It’s hard for me to see the darkness in people. You could be arrested today for being a serial killer and I would be disgusted but then I would also be thinking “well, what trauma happened to you when you were younger?…What made you that way?” I don’t know where it comes from. The amount of empathy I have for people is RIDICULOUS. It is the main reason I have such a hard time letting go of people who aren’t good for me.
I still feel guilty for letting my ex go. I know we weren’t a good match for each other (we wanted two different things), but I feel guilty for leaving. It has something to do with my fear of abandonment. I know what it feels like when people leave me, so I feel bad when I leave people. But I have to take care of myself and heal. I have to look out for myself and do what’s good for me. That sadly wasn’t always the case. I used to be on the bottom of the list. Everyone else was a priority. I wasn’t important. Only what others wanted mattered. As long as they were happy. It took a few relationships to completely turn that around. To learn to love myself. To understand that I’m important too. That my voice matters. That I’m not invisible. Everything teaches you something.
Another reason it’s so hard for me to let go of people who aren’t good for me is because I believe we all have darkness in us. Light and dark. Positive and negative qualities. Whether or not we want to acknowledge it is a different story. Some people have a little more darkness than others but we all have darkness. And I believe we all have light. Even in murderers, somewhere, deep down in them is light. So I try to see that. But even if I can see the light in people, they don’t see that or don’t want to see that. So I start trying to “fix” people. It’s not my job to fix people. (IT’S NOT OUR JOB TO FIX PEOPLE.) I can be there for them, give them advice, but they have to do the work. I can pray for them. So again, I have to take care of myself and separate. It’s not that I don’t care about them, it’s that I need to learn to love myself and take care of my needs. Safety is a need. I don’t like to see people as different from me. You’re bad and I’m good. Or you’re good and I’m bad. But if it’s not safe to be around you, and I’m going to get hurt – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually – we need to let go. There needs to be some boundaries.
It’s hard to let people go especially when we love them. But our needs are important. You are important and so am I. If those needs aren’t being met, we can let go. We SHOULD let go. Imagine a little child. Now think, would you let that little child stay in that harmful situation or would you grab them and get out of there? You would grab them. I would grab them. So why aren’t we doing that with ourselves? Because we think that’s all we are worthy of? We aren’t. We deserve the best. Don’t let anyone make you think you aren’t worthy of the best. Even yourself. My mind is good at doing that. Also, in my case, I was afraid of being alone. I was afraid of being with myself. My thoughts. You aren’t alone. God is here. Talk to God when you are afraid. There are people that come into your life, that are ALREADY in your life (family, parents, friends, partners, coworkers, etc) that aren’t good for you. You have to have boundaries. If they are consistently hurting you, making you sad, even when you talk to them about it, they aren’t good for you. Now I used to be overly sensitive to people but don’t use that as an excuse for allowing people to hurt you. Even if you are sensitive. People who truly care about you, do not keep hurting you. We all make mistakes and have probably hurt someone, but we learn from them. We don’t keep hurting people.
It’s okay to let go. You can put yourself first for once.
-Sonja Jackson, OpenHeartTin