I have had the very good fortune over the past month to meet or to reconnect with several women who inspire me and from whom I have learned (and continue to learn) a great deal. And while I was not searching for a unifying theme for my conversations with these wonderful women, one eventually did emerge. Each of these women is facing the decision to end a relationship – a friendship, a job, a family tie, a partnership, a marriage – that she is beginning to view as destructive. In some cases she already recognizes the opportunity to free herself and in other cases, recognition is circling just beyond her awareness.
Our first, second or even third choice is rarely to end a relationship that is or has been very important in our life, one that may be central to how we define who we are. But once other options have failed, once we realize that most conversations with a specific person in our life inevitably end in our feeling unfairly judged, emotionally drained, harshly criticized, or sometimes even questioning our self-worth, we have a choice to make. I think of this decision point as “whom do I choose?”
We have all faced the decision to end a significant relationship in our life, and for most of us this choice is very difficult. My teacher reminds me that everyone I encounter can help me learn an important life-lesson, and I believe this is true. I also believe that most of these lessons are about understanding how I can become the best possible version of me. And while I do not expect others to be aware of that goal, or to consciously help me achieve it, they often do.
Lessons about self-respect, self-love, and self-empowerment can be the hardest to learn and often are learned as we say goodbye to someone who impedes our path to our best self. If there is someone in your life who is playing this role for you, who is offering you the opportunity to learn a breakthrough life-lesson about living the life you want and deserve to live, you have a decision to make. I urge you to choose YOU!