Somewhere along many Tumblr posts, tweets, Instagram captions and Pinterest pins, I came across an interesting (yet cliched) quote. You've probably seen this one before. Maybe you've even posted it. But the quote inspired me to start thinking like a philosopher who's trying to find the meaning of life.
Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you or makes you happy.
The quote is so simple, and makes so much sense. Yet, every time I see it, I tend to have such a difficult time grasping the concept. Why is self-respect so difficult to achieve? If we know someone or something is hurting us, why do we have such a hard time letting go? Why do we sometimes settle for pain, instead of setting out on a hunt for something better?
Looking back on my personal experiences, I've realized that every time I've been in a situation where I was getting hurt by someone, I usually settled with the pain and heartbreak, instead of cutting ties with the person who no longer served me any purpose. It was almost as if feeling pain and heartbreak was better than feeling nothing at all.
Maybe we find it so hard to walk away from something that no longer serves us because we are scared that we won't feel anything at all. When you spend too much time alone, you begin to stop feeling anything.
Think about the days you've spent locked away in your room, binge-watching Netflix. What emotions or feelings do you get out of that? Heartbreak and emotional pain suck, but at least we know we still have feelings for others, and that we're not absorbed by our own happiness.
Where does the line between selfishness and self-respect lie? I've never understood what it means to be selfish. I could never be the person in a relationship to cause the breakup or end the friendship because I don't simply consider my own feelings and happiness. There is another person involved. I could never be the one to let go and focus on myself because I'd rather be the one getting hurt than see someone else in pain.
Does this mean I lack self-respect, or do I just have a really big heart? One of the hardest things to do is let go of someone. But at the end of the day, no one is meant to be in your life forever.
How many times have you lost someone you loved? Probably a number of times. If you haven't, you are very lucky. But unfortunately, it's going to occur at some point.
When you let your emotions and heart control your mind and your judgment, you end up being surrounded by people and things that serve you no purpose. With that, there is no way for you to grow or be happy.
Having enough self-respect to walk away does not make you selfish. It makes you a strong individual who knows what he or she deserves. The human heart has a lot more power over the mind.
We do not want to be selfish or cause another person pain, but when your own happiness is at stake, you have to walk away. Life is a journey we are all traveling, and sometimes, you need to walk the other way in order to get to the place where you really should be.