When in the process of moving forward in life, do you ever find yourself gravitating toward what you ran from in the first place? Maybe not the exact circumstances or person, but the recognition of patterns you were trying to break reemerging?
Maybe you left a job due to mistreatment by your employer or other negative experiences, and suddenly you are seeing yourself surrounded by the same issues at your new place of employment. It could be a relationship that ended and, while the problems were initially solved by the separation, you start to notice the same gut feelings with someone new.
These mirroring instances throughout life do not always happen immediately. I myself occasionally notice that I gravitate toward an empty space in the room. Abandonment is funny like that. When you grow up expecting revolving doors, you cannot help but to look for them and pray you know how to resist the temptation.
You could experience something as a child and not notice the feelings of déjà vu until decades later. The way someone exits a room and suddenly, you are terrified that they might not come back. Realistically, you know that they will, that people do not actually cease to exist when they leave your line of vision, but it can be hard to remember that in the moment. Just as it is all too easy to become the “I will never leave you,” after being left time and time again.
Maybe you entered life being thrown the responsibility of managing the emotions and ease of those around you, catering to their comfort or beliefs to make life more bearable. When you are presented with the idea that people will leave early on, you will learn to do anything to keep the ones who stayed around.
As children, our jobs are simply to “be” children. When we are young, we rely on our parents or guardians to take care of us. Food, clothing and warmth are at one end of the spectrum as our most basic needs. In order to survive, we must have these met, but we require so much more to thrive.
When you are young, your mind is soft, and it is the responsibility of those around you to instill the qualities that can guide you to finding the best possible version of yourself as an adult. Teach your children blind obedience, and they will never know how to stand up for themselves or implement boundaries. Teach them their words do not matter, and they will lose their voice entirely. Leave them, and they will waste so much time looking for clues to prove everyone else will too.
The truth is, we all deserved to be dealt different hands than what we got, but maybe the growth comes once we make peace with what we were given. We change and our motives shift from constantly serving those around us to understanding that it was actually never wrong to be selfish sometimes. We choose the paths we do because we have all had a sense of ‘being here before’, and it’s difficult to break a cycle until you acknowledge its presence.
Your responsibility does not lie with the emotions and comfort of those around you. You are responsible for doing what is best for you. Do not allow that to be dismissed by the reminder that you should care for others. You care for others best when you are the best version of yourself. Never forget to offer yourself grace for how far you have come and where you are going. I am so proud of you.
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