“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
~ Viktor E Frankl
Sometimes in our lives we are faced with crossroads: decisions about workplace, relationships, groups we belong to and even countries.
These include the big decisions for those who may become refugees or stay behind and join the resistance; the decisions for those who stay (or leave) a community, group or organization that have become dysfunctional or stopped delivering what’s needed; or the smaller but also important decisions to stay or leave a relationship or life path that stopped being fulfilling, meaningful or healthy…
We are living interesting times: nothing is guaranteed, all is changing or collapsing; this produces anxiety and we deal with anxiety by numbing ourselves, distracting ourselves, denying that things are that bad or deluding ourselves by looking for the “perfect” thing, relationship, place, etc. We also deal with anxiety by getting sick or acting out and therefore creating more anxiety and dysfunction for ourselves and others…
If you are in a place that’s “toxic”, chaotic, dysfunctional or even dangerous to you or to people, beings or things you care about, you have various options:
1) Leave, and make that another person’s problem;
2) Stay and work with others on bringing understanding, joy and healing as well as change where needed;
3) Stay but complain about everyone and everything what’s “wrong” without making an effort to understand, embrace, change or heal anything;
4) Stay and just “do your thing” in your corner, swallowing all the poison until you explode or
5) Stay and work on your own healing, acceptance and attitude hoping it will support others in theirs…even if you can’t work on the bigger issues (institutional, systemic, relational, etc.)
All these choices have different consequences for you as an individual and those involved; none (of the above choices) is “right” or “wrong” except that probably in #3 & #4 cases you will experience more disconnection with yourself and others, with the potential of even more dysfunction and harm.
Whether you choose any of the above options will depend on the circumstances; the potential for harm; how much inner strength you have at the moment; how much support and resources are available to you and how worth is for you to invest time, energy and resources in the situation.
This works with entire countries, communities, jobs, causes, groups, friends and even relationships…
Whatever your choice, here there’s some food for thought:
Let your life be your message…imperfect, messy, paradoxical, but authentic
“We are our choices.”
~ Jean-Paul Sartre