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Walking away isn't running away

Jefferson Galt

A close friend is in trouble. She won't answer the phone and Starfish and I are worried about her. We wrote this letter to her and have decided that we will publish it in case it helps others in a similar situation.

There's a big difference between walking away from an intractable situation and running away from problems.
Running away means not facing up to the difficulty, not considering the options. If you think about it carefully and decide that leaving is the right course of action, that is facing up to your problems, not running away.

If you run away, there will always be, in the back of your mind, a "what if" question. But if you have made up your mind because you know that to continue is the wrong thing, then you will be able to draw a line under it, to leave and not have regrets.

Love is not about the exercise of ego and control. Rather, it is about being willing to sacrifice ego and to know when control should be surrendered. But it should not be unthinking. One should not sacrifice ego and control to someone who will not reciprocate.

Love is a meeting of equals, not of one party being dominant in all things. It is knowing when to take control and when to relinquish it. And, in a good relationship, a relationship where your strengths compliment each other those things just happen. So, for two people to love each other and to build a relationship that will last, they must both surrender their egos and relinquish control.

And to do that they must recognise what is important enough to fight for and about and when to accept - with good grace - the things that give their lover pleasure even if they would not be exactly the things they themselves would have chosen.

It's difficult to know when you've thought enough, when you are making a rational decision instead of a knee-jerk reaction to the latest of a series of adverse events. But that, of itself, is a guide: if you are repeatedly questioning whether you should still be in a relationship, and always on the verge of leaving, then almost by definition it's not a good relationship.

It's a balancing act, to know that you are leaving because you know the relationship will never work as against a short-term unhappiness.

And leaving that is not running away. It's walking, head held high, into a better future.

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