Last week's blog was 5 Signs Your Relationship is Not Working and this week I'm continuing that conversation with a hard realization.
We either know that a relationship is for us or against us. I'm all about fighting for a relationship and seeing it through. BUT. . . If both parties aren't willing to work on the relationship, it likely won't change. At that point, you are faced with a decision: keep it -OR- leave it.
This is where many of us leave ourselves behind and settle. We settle for the okay, the fine, the mediocre.
Oftentimes, we settle because we might never find what we really desire. We settle because we start to doubt that we deserve more, that we deserve better. And, we even settle because we don't want to be alone.
If you haven't been alone in a long time, leaving a relationship can be scary. You aren't only grieving the loss of the relationship, you are grieving the loss of the life you had and the life you hoped you would have with someone. There may be some initial relief and excitement. You may feel fearless and fancy free. For others, the normal things, like watching some TV or making dinner, seem quiet and less fun.
And for both types of people - the ones that are relieved and the ones that are scared - a time almost inevitably comes where the "Oh Shit" moment happens. You suddenly have time to yourself. Time you are forced to be alone with your thoughts and your feelings. At this point, one of two things happens: you either fill your schedule to avoid it altogether -OR- you embrace it.
I was the first kind of person - I had a schedule so full that it was pretty incredible that I kept myself together so well. When I look back, I have NO idea how I made it through. But, I did. And eventually I grew to the point where I needed to sit alone with myself in some sort of quiet so I could figure out who the hell I was. I couldn't grow anymore if I didn't address what was happening inside.
It was super uncomfortable. I didn't last long at first. I tried journaling but it wasn't really my jam. I tried meditation and I kind of liked it, but it still wasn't what I was looking for. What I found was running. Not everyone is a runner and I wasn't either. In fact, right now, I'm on a running hiatus. BUT, at that point, one of my busy activities was training for a marathon while in grad school, working full time, running a side business doing consulting, and serving as my church's treasurer and Sunday School teacher. Oh and full-time mama to two adorable kids and a puppers named Izzy. Can you tell I was hiding?!
Running began as a way to fill my time - training for a marathon is NOT an easy feat (Kudos to all my marathon runners out there!). What I found, though, was that running allowed me quiet time. I had at least 30 minutes of no one but myself to worry about. After running for a while, I actually lost the ear buds and ran to the sound of my feet hitting the pavement. I loved the peace that I felt.
If you aren't a runner, no worries. You can find this same peace in a nice long walk or in another peace practice. Maybe journaling or meditation is your thing. Maybe you like to draw or paint. Reading, writing, gardening. Anything that brings you peace.
Running healed me. It gave me something to turn to when it got too quiet. It allowed me to keep busy and keep my mind quiet. It is one of the greatest gifts I've ever received.
If you are staying in a relationship because, like me, you were scared to leave, I can't promise you it will be easy. But, I can promise you that if you set your mind on success, you will find it. You will find a way to get comfortable with the quiet in your mind, even if your feet are running.
Please PM me, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave a comment below on how I can support you. I love hearing from my readers and if you have a situation that you would like to chat about, I'm all ears!
Grab the PDF guide, "Build Fences, Not Walls" to end people pleasing and create boundaries in 3 easy steps: HERE