"There are people who can walk away from you. And hear me when I tell you this! When people can walk away from you; let them walk. I don't want you to talk another person into staying with you, loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to see you, staying attached to you ... When people can walk away from you, let them walk." - T.D. Jakes
Some people find it so easy to walk away, to shut the door on some disappointed experience of their life. No doubt there are times that people should walk away. But far too many people in this world find walking away to be the easiest road, guarding themselves with this knowledge that there is always that back road, that well-worn path, to carry them far away when times get rough. I admit that I have often been that person, walking or running away, when life felt unbearable. But I'm proud to say that I'm no longer looking for an escape, for the easy path, for the difficulties in life to be brushed away beneath the plastic masks we all may wear. My dilemma now comes from the other side of the battle: if I am not the one walking, should I let the other walk? I've never been good at this. Unresolved conflict is not weaved into the natural fabric of my life tapestry. My instincts have always urged me forward, grasping at others' heels and searching, often desperately, for love and acceptance. I've spent a large portion of my life apologizing for things that merited no apology, begging forgiveness when I didn't honestly feel that I had done anything worthy of needing forgiveness. But apologizing and seeking forgiveness, wearing this mask, kept me safe from the unfinished business, protected from the unsettling awareness of open conflict. I used to believe that this was just part of my nature. I believed this through many years of others telling me that I should stand up more, that I should stop forgiving and forgetting so easily. The past few months have opened my eyes; I refuse to continue fighting battles that have no basis. I refuse to continue to apologize for being myself, for being honest. I refuse to continue allowing myself to be a doormat for others' anger. I do not want to fight back. I do not want to apologize simply to appease someone else. What I do want is to live my life with integrity, with strength, and with the knowledge that love and acceptance are not gifts meant to be bargained. True love and acceptance do not shut the door and walk away. The door may become weathered and in need of repairs. There may be moments when it is necessary to stand apart in order to later stand together. But if someone chooses to completely shut that door, to turn and walk away...I've chosen to let them walk.