In life, we often encounter crossroads where we face the tough decision of whether to leave something familiar behind. Whether it's a relationship, a friendship, or a long-standing job, we're haunted by the questions: "When should I go, when do I leave, and how do I stay?" This dilemma is beautifully captured in a quote from the show "Tiny Beautiful Things," which echoes my husband's reflection he wrote a while ago on timing and decision-making and mirrors my life experiences.
The Quote from 'Tiny Beautiful Things':
"Right before my junior year of college I married a good man whom both loved and should not have married; because the day I married him it was a small clear voice inside me that said go. There was a small voice that said go, even though you love him, go; even though he is kind and faithful and good to you, go; even though there is nowhere to go, go; even though you don't know exactly why you can't stay.
Once I heard that voice I couldn't unhear it. So instead, I tried not to listen, but women you have to listen...there are so many reasons we should stay, but there is really only one reason to go...because you want to go; because wanting to leave is enough "
Navigating Life's Timelines: A Perspective from Seneca Johnson:
The Universal Question:
"How many ponder the question, “When’s the right time to do something?” The question spans the trivial to the significant in our lives, from childhood through adulthood. Think back to your childhood, when you wanted to spend a night at a friend’s house or have them over, but you hesitated, waiting to gauge your parents’ moods – “When’s the right time?
As we transition into adulthood, we yearn for independence, yet we grapple with the prospect of leaving the safety and security of home. Once again, we ask ourselves, “When’s the right time?”
Childhood to Adulthood:
And then, as adults, the question of timing rears its head for almost everything – changing jobs, starting a family, leaving or staying in a relationship. “When’s the right time?” Let’s be candid; most of us wouldn’t recognize the right time if it slapped us in the face and screamed, “NOW!”
Some meticulously plan and prepare, seeking perfection to ensure success, while others make hasty decisions, thinking, “Let’s see what happens.” I’ve experienced both sides, and I’ve seen both fail. So, when is the right time?
The Illusion of Perfect Timing:
Ever heard the saying, “It’s never the right time”? This means that things won’t always align perfectly; failure, when you’re determined to succeed, becomes part of your blessing.
No one can point to a specific moment and declare, “This is the perfect time; now is the time.” Some of us even search for signs, hoping for a clear path to success (success in five miles turn left). But often, the signpost never appears. While you wait for the right time, you might miss what has passed you by – and that’s time itself.
Embracing Life's Unpredictability: We only have one shot at this complex, unpredictable life. We have an expiration date, though we’re fortunate not to know it. So, when you ask, “When’s the right time?” Remember, your time is limited, and you want to make the most of it. "
Contributed by Seneca Johnson
My Journey of Leaving:
Reflecting on my journey, I've often pondered why the urge to stay sometimes feels stronger than the urge to go. Whether it was an unhealthy one or just a relationship that felt wrong, the internal battle was always intense. I knew I had to leave, yet validating that little voice within was challenging. The fear of being alone and confronting my inner self was overwhelming.
Perhaps it's out of loyalty to the person and the time invested, yet we forget the loyalty we owe ourselves. It's as if we owe it to ourselves to step outside our comfort zone to heed the call for change. I've always believed that
God makes us uncomfortable when he wants us to move. It's like the little pebble in your sock that makes walking nearly impossible, a constant reminder that something isn't right.
Self-doubt can keep us tethered, walking on that pebble far longer than necessary.
Listening to that small, persistent voice within us can be daunting. Sometimes, staying in an unpleasantly familiar place feels safer than venturing into the unknown. Why is that? For me, the signals are unmistakable: anxiety, restlessness, a deep-seated feeling of being unsettled. My body and mind scream that it's time to move on, yet a part of me hesitates and clings to the known despite its discomfort.
Yet, it's in embracing the move towards the uncomfortable, the unknown, that we truly find bravery. In these untraveled roads, we discover our true selves, our inner strength, and the profound insights that come with such journeys. Whether from a relationship or a long-standing job, the decision to leave has always been saturated with mixed emotions. But it's also been a growth path to finding a deeper connection with myself and my desires.
The discomfort of staying became a louder signal than the safety of the known, pushing me towards new paths. This journey of self-discovery, learning to listen to that small voice and respecting my own needs, has been challenging and incredibly rewarding. It's taught me the importance of being brave, of moving towards the uncomfortable and the unknown because it's in those spaces that we truly grow and find our most authentic selves.
In conclusion, asking ourselves, "When should I go, when do I leave, and how do I stay?" isn't just about deciding. It's about listening to our inner wisdom, embracing the discomfort of growth, and having the courage to pursue our true path. Sometimes, the hardest goodbyes lead to the most beautiful beginnings. Our lives are defined by the moments we dare to step out the door, leaving the comfort of our tiny boxes for the wide-open opportunities that await. Thanks to my husband, Seneca Johnson, for his insightful reflections on timing and decision-making.
Consider these Transformation Takeaways key insights to guide your journey through change and personal growth.
Trust Your Inner Voice: That small, still voice inside you is often your deepest wisdom speaking. Trusting your intuition is crucial. It often knows what your conscious mind hasn't yet realized.
Discomfort as a Catalyst for Change: Discomfort is often a sign that it's time to move, grow, and explore new opportunities. Discomfort is not an obstacle but a direction.
You Are Your Compass: Ultimately, you are the best judge of what is right for you. Learning to prioritize your well-being and happiness is a powerful step towards fulfillment.
The Power of Letting Go: Letting go of what no longer serves us opens the door to new possibilities and frees us to pursue our true potential.
Wisdom Workouts: Engage with our Wisdom Workouts, designed to stretch your perspectives and strengthen your understanding, turning reflection into a powerful tool for personal enlightenment.
What small, persistent voice inside you have you been ignoring?
How do you want to change? Think about the things that need to shift and require your full attention.
Where do you feel the discomfort of stagnation in your life, and how might that signal a need for change?
Think of a time you stayed in a situation out of comfort. What would have happened if you had chosen to leave earlier?