Don’t feel guilty when you choose to turn your back—on anything and anyone
We have all, at one point or another, turned our backs on someone. We’ve left behind a significant other that refused to grow up, a friend that was just too toxic, or maybe even a family member that was weighing us down. You might have felt guilty about it, wondered afterward how your life and relationship would be if you just held on a little tighter—but it’s hard to see the end of the tunnel when your throat is closing up.
There’s no shame in it; you were just trying to survive.
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A starting point is just that—a beginning (not an end)
Oftentimes, we choose to hold onto people because of the history we created with them. A significant other was with you when you were desperately trying to look for a job; they taught you what it was like to fall in and be in love. Your best friend from grade school stayed with you that afternoon when your mother showed up late to pick you up. When spoken about by those who grew up with him, your uncle was actually once a decent and generous guy.
But history doesn’t oftentimes repeat itself—not in this case. Sometimes, the years that pass change those around you and that change points them towards a direction that is different from yours. Sometimes it points backward and backward just isn’t where you’re heading.
Let them go on their journey. Give yourself the gift of going on yours.
Love isn’t a game
There’s a thrill that comes with relationships (the romantic ones especially). You get a sense of adventure and an extra dose of courage when you’re with them. “I can do anything as long as I’m with you,” is a phrase that’s been uttered one too many times. But what happens when the rollercoaster goes up and down too many times and you can’t stomach yourself anymore?
The answer: you leave. You get off the rollercoaster and you steady your feet until your heart starts to beat at a normal rate. You walk for as long as necessary until you find another ride you want to try out. Then give yourself the gift of getting on it.
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There’s strength in leaning on yourself
Another thing that makes it difficult to turn your back on someone is the bond you would have formed with them. We can’t deny that some people just give us comfort and a sense of security. Holding their hand or having them on the other end of the phone can have the power to reel us in when the tough gets going.
The thing is, this sense of belonging is something we should be able to give ourselves. It will always help to lean on someone—that’s only natural—but we should be able to feel a level of comfort even when we’re alone.
Give yourself the gift of you.
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The next time you feel like turning around, remember that you can. Actually, sometimes it’s even necessary. There’s no shame in choosing to turn your back on someone; it’s a method of survival.
Art Alexandra Lara