Sunday, March 25, 2012

Helpful Hints for Hopeful Heroes

I was reminded last night of a few things I shouldn't have forgotten.

One, don't look back. Because when you do, you will find that all that same crap that you walked away from is still right there, plus it brings up all of your old wishes to be heard, be understood, to resolve the unresolvable, and not have people persist in choosing not to frame what you have shared in an honest way. You have already put all of that to rest, so why go back and find that you have to wrestle with it all over again?  It's over.  Some people will not understand you.  I will not be able to understand some people.  Each of us is more connected to our own perspective than anything else. Fair enough.  Some relationships do not work, are not healthy, and are not meant to continue.  When you cannot remember all of the reasons why, at least remember that you had good reasons, and don't look back.  I can't help but think that the whole turning-into-a-pillar-of-salt thing is metaphorical for something...

Two, we are who we are.  Not a lot changes.  Ridiculous people generally remain ridiculous.  Jerky people tend to remain jerks.  Abusers will continue to abuse.  Past behavior is a great predictor of future behavior, my wise mother recently noted.

I used to try to hang in there with relationships both because of love and principle.  People are valuable.  Relationships are precious.  Continuity is rare and important.  However, I have learned that sometimes things just can't be fixed, and perspectives are so far apart that a healthy middle ground cannot be found.  Sometimes the pain of the other person is just too wearying, and you have to say "No more" in order to protect yourself and be able to keep the rest of your life running.

I have learned that, aside from having to let go of a past ideal, my decisions to say no to harmful or even disappointing or exhausting relationships have been good decisions for me and my family.  I don't have a single regret in that department so far.  I have gotten stronger and wiser in being able to see things clearly, and have flexed my muscles that have allowed me to walk away and choose to allow myself to be healthy and stop subjecting myself to problems that won't be solved.

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