Knowing When To Let Go
by Tera Warner
It’s a matter of fact that sometimes, in spite of our most valiant efforts, relationships fall apart and we are left sitting in a rubble of tears and broken heart. Sometimes it happens to us, and sometimes we’re the ones who have to make the decision and move on.
But that can be a tough decision to make, so how are you supposed to do it? There are a few clues, a few cues, a few important things to know before you decided to jump ship on any of your relationships in life.
1. Before you run, check your pockets! Any frogs?
Rarely if ever is simply cutting ties with a person the appropriate or healthy thing to do. Not only that, but often, your desire to run and avoid could be an indication that you’ve got a frog in your pocket that you’re not talking about.
It’s really hard to look a person in the eye after we’ve done things to cause them harm. So the first thing I’d like you to know is that if you’re getting the feeling you’d like to run, cut the ropes, jump ship never to return again…
…sit down. There’s something you need to look carefully at, so get out a pen and paper.
And start taking precise inventory on the things you’ve done, or failed to do, that might have caused a problem for this individual. Think of all the things that you would not have wanted to happen to you. Be precise. List when it happened, the situation and conditions and environment and details around it.
Anything you avoid, will persist. Anything you fail to look in the eyes, is gonna come back to stare you down. If you’ve done or failed to do anything to create a problem, liberate yourself from that burden so you can see clearly before you make any decisions.
If you started out with a high degree of admiration for a person, if you liked them once, then what happened along the way to cause that to change? It’s easy to see what they’ve done to you, but what have YOU done (or failed to do) to them to create problems that you’re not willing to look at.
2. Take off your halo, please.
I don’t know if you’ve been catching my regular newsletters about the fact that there’s a new man on the scene in Teraville. Well, this has already introduced a few little firecrackers into my personal situation and the kids have taken notice.
EVERYONE has crap. EVERYONE. And as righteous as we’d like to think we are, the more we’re pointing our fingers at others, the less we’re taking responsibility for our own part of the equation and there is always something we can do about any situation, no matter what!
The other day, my mustang man lost his patience with the kids. Not to them necessarily, but to me in writing, and my daughter Mika caught wind of this because she saw and read the email with some “not so nice” things in it.
Well, if you know Mika, she’s not gonna take guff from anyone!
Yesterday I was talking to her about a conversation I had with Mustang Man and told her that he’d had some realizations about how being around our wild and crazy crew the other day, when he was tired and had had a difficult day, triggered some old stuff in him and he just wasn’t himself.
As I was explaining this to Mika, she said, “Yeah, well I still want him to sit down with me and take responsibility for what he said, because I don’t appreciate that and it didn’t make me feel good. He better have an apology for me.”
“I hear that, Mika. You’re completely entitled to feel the way you do, and you can be upset if you want to.”
“And since I’m your mother, I’d like to just offer an idea and you see how it fits in your world. Sometimes we get angry at a person for the things they’ve done to us without recognizing that somewhere along the line of time we’ve done something just like what they’re doing, but we did it to someone else.
You can be mad, Mika. But before you decide anything, maybe you can just take a peek at your relationships, and the people you’ve known and the ways that you’ve treated them and just see if you can spot any moments where you did something close to what he did. Because if you can, Mika, then something is going to happen.
You’re going to really understand in a moment how much it hurt someone else when you did that. Then you’re going to understand that crap happens sometimes. That even you, when you were tired, frustrated, triggered, etc. did the same thing. So you’re going to understand more what he was feeling when he lost his patience.
Then you’re probably not going to feel as mad inside, but you’ll feel something more like compassion and understanding.
And I’m not trying to take away your right to be upset, because you can certainly still be upset, and you can totally sit down and let him know how you feel and what you expect and need and want in communication. The only thing I’m trying to do is free you from your own feelings of upset or feeling ‘done to’ because that’s not a very powerful, uplifting place to be.”
She understood and was knowingly smiling at me after that.
Now… all that being said, sometimes, in spite of all your best efforts, it’s still time to let go, move on and cut the strings.