Let Yourself Outgrow People

Kristina Ralston
3 min readDec 2, 2020

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anais Nin

2020 has made crystal-clear how long overdue I was for outgrowing people.

We have all white-knuckled something this year, in the hopes that it would bring a bellwether of normalcy and stability. We knew that holding onto something that wasn’t working anymore was not the right path forward. And yet, with every layer that lifted, with every distraction removed, with more and more of our creepy-crawlies exposed, we were determined not to see. We held fast to our stories, our relationships, and the life situations we’d created, and kept ourselves going by dutifully replenishing the stemware we held in our hands, zoning out to Netflix, or taking full advantage of our Prime membership.

Many people in my life have come and gone this year, mostly because I’ve been able to shed the scales on my eyes, and see things for what they truly were. I’ve become intimately acquainted with long-ignored aspects of my depths, and this new awareness has made me see how much I’ve over-bridged to others at the very real sacrifice of my needs, wants, and desires. Thankfully, gratefully, they’re starting to come back, delicately, borne in on teeny tiny fairy wings, and as they surface, they are making it clear to me that they will no longer be ignored. And, in response, I’m choosing to listen and be okay with that, doing my best to adjust and change, as required.

As each relationship has come crashing down from the pedestal of what it was, I’m finding myself surprisingly calm. Almost like I expected it to happen. Something deep and true was confirmed for me in the destruction. Betrayal is a vicious bitch, but she does put a point on what reality is. To see where you really stand with people is a gift; to see them as they truly are is also a gift, even if it’s confusing, painful, or just plain fucked up. In the craziest of moments, remember that the chasm this awareness creates will eventually fill in and close up. In its place, we’ll have a scar reminding us that we now have a direct line to our soul that wasn’t there before.

And so, I’m trying to let myself outgrow people. To choose when it’s time to move on, and to embrace both the sadness of good-bye and the anticipation of growth and change that are on their way to me. I have no idea where this outgrowth will lead, but I know that the temporary pain of change will evolve into something vital and true. So, I thank them all for being in my life while they were, for being my healers, my teachers, and — with an ache in my heart — do my best to stand up tall, turn my face away, set my gaze forward with grit and determination, and take my first trembling, bold steps into that new, exhilarating, and scary-as-hell direction.

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Kristina Ralston

Change strategist and leadership coach. Let’s change the conversation around change, together. Find out how at: empactchangeconsulting.com