I hate break ups, but some relationships are seasonal. We grow. We develop. We realize what we want, and then we go for it. Seems pretty instinctive.
For those who are like me, some of us hold onto dead things out of a sense of commitment or loyalty. Some of us hold on because of fear of being alone or fear of hurting someone else. While principles are commendable and our desires matter, I am learning that we are not exercising self-love by holding onto relationships that do us more harm than good.
A few things to consider.
- MORE harm than good: Herein lies the delicate balance between active love and being just plain foolish. We would be naive to believe that relationships may not cause us some degree of pain. People are flawed and therefore we hurt one another. Sometimes with our words or even with our silence. But if while in an ongoing relationship, we are finding more negative experiences than positive; more death to our spirit and sense of purpose than growth, then we need to walk away.
- Loving from a Distance?: Admittedly, I don’t like this term. For many people loving from a distance looks more like throwing a person off a cliff and screaming “I love you though” while chuckin’ up the deuces. Boundaries are essential. Boundaries are gates, not walls. So there is always grace and opportunity to return should certain conditions for your safety be met. If you’re anything like me, burned bridges feel like a piece of your flesh has been scorched. And if you are not anything like me, you probably don’t care. But we never know when we’ll need someone we threw off the cliff or better yet, when they may need us.
I think loving from a distance looks more like adjusting expectations and investments (detach) and choosing to be kind, to hope the best, and speak life regarding that person. It’s tough, and it still hurts, but I think hurts less than a cliff fall.
And don’t get me wrong, some bridges need to be burned. For example, pscyho-stalkers (ahem..) or people with abusive habits. But it seems for most of us, the cause of our broken relationships is just good ‘ol pride.
- Love THYself: Some people say, “just love yourself, and that’s all that matters,” but we believe “love yourself, so that you can love others.” It’s okay to feel ourselves every now and then, but we all need grace. We all need truth.
And the truth is, when we attach ourselves to dead things, we start to decay. And if we decay how can we bare any fruit for the people around us who could benefit from our kindness, our positive words. If we give everything to people who take advantage of us, what remains for that one person who needs our patience to grow.
This is why we walk away. Not to hurt someone else. But to heal so that we can heal others. And should life give us an opportunity to reconnect with that person we had to step away from, hopefully we both arrive developed. And if not,it’s okay. We rest in knowing our season is up, but we got nothing but love for them.