Whenever you make a decision, you are always evaluating the tradeoffs. If you know what you value first and foremost then you should gain some ability to be clear in looking at what the right thing for you to do is. It’s very difficult to make emotionally fraught decisions when you’re surrounded by people who are pulling you towards their own competing agendas, so the first thing to do is make sure you have the space in your life to know what YOU want, without the influence of others. It’s often really helpful to go out in nature, by yourself, and sit for awhile. Let the woods wash over you. Take a swim in a lake. Break out of your normal routine, again, BY YOURSELF, and let your thoughts settle out.
If you know in your heart what you want to do and you’re just worried about how others will receive it, then that’s fine. There may be a gap between knowing what you want and actually acting on it. This is common, particularly for those who are very focused on others’ feelings and wanting to please. It requires a certain amount of courage and conviction to do what you want in face of resistance from others, especially if your decision will make them unhappy and you have fallout to deal with.
However, if you don’t do what’s right for you, you will suffer even more than if you stood up for yourself and honored your own heart in your decision that you announce to the world.
If it’s truly the right thing for you, and if others truly love you, they will eventually come around and will see it. They will eventually let their own ego-driven agenda soften. They will eventually respect you for what you have done.
If their egos are too rigid, then it’s possible they won’t. In that case you’ll need to decide once again on your values.
Is it more important to keep this very inflexible person who is selfishly insisting on their own needs in your life? If the two options are indeed mutually exclusive, and you cannot do what you know to be right for you without negating what they insist is right for them, then are you okay with compromising your own true values this time? If you do that, will you have to do it again, and possibly again and again and again, throughout the continuation of the relationship? Is the relationship worth it to you, that you are willing to sacrifice your own evolution in this way?
These are critical decisions that only you can make.
And of course you have to make sure that YOU are not being the “very inflexible person who is selfishly insisting” — that you are doing what’s right because you KNOW it’s right for you and it’s a non-negotiable black and white issue that leaves no room for alternatives. Not every issue is in this category, of course. Some people make all of their issues high-drama and massive, which is not honoring reality effectively either. If you always railroad others in your life and insist on your way of doing things, then obviously that’s not appropriate; it’s ego. Yet if you’re allowing others to always insist on their preferences and if you constantly crumple in the face of any whiff of a conflict with people, then you’re not living your own values either. You may not even be aware of what they are. This is not letting you maximize your own development and potential for happiness. You’re cheating yourself by trying to please everyone else.
Whether you’re at a crossroads in your life and having to make a monumental weighty decision on which next path to take, or whether it’s a simple disagreement over something far less consequential, your values will govern your actions. Knowing your values with clarity is so helpful. and being to act on them when it’s appropriate is empowering. Even if that means sometimes walking away.
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