Do you remember the first time you had to walk away from someone – an intimate partner or a family member or a friend – because they did not serve you, care for you or respect you in ways that you needed them to?
Do you remember the first time you had to walk away from a way of being, from a reality that you wanted for yourself but wasn’t what God wanted for you?
Do you remember the first time you chose unhappiness over happiness because you thought that duty and obedience meant being miserable rather than experiencing a life of joy and freedom? The first time you bought the lie that suffering and sacrifice should be a norm for your life?
Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy. – Robert Tew
When was the last time you walked away from that which no longer served you, grew you or made you happy?
I have decided that I want to be happy. I feel like happiness gets a bad rap. Think about it – people who walk around happy all the time are viewed with suspicion. In Christian circles, many folks change happiness language to joy, saying that happiness is a feeling and joy is a state of being. As one who lives with depression and is often in a despondent state, I’ve decided that I want to be happy. I want to feel elation and I want to not just experience joy but ENJOY my life. So, today, May 3, 2016, I write to you dear Shadow Lovers with this confession – I choose happiness.
Happiness begins with loving myself, being clear about my purpose in life, experiencing authentic, transformative relationships, serving my neighbor and loving out loud. In order for these things to come to pass, I’ve recognized the need to walk away from anything and anyone who impedes this journey. And this is hard. As a person of Christian faith and one who believes that we are made to be in community, I struggle with the notion that there are times when walking away is the best option for myself and for my community. Walking away requires faith that what you are leaving behind has served it’s purpose. It also requires honesty with your self that people and situations have seasons – every one and every thing is not meant to be a part of every season.
I’ve had the experience recently of recognizing what changes need to be made in my life as I begin a new chapter. There is some sadness as I think about who and what I will be walking away from as I walk towards a new reality. But increasingly, I feel a deep, abiding peace that what I’m seeking cannot be attained by staying still. I’ve got to move forward and this means walking away from the life I thought I wanted in order to embrace the life I was created for. In taking this step, I am moving closer to becoming the person God has created me to be and I am beginning to understand that walking away isn’t a bad thing. It’s a liberating thing.