Things in our world are crazy. It’s perfectly okay to take a minute, take a breath, take your time. It’s okay, even healthy, to recognize that you need to take time for yourself. Take time to make certain you’re getting what you need, so that you can be there to “take care of business”, take care of your obligations and family. Finding balance in this new landscape is going to take us all some time, be gentle with yourself, and take a minute.
real advice from mom
Go ahead, give it your best shot so you create no regrets; But know when it’s time to let go. The regret of not knowing is quickly overcome by the regret of wasting time and energy on the wrong thing, or the wrong person. Reach out and try, know when to cut your losses – Kenny Rogers sang a song about that.
Someone saw this and commented: I wish I could let go but right now I can’t it’s to hard when you love someone
I totally get that. You have to be ready – I recently ended a relationship I invested a year of my time on, way longer than my friends felt comfortable supporting me. I had to be ready to end things on my own terms, to know that I’d done all I could, and be able to accept that the problem was not fixable from my side.
The thing is that when you’re in that place and you know it’s bad, you really have to be honest about who’s responsible for what and take your share. Owning our own participation in the situation can be empowering, it’s a way to understand that you really do have choice and you really do have control. You may not like your choices – they’re probably not going to change, but you can give yourself time to accept them.
Ultimately, codependent relationships are about feelings of powerlessness and self-esteem. You have to take the empowerment where you can find it, and sometimes you have to rebuild your self-esteem before you can let go.
Joy – such a little word, so much impact. I believe that we should seek out, or create, Joy whenever possible; And, that settling for momentary pleasures, rather than cultivating true moments of Joy, is simply short changing ourselves.
Here’s a list of just 5 things that bring me joy, I have cultivated the list so that when I find myself needing a boost I can create a moment of Joy. Years ago I realized that focusing on negatives didn’t change them, it just brought me down, I was a single mom struggling to work a full-time job and care for aging/ailing parents – I had enough stress I didn’t need to create more. So, I chose to change the way I thought because it was the only thing I could change in the situation, so I worked to teach myself to look for feelings of joy throughout my day. It was really about just being grateful for being alive, and finding joy in living. Like many things in life it takes practice to become a skill that you’re good at and sometimes I forget the habit and have to remind myself to seek joy – I’ve found that it’s totally worth the effort.
If you trap yourself within the rigid bonds of stress, disappointment, dissatisfaction, or unhappiness, you loose opportunities to experience change, growth, and the Joy that is the process of life. Make a choice, free yourself, open yourself up to new ideas, situations, and feelings. Listen to your own heart speak to you.
The known is a prison.
It is the unknown that is the
field of pure potentiality.
– Deepak Chopra
I believe we should strive to seek out Joy every single day. If you make a habit of looking for joy, you’ll begin to experience it more and more. So tell me what brings you Joy?
I know what you’re thinking. I’m a lesbian, there’s a photo of a U-haul… sorry to say, I don’t have a hot date lined up. 😉 What I have is moving advice; and a huge long-distance move to Houston coming up in about 10 weeks that I have to plan, and organize. My last long-distance move in 2008 took me from California to Virginia. That was a piece of cake, I moved with almost nothing and started over.
This move won’t be quite so easy because we’re moving cars and furniture in addition to the “necessary” books, electronics, Christmas, and kitchen stuff we moved last time. Instead of using a trucking company, this time my daughter is driving the moving truck with her cat as co-pilot (I’m not nervous).
Over the years I’ve learned a lot about packing and moving and I thought maybe I could share those things in a series of posts, because good Mom’s share hard earned wisdom.
Moving Advice: Decide what’s worth moving
- I’ve moved 3 times since arriving in Virginia, there are some boxes that have remained packed due to lack a of space in my current apartment. I’ve dug through those boxes and taken things out over the last two years but I wonder if I really need everything that’s still packed?Going through those boxes will save me space on the moving truck (which will be tight) and allow me to declutter before I move to my new home.
- In Virginia we go from freezing wind to sweltering heat over the course of the year, in Houston the coldest it gets is in the 40s, and I’ve been known to shovel snow off my car in a tank top. I know I won’t need my coldest weather jacket and things like that. I can safely start a box for donations and schedule a drop off for that a week before I leave.
- As I pack my books I’d do another gut check to see which ones I can donate or resell. Books are heavy to move, you don’t want to move any that aren’t special to you.
- Ask yourself, what’s useful vs. nice to have? I’ve been in this apartment for almost 2 years, as I go about the next few weeks of living I’m going to make a note of what things in the kitchen are really used vs. what things I haven’t used in 2 years.
- Choose where you donate wisely, there are a lot of “charitable” organizations that aren’t really charitable, I’ll be donating everything I leave behind to Diversity Richmond because they’re such a great local organization.
“To ‘let go’ also means to give up resisting and struggling to hold on to meaningless issues in exchange for powerful and wholesome moments that come our way by allowing and accepting unchangeable realities that come by in our daily lives. Accept ‘what is’, and let go of what was!”
Original Article quoted below:
“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”
There is something important to be learned from the art of ‘letting go’, it is an invitation to relinquish unhealthy attachments to events, ideas, possessions, and minor irritations. No time is better than the present to make a conscious decision to release these negative influences so that, you can enjoy life as it unfolds precious moments each and every day. To ‘let go’ also means to give up resisting and struggling to hold on to meaningless issues in exchange for powerful and wholesome moments that come our way by allowing and accepting unchangeable realities that come by in our daily lives. Accept ‘what is’, and let go of what was!
As we mature and grow wiser, we realize what we need to hold on to and that which we need to leave behind. Walking away from certain situations and painful memories is a step forward. There is so much to be achieved in the short span of our lives, there are so many opportunities we can avail according to our individual capabilities, and this is not possible if we remain paralyzed by all those things we are supposed to let go-Sometimes there are things in our lives that aren’t meant to stay. Sometimes the changes we don’t want are the changes we need, to flourish and grow. Personal growth and change can be uncomfortable sometimes, but nothing in life is as painful as staying stuck where you don’t belong. The hardest part about growing is letting go and moving away from our comfort zones and moving on with something untried and new. True and valuable wisdom lies in accepting what is, letting go of what was and having faith in what could be.
Change happens for a reason, it is never easy, but then nothing worthwhile in life is easy! It is quite hard to let go and move on, but once we do, we feel free from the emotional shackles that were holding us back and we realize very soon it was the best decision we ever made. Our future hopes and happiness should never be defined by our fear-which exists only in our minds. It is a joy to follow our hearts, and a tragedy to let the lies of fear stop us.
There is no such thing as the ‘perfect moment’ for positive changes in our lives, we must let go and dare to seize the most opportune moments and make change happen-life is far too short to simply ruminate endlessly about what ‘should have’ and ‘could have been’-we are not the same people we were a week, a month or a year ago. Humans are forever evolving and growing; life and its’ experiences don’t wait for us to come around to accept them, whether we are absent or present, life goes on with its’ rewarding moments for those who findd the courage to let go of what they could not change or alter.
When we stop expecting life to be perfect, for people to be the best they can be, we are no longer holding ourselves down with things that are out of our control, we have grown and matured enough to appreciate both life and the people in our lives for what and who they are.
Simplify your lives, share your love, caring and compassion generously, communicate honestly and truthfully, stop focusing on how unlucky you are, and remind yourself about how blessed you are, there is always that one other person or many other people who have it so much worse.
I end with these wise words of wisdom from the Sanskirt-“Yesterday is already a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision, but today, well-lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore to this day! such is the salutation of the dawn.
When my children were growing up sometimes, in the Summer months, I’d make a giant multi-banana split for dinner and we’d share that in a giant metal bowl. We’d sit on the floor around the coffee table, spoons in hand, laughing and talking, building an even stronger bond with one another. As teenagers, every six months or so, one of my kids would ask if we could have ice cream for dinner – we’d bring out the bowl, split the banana’s and for a half an hour we’d sit together and just relax into the comfort of our ice cream tradition and reconnect our lives. You see our daily life and the “normal” can be numbing, it can become so repetitious that time can pass without you even realizing it – connections that were once strong become weakened or lost. That includes the connection to your Self you know?
Ice cream for dinner is acceptable.
The simple act of breaking out of the ordinary, doing something a little strange or unexpected, can help you move past mental or emotional blocks, it can help you see things in a new light, or reconnect to the things that are important that you’ve lost touch with. You get to make the rules in your life. Question every single thing you do that’s normal, every thought you have, every action you take – figure out the purpose and figure out if it’s serving you. It’s okay to create a new normal whenever you want, and to recreate it over and over until it really serves you – until it brings you delight and joy.
My kids are grown, and I’m not ashamed to tell you that I still have ice cream for dinner some nights. Nights during periods of time where things are hard, when I feel like I need a recharge… or when I just really want ice cream. And, I know that’s okay because no one is there judging me.#realadvice #icecream for dinner is acceptable! Click To Tweet
This is your only life, and it’s finite – the truth is, that no matter your age, you really have no way of knowing when it’s coming to an end. Life is too precious to spend it on things that don’t enhance the time you have. Don’t hang around people or situations that aren’t right for you, that make you fee uncomfortable, or that cause you unnecessary pain; It’s okay to walk away.
That sounds a little selfish and self-serving, okay… there are lines and here’s two examples but I could create a dozen:
- As a parent you have to spend time parenting, even if your kid sucks. You made that kid, and like it or not, you bear responsibility for their sucky attitude so you can’t just walk away without doing your best to right the wrong, if you can’t right the wrong then you shut down any codependent behavior, only walk away if the relationship becomes abusive.
- You marry a person who you think is amazing, you’ve been married a year or two and you realize that they’re controlling, manipulative, abusive, or that they have some sort of mental disorder that is causing a disruption in your life that you cannot cope with, or maybe they just suck.
Ok, you’re married, you made a commitment, maybe you feel guilt, or maybe you’re battered mentally or physically – leaving an intimate relationship can be very difficult with or without abuse. Take the time to do the work on yourself, work on your own self-esteem, so that you can define the line between healthy & unhealthy, between time well spent and time being wasted, things that are helping and things that are hurting.
Do the work so you can have the strength to make a healthy/clean break and walk away knowing you did what you could.
It’s tough sometimes, throwing in the towel on things or people, because no one wants to be on the wrong side of a life decision. It’s tough to feel like you’re giving up and that you’ve wasted time; Don’t be discouraged…Perseverance is hard work, but you have to know in your soul that it’s worth it. Learn to understand when trying “one more time” is going to bring you that longed for result and when “one more time” is one time too many and to know it’s okay to walk away.
“Don’t be discouraged by a failure, it can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some.”
– John Keats
Related Resources on Walking Away
When to Stay and When to Walk Away – Huffington Post
Why Am I Struggling to Move On After Abuse? from the site Love is Respect.org
Recovery Connection Top Ten Indicators that You Suffer from Codependency
Note: I really found the daily meditations in The Language of Letting Go to be helpful when I began my journey to break free from codependent behaviors.
I’ll admit, I’ve had to do a lot of work to figure some relationship stuff out that’s second nature to other people. I think in trying to be less skeptical, wary, (or judgmental) of people, I may have gone too far and here’s what I’ve learned in the process of trying to have better relationships.
1. It’s okay to be judgemental
It’s totally okay to say “you should only be in a relationship with someone who accepts you for who you are” but there needs to be a caveat added “…unless you’re a shitty person. If you’re a shitty person no one has time for your nonsense, work on your self, work on your shit, and you’ll know you’re doing a good job when people stop telling you you’re shitty and your relationships become less dramatic.”
Don’t feel obligated to maintain a relationship with someone if they’re a shitty person – it’s totally okay to make that judgement and move on.
2. Even liars tell the truth sometime
In the future, if a person tells me they’re a bad person, I’m going to take those words as gospel and exit the relationship quickly and quietly. No one is going to tell you that they’re a bad person and then behave like a good one, they’re using this statement as a disclaimer on your relationship so that at any point in the future they can excuse their fucked up (and totally controllable) behavior towards you by saying “well, I told you I was a bad person”.
You know that story of the scorpion and the frog? It’s memorable for a reason.
3. You actually do have to love yourself before you love others
You cannot have a healthy relationship if you can’t trust your partner. Follow me here – if you don’t think you’re loveable then you cannot accept that someone else does. Healthy relationships are based on honesty and respect (fact), so… if in the back of your mind there is a belief lurking that the person who’s telling you they love you is lying you can’t have a healthy relationship with them.
So simple it hurts.
4. Feeling sorry for someone is no excuse
Alright, I get it… It can be a nice feeling, feeling needed, right up until it’s not. If someone has unfinished business, they have no business with you. He’s not leaving his husband for you – if he wanted to leave his husband he would have already. She’s not helpless, if she’s figured out that her partner is lying to her she can figure out which one of her friends has a couch she can sleep on until she can find a place of her own. If they are “taking a break” the last thing they need is a distraction (you) from dealing with their shit, responsible, respectful, people don’t drag innocent bystanders into their drama.
Your shoulder is not the only shoulder in a storm, trust me, if she’s crying on your shoulder but not doing anything to deal with her problem; She only wants a few little things: Attention, Sympathy, and more DRAMA, or she’d be calling around making arrangements to deal with her shit instead of whining to you. Don’t be convenient and don’t be a sucker.
5. We’ve all had pain
I get it – You were hurt as a child, raped as a teenager, abused as a young adult… we’ve all had pain*. Acquiring that pain was likely not our responsibility but dealing with it is – this is a fact of life. You can’t heal my pain, only I can do that. It’s not my responsibility to heal yours. More importantly, it’s not my responsibility to be pushed “above and beyond” to accommodate your stuff, particularly if you a. are in denial, b. haven’t been honest about what it is, c. are not dealing with it in a healthy way, d. use it as an excuse to mistreat people.
I know I have baggage, and I try my best to share what that baggage is, and to be transparent about the things I need from a partner because of it. I’m also very careful about handling my stuff and not expecting someone else to be my caretaker.
*I was actually describing myself there.
6. Words are easy, action takes effort
Responsibility is not optional; Do not accept excuses when someone shows you they aren’t responsible. By the time you’ve hit the age of adulthood you either have learned to be responsible, and to take responsibility for your actions, of you haven’t. If a grown adult shows you they aren’t responsible cut your losses, and do not make excuses for them. Listen hard to what you’re saying when you’re sharing with friends, if you have to say something like “well, she forgot to call me because she was busy doing #amoreimportanthanmething” hear what you’re really saying, I know this sucks but you have to own it.
Do not make it easy for the slackers to slack on responsibility – it helps no one and hurts everyone.
7. It’s not all about you, but it is
I get that sometimes a shitty person gets past your radar. I get that sometimes you find yourself feeling love for a shitty person. I get that their shitty behavior can suck you in and turn your world upside down, and it might take you time to peel yourself out of it – here’s the thing It was not ALL their fault.
You are responsible for your self, and you have to love your self. You have to take care of you first before you take care of anyone else. Get the hell out of that shitty relationship, block them on social media, block their number, and then love, nurture, and be real with your self. Figure out what were the red flags you missed, what were the defining moments when you slipped farther into the mess, what excuses did you make, when did you accept treatment that you didn’t deserve, and learn from it.
You can become stronger, and learn to love yourself a little more, by being honest and unaccepting of shitty people. Even more important if you take good care of yourself your next relationship can be a healthy one.
It’s real advice – Scare the World. Be exactly who you say you are, and tell the truth. You will have nothing to be ashamed of if you are authentic and people appreciate it. Here’s the thing, it sounds so simple – be real. That begins with being honest with yourself. First steps are taking a long look at yourself both inside and out, know yourself. You have to be prepared to accept responsibility for your actions, and reject the urge to blame others. You need to stop self-medicating with drugs, alcohol, shopping, or behaviors that perpetuate drama. Then, after you can be honest with yourself, you can begin being real and authentic in your daily life.
The “prize” of this advice is that if you are honest about who you are, and behave with integrity of self, you will not only scare the world but you’ll set yourself up to find and experience joy in simple things. Don’t hide the light that’s inside you, let it shine, be real.
You’ll be surprised to find that you’re better able to identify the people around you who are not authentic, and, really that’s a prize too.
We’ve all heard this advice, but not like this.
When I became a parent I suddenly felt this huge weight of responsibility on my shoulders, I know from experience and observation, that parents can be our worst enemies despite the best of intentions. Our parents voice echos in our minds long after they’re gone, and that voice creates our reality to some degree, it influences our self-worth, and our decision making. That’s a lot of responsibility.
I decided some very new-agey, California things; My children were treated like people, not idiots. People with real feelings and thoughts – accepting that they had less maturity to cope with and express those thoughts and feelings. I spoke to my children as rational beings before they were even born.
My children were never allowed to use the word dumb or stupid when talking about themselves or others. They weren’t exposed to gender stereotypes at home. They were encouraged to produce and appreciate art, read whatever they chose, and listen to all forms of music.
I walked around the house for weeks after my son was born chanting the word penis so that I could say it with the same casualness as I said nose or hand, because I didn’t want any false shame forced on my children. Our bodies are healthy, normal, good.
And, I would use my subliminal voice to influence them with positive words and affirmations. So, there I was with a tiny boy in my arms and just as he would fall asleep I’d whisper “Use a Condom”.