Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Let Them Go

It is the very nature of humanity to have relationships come and go throughout our lives. It is inevitable. Friends drift apart; lovers part ways. Our paths are not all aligned.

Over the past 20 years, I have had people who were inseparable companions meander away as their lives went in different directions. Some of these people I mourn the loss of more than others, some of them were much dearer to me than others. Some of them are the same person that I used to know while others have changed into unrecognizable people wearing a recognizable shell.

It is these, in the last category, that I find most unsettling and the hardest to resolve. The people who are absent because they have changed so much that the person I knew is no longer there inside.

One of the most difficult things to watch is someone following that path. Seeing who they are on the inside take a path that is changing them and distorting who they are all while they are unaware of it. Watching their identity slide away through currents of hypocrisy and rationalization as their ego tries to satisfy itself and preserve its self-identity is a painful process to witness.

It’s important for us all, especially those of us with complex interpersonal webs, to know that we cannot fix other people. We cannot stop their path when they refuse to acknowledge it themselves.

It’s equally important to know that we are allowed to let them go. YOU, yes you reading this, do NOT need to rescue other people from themselves. You have no responsibility to do that. A good friend will try to exert guidance; a good friend will try to point out the path. A good friend will, usually, contribute more energy than they should to prevent the self-destruction of someone they care about. But it is not the responsibility of the good friend to follow on the path. It’s ok to say “enough.” It’s ok to cut the cord and let the person follow their path into self-implosion. It’s ok to sever their access to you when their behavior becomes damaging to you and other people in your life.

It’s also ok to be there for them when their implosion is complete and they realize they have destroyed everything in their lives for nothing. It’s ok to reach out and say “I forgive you. Welcome back.”

What is not ok is to let them destroy you with them. It’s not ok to let them gaslight you or manipulate you. It’s not ok for them to project their own horrible behavior onto you and blame you. It’s not ok for them to take out their frustrations with others deciding that their behavior is horrible on you.

If someone turns toxic in your life it’s ok to let them go. You’ll feel guilty about it. But, I promise you, it’s ok to let them go.

If someone turns toxic… LET THEM GO. You cannot fix them; you can merely help those who are willing to accept it. If they are not willing to accept help: let them go.