I recently read about a woman who was attacked by a serial rapist. I read about how she struggled to get back her will to live, and the life she envisioned she wanted. All the time, she said she kept thinking of all her aspirations before she was violated and how she wanted to achieve it. I found the account very inspiring.
We meet people in our day-to-day, who seem melancholy, or matter-of-fact, at the least. And then we find out that they have eked out an existence for themselves so they could “keep it together” and continue their everyday existence. But really, they are only going through the motions. They have succeeded in digging a hole for themselves that they can’t seem to get themselves out of.
This could be a dead-end job or profession. It could be an empty relationship. Or it could even be an abusive one, tending towards physical, mental or emotional manipulations of one to the other. Whatever it is, it has succeeded in sapping a person out of his/her desire to look forward to another day, to see the future as an adventure, an interesting and rewarding journey.
I would like to put out there that I am very much against the tenet that marriage between two people is always forever. This may very well be possible for some of us. It all sounds romantic, cozy, and tingly. But the sad reality is that people change. People don’t stop growing and developing until they are old and their capacity for learning has slowed to a snail’s pace. Sometimes, people evolve and they can grow apart, for whatever reason. It doesn’t always have to be someone’s fault. Who you thought you knew may not necessarily be the same person 10 or 20 years from now. And who can tell if you will evolve in the same direction?
And so, for all the people who, deep down, feel they have sunk into an abyss, take back your lives! Take back who you are and what you want out of this one life. Don’t just “get by” or “survive.” That’s a cop-out! It’s a convenient and easy excuse to play a “victim.” We all know that victims feel powerless and believe that breaking free of whatever stronghold over them is beyond them. I say, choose to walk away from the toxic situation. When you are actively leaving it behind, you are actively taking control of your life.
Leave out the family expectations, the supposed social norms, the dictates of whatever religious doctrine. They can all wait and they’ll just have to deal with it. Just focus on yourself for a change and give yourself a chance to look forward to something of substance.
Sometimes, it does take a tremendous amount of courage and fortitude to walk away. This is because people tend to associate quitting with failure. But it takes a genuine soul to see that in order to preserve the spirit, it must gather all the strength it needs to make the change. Just like the legend of the phoenix, one has to die to one’s old self in order for the new to emerge.
It does not have to be a big event. There does not have to be any flamboyant display of change. Sometimes, the quiet contentment and reassurance that one is in control of one’s life, is enough. It is in the calm reassurance that whatever is established will not drastically change without one’s knowledge or consent.