“There are many things that we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.” –Oscar Wilde
Personally, I can attest to the truth in that statement. In my life, I’ve caught myself clinging to things and people who were causing me harm, bringing me down, treating me as an afterthought, or not giving as much as they were getting.
Opportunities. Friendships. Jobs. Men.
I’ve worked in jobs like this–endless hours and frequent overtime, a rude and hateful boss, and the list goes on. Why didn’t I just find another job? Well, eventually, I did. But for a while, I put up with it.
I was too afraid to let go. I was afraid that what I had might be the best thing I could ever get, and if I gave it up, someone else might pick it up.
The opposite is actually true.
Every time I’ve let go of a stressful or miserable job, an unrequited friendship, or a detrimental relationship, I’ve never wound up regretting the decision. I’ve never seen someone else become her best friend and wish I were in her shoes. I’ve never seen my fears become realities when I’ve prayed about it, believed God wanted me to close the door, and quietly closed it. And walked away.
Instead, I’ve found fulfillment in other opportunities. God has always provided for me, whether it’s by sending an old friend back into my life to fill that hole or by giving me time by myself to grieve and contemplate things thoroughly before moving on after ending a sour relationship.
Oscar Wilde is right; we hold on because we’re afraid, and sometimes it is because we believe that someone else might fill our shoes.
But those shoes are muddy, cracked, and rank. I say to the shoe fillers, “Be my guest,” as I walk away. Barefooted.