Goodbye: (Merriam Webster) A concluding remark or gesture at parting —often used interjectionally.

(Urban Dictionary) A term used upon leaving.

Ahhhh, relationships. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Or can you? Have you ever considered that certain relationships could be bad for your health? Now, I’m not talking about relationships that are obviously bad for you, like one with an abusive significant other. I’m talking about relationships that wear on you over time and make you feel like you have to reevaluate who you are as a person. Unfortunately it’s usually the closest relationships we have, like with our family and best friends, that can make us feel this way.

I think I could go on FOREVER about some of the relationships that I have been involved in over time. There just aren’t enough hours in the universe to even begin to go there so I won’t. But I do want to share something that I learned with the help of a conversation I had with my mother the other day.

Lately I have been forced to deal with some pretty heavy issues with some family members that have lead me to think about my relationships with them. Needless to say it hasn’t been very easy. It has also lead me to realize that life is always about perception. How you perceive something is not always the reality of the situation. This has proven to be true with my perception of my relationships as well. Growing up, I thought my family was PERFECT! They were always around during the holidays and birthdays, and everyone was always laughing and sharing memories. Yeah right! Boy did the ugly truth slap me in the face once I crossed that threshold into adulthood. That all goes back to perception. When you’re a kid, everything seems great! When you’re an adult, reality greats you like a hangover on Monday morning. There’s nothing pretty about it. And that’s exactly what happened to me a couple months back.

Anyways, I have been forced to take an honest look at certain relationships that I have had for an entire lifetime, and make some honest decisions about how I wanted to proceed with them. For anyone this would be difficult, but for someone who loves their family like a fat kid loves cake, this was the last thing I wanted to do. Decisions had to be made though, because these relationships were starting to affect my personal morals and make me feel like I was not being honest with myself. I mean, I cried many nights, got angry, made a list of pros and cons and everything. I just couldn’t accept the reality that my perception of my family was off. Until my mom put it all into perspective, which is what moms always do. Thank God for them. This is what she told me;

“Relationships are great but sometimes, for whatever reason, our expectations of that relationship changes or stops being met. That’s when you have to ask yourself, “What do I need from this person/ relationship?” If you can find something you need or can get out of the relationship, then you make it work. If not, then you just have to let it go and walk away.”

That was the perspective that I really needed! After months of evaluating my relationships, I had never looked at it like that. It really made me think too. When I was younger, I NEEDED those relationships to help me validate who I was and to stay connected to where I came from. As I have become an adult, I have also become secure in who I am and where I have come from. After spending time in reality and getting to know my family for who they truly are, Lord knows I am much better off pulling the plug.

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