everything is about you. Which also means, not every bad thing that happens is your fault.
When something goes wrong in a situation or a relationship, not everything happened because you did something wrong, or you did anything at all. We live in a world of chaos. Things just happen sometimes. Shit happens.
This is something existentially important I learned in therapy. I was experiencing depression as the result of a traumatic breakup that I could not move on from. I was trapped in a vicious cycle of self-critical over-analysis. I needed permission to forgive myself, to absolve myself of the blame, so that I could let go of my breakup.
It took an objective third party observer (my therapist) relaying the situation to me to make me realize that I had not done anything wrong, and that the breakup was not my fault, and was honestly probably inevitable.
Once I realized that my breakup was not the result of some fundamental flaw in my character and was more because of ?shit just goes wrong sometimes,? I was able to drag myself out of my mental trench I had been drowning in, to rejoin the land of the living.
I was able to walk away from my ocean of grief and self-loathing, with a backpack full of heavy lessons learned.
Mentally and emotionally free yourself from whatever the situation is that no longer serves you. Don?t remain tethered to people or things that suck out your soul.
It all starts with knowing that you deserve better, and giving yourself permission to pursue it.