Not sure if any of you seen the video circulating of Madea (Tyler Perry) discussing letting people go. If you haven’t seen it, I’m sure you can find it on YouTube. It’s a fascinating video. The jest of it states that you need to determine who’s in your life for a season or a lifetime. Some people’s primary purpose is to teach you a lesson. Not necessarily to spend the rest of their life with you. It’s up to us to learn the difference. However, we hold a tighter grip on that person when we need to let them go. Madea also mentioned that’s why people are having a difficult time because they’re keeping a dying relationship alive. I understand some folks don’t want to be alone or start over. I think we have to stop looking at this as a bad thing. It is more of an opportunity for you to grow and move in a more positive direction. Staying with someone for the sake of having someone is plain dreadful. That’s a miserable existence that I don’t want in my life.
These life lessons are too valuable to miss. I had two people that I used to have as friends. We had a falling out that, to this day, still doesn’t make much sense. I didn’t realize at the time that those friendships ending turned to be blessings in disguise. The lessons I learned from those relationships I still use to this day. If one friend is playing both sides and keeps the drama going, then move right on past that person. A real friend never wants to pin two friends against each other. Their main objective would be keeping the peace. Also, watch how friends treat you after a romantic relationship ends. When my ex-fiancé and I broke up, I noticed a shift in two of my friendships. It came across like they didn’t know how to be my friend anymore. We all spent time together due to the fact we all were couples. I guess since now I wasn’t a couple, I no longer fit the image. Of course, this isn’t how friendships should be at all.
I discussed the shift with my two friends at the time, and they were gas lighting me, of course. Other friends warned me to be careful, and something seemed off with that situation. Of course, I didn’t listen, and ultimately the friendships fall apart. One friend was increasingly becoming distant, so I knew something was up. One day I finally called her out and asked her what’s going on? She said she wants to move on and gave a bogus explanation of moving away from friends who also knew Sharon (not her real name). I thought it was silly, but she wanted to leave my life, so I let the door wide open for her. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hurt. However, I wasn’t begging for someone to stay when their actions proved otherwise. I wish both of them the best, but it was time for us to part ways.
The biggest lesson I learned from this is when someone starts to treat you differently, pay attention. That person’s feelings toward you are changing, and if you aren’t careful, you’ll be shocked by what comes next. When someone is genuinely committed to you, they will have your back no matter what. That’s what true love is all about with your flaws and all. If nothing else, I learned who truly cared for me or who was ready to discard me when I didn’t fit their image. It’s sad when things end, but not everything is a loss. Some things work out for the better only when you allow it and stop fighting the process.
How did you move on from situations that no longer served a purpose in your life?
I’ve spoken previously about the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone to grow. You learn so much more about yourself when you take these opportunities. Recently, I put this thought process to the test during my latest trip to Los Angeles. I know family and friends don’t want me to move there, but I love the weather. We’ll see you never know what happens. Anyway, the purpose of this trip besides a vacation, of course, was to visit a relative of mine. I haven’t seen her in two years since she moved and this would be an opportunity to see her new surroundings. Since I knew she had to work, I decided to create an itinerary for myself. The flight was six hours from NJ, and I am not about to be sitting in a hotel waiting to hang out. I am incredibly grateful that I took this approach. I went overzealous with the activities, but I still was living my best life.
The best part about having an itinerary in place is you never have to worry about what to do next. Having your activities planned out for the day takes out the guesswork of what to do on a given day. Of course, you don’t have to follow an itinerary word for word. However, it allows you to focus on the trip and not stress about what activities to do. Having these preplanned activities in place worked out perfectly as I was solo for half the trip. I spent time with my relative but not for the whole duration of my stay. The best part of this is that I was able to do the things I wanted to do without judgment from someone else. Spending time with myself not only allowed me to fulfill my interest but to learn how to deal with my own company too.
Another significant part of my Los Angeles trip is that now I made a new friend. When you go on a trip solo, it forces you outside of your comfort zone. Then for you to connect with others, you will have to put yourself out there. That is how I made a new friend in Los Angeles, and I gained a new travel buddy. She was out in Los Angeles solo as well, and we met at the same hotel. We even were staying on the same floor only three doors down from each other. I’m a firm believer that we were destined to meet. I heard of coincidences, but that had to be fate involved. I seriously would’ve missed out on all the fun and the people I met if I didn’t go on this trip.
Of course, I would’ve loved to spend more time with my relative during my time in Los Angeles. However, I learned so much about myself due to this trip that I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. I learned how resilient I could be when faced with new obstacles and challenges. This trip opened my eyes to the endless possibilities if only I would be willing to try and stop being scared. Remember you can’t have a lasting relationship with anyone if you can’t have one with yourself. Go on that trip, try out the new cooking class, or whatever your interest takes you. Stop letting the fear of the unknown stop you from living your best life. The happiness you are seeking is on the other side of fear.
Until next time,
I can’t be the only person who has this issue. I have the hardest time saying no to people. I believe deep down I’m afraid of disappointing people if I say no. It’s as if I’m letting people down by not doing what they ask of me. However, what I’m realizing is that I’m causing more harm than good. When you put others before yourself, you start to neglect your wants and needs. There is nothing wrong with helping others, but it can’t come as a detriment to yourself. Here are four questions to consider before agreeing to assist someone with their affairs.
- Will this put my aspirations on the back burner?
Remember it is admirable for you to help others, but, if your own goals are affected, think before taking on more than you can handle. You will become resentful and bitter if your goals take a backseat due to helping others. It is best to make sure that you have the time available to continue to pursue your goals while supporting others.
- Will this impact me financially?
Friends and family may fall on hard times and ask for you to assist them when it comes to money. However, keep in mind that you aren’t obligated to provide them with this assistance. If you don’t have the funds be honest and don’t give out something that you need for yourself. Your friends and family may even try to guilt you into providing them with the support. Please don’t give them your last especially if you are struggling yourself. Do you need this money back that you are giving out? If so, think about how this will impact your relationship with that individual if you don’t receive your money back. I learned a long time ago that if I give cash out don’t expect it back. Doing this will avoid many arguments that may arise.
- Will you be overwhelmed by assisting?
Despite our best efforts things in life can and will come up. Whether it be work or unexpected life events that may occur. Helping others should never become overwhelming or even feel like a burden to you. Assisting others only works once all of your related activities are complete. The reason this becomes an issue is that you are doing too much at one time. Let me tell you this is a disaster as you will become frustrated. You can even snap at a moment’s notice due to your growing agitation. The way to not feel overwhelmed is to make sure you have time to offer your support. Don’t just say yes due to the fear of what telling no would cause. Be honest if you have too much on your plate and are unable to provide support at this time.
- Are you indeed able to assist at this moment?
People will respect you more if you are honest about what you can handle. Don’t feel as if you must say yes or else. Taking on more than you can chew only hurts you in the end. When people see that you will take on any and everything they will begin to take advantage of you. It is up to you to stand up for yourself and let people know when enough is enough. If you can’t help in the full capacity that the individual is expecting, then explain what you can do. A person who loves you doesn’t care how much you will contribute when any little bit can help. If someone gives you a hard time about it, then you will know in the future where you stand with that person.
Before responding back to someone about supporting them remember these four questions and then proceed to provide your answer. Make these questions a habit of answering before agreeing to help others. The critical thing to remember is that to be of assistance to someone is to be fully available to help. Learning to say no is difficult as I struggle with it myself. But taking the time to think before saying yes is a better option. You will allow yourself time to assess in what capacity you can help and what precisely you can provide. This way you are assisting on your terms, and you will feel less inundated in the process.
Until next time,