It’s OK to leave things because you’re just done with them. It doesn’t have to mean you leave for something bigger and better. What if you do “smaller” things better and that was the thing?
Leaving something – a relationship, a job, a faded opportunity – for many of us equates to failure. And, because we don’t like to fail, when faced with the prospect of leaving, we double down, pour more time and energy into said relationship, job, or opportunity in a wild attempt to make it work, somehow, so we don’t have to admit failure and can sing the praises to everyone of our “turnaround” success. Which works some of the time. The way to that type of success, though, is often littered with a depleted mind, body, and spirit, and a sense that it wasn’t really worth it, more about our ego or saving face than anything.
To account for the pain of leaving something, we try our damnedest to put something in place that replaces the thing we’re leaving in a bigger and better way. We want to prove to ourselves that we didn’t fail and that we are still successful, still making progress, and that the thing we’re leaving wasn’t that big of a deal. See: look at the big job I landed! or the amazing new partner I’m with! or the beautiful house I bought! And, to top it all off, check out how sweet my ass looks in these jeans-I-can-barely-afford!
All of this is well and good, and yet: did we go for those things because the timing and circumstances were right and we felt it was the right direction to go? If yes, awesomeness! If not, it’s on us to get clear on the “why” behind it and do our best to acknowledge and go from that more honest place, wherever – and whatever – it is.
If we pursue things as a response to failure – or the perception of failure – we ignore our inner knowing which sometimes tells us to go or leave something just because it’s time. Simple as that. There is no hard-and-fast reason, no villain, and no failure…just the simple fact that we’re done and it’s time to move on. Which is so very healthy for us to do because it means we are living on our terms and setting our own context, yet we doubt the simplicity of the gesture because we’re used to lining up the next bigger, better, faster in our attempt to assuage our guilt and sadness at having to go. We are attached to the thing and averse to change, so we tighten our grip or put something else in place to compensate instead of leaning in and listening.
Now, let’s be clear: sometimes the right path is to reach for something bigger than where we currently are. Many of us limit ourselves and play small in order to keep stability, comfort, and routines in place, in which case, all the more reason to listen if we get the intuition nudge to make a change. This is where faith and discernment are important because when those moments and opportunities come, we are empowered to be decisive and go for the things that we believe will help us grow, learn, and become more of who we are. This is where things like healthy boundaries and the ability to say “no” help us mightily because it keeps us calibrated within.
As for the smaller things? Well…they are what get you through all of this. The early morning snuggles with your son on the couch, the aromatic cup of coffee enjoyed in quiet before the rest of the house wakes up, classical music in the background while you read in your pink chair, being back on your yoga mat – in studio – and weeping because you’re so happy to be back (that’s a big one, actually), listening to the waves of the ocean from the video your friend sent, vowing to dip your toes into that vast expanse of water as soon as all this shit is over. Things like that get you through and give you the courage and resolve you need to leave because you’re simply done.