You’re going to lose people from your life. And it’s going to be painful.
I’m not talking about death, although that, too, is an inevitable way we lose people from our lives over the course of time.
I’m talking about the fact that there will be people who we decide not to have in our lives anymore, because their presence in our lives is inconsistent with who we are trying to be and the life we are trying to create.
I’m also talking about those times when someone else makes the decision to excise us from their lives, for the very same reason.
Sometimes we just have to draw a line.
Sometimes the presence of someone in your life— the feelings they facilitate, the situations they seem to bring with them— is just too much.
This is one of the most important types of boundaries to set in life.
It’s also one of the hardest.
Most of us don’t LIKE the idea that we sometimes have to cut people off.
Many times we feel mean and guilty for cutting someone out of our lives.
This is especially true if the person we’re talking about is a family member or someone we’ve had a close association with for years.
Many of us have been taught that we HAVE to tolerate the behavior of someone, because our history with them does not give us the option of cutting them out.
Sometimes setting this kind of limit with someone is difficult because you have shared responsibilities, such as coparenting.
Many times it’s difficult because, somewhere in our history, that person has been helpful to or supportive of us, and we feel a debt of gratitude to them.
None of this is fun. None of this is easy.
But it’s very necessary.
Often times, we want to think we can work something out.
We want to think we can tough it out.
We want to think we can tolerate whatever pain and chaos a relationship brings into our lives, because we was to be the “bigger person.”
Sometimes we even realize that its not that person’s fault or intention to bring chaos and pain into our lives.
Whether it’s their fault or not, we have to be realistic about what they do bring into our lives.
And it’s absolutely the case that sometimes there really is no other option than to just cut the cord.
When you get to this point, be gentle with yourself.
Acknowledge your own conflict.
Acknowledge your reluctance.
Acknowledge the grief and loss cutting this person off will entail.
Accept that this person (and others in your life) might do everything in their power to guilt you into changing your life.
But if you’re at that point with a person…do it.
Cut the cord.
Block their number and delete it from your phone.
Do not respond to their attempts to reach out.
Do not respond to their apologies.
Do not be persuaded by that hopeful little voice in your head that says “Mayyyyybe we can work something out…?”
Its a bummer when you need to set that firm and final of a boundary.
But do it.
Do it, and move forward.