Living life entails walking away from things. Each and every one of us has left something or someone behind. Sometimes, these departures are heart-breaking. Sometimes, these departures are liberating. Very often, these departures are more cloudy in character and fall somewhere in between.
How do we know when to walk away? How do we know when it is the right time to leave a lover? A job? A city? A marriage? A belief? We have no glittering crystal ball to tell us when the path is clear and the destination is good. We have no expert to hold a hand and tell us that we will be okay, that we will feel okay. We have no guarantee that we can go back. Can we ever really go back?
Walking away = walking toward. We tend to see the loss before the gain. What if we realized that every time we walked away from something we were walking toward something else? Something different. New. Potentially great. What if we trained our minds to view walking away as evidence of power and agency rather than of weakness and flaws? What if we came to see this forward thrust, however blind, as ownership rather than escape?
When is walking away foolish? It is not always good to walk, to flee, to depart. Often, we walk out of fear or confusion or anger. Often, we walk for the simple breeze of motion, to snap threads of commitment, to live change.
Vernon Howard said, Our freedom can be measured by the number of things we can walk away from. Like it or not, we are free beings. More or less. At least in this respect. We are surrounded by things. Things to embrace. Things to hug tight. Things to discard. Things to leave in our evolutionary wake.
One thing is clear: we cannot choose to stand perfectly still. There are things we walk away from without trying - youth, innocence, ignorance.
Knowing what we don't want is also knowing what we do want. Abandoning is also approaching. Walking away from things - the right things - is also walking toward who we are.
What have you walked away from in your life? Do you have regrets?