One of the most difficult things that people have to do in life is to say goodbye to a family pet. It doesn’t matter what kind of pet it is, because no matter what form it takes it is still a part of the family. And this can sometimes lead to people not wanting to accept the fact that their pet is suffering while they are desperately holding onto the pet and not wanting to say goodbye. I think that this is because we are not, at least in Western culture, taught very well about how to deal with the aspect of death in our lives. We are taught that life must be maintained, regardless of the how desperately an animal (or even a human for that matter) knows that it is time for them to cross over. So we medicate and spend thousands for dollars just to maintain a life. The quality of that life gets lost long ago and we still will sell our homes in order to afford the next surgery or the next level of care.
I bet that you are all thinking at this point that I am now going to go on a educational journey with you about the benefits of euthanasia. Nope. I have my thoughts on that and you are all allowed your thoughts on it as well. I will say that overall we do treat our pets better in that regard than we do our humans. But that is all I will say on the subject…for now.
No, what I am about to do is make a correlation that we often don’t thread together. That is that we are often taught in our culture, not just with death, but with everything, to hold onto things way past when it is actually time to let go. This is why we have so many situations where people will stay in crappy jobs or in crappy relationships way beyond when they should have actually walked.
Yes, there are always things that we can learn from each and every relationship (or even random encounter) that we experience. But when a relationship is turning toxic with no willingness to create changes, then we have to ask ourselves if we could possibly learn just as much, if not more, by walking away? I think we can.
We can learn that we can exercise our self-respect. We can learn that we can be independent and self-sufficient. We can learn that we can spread our wings and fly in ways we could not as long as we were being held down by the toxic person in our lives. We can learn that we are worthy of love and respect from others. We can learn that we can become quite successful in our personal and professional endeavours without having to be a recipient to anyone’s abuse, disdain, disregard or opinions of who we are.
Often people will allow fear to overwhelm them and they will then create delay in doing what they know is right for themselves. It is important to not do this. I found a really cool exercise that helps with this. All you need is a set of shish kabob sticks. I noticed that that word just got underlined in red. Perhaps this is a culturally specific term. It does come up as correct in my spell checking though, so I will ignore the red underline. I am an independent person and I can do that if I choose! There ya go. Just like that. That is the way to start your personal liberation. Anyway, what you do is allow yourself to contemplate the release of the job or the relationship. Let yourself feel the fear. Hold onto one of the sticks as you feel that fear. Feel the fear go into the stick. Let it build. Once it feels like it is all in the stick, snap the stick in two to release that energy. Then throw the stick in the garbage or the compost bin because we really don’t need to hang onto that sort of energy at all. The sound of the stick snapping is very gratifying. And then any time that you feel that fear welling up inside of you, focus it into another of the sticks and break that energy up.
The more we do this sort of ritual, the easier it becomes and soon we no longer need the sticks. We can simply hear in our auditory memory the sound of the breaking stick. BAM! The fear release mechanism is working. Now…take the next step. Make your plans to leave. Have another job lined up or an apartment to go live in or whatever it takes. Once those steps are done, LEAVE. LET GO. Be DONE. You will feel so completely liberated.
I cannot stress enough the importance of doing the preparatory work on this. Don’t just quit your job without having another to go to. Secure the next job, THEN quit. Don’t just walk out without a place to go and live. Secure that, THEN walk. Yes, this means that some things in your life will become premeditated. That makes you well prepared, not a sociopath. And I always figure that a premeditated break up is much better than premeditated murder. So learn to let go. Learn to say goodbye. Allow yourself to know when it is finally time to do so.