Relationships can be great. They can be healing, they can be fulfilling. They can be conduits for love and affection. They can be mechanisms for collaboration and teamwork.
On the flip side, relationships can be the Trojan horse carrying toxin into your life. They can destroy you, slowly, while portraying the illusion they are the best thing for you.
Many years ago, I was an easily-manipulated and quite dense young man. I surrounded myself with friends and family who I thought had my best interests in mind, and who I thought only wanted to see me succeed. I clung to these relationships because I didn’t know they were bad for me. Although I might have taken notice at some red flags here and there, I didn’t ever stop to question or overly evaluate the structure of these relationships. I just felt good in them, and that was enough for me.
I was wrong.
For me, the last 5-10 years has been about building boundaries, and shifting those boundaries to better serve my peace and the peace of my immediate family.
I’ve had to push away familial relationships because they made attempts at destroying my marriage or were constantly taking advantage of me. I’ve had to cut off friendships because they told me I wasn’t a priority, or because they were simply veiled illusions so certain individuals could attempt to romance my wife. I’ve had to push people away for discouraging me in regards to my dreams – not give me wise advice, mind you, but actually making attempts to destroy the path I have been journeying on.
When I finally came out of my cloud – some in part because I finally took the time to stop and evaluate these relationships, and some in part because I had true friends and true family who helped point out the relational abuse that was going on – I saw how big and deep the problem really was.
The thing is, that bad relationship is a Titanic, and – in most cases – it’s going down no matter what you do to try and stop it.
Over the years, I’ve come across many people who are simply afraid to cut off relationships that have been harming them for too long. Everyone has excuses – God knows I had mine: blood is thicker than water, they don’t really mean what they are saying/doing, I can’t live without them.
Those are all lies, my friends.
Blood is not thicker than water. They do mean (at least to some extent) what they say and do. And you can live without them.
Are there times we need to put the time and energy into rebuilding/healing some of our relationships? Of course. I’m not trying to be an advocate for cutting off relationships on a whim. I believe there are times people don’t really know what they are doing – whether it be good or bad. We are all human. But I am an advocate for making the hard determination that a relationship isn’t one you need in your life and having the courage to walk away from it.
It will hurt.
It will be difficult.
There will be many emotions involved.
But sometimes, you have to jump ship and save yourself and those you care about, and understand that those who stay with the ship are doing so under their own volition.
It’s time to cut the cord. You know it is. Stop making excuses. Stop letting your emotions override your common sense. Stop allowing the manipulation to continue. Protect your peace and move on.