Years ago my mother said to me “The best lessons we learn are the one’s you pay for”. Many people think that this is a financial lesson. You purchased that car that turned out to be a lemon or you have buyers remorse over something you purchased. However we need to realize that not all of the lessons are financial. We sometimes pay for lessons in other ways, such as our emotional or relational currency.
We often invest out time, our talent our heart our soul our attention and intention into others. We go into relationships with open and sincere hearts only to be hurt and let down. We go into relationships happy and whole only to leave bruised, battered and bewildered. We question ourselves and at times blame ourselves for what went wrong. We find ourselves on the losing end of what was the thing we most valued.
When you know that you have done all you can and that your intentions were pure and genuine, but the relationship for whatever reason is no longer serving you, it is time to divest. When you divest it is for your own well being. There is nothing wrong with walking away from people, from circumstances and/or situations that no longer serve you. There are times when divestment is necessary because it protects your mental, emotional and spiritual well being. Divesting can also protect you physically if the relationship or situationship has become that toxic.
Know that you do not have to stay in relationships or situations that no longer serve you. It can be difficult at times to break those bonds or ties, but at times it is necessary. Have you ever found yourself in a place that you knew you needed to be out of but found it hard to move away from it? We stay in marriages long after the ‘thrill’ or respect is gone. We stay in relationships where we are degraded and disrespected. We go to jobs faithfully that are killing us literally and slowly. Yet we stay. We remain. We justify the behaviors and the treatment. We even justify our responses, we are in love, it would be too hard to move on, will anyone else love me like they did? I need this job.
While there are some things that you cannot just quit cold turkey, just as when a person decides to divest money, there are times when a plan is necessary. And just like the saying goes “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. So what do you do, and most importantly how do you do it?
Make a plan. If you fail to plan you plan to fail. Sometimes it’s not just as easy as walking away. If walking away is that easy then just do it. But if not make a plan. If you are leaving that job, save some money. Check the balance in your retirement accounts or savings plans you may need that money to live off of after you leave. If you are leaving a bad marriage, check your finances. Can you afford to live on one salary? If you are co-habitating, can you afford to keep the residence without the other income, or do you have to move to a place that you can afford on your own? No matter what the situation or circumstance is Make a plan. If is a breakup, what are you going to do when you get lonely, who can you call? Who will you be accountable to? Make our plan and be ready to stick to the plan.
Ask for help if needed. Too many of us are afraid to ask for the help we need. Whether it is out of pride, stubbornness or just plain foolishness, get over it and ask for help. If you need a safe, comfortable place to stay while you get back on your feet, ask. If it is for accountability, to have someone to talk you off the ledge in those weak moments, ask. If it is for help moving, ask. If it is simply for moral support and a smile and occasional lunch or dinner, just ask. Help is usually available, we just refuse to ask for it ask for help!
Be ready and willing to execute. After you plan, and after you ask for the help and assistance you need, do it! Make the change. Divest from anything and anyone who is no longer serving you. Don’t be afraid, be courageous, be strong, be brave! Make your plans known and make your vision your reality. Follow your roadmap to healing and success.
Life meant for you to live and live abundantly. Know when to move, know when to invest yourself and know when to divest. Not everyone deserves your time, attention and love. Not everything or everyone is worthy of you love and/or your time. Don’t pay for unnecessary lessons. Know when to invest and when to divest.
One of my favorite movies is the Wizard of Oz, you know the story of Dorothy who gets sent to Munchkin Land, after a tornado hits her house. She goes through the adventure of trying to find her way home by journeying to the Emerald City to meet the Great and Powerful Oz who will help her find her way home. Along the way Dorothy meets a cast of character, a wicked witch, a scarecrow, a tin man and a lion. All in the attempt to find her way home.
We often journey our way through life trying to find our way ‘home’, whatever or wherever home may be from us. We look for it in people (relationships), in jobs, in our possessions, anywhere but inside of us. We often spend this journey, just as Dorothy and her companions did, encountering obstacle and ‘wicked witches’ on our way to success. And just as Dorothy did we have people who help us along this journey and people who take the journey along with us. The problem is that we don’t always recognize or realize our help.
Another thing that Dorothy did not realize is that she had the power to go home all along. The shoes she was granted for the Good Witch, were the key to her ultimate way back home. And we too have the tools we need to get where we need to go in life. In Jeremiah 29:11 the Bible lets us know that God’s plan for our lives is for us to prosper and for us to have a future and hope. The Bible also reminds us that God knew us before we were created (Psalm 139). I believe one of my favorite hymns says it best “all I have needed, THY hands have provided”.
Essentially, everything that we need God has already supplied us with. All of the tools we need are at our disposal and all we need to do is simply activate our potential and our power. The truth of the matter is we spend too much time looking for someone else to tell us we are great, we are powerful, we are smart, we can do it. They are not providing anything to us that we do not already have. We simply need to stop being afraid and JUST DO IT!
For Dorothy, she had Glenda, the Good Witch of the North to tell her that she had the power to go home all along, but that she had to journey through the Emerald City because if she was told she had the power she would not have believed it. What is it bout you that you don’t believe. I am sure we have all had our journeys that led us through difficulties just to get to the point where we believe in ourselves.
Don’t wait any longer for someone else to affirm you. Affirm yourself. Believe in yourself. Encourage yourself. Do it for yourself. The world is waiting for you.
Life presents many challenges. As a teenager and young adult I remember going through challenges and my grandmother providing this adage “Keep Living”. As I have grown older and as the things that she has instilled in me stay ever ready in my mind, I am reminded that no matter what happens in life my job is to keep living. During this time of year, people become reflective. They think about the trials and tribulations they have faced throughout the year as well as the good things. In my experience as a coach, it is often the bad things that are remember more than the good. My advice to them and to you as well is to remember what you are thankful for. So I ask, what are you thankful for? Let’s begin with the simple everyday things, breath in our bodies, activity of our limbs, life, health and strength. We can keep it going with food, shelter… and for those that may be missing some of the things on the list, we all at least have about three (3) of those things covered. So if some of the big things are not yet actualized, the big bank account, the perfect spouse, the dream job, I say to you keep living.
Remember to be thankful for what you have. Remember that everyday you wake up and walk this earth that you have a blank page and new opportunity to create the life of your dreams. Remember to be thankful for the hard times because they make you appreciate the good times even more. Be thankful for what you have little or much because you still have the ability to do more to be greater. Don’t think that this is a season that is all about the food or the shopping or the material things that the world offers. This is a season to be thankful for those little things, for the things we take for granted for the things we do without thinking or without concern. This is the time to be thankful for the breath you just took. Thankful for the eyes that allowed you to read this post, thankful for the meal you had today or the hot water that washed your body or cleaned your clothes. This is a time to be thankful for the people that you can call in the middle of the night when all seems to be lost in your world. This is the time to be thankful for those your poured wisdom into us, who left us with their words of wisdom that we now carry in our hearts. So this season I ask you What are You Thankful For?