Sometimes the hardest thing is deciding when to give up or try harder.
Life's a juggling act of As and Bs. Knowing when to hold on and try harder, or when to give up and walk away, especially when it comes to relationships. What's the right direction?
We've had a mixed bag of messages our whole lives. We're inspired by those who urge us to fight for what we want, to never stop trying and never give in. But the unconscious messages of our childhood tell us we're not good enough to have what we want. And because we believe that what we want can only be had through a source external of ourselves, if we want it, we have to fight hard. And if we can't fight, we have to learn to live without it.
That's why the decision is so tough.
And we can fear rejection so dam much, maybe it's safer to just give up. We don't believe we can win anyway. But we don't want to be on our own, and we agonise over the decision.
- Did I do the right thing?
- If I fight, for how long?
- Am I wasting my time?
- What will happen if I just give up?
- If I walk away how will I cope?
- If I stay will I ever be happy?
- What if I never find love again?
Puts your head in a spin, doesnt it?! But what if we don't have to decide?
What if there's no A or B, no trying harder or giving up?
What if there's another path, another way? And what if this other way would always guarantee the 'right' direction?
Well it turns out there is another way, there's THE MIDDLE WAY, and it's nothing new. Buddhism has been pointing to the middle way for eons as the path that transcends duality and leads us to "...the way of life that would give the greatest value to human existence and help relieve the world of suffering."
Wait a fekkin minute ..... WHAT? There's already another way, and it leads to the end of suffering? Why in holy moly Mary's Sunday undies aren't we taking this middle way?
That's a great question. Mostly we haven't been taught and here in the West we like to do things the hard way. We're a bit slow at embracing the wise teachings of the East.
We haven't yet twigged that we should be doing what works - and it does work.
So your relationship's wilting, you're both to-ing and fro-ing with on/off drama, and more ups and downs and all kinds of sideways than a roller coaster ride at Dreamworld. You know everything that they're doing that they shouldn't.
But you don't know what to do, because you can't get them to change.
You can't get them to hear you, to want you, to respect you, to step up and love you in the way you say you need loved. But you don't wanna leave. You don't want to throw in the towel. I mean, what if you leave too soon and they change? Right?
Should you stay and fight or should it be hands in the air and you hot tailing it outta there? You've asked your friends for advice, and that hasn't helped and it won't, because no one is you. They can only tell you what they think they'd do. And even that's sketchy as, coz peeps be notorious for not taking their own advice. And they don't have to live with the consequences.
Darling, you need to take the middle way.
And the middle way starts with letting go. Not to be confused with giving up, letting go is dropping your resistance and the painful illusion that you have control. Come now, you already know you can't control anyone else. Why keep your hand in the fire and complain that it's burning?
Stop trying to control what's going on. And no, you don't need all the answers.
I know you fear that if you're not in there meddling, pushing, talking, manipulating, arguing and making assumptions and pointing the finger, and trying oh so hard, that it'll all fall apart. But honey, it's already fallen. And you're likely just driving the wedge wider.
The middle way is letting go.
The middle way is neither fighting nor giving up, and it's a win/win. It's the end of suffering, remember, trust Buddha! So, here's how the middle way works:
By dropping resistance you create space. You allow what is, as is, and you stop forcing, (which someone else only pushes back against anyway.) You take your focus off the other person, off the relationship and off the outcome and you put it the only place you have power, the only place you can create change, the only place that's really needing your attention, and that's back on yourself.
That's where ease and grace and delicious flow happens.
You recognize that the relationship can only ever be an outward manifestation of whatever's going on inside you. The conflict; the struggle, the fear, the disconnect, the lies, the pain, the disappointment, it's mirroring your own repressed emotions, unconscious beliefs, whatever you're avoiding inside.
You're projecting into the relationship, and now you can see the reflection, but it can't be yours of course, so you assign blame. And oh yeah, you get to sabotage your happiness, and isn't that something you've become good at?
Yes, you'll feel, cry heaps, maybe, BUT you'll shift some energy, and then you'll get to work.
You'll take that long hard look, yip, the one you're telling someone else to take, and you'll see inside you, where your own disconnect lives.
And you'll own your stuff. And don't tell me it's not there. It always is, you wouldn't be meeting it otherwise.
Be brave, never be afraid of your own honesty, let it set you free.
- Find your lukewarm.
- See your half hearted.
- See your 'just enoughs and it'll dos.'
- See your unloving self.
- See your misalignment.
- See all the conditions.
- All the push and demands.
- See your lack of presence.
- And your lack of flow.
- See how dim your light's become.
- And how unhappy you've really been beneath the pretence.
The middle way is the way of truth.
And maybe you look and you find nothing. Yes, it is all them, they really are as bad as you say. But sweetheart, if that's the case, what are you doing there? What's got into you thinking this is your lot? And just what is it that you really want that you're too scared to have, to believe yourself worthy of having?
Oh ..... there is it.
And what's the way for you to spring your ass up and out of that situation and into where it rightfully belongs? Why, that would be the middle way.
'The way that would bring the greatest value to your human existence and help relieve you of suffering.' YES! AMEN! SIGN ME THE F*CK UP!!!
The middle way is dropping the idea that there's an A or B, that it's his fault or my fault, that it's them or us. There's no duality with the middle way. There's only here and now, and what's inside me that's misaligned and manifesting.
That's where your attention needs to be.
Because when you put your attention there, honey, your relationship will fly like a eagle. Your partner will be inspired and moved to do what it takes to rise up and meet you. Or you'll soar right on up outta there, without making any decisions, other than the one you made to do the inner work on yourself.
And the Universe will naturally manifest the fruits of your inner work.
So should you fight and try harder, or should you give up? Neither. You should take the middle way. The right direction is in. You turn your energy towards yourself, let go of out there, drop your resistance to what's going on, and you go deep into yourself baby.
- And you get still
- And you get real.
- And you get honest
- And you get clear.
- And you find all the fractured parts of yourself that are showing up in your relationship, in your job, in the state of your finances, in your health, in whatever crisis you're in.
- And if you can't do it yourself you get help.
And what happens from there is exactly what's meant to happen, as it's meant to happen. And you trust that, you trust Buddha, with every fibre of your being. 🙂
And that's the win/win - you coming alive in the here and now and creating the most wonderful space to allow life to happen. And that decision, it'll take care of itself.
The middle way is the path of empowerment and eventually peace. Take it.
We don't have to force life, to force people to love us, or want us, or give us time or energy, or be who we think we need them to be or vice versa. We can't force any of those things anyway. And the more we fight to force them, the more we repel them. And by giving up, we just add to the story of our unworthiness and our lack and our fear that we're not enough.
Ditch both. Get real and honest, take the middle way.
Take the path to enlightenment, freedom and love, and to being the most fucking amazing human being you came here to be. YES YOU!!! NO MATTER YOUR PAST!!!
You have so much yet to realize about yourself. To know your own essence, and to be the one who knows what you want, and who knows how to get it - ON THE INSIDE FIRST.
There's only one decision you have to make - to get conscious AND one direction to go in - turn inwards, and THEN you'll come to understand EVERYTHING.
Dawn Lee is an emotional & spiritual intelligence coach™, writer and metaphysical teacher with a passion for melding psychology, coaching and spirituality with her own unique intuitive wisdom and lived experience. Dawn's expertise is helping you reclaim happiness, peace, love and connection from the inside out. Her mission, to help others live happy, strong and aligned. Find out more about working with Dawn here.