I spend a lot of time trying to convince my mom to quit spending so much time with my dad.
This, we can all agree, is a losing battle. So here I will present an alternative argument. Bear with me.
Earlier in the year I was spending a great deal of time with someone who wasn’t good for me. He made me dislike myself, because I was willing to let him treat me like a past time,so long as he would allow me to be near him. Not good.
This is apparently a habit of mine. I have a similar relationship with my best friend. She approaches our friendship as important or unimportant, depending on what’s going on in her life at any given time.
What both relationships have in common is that I see them both as interesting people for whom I have a particular fondness. I allowed that fondness to dictate my interactions with them. As we all know, love follows it’s own set of rules, often to our detriment.
I recently moved in to a commune. Well, it’s not really a commune, but it’s close. There are four roommates, and they decorate, plan activities, and seem a great deal like a family that genuinely enjoys one another’s company.
They were my friends previous to the move, but since that time, they have converted this restless wanderer into a homebody. It began with participation in their activities — outings to the zoo/park/restaurants; crafting; playing rock band — the list goes on and on. Then even just enjoying visiting with them when we happened to be in the living room at the same time. They make me coffee now. One of them works at Starbuck’s and brings me coffee; he leaves notes about the origin of the coffee. Another helps me make choices — my least favorite thing to do. She just decides things and it’s done and it makes me feel so happy, and secure, for some reason. She does this for all of us. And we love her for it because she has our best interests at heart.
The other two roommates are awesome, just as unique and interesting, people but I’ve already run long with this, so suffice it to say, they add to the overall pleasant picture.
My point is that, it was impossible for me to cut ties with people I loved, who were bad for me. It takes a more self-controlled person than I — or anyone I know — to simply walk away from someone you love, even for all the right reasons.
You can, however, invest your time differently. If you have friends that are better for you — in whatever way– (sometimes better habits, or more level-headed, or in my case, more caring) then spend time with them. Take the invitations, issue your own, even when your heart tells you to rush right to —insert bad/toxic person here–. Don’t try to quit cold turkey. You’ll still rush there 90% of the time. But soon it will be 80%. Then 70%, 60%, and by the time you hit 50%, it’s getting easier. Your world gets a little bigger. Making the right choices about people will get a little easier.
So what I’m saying to my Mom, myself, and everyone else who keeps going back when they know better is know your limitations. If you can’t walk away, don’t. Just walk somewhere nicer sometimes and give yourself some room to see a little better.