When To Leave Things Behind

February 8, 2016

I have left some things behind. And even though I know where to find them. I also know that life is sometimes a one-way journey. But I’m not afraid of or regret anything, because I know what’s worth fighting for and which battles are useless.

How many things have you given up on and left behind in your life? Sometimes it’s hard to realize that every effort we put into them, everything and everyone we leave behind are like smoke escaping through an open window.

This can be hard for us to accept because of the emotional energy we put into the people and events of our lives. Until disappointment hits, until that moment arrives in which we realize that the scale of life is a bit off balance. That we’re left with nothing to give and have received nothing in return. And that the dream was a nightmare.

Have we done something wrong? Should we maybe regret all of our actions? Never. He who doesn’t fight for his dream isn’t brave. He who doesn’t fight for his hopes and illusions will never reach the moon. Feel proud of that bravery, but remember that sometimes giving up is the wisest and most prudent thing to do.

Some battles are useless…

lady holding realistic heart

Let’s start off by setting an important thing straight: No one knows that a battle or a dream has been useless until reality, in all its bitterness, hits them in the face.

It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a job, a friendship or a relationship. Life is a long succession of moments that put us to the test, of chapters we should enjoy, fight for and learn from. Because learning is the vital key that supports our existence.

It’s possible that you’ve made some mistakes and that at this point, you’ve given up on and left behind many things. Should you regret them? Not at all. To regret a mistake is to feed bitterness and miss out on a learning opportunities. 

Mistakes must be accepted, understood, processed and integrated into what we call our “storage of experience.” And if those experiences bring us bad memories, don’t feed or court these feelings. Unpleasant memories should be substituted for the here and now, for today’s happiness.

No battle is useless because it is life lived and experience earned. Nonetheless, if something isn’t serving you, it’s important to know when to leave it behind. We must know when a person or activity doesn’t deserve what we’re giving up or suffering for it.

When should we leave something behind?

drawing girl and paper boats

It may seem like an obvious question, but it’s really not. That’s why we’re going to look further into it. In fact, it’s likely that right this second a lot of us are nurturing hopes and projects that don’t deserve our time and energy.

Let’s analyze this over the following points:

1. The power of false expectations

Sometimes we make the mistake of blaming others for feeding our false hopes, when in reality that responsibility falls on our shoulders. Some people set their hopes on that dream job, when it’s possible they’re not even prepared or qualified for it.

There are always people who set all of their emotions and anxieties on a person who really has never even given them a hint that they feel something for them. It’s OK to dream but we must always maintain objectivity, balance and perspective.

2. Emotional cost

Emotions are really a very powerful and dangerous engine. Sometimes they makes us give our all, until our very last breath for that significant other, for that cherished dream.

birds tied to moon

We don’t see the boundaries and we open our hearts without reading the instruction manual. That manual that should tell us right off the bat to “be prudent, look out for yourself, protect your self-esteem.” Nevertheless, we don’t always do it.

We should learn to be more receptive, to tell ourselves that we also deserve to receive. Does that friendship offer you support, complicity, respect and acknowledgement? Then go ahead.

Does that relationship give you happiness? Does it nurture your hopes? Does it invest in you as much as you do in them? Does the other person give up things for you like you’ve had to do for them on occasion? If not, analyze this and make a decision.

We should give up and leave behind anything or anyone that feeds on selfishness. That doesn’t recognize us and takes from our strength and hopes instead of enriching us. Move forth and close doors and leave them behind. You know very well where they are, but you also know where you want to be.