Have you left a relationship and now find yourself wondering if it was the right thing to do?
It's simple really. How can you know that you should have left? Because you did. How do you know you should stay? Because you're still there. When you find yourself walking out the door, you know it's time to go. Chances are, no matter how much you think you should go, you will not … so you have a choice. You can either make peace with staying, or torment yourself for it … it's up to you because no amount of regret or guilt will change what is.
You can feel absolutely sure that the relationship needs to end – but the truth is, whatever happens, it can only happen right on time in a world where there are no coincidences or mistakes. Perhaps you, like me, have noticed that we can't make ourselves leave something until we're ready to go? I have. No amount of believing it should be different, that we should or shouldn't tolerate it, can make us leave before we're ready to go.
And the opposite is equally true. Nothing can keep us from leaving once we're set to go. No amount of promises from the other, no amount of trying to talk ourselves into staying because we don't have “good enough” reason to leave can alter our decision to move on once we're set to go.
I've learned to trust what my feet are doing, which is to say, I've come to trust in my own innate sense of timing. I trust that no matter how painful staying may be, for instance, I cannot leave until I have learned what I need to from the situation. The challenge is to accept where we are, trusting that there is a reason for it, and that the reason is FOR us – for our growth and enlightenment – and not some form of punishment or self-abuse.
So we stay until we don't anymore. Why, because that's what we do. It's Reality. When we have learned what the other has to teach us we may find ourselves moving on. As long as we need the lesson they have come into our lives to teach us, we will find ourselves staying. It has nothing to do with the amount of pain involved, but with the inner-reflection made possible through the other.
I've noticed that no amount of badgering ourselves (or others) for staying in a painful relationship causes us to change it. I've known people who stayed in what appeared to be truly punishing relationships for years even as they beat themselves up for being there. What they were failing to notice is how well the relationship was working to mirror the way they abused themselves!
What a powerful teacher relationships are! They unfailingly serve to reflect to us our relationship with ourselves. They show us how we treat, think, and feel about ourselves. This is the sacred function of an abusive relationship. How else can we see how we are treating ourselves except by observing how others treat us?
What we can do in the meantime is to practice accepting ourselves where we are in our relationship RIGHT NOW. Instead of guilt or remorse, practice looking for the messages being reflected by the other. Look for what you resist in your mate, allow yourself to see it as an arrow pointing to that part in you that is asking for love and acceptance.
Practice trusting where you are to be exactly where you need to be to deepen self-acceptance and right relationship.In essence, trust your comings and your goings to be innately inspired and ultimately FOR you.