Have you ever hung on to a situation, thinking you just had to try harder, or give the benefit of the doubt for what feels like the millionth time? When you finally walked away and closed the door was there an overriding sense of relief-that came from God- that made you think ‘Why on earth did it take so long?’
In recent times I have talked with many friends, clients and family members faced with this situation. And I’ve faced it myself. On Facebook this week, I found a post that said ‘One of the hardest decisions you’ll have to face in life is choosing between trying harder and walking away.’ Recently I’ve made some decisions to ‘walk away’ from situations that have gone on way too long. Here are a few things that have guided my decision:
- How long has the situation gone on and what have I done to try to change or balance it? What have been the outcomes?
- Is it a situation where I still can make a positive difference without feeling disrespected, devalued or used?
- Is it a ‘one way street’ situation where a person needs my support and something I feel ‘called’ to give time to? Or is it a one way street situation where the person just ‘takes’ and saps my energy?
- What is keeping me from walking away? Illegitimate guilt or a knowledge that staying would provide valuable character building?
- Is this situation keeping me from other meaningful and more worthy projects or relationships-where I can make a contribution that will be valued?
- What does my ‘gut’ tell me?
- What has God shown me in regards to saying ‘yes’ this is not a situation for you.
- Is it a situation where I need to stay but set firmer boundaries?
- If there are potential consequences to ‘walking away’ will it matter 1, 5, 10 years from now? And as I walk away is God showing me another situation that He has just been waiting for me to create space to be led to His next step?
As I continue to ‘recalibrate’ my life and commitments, I find a sense of relief and clarity that has open doors to people, projects and places that excite and energise me. I’m not suggesting we only choose those things which energise us or make us feel good, but I think many of us hang on too long to situations that we need to have the courage and fortitude to walk away from to open the doors to the new beginnings that are right for us.
What about you? Remember the price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. Are the people and things you give your time and energy to worth the ‘life you are exchanging for it’? Celebrate those that are and consider whether or not for some others, the season has ended and a new one awaits!