On Goodbyes

“To become a master of oneself is first to take radical and complete responsibility for your life. This includes even that which is beyond your control. A true master knows that it is not what happens, but the way one responds, that determines the outcome.”

—Brianna Wiest, The Mountain is You

If the past year has taught me anything, it’s that as we grow older we outgrow people. Friendships, relationships, even family. We learn there is a striking difference between people who deserve our energy, and people who suck the life out of us.

The relationships that are mutually beneficial start to feel different than the lopsided ones that make us feel under-appreciated or confused.

Over time the people whose love and respect are not conditional, but something we can wholeheartedly rely on again and again, become evident.

For what it’s worth these people—the ones who keep showing up—they are your tribe. Keep these people in your corner at all costs.

As for the others, it may be in your best interest to let them go. In order to progress and grow, sometimes it means we must leave something, or someone, behind.

As I sit here and write tonight, I’ve realized something that feels like a breakthrough as it pertains to this past year and the healing journey I’ve found myself on. What I realized is this:

We will never have control over other people’s bullshit.

We will always have control over how long we participate in it.

It is rare for things and events to “happen” to us. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we are not victims of our circumstances but products of our efforts.

We are the pioneers of our own destinies.

And so I think what it all boils down to is: you have to want it bad enough.

The healing.

The closure.

When you walk away from whatever it is that is making you ache.

I think the birthplace of closure is within. And it is our personal responsibility to pursue peace when we walk away from something that is no longer true enough.

No therapist can do it for you. No amount of time can do it for you. Closure is not bred from any source that lies outside of yourself. And it will not flourish until you’ve created a healing environment around your heart to keep the bullshit out.

You have to want it bad enough because true closure is felt only after the hard work, consistency, and relentless discipline are done.

Ultimately, what you allow is what will continue.

Until you make the decision to change and commit yourself to those three things, you will likely remain stuck.

What you allow, is what will continue. And what you allow will continue to have power over your mind, your emotions, and perhaps most importantly—your potential.

This is not to diminish the fact that losing love and losing people are two of the toughest experiences we suffer as human beings. But when it comes to finding the strength to walk away from pain and heartbreak, sometimes a no-contact policy is the only way out of the hole.

The fence you build around your heart doesn’t necessarily have to stay upright forever, but there is truth to be found in the age-old saying, “out of sight, out of mind,” and as you’ve probably learned by now, a wound won’t heal until you stop touching it.

Peace is a practice and access to your time and energy is a privilege. Life is simply too short to spend time and energy on people who only want to love or reciprocate when it is convenient for them.

Conditional love is not love, folks. It’s manipulation and it’s toxic.

Allowing people to love and respect you conditionally will break your heart and stunt your growth.

A history of love alone is not a good enough reason to stay close to those who have repeatedly let you down, insulted your spirit or failed to show up for you when you needed them most.

I believe there is only one way to close an open casket full of memories and traumas. The only path to freedom, in my experience, is to set it all down for good.

Doing so will take courage. And by no definition will it be easy. But once you understand that your future needs you and your past does not —saying no to the bullshit gets a whole lot easier.

It may be hard to believe right now but trust me when I say, you’ve got this.

Safeguard your heart because it affects everything we do in this life.

Choose you. Every minute of every day, until the end of time.

Choose you.

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