closed white painted door with exit signage

When Someone Wants To Leave, Learn To Let Them Go

With a new year upon us, I find myself deep in reflection, as I usually do. This year, my focus has been on the people that come in and out of our lives throughout the year. There’s a quote that rings true: “Look around. Nothing will be the same in a year.” And that’s so incredibly true. I tend to notice things more intricately than others. Not that I intentionally go looking for it (though in the past, that has been the case), but I find out things I was unaware of.

One thing I notice is when people unfollow me on social media or delete me entirely. I am offered the opportunity to “add a friend I may know,” thinking I am already friends with them, then have a, “Hmm. Well, how about that?” moment. I once was offended by this and got very defensive and angry at those people. How dare you delete ME? How dare you unfollow ME? BLOCK ME, WILL YOU? The thing is, I was being very hypocritical in this way of thinking. It wasn’t a fair way of approaching the newfound knowledge, considering I have done the same thing. I have unfollowed, deleted, and blocked people because they weren’t good for me or my inner peace. I didn’t like their negativity or the way they handled situations.

Because of this, I would close the tab on their page and not look back. In real life, I would close the door on relationships that just weren’t providing what I needed anymore, while still getting upset over others doing the same to me. It was like I was allowed to control who came in my door and who I allowed out, but no one could do the same to me. Horrible, I know. It’s something I have come to terms with about myself over the years. It has only been in the past year or so that I realized everyone has their own set of revolving doors.

People come in and out every single day. And each person has every right to who they let in and who they see out. Just as I felt others weren’t good for me anymore, I had to accept the fact that maybe, I wasn’t good for others. Ouch. That’s something we don’t like thinking about ourselves. But if we are being completely honest, there will be times we are that negative influence or a person someone just doesn’t jive with anymore. It happens. That’s life. If we continually surround ourselves with the people we have known our whole lives, ignoring the mental and emotional damage they are doing to us, we would not only have a pretty crappy life, but we would never meet those people that turned it all around.

Granted, every person that walks in your door comes invited. You welcome them into your life and ask them to stay a while. You learn about them and they learn about you. Sometimes they unpack for a lengthy stay, while other times they only take out the essentials and keep the rest packed up, you know, just in case they need to leave quickly. It isn’t always easy when they decide they have overstayed their welcome and make the decision to leave early, but it is their decision to make. And no one should stay where they don’t feel they can grow or be happy. And you don’t get to make the choice on that. But if you pay attention, when those persons leave, others walk in.

The revolving door keeps a steady influx of people moving through it. Sometimes people leave through that door so the option to come back is still there; sometimes they leave through the big wooden door that makes the whole house shake when they slam it behind them. If they chose that door, let them leave in peace without taking yours. Our entire life is a series of doors, each one presenting different options, new people, and well wishes. Remember, though, doors work both ways. You can make the decision to open them or close them. But others can make that decision as well. Never block a door that is meant to be left through.

You can’t force relationships. If you have to force it, it isn’t real. Just because someone goes along with your forced demands doesn’t mean it’s right. It usually isn’t. And it’s definitely not fair to either person. Allow people to come and go. Everyone has the right to do what they feel is best for their life. So, keep the door available for any entrances and exits. And remember, locking it not only keeps the right people out, but the wrong people in.

We all deserve the right to leave when we feel we need to. Let people go when they need to. It’s okay. That’s what doors are made for. When they leave, always be gracious and thank them for stopping by. I guarantee they taught you something with their stay.

About the author
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