Making the Hard Decisions in Life
Most of us like to find our comfort zone and build our lives around it even if it is unhealthy for us. Because it is familiar we lull ourselves into believing this is the reality of life. This is the beginning of a slow death emotionally because of abuse or condescension into a life that holds no joy in it. You learn not to trust that real people truly, selflessly love and care for one another. Worse, if you do acknowledge that real selfless love and care is possible, you tend you believe that what you have is superior to what you have because a home filled with condescension somehow makes you tougher, better prepared for a harshness in life...somehow more resilient! Nothing could be further from the truth!
It is the nature of all things to change, so why is it we are in a hurry to find our comfort zone even bad situations? For many, it is the way we have been brought up, and we do it for others or for what we perceive God wants. There are those who want us to settle into their comfort zone for their convenience and our eventual destruction. There are those who want us to gather in groups so we fit into their comfort zones too. Governments, church and non-church organizations, including those who would desire to control us and would prefer us to be easily accessible and assimilated into their way of thinking.
In the beginning of humanity the world was divided into five continents and five races. Over time all races have become intermixed. It is humanity's' instinct to explore, to discover new lands and peoples. For those who never settle down they have found their comfort zone and making changes and it is never a hard choice-but a welcomed one. Change is the only constant in life. At some point in our lives many of us will make a choice to settle down or settle for that which imprisons us, not the other way around. From the time we are born we live for change. We wonder about what is out there, about our adulthood and what is waiting for us, and if we are encouraged by our parents, change becomes our goal.
The longer we stay in our comfort zone, even if it is an unhealthy one, the more difficult it is to make a decision to change. We have become root-bound and there are evil forces which would have us remain where we are-we are swimming upstream constantly aware that if we don't we will perish, or finally giving up and giving in we are swept backwards into our emotional death!
For those who are abused, or aware of their stagnation in a bad marriage, or job situation, the break away may be very difficult. In our comfort zone we have established barriers not to be crossed because we would be uncomfortable. Fear has crept in and taken a firm hold on our egos and we are convinced we will not survive, or our choices not be accepted by those we care most about. It's WRONG but we have told ourselves it is better to remain where we are than face the uncertainty of the unknown. Where others find comfort, we find fear.
It is because our ego is afraid of extinction that we cling to what is known and ego will fight any change. Somehow we have convinced ourselves or been made to believe that we cannot survive outside of what is familiar! For some, there is the fear of not being able to return to what is known when we fail. Relationships with family and friends are for most the hardest to leave even in the most abusive of relationships-EMOTIONAL!
Being alive and living are not necessary experienced as the same thing. For amongst the living dead in relationships where there is no growth, living is pure hell if we are not growing as individuals! I think one of the most foreboding feelings of doom is being alone or abused in a relationship. The feeling is like a drowning person we are going down for the third time and knowing we have finally given up hope and drowned, so we stay in our drowned condition mourning the loss of what could have been.
Given a long enough period in a bad relationship we become overwhelmed by fear, guilt and a sense of responsibility and we talk ourselves into staying in bad situations. If one has died in a relationship, there is nothing to give back except for that which is already expected of us. In the process of moving from a dead relationship one brings a new opportunity for life into it, change has to be made for all those involved. By disturbing the status quo there is cause and effect or change, and change is all that life is.
Because of our Christian values we are raised to be selfless, we consider the well being of others first, however, this is our own death sentence and we become co-dependent in a relationship that is going no where-selflessness brings hopelessness. In the greater picture it is wise to consider yourself first to save others. If a airliner is in distress you are taught by the crew to put the oxygen mask on yourself first so you can save your children. At sea you are taught to secure a life vest on yourself first so you can save your children or others. If you have nothing to save yourself with, you have nothing to give. If you are patient about entering relationships and think of fulfilling your dreams first and follow you dreams you gather things and you have things to give away-all others benefit from your abundance if you have the right heart and are a giver. There is little gain from one who has lost everything except for an opportunity for you to give. Change in bad situations brings abundance, new thoughts, new ideas, and new opportunities to share yourself with others. Fear is a crippling companion not to be trusted.
If you find yourself in a crippling abusive relationship, what is it you are contributing? If it is your body or what you can do for another and you receive no life from it-you have given a lie. You have contributed unwillingly from obligation-you will feel the pain of giving out of obligation. Obligation is a denial of self if it is not willingly given. The body is not life-life is what animates the body. Giving your body to another without the spirit of life is bringing death close to those who depend on you (your children). They will die inside to the abuser or bad relationship experience and so will you from your disease of fear.
In the greater picture the decision to live always works in the best interest of all those concerned. Leaving any unhealthy relationship still brings heartbreak and sadness, but it also brings new life. Life is what you feel when you leave. Liberation is what you feel when the hurt is gone. Freedom is what you will experience and freedom is life, the words are interchangeable. You can always survive any bad relationship but you are not living because you know the truth of your captivity by fear!
Without the chains holding you back you will be free to make new choices and you will experience being alive. Wise choices bring life and you have no choices when you are dead inside. In considering leaving your present circumstances, embrace the fear you are feeling-know it is part of the first steps you are taking. Acknowledge the awareness of it and you will overcome it. Fear not, and you have probably not taken a step-your lack of fear is acknowledgement of a step not taken. Fear is not your enemy-it is your decision not to experience it, that is.
Freedom is not freedom unless it is exercised. Choices are not choices unless they are made. Freedom, choices, and unconditional love are what you are. You are not alive unless you experience them. Meaningful choices are hard to make but must be made in order to live. They require moving from your comfort zone, but they also promise the highest rewards. It is also your nature to change, to grow as an individual-to experience everything life has to offer. There is no life in an abusive or miserable box-there is only confinement to the same pain every day.
I Timothy 1:7
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
My hope is that you find the courage to make the hard decisions that bring life to you and to those around you who have seen you quit the struggle for life outside of your comfort zone. Never settle for "what is" if "what is" is sucking the life and spirit out of you.
See you next blog,