What do you need to walk away from——?
You may fill in the blanks with your own life experiences. It could be a bad job, a terrible boss, an abusive relationship, a splintering family situation …The common symptom is that it makes you want to scream, embitters you, weakens you, depresses you, makes you feel utterly helpless and causes you to indulge in self-loathing.
I have pondered on that particular question at length. And concluded that what is Manna for one could be Poison for another.
You might call it cowardice, I would call it wisdom. You might call it fool hardiness, I might call it discretion. You might call it intelligent, I might call it selfish. You might call it well timed, I might call it too late. You can never please them all. Neither can I.
I have seen apparent wise men and women fail miserably because they did not have the courage( my terminology) to acknowledge reality for what it was. They pretended everything was absolutely perfect and went grinning to their downfall. I have also seen wise men and women choose discretion as the better part of valour, and pick their battles intelligently.
Recently, one very brilliant doctor asked me, how to avoid unnecessary confrontations and avoid making unnecessary enemies. I thought of a life time of battle scars and grinned.
‘I have read somewhere that you should speak up strongly if it is true, kind and necessary. It has to pass all the three tests!’
The good doctor, who was nursing his drink, gulped it down and toasted, ‘That is worth another one!’
Sometimes, as Dr Clarissa Estes so wisely reminds us, one has to have the strength of a jaguar and the heart of a butterfly. You should strive to have sinews of steel and a heart full of compassion.
First of all, be compassionate to your own self. If something makes you want to scream, please do. Scream your heart out. It is not worth killing yourself over an issue which can naturally resolve itself in one blood curdling yell.
If someone or something makes you suffocated, walk out before the life breath is extinguished. Gulp down the oxygen of normalcy before it is too late. Tolerating anything bad (in any form) can be like inhaling carbon monoxide on a regular basis. It will make you slip into a comatose stage and from there, starts the end of what you truly are.
Will you survive at the end of it all? Oh yes! And shall live to tell the tale another day. Surrounded by warm sunshine and a slight breeze; staring at the blue sky and seeing a bird fly.
Because, when you walk away from oppression, you choose freedom. And if the battle is worth it- true, kind and necessary- then you will live to fight another day. With a sword by your side called ‘Self-respect.’