Letting People Go

DSCN2009, blogPride is an insurmountable obstacle to correction for many. We have all witnessed people who have destroyed their own and their family’s lives. Others can see who needs to take ownership of their actions and work to mend the relationships they shattered, but they won’t do it. They prefer becoming insensible mental contortionists to owning up to the harm they did. They will further develop their fabricated story by claiming they were driven to their destructive actions. They deny any choices were involved. They even claim to be the victims. People and circumstances, or whatever they can scapegoat, are blamed for the origin of the destruction. Certainly it wasn’t them! Aw, the lunacy.

It’s a tough situation to be in the life of one of these people. Regardless of your innocence, a person like this will spread lies about you to deflect attention from him as the perpetrator. He targets you because you had the misfortune of being a witness to his sequence of destructive events. You’re the one on the inside who knows the truth. Truth is the enemy to people relying on lies.

Depending on what the perpetrator does in the aftermath of the trauma he created, you need to decide what you are then going to do. You’re an equal in every relationship you’re in. You matter, too. When a relationship suffers from one person’s choices, you have to reassess the status of you (and any children, for parents) as it relates to that relationship. Stay the course? Will that be fruitful? Repeat this cycle endlessly knowing it is back to the same place with no change at all, after each crisis settles?

Committed people put up with so much. But one committed person can’t ensure a good relationship. We never will have control over another individual’s will. Should we be surprised at that? It’s the same for God; he allows us free will.

As a highly-committed type person, I’ve tolerated too much for too long with so many people. Finally, I became so depleted and frustrated that I had to stop and let them proceed, knowing they were headed straight for a metaphorical fire to get burned. Afterward, I realized that in many cases I tried for too long, to the point that I was unable to go on anymore. I learned from my errors the importance of making wiser, optimally-timed decisions in the future.

I also learned how God is with people: Yes, of course He cares. Yes, he exerts much energy on people’s behalf while there is potential for payoff for those efforts. But when a person’s will becomes set, and no amount of effort will change anything, he allows their choices. We should learn to do the same. If we don’t and apply effort too long, at that point forward it becomes an enabling, co-dependent, creepy-wrong thing that is not healthy and very harmful to both of you.

Sometimes you have to release others to their own wills, and accept what happens. It is agonizing to watch a preventable crisis or relationship-collapse happen, it really is. But you need to be released from bearing more of the burden than is yours to carry. Others have to own full responsibility for the choices they make.

If you keep fighting battles for people who won’t fight them for themselves, they will fight YOU. Your life ends up embroiled in an impossible battle. When you identify someone is aware but still insists on their destructive modus operandi, you may have to walk from the battle and put your energies elsewhere. Within collaborative and healthy relationships, your efforts can then be unhindered, meaningful, and productive.

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