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 then sing the praises of our “turnaround” success to anyone who will listen. 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 and what we believe we should do, rather than anything real or lasting.
To account for the pain and discomfort of leaving, we try our damnedest to put something in place before we go 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 to begin with. 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. Because the fact is the thing we’re leaving did matter. It mattered very much. And if we brush past it in our hurry to move on, we dilute the poignancy we need to sit with at its leaving, the soft touch of our soul that went so deep that it took our breath away. We don’t want to forget, and yet we feel we must move on quickly before we get caught with our pants down in a rare show of vulnerability that somehow slipped through the cracks.
If we pursue things as a response to failure — or the perception of failure — we ignore our inner knowing which sometimes tells us…