30 Days of Gratitude – Day #23, The Power to Walk Away

gratitude

Continuing with my 30 Days of Gratitude, I am thankful for the ability to walk away from unhealthy relationships.

Day #23 – Sorry … NOT gonna do it!

Early this year I wrote a post I liked about Setting Healthy Relationship Boundaries. Of course I also added some running context:

Running is a great form of exercise to be sure, and also opens up for us the possibility to seek within ourselves a sense of peace while also pushing ourselves to extremes. Yet like anything else it also offers a form of escape – which can be a good thing or a bad thing.

Let me put this bluntly – running is almost always a lousy way of establishing boundaries in relationships, because it generally is used as an escape. The same is true about traveling for work, volunteering to work off-shift hours, working holidays to avoid family gatherings and so on.

I think it is important as we get older to learn to deal with these things more directly, as I laid out in the post.

Personally one of my greatest strengths is my sense of loyalty … but it is also a weakness. It is one of the biggest things I have worked on through my adult life. I am much better than when I was younger, but it still happens. I will stick with things for far too long, investing myself where is no return, and compromising myself emotionally to the point where it impacts the healthy relationships in my life. I am so glad I have had Lisa by my side to work through all of this through the years … yes my circle is smaller, but it is overflowing with things that matter.

I have certainly seen this in blogging as well. Watching others as I have returned to focusing on blogging this month, I have seen genuinely nice people who are truly wonderful people – they are the part of the community I love. I have also seen those who will be BFFsies so long as it benefits them and then they are gone without a second thought. I have seen lies and harshness and passive aggressive behavior and more.

And I have let go of some blogs over the last couple of months that were no longer healthy – I had said that I would engage honestly and expect others to do the same with me. I also noted the ‘OMG u r the BESTEST’ commenting culture – whether to just be seen commenting, to get more cross-comments, or to always be positive to avoid looking mean/judgmental/rude … I really don’t know why. But when I see someone say something that makes no logical sense in a post, something that isn’t supported by things in their other posts or Instagram or Twitter … and THEN even in their replies to comments fail to maintain a consistent story? Well, if I say something then get attacked for it? Time to move along. And I wish I could say it only happened once … actually I wish it never happened at all.

Thanksgiving and the holidays are a great time to reflect upon our relationships. I hear so much about the great times, amazing gatherings, wonderful close families and so on … then at the same time I hear about the conflicts, the hidden agendas, the side-talk, the difficulties between spouses that come up, and on and on. And you know what? These are very often from the same people! Maybe yours is that mythical unicorn perfect family, but chances are … not so much. The questions you have to ask are (a) do I care (b) do I end up emotionally dealing with Thanksgiving until Christmas (c) is it impacting my relationship with my significant other and (d) what do I want and can reasonably expect?

During the holidays we often feel that we need to put on a smile and ‘suck it up’ and put on a show, or perhaps we love the time of year and revel in the joy of things and can let the negative stuff roll off our backs. But there needs to be a time for honesty, for refection and appraisal. Maybe that is something better left for the New Year, to get a fresh start and recommit to a year of healthy relationships … regardless of the consequences.

Because in my opinion there are few gives we could give ourselves that is better than a life filled with healthy relationships.

How do you do with identifying and walking away from unhealthy relationships?