A long term, loving partnership. The friend you met in third grade. A job that has spanned sixteen years. What do these things have in common? History. A length of time filled with experiences. Some are wonderful. You feel flushed by love while in your handsome tuxedo as you await your partner to greet you at the front of the church. Playing kickball together and always picking each other first for teams because you were seen as “oddballs.” The announcement at the monthly corporate meeting that your sixteen years of service and successful completion at training has led to a well deserved promotion. Feeling warm and fuzzy yet? Now, let’s add in more moments to this history. How about suspecting that your wife was being unfaithful, which she denies feverishly. Only to discover her in an uncompromising position with your best friend when you come home early from work. How about that friend from third grade? Were you alarmed to learn she began telling your deepest secrets so she could fit in with the popular crowd? And that boss – that needs your expertise to do his job – has led you around by the nose for sixteen years when you were promised many promotions (and this one comes with a paltry $1000 raise).
Pay attention: HISTORY WITH YOU DOES NOT MEAN HEALTHY FOR YOU.
If you had to be honest with yourself (please be), the people we are attached to are people that reflect how we truly feel about ourselves. You have had many “self sessions” where you clearly identified a relationship was not good for you. Sometimes just the thought of how you have been betrayed leads to rage or deep depression. Yet, here you sit. Unwilling or unable to move forward, freeing yourself from the damage because of history.
WATCH THE WHOLE MOVIE, NOT JUST THE TRAILER.
When you go to the movie theater, the sneak previews try to entice you to this “must see” they are presenting. But once you watch the whole movie, are you left wondering, “Why did I sit through three hours of that garbage?” Because just like the promise in the trailer, real life tells us to sit there and wait for the “good part” that giving up too early will help us miss.
Beginning now, think in terms of the three hours, six days, eight weeks or one year as time that you WILL NEVER GET BACK. Giving that time to anyone or anything that is undeserving or ill equipped to give back that valuable time is stealing the only precious commodity you will ever have: your time.
As uncomfortable as change may be, history oftentimes does not need to repeat itself. That’s because it was destructive and not beneficial the first time around. You owe it to yourself to face the discomfort to put an end to giving of yourself to people or things that are not worthy of you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a therapist or coach that will help you get to the fresh vision you desire. Share your most valuable asset, YOU, with people and things that see how fortunate they are to have your presence.