How to release what no longer serves you, how to create space for what does.
By: Brandon Jamil
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Author Toni Morrison once wrote “You want to fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” Such a simple yet profound jewel that almost all of us can identify where we can apply this powerful lesson within our lives. Placing this specifically in context of a relationship that you’ve outgrown can be daunting, and somewhat vexing.
At one point this was the person of your dreams, they met all your needs and you both were able to co-exist and co-create the bond of your wildest imagination. Until one day you noticed that you began imagining a different reality for yourself. You stopped speaking about future because… Well you could imagine a different life and apart of you knows it’s not with this person. “What is wrong with me?” You ask yourself. (Can you tell I ‘ve been here? Yes, and this shit was not pretty by any means.) “I thought this is what I wanted, I thought this is what I needed… And now I feel numb to it all.” You ponder these circulating thoughts to yourself. So, like most of us we, shove these feelings away for awhile and we think “okay I know what is wrong here. I must try to fix the things I don’t like, and we’ll be fine.” Only reasonable right? I mean it’s only natural to think that if we illuminate the negative aspects all would be well and dandy.
Until… One day we can’t find any real reason to ourselves and others to want to leave but we know and feel in the depths of our beings our life depends on leaving or we will miss apart of what our life could be. “But what will they think of me? What will be said? How does this make me look? What will happen to me? What will my life become?” Are typical questions we come to ask ourselves upon departure from a bond we once cherished. Let’s investigate these thoughts now.
“Care about people’s approval, and you will always be their prisoner.”
As we all know our reputations are meant to be protected, we’re the only ones in this world that will ensure that the image we project remains intact. Even if others or in some cases insane ex’s who can’t come to terms with your departure attempt to destroy or tarnish your image… The history of your image, relationships and associations will protect you. In your case this would be your family, friends and or advisors of sorts. It is your responsibility to continue to create and re-create your image and ensure your foundations, support that you’re remaining in full control. For example, let’s say you once were a drug addict and you spiraled out of control for time. And your ex or soon to be ex has threatened to expose this harsh fact. It is your job, to turn the story in your favor! Always! You would have already done the ground work. You’ve already been to counseling, you’ve already volunteered for support groups for women that have been through the same thing. You’ve already, gave your free time to causes that promote your healthy image. Now, you own the narrative. Now when people discuss your faults, they can only admire or in some cases… Despise you because you were powerful enough to write and re-write the course of your life. And that is always in your hands no matter what. Think about it for a minute. In history we’ve had ruthless leaders, rulers and politicians that have been able to turn the narrative in their favor. Why? Because they’ve devoted all of themselves to themselves no matter what.
What if I haven’t done the work to get out?
You already know the answer to this. I know this because I have asked myself this question when I was at a crossroads and when I stated to my partner I was leaving. This individual had wanted revenge. He contacted my employer, made a corporate complaint on me and threatened my well-being. As natural cause and effects (The natural laws of the universe) transpired; I was fully protected, admired and even supported in being so brave to leave someone who’d attempt to harm me in anyway. My reputation remained intact because my work ethic spoke for itself. My connections, advisors and my community were aware of what I am capable of and my life showed it. So, when I say you already know this answer, you begin by creating or participating within a community, you begin to support a cause, you begin to create an identity that people will never waver from.
I don’t think he will act insane though…
If you’re dealing with someone that you know for a fact doesn’t have a need for revenge or petty tactics to control you, you are able to walk away, and that person can only respect you for needing to further yourself in ways they can’t comprehend. And you already the reaction, type of man you’re dealing with because you spent this time in the relationship observing his reactions, strategies in dealing with loss, failure. I am not suggesting that he will be so elated for you to leave him. I am suggesting that you both will be able to be adults about the need for you to expand, without him.
Where do I begin?
Before you stated you were ready to leave. You’ve already taken the time to invest in your future, this could be anything from a new place of residence, creating a new company, moving out of state, saving money, etc. Because you’ve valued yourself enough to invest YOUR future you’ve done the groundwork for YOURSELF. This allows you to have a solid strategy and a fail safe back up for WHEN road blocks come. You’ve calculated every step forward because you choose to live on purpose. YOU CHOOSE TO LIVE THE LIFE YOU DEEPLY DESIRE!
Doesn’t planning behind his back make me manipulative?
This is a question you must answer for yourself, due to the myriad of different walks of life we’re all on. I would suggest that if you feel the need to break things off and then decide to move forward with your life and plans that is fine too. Remember your not doing any of this to be vindictive. You’re doing all of this because your life depends on it and you don’t have time to waste. You can always move forward while being gentle with him. You can always, be kind while moving forward. Let’s just be honest here for a sec… If you’re not happy with your relationship, and parts of your life you don’t have to stay in it!
Should I try to work things out?
Sure, if your partner is clear on what the next chapter of life will be for you. This means that the person they once knew is choosing to evolve and move beyond the images they once grew attached to. This can be incredibly painful for most men to accept. Mainly because you may not accept the person they once were to you. This doesn’t mean they’re unworthy. It simply means that you place yourself at the head of your table now.
I thought relationships were meant to last…?
In some cases, they can and do. Though, when we look at the martial divorce ratings in America; we’re reminded that people outgrow their partnerships all the time. This is to say, if you’re with a man whom is constantly growing, evolving and most importantly doing the work on himself, and taking strides to walk in his highest potential you’re most likely synced with one another. At this point the conversation isn’t about leaving. It is more so about how can he support you during your transition. He is asking questions such as: “What is required of me? What is your game plan? How do we get there?” That is the difference.