If you’re redefining or redesigning your life, some people you care about don’t love this journey you’re on.
Frankly, you might not love it either.
But you’re on it. I’m on it. And it doesn’t really matter why or exactly what it looks like; what matters is that we’re here.
For sure, I’ve made mistakes in this phase of my life. So have you.
I remember telling someone close to me at the outset of this journey that I wasn’t sure whether my difficult choices were the most courageous thing I could do, or the most cowardly. What I do know is that they were the only choices I believed I could make to preserve and protect my emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical health. Add professional health to the mix, and you have the criteria for just about every significant decision I’ve made over the past decade.
I hate having to make hard choices. They almost always end up confusing or hurting others.
But the truth is that only we can live our lives. Of course, we should consider others, but in the end, other people live their lives, and we must live ours.
Let me be clear: we should strive to do no harm.
But there is a difference between harming others and making choices that others do not like.
You’ve probably gotten to a similar point: making decisions based on what you think is best for your life. You’ve established boundaries. Started living out a passion. Shifted your focus to that which convicts you. And some will see that as selfish.
In fact, I would venture to say that in many cases those closest to us will see our process of re-tuning or redefining as selfish primarily because it inconveniences or discomforts them. It throws off the balance of things. Perhaps you are asserting yourself or no longer constructing your life around their goals. They may be hurt, fearful, or resentful, and you probably feel guilty for this.
But keep in mind that oftentimes the very loved ones who want to speak boldly into our choices would likely not welcome such intrusion into their own.
If you know your path is true–or that discovering your path is essential to your well-being–then take courage. Hold steady. Respond with love and grace to those who would have you change your course to suit their preferences. Bite your tongue if you must. Resist their ultimatums. Listen to understand whether solid wisdom or counsel is being offered, but, ultimately, trust your heart and move forward.
And if your people truly love you, you will find them still with you on the other side.