I’m Looking Out For Myself, And Here’s Why You Should Too

Noah Kalina 

Think about every person you’ve come to love in your life and continued to surround yourself with even though it was harmful to you. Now, think about all of the times you’ve had to let them go and love them from a distance because it was just too hard to love them up close.

We’ve come to tolerate the people in our lives because we feel obligated, whether it be family, friends, significant others. It’s like we made an oath to keep them around despite the fact that they’re just toxic to our own well-being. We do this for a number of reasons, whether it’s because we live with them, work with them, have known them for some amount of time. The hardest reason though? We love them too much and don’t want to consider what it’d be like to go without them. We’re afraid of looking like selfish assholes, and quite frankly, that’s not fair.

There’s a reason they say “If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were.” I live by this every single day of my life, and have since I’m not even sure when. Some people have called me cruel, cold-hearted, or mean. Truth be told though, if everyone started living this way, I think we’d be a lot better off. I’m not afraid to say that I’ve let a lot of people go in my life, because I was looking out for myself. The result? I’m okay, and some of those people have come back, and some of them haven’t. It’s probably saved my life a few times, honestly. I’m still okay though, because I consciously decided that someone’s existence was harming my own.

Everyone acts like the people in our lives are permanent, and it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s okay to say “You don’t belong in my life anymore.” By doing this, we allow ourselves to grow, we set ourselves free. Don’t get me wrong, it will hurt. It will break your heart and you will feel like someone has sucked the air out of your lungs temporarily, and anyone who says it doesn’t is lying. Every person you come across will leave a mark on you, whether it be big or small, but you will remember them, even if you don’t want to. But while you’re hurting, they’re hurting too. You’ll feel like shit, but I promise you it’s nothing compared to drowning yourself by keeping them around. The only thing you can do for them is to make sure you’re there to help them when they want to change. They will thank you, and you may or may not ever hear it, but know that they’re thanking you. You’ve taught them something, and it’ll be a lesson they’ll carry with them.

So, this is my wish to everyone who has someone that’s bringing you down with them: Do yourself a damn favor and let go. I give you permission. It’s alright, do not ever feel guilty for trying to mend yourself. People will come in and out of your life every day, but you make sure that they don’t make you feel like a bad person for trying to survive; because you’re only doing a disservice to yourself by trying to look out for everyone else’s happiness and forgetting your own. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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