“Never give up” the world advised her, because quitting is for losers. Determined to live by those three words, she held onto everything with all her might. Another incident, another revelation, the more things went downhill, the more resolute she became. She was like the stubborn child that develops a sudden attachment to the toy you try to take away. She had a single minded focus on not letting go.
So focused she was on the act of holding on, that the object of her affection began to recede into the background. She no longer saw the monster that he was. She was holding on for the sake of holding on, her vice like grip leaving marks of persistence. She stood there blinded by her love for broken things, oblivious to her bleeding profusely.
Unaware of her own foolishness, she went about her life ignoring anything and everything that wasn’t him, until the day she saw the mirror and felt pure terror spread through her veins. A shadow peered back at her. A bruised, battered shadow of a stranger.
The same force that creates also destroys. The same love that helps us grow into something beautiful also has the potential to turn us into people we thought we’d never become. How easy it is to lose perspective. We only see what we want to see. A steady gaze on our ideal world, whilst reality blurs into the peripheral vision.
Somewhere down the road, she had not only lost sight of her hopes and dreams but also her sense of self. She no more knew who she was. In loving him she had forgotten to love herself. In discovering him, she had lost herself. In trying to fix him, she had wrecked herself.
Should she still believe in the fake promises of how everything will “sort itself out in its own time”?
Is quitting always wrong? So, retracing your path is a shame? But what if you had taken the wrong turn? Is it still okay to keep walking in the wrong direction, because to turn around and walk back would mean accepting you made a mistake? Are you going to continue to let the toxicity erode you little by little, just because the world is confident that only weak people change their minds?
We are made to believe that strength is in holding on. And to give up on anyone or anything is a sin. But sometimes it requires more courage and discipline to say “No” than to just passively watch others take control of our lives. It is not a simple task, to tear something you love away from yourself. It is a whole lot easier to stay and endure.
It’s time we accept to ourselves that some things just don’t work out. And some people do you more damage than good. Granted, it is not going to be easy. But when has life ever been? Your heart will throw a tantrum. But don’t let your emotions cloud your judgement. This is where you need to let reason intervene.
Be gentle yet firm, and allow yourself to loosen the hold. Unclench your fists, and take a step back. And notice how light it feels.
Never let your loyalties to others distract you from the obligations you have towards yourself. Respect yourself enough to remove from your life, anything that doesn’t feel right. And if the world ever tries to make you feel guilty about making yourself a priority, just walk away contentedly, knowing that you now have with you something fundamental to human existence: Dignity.