To hold on, or to let go? Sometimes, we hold on to friends, lovers, jobs, or situations in our lives that are no longer good for us. We tell ourselves that holding on makes us stronger, that it shows how much we care, or how devoted we are. But what if what we’re holding on to is tearing us apart? What if it just isn’t healthy anymore or deserving of our commitment?
Holding on is not always what makes us stronger. Letting go is strength.
Having the courage to walk away from a partner or job or situation that isn’t serving any positive purpose for you is bravery. Stepping into the unknown rather than clinging onto what may be painful, but is at least familiar, is taking a stride toward a path that will help you grow as an individual.
Why do we hold on? Humans are scared of change. We’re scared of feeling vulnerable. We’re scared of not knowing what is next, of losing control. We’re scared of the unknown. So we stay and remain and “hold on” to situations that make us feel terrible because we can’t bear the idea of not knowing what is next.
Take that leap.
Trust that life will be good to you. At least recognize that if what you’re handling right now is terrible, then that is already plenty of reason to walk away, and that there is a chance that whatever comes next won’t be bad at all.
The first step is to evaluate the situation that you are in. Is it hurting you? Are you being treated with love and kindness? Are you happy? Are you safe? Is this what you want? Is this what you believe you deserve?
The second step is to love yourself unconditionally. Self-love is vital to human survival and happiness, because if we do not love ourselves, we allow other people and events to walk all over us, to use us up, and suck us dry. It can be confusing to some people, the idea of putting yourself first, the idea that you deserve love and joy and to be treated with respect and compassion.
Many people are used to being treated like nothing their entire lives. Unfortunately, this can lead to people believing that they are nothing and then allowing themselves to remain in situations that make themselves feel terrible, because they have never believed they deserve better.
Once you start loving yourself, you will watch your life start to change.
You will start to say no to things you don’t believe in or that you don’t think would make you feel good. You will start being kinder to yourself. You won’t allow people into your life that treat you badly or put you down. You will walk away and slam the door on all that is bad for you.
If you’ve recognized the situation you’re in does not make you happy, and that you indeed deserve better, then you can walk away. You can leave. You can say goodbye to a once very good friend who no longer behaves like a good friend. You can leave a job that pays well but makes you feel insignificant. You can walk out of a relationship that makes you feel like you are not good enough, because you are good enough, and you will find love again if you allow yourself to.
You are not stuck.
The unknown may seem scary, but if the present moment is already bad, then the future is at least worth a try.