FREEDOM MONTH: DAY 6: “Clearing out all your misery gets you out of the way. You cease being an obstacle, not only to yourself but to anyone else. Only then are you free to serve and enjoy other people.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
This, I believe, is the entirety of what Step 9 conveys. We are here to clean out the cobwebs from our damaged relationships. Period. To amend the shit we did to others. Period. Then, we walk away, free from knowing whether or not those relationships will continue on this new footing, but free. Free from carrying the garbage of our old ideas, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors with us into even one more day. We are free. Period.
We can continue these relationships if that supports the plan of the Universal Power. It is not up to us, most of the time. We all know the horrible feeling of trying to make something happen that is not in accordance with that Power. To attempt, time after time, to lie to ourselves and the other person that we are doing the relationship in a spiritual fashion. It is hell. When we can learn to let go of those things that do NOT serve the Universal Power or the highest good of those involved, we are free.
I have been a hostage to my Ego long enough. That is what told me I would die if I left toxic, unloving relationships. That is what kept me living in hell while I knew I was too afraid to walk away and have nothing. “Isn’t something better than nothing?” I asked myself.
I was being an obstacle; I was crippling myself and the other person by not allowing them to stand on their own feet and make grownup choices and face grownup consequences. I was co-signing their toxic behavior and accepting it because I felt unworthy to allow the Universe to love me fully. I was believing I was less than God’s favorite kid. There was ALWAYS a payoff…financial security, entangled and enmeshed lives, social pressure to stay. Whatever the story, and there was ALWAYS a story, I was miserable, and so was (truth be told) the other person, though they might beg me to stay or vice-versa. This can be in a family situation, a marriage or partnership, a job, SO many toxic relationships have come into and out of my life, thank God!
But I have learned to walk away, no matter the story I may have around sticking it out. Why? To destroy the happiness I get when I am in relationship fully with the Power and myself? Yeah, no thanks. The idea that there is some kind of heroism in staying in toxic relationships way past the point where we or the other person are truly being filled with Spiritual service is ridiculous…another of the cultural myths created by fear and Ego and codependence. Yuk!
Every time I have walked into another dynamic, I have been led to live in a spiritual fashion and to the perfect next situation for me…in homes, in jobs, in lovers and friends and, especially, in spiritual growth. I am here to do THAT. And I am happy with me, my choices, my life, and the people who are in it today. I have never looked back in regret and I have always carried the teaching of each person into the next place. I don’t want to forget any of my teachers. They are gifts from the Power, because I am God’s favorite kid!