I’m not wired to stay.
It’s just not in my nature.
But I’m learning.
I’m far from graceful in the learning, but I try like hell. I try to stand still and steady when my instinct is to run. When it feels safer to hide out, stay small, and keep myself completely out of sight. I’m learning how to show up and use my words. To take up space and speak my truth, especially to those who don’t want to hear it.
For the last few years I’ve been learning to stay. While there is so much power and beauty and good to be had inside the staying, there’s one thing I wish I’d learned earlier… learning to stay also requires learning discernment.
I started learning to stay when I should have never been there in the first place, when I should have been learning to leave more quickly… the second my intuition said no and the moment the red flags first appeared. I learned to stay inside a relationship that destroyed me in ways I’m still recovering from. With someone who I loved and who loved me too, but who hurt me in ways that will never be excusable.
Because I didn’t have discernment.
All I had were the external messages being beaten into me from other people’s fears: relationships are hard, they take work… all you can ask for is someone who is willing to do that work… leaving is just your wounding and patterns at play.
So, I stayed.
I stood steady
I tried to ‘do the work’.
It damn near killed me.
Literally, actually, physically.
And so I finally learned discernment. I learned to trust myself above all else, no matter what anyone thought, even if I trusted and respected that person immensely. I learned when to stay and see things through, and when to leave far more quickly than seemed ‘reasonable’ to anyone else.
I’m not wired to stay, but I’m learning.
And, more importantly, I’ve learned discernment.
It’s not easy or without heartache. It’s challenging and it hurts. Sometimes you don’t know for certain, you just know things don’t feel good or right. And sometimes, despite the things that trigger your fears and traumas, you know it’s safe to stay. You know it’s good and healthy and all things right.
No one can do it for you.