Thursday, July 26, 2012

Broken Bonds

Amanda has been writing for about as long as she can remember.  She was always the kid walking around with a tattered old binder of her poetry.  She used to ride her bike around her block waiting for her muse to come and provide her with inspiration.  These days, daily life offers her plenty of inspiration, and she writes because it is the only way she knows how to make sense of the world.  Amanda is a stay at home mama to her two young girls, and she tries to fill their days with reading, loving, and creating.  She blogs about all of this and more at Indisposable Mama.  When she's not writing or spending time with her family, she can usually be found knitting crazy hats to photograph her children in.  Surely those photographs will be priceless in the years to come, either as reminders of fond memories or as great fodder for blackmail. Find more posts from her here.

How do you know when a relationship should be salvaged, and equally important, where do you draw the line between swallowing your pride and demeaning yourself?

For most of my life, I have always tried to do what was necessary in order to mend broken bonds.  My philosophy was that a relationship is more important than petty disagreements, and even if we have to swallow our pride a bit, it is worth it in order to maintain a meaningful relationship.

But I'm starting to question that theory.

See, for the second time in the last five years or so, I was asked to go against what I believe is right in order to maintain a relationship.  Both times I refused to cave, and both times, the other party did sever the relationship.

Upon looking back, it's difficult to regret these choices because I do not like who I would be had I made the opposite choices.  I do believe it is important to be humble in our dealings with other people, but I also believe that if we have to degrade and demean ourselves in order to be in a relationship then we are actually doing both parties more harm than good by playing along.

This last time, I finally stood up and said that I can't do it anymore.  I said that I am worth more.  I made it clear that I would be willing to mend bonds should the other party come half way, but I refused to sacrifice myself and my self worth in order to fix what maybe should stay broken.

And that decision has possibly been the most liberating decision of my life.  I look back on the words that I said when I informed the party that things weren't going to be fixed at my expense, and I get a sudden bolt of confidence.  I see myself as perhaps I should have all along -- as a person who is imperfect and flawed but who is still owed the respect that she shows to others.

I do look back wonder sometimes, but who am I?  Who am I to rough the waters?  Who am I to stand my ground?  Who am I to say I am worth more?

And my answer is that I am my girls' role model, and with that who am I NOT to do those things?

In hindsight, I look back on one of these relationships and I breathe a sigh of relief as I think, "good riddance."  With the other, I'm deeply saddened and hopeful that things will turn around.  But either way, I have been <em>blessed</em> with these relationships because through them, I learned who I was.  And that lesson is worth any heartbreak that learning it caused.

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