I am amazed and inspired by the incredible strength and determination of the women who gather the courage to leave what no longer serves them.
It could be a neighbor, a friend, a teacher, a colleague, even a sister or mother.
We witness their struggles and their sadness and wonder why they stay, but we also know that we can’t force them to leave. We only hope that one day they see for themselves their infinite potential and send them encouragement to find their own happiness.
Whether it is a job, a relationship, a city or simply a life that is unfulfilling or holding them back.
The moment they realize their own potential and self worth, is much more powerful than anything we could have said to them.
If you have questioned your own situation and wonder if it’s time to leave, consider what makes a woman finally leave and ask if any of these statements ring true for you.
Why She Stayed.
She was once happy where she was. There were infinite possibilities—the love they shared was deep and powerful—she was desperate to rekindle that.
In the beginning, it felt wonderful and joyous as they were exploring new things together and she was learning so much about herself.
She remembered the fun they used to have and how fulfilled she was. He was everything she thought she wanted.
Her friends and family used to comment on how happy she was, as if they were envious of the joy she radiated. They wanted it too, or so she thought.
When things started to change, and the feelings began to dissipate, she wondered where she went wrong. She was hopeful that it would come back that strong again.
She was upset with herself, that she was somehow to blame.
She felt that staying showed her commitment and she was worried that she may leave too soon and live to regret it.
She waited for things to get better. She stayed optimistic that things would change.
She questioned many times if she should leave. That was the first sign that she should.
So instead, she looked for signs that she should stay. And sometimes when she looked hard enough, she found them.
She knew, in some ways that she was settling, but still she questioned if there would be anything better.
Besides, it wasn’t terrible and there was still some good left. Others certainly had it worse, she would justify.
She felt some safety in knowing what to expect, as if being comfortable brought happiness. It didn’t.
She had many ways to rationalize why she should stay.
She was scared about what she was giving up, and worried about what she may lose if she left.
But she didn’t consider what it was costing her to stay.
She started to uncover the courage and strength that she knew she always had. She weighed the risks.
Now, she was tired. She was defeated. She was resentful. She had given up her own power and happiness and she knew it was too far-gone.
She spoke to friends and she built up a tribe around her. They supported her. They always did.
She remembered how much potential she had and how the choice to stay was hurting her.
She let go of the guilt and blame that she had done something wrong. She hadn’t.
She finally had enough. She realized that it was no longer serving her. It was making her sad, hurt and frustrated.
She had given until there was nothing left to give. She wanted to smile and laugh again, like she did when it first began.
She knew it was inevitable that she would leave, but she didn’t know when. She didn’t know how. She knew she was stalling.
But she wondered what she was waiting for.
But finally, she left. The sadness became too much, the stress too overwhelming and the hurt enclosed her.
It was time to move on and she had found the strength. She realized that the only one holding her back was herself.
She was terrified of the aftermath. How would she cope? Who would she be without this part of her life that she had held onto for so long?
She picked herself up, she found the courage and she believed in herself. She knew she was strong, she knew she would survive.
She thought back to who she was before she weakened and how amazing and accomplished she was. How she lived her life without fear—she felt joy and passion. She found inspiration in that.
When it was all said and done, it was like a breath of fresh air. And she smiled again. Just like she knew she would.
She survived and she proved her strength. Not to anyone else, but to herself. She became aware of how much she had sacrificed and how unhappy she had been.
Life started to unfold around her and happiness began to pursue her. She didn’t need to reach for it with outstretched arms like she thought.
Happiness found her.
She still holds onto the happy memories, but she decided she deserved to be unconditionally happy. She decided that her life was worth pure bliss and that she didn’t need to rationalize her choices any longer.
For all of the amazing women of the world, may you find the strength and the courage to live the life of joy you are worthy of and finally take that breath of fresh air.
By Jodie Hebbard for ElphantJournal