I'm Done With You
There have been several times in my life that I believed you have to completely separate from someone for true forgiveness to take place. Actually I was wrong, because what I was craving was some distance from the issue, not the person. Done is different than distance.
Now don’t get me wrong. There are times that it’s just unsafe to be around someone who is not on your side, maybe toxic, or just set on destroying things between you. In these rare cases, you should find your exit. They can be poisoning to a workplace. Putting the staff at risk. Creating an environment that everyone wants to leave. Usually the evidence of this is a lot of turnover or people “finding a better opportunity”. Statistics show, people don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses.
"Statistics show, people don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses."
Or what about the boyfriend that is constantly belittling your dreams or goals. Maybe it’s a friend who reminds you that people don’t change so why try? These toxic moments are subtle, but still damaging.
We’ve all known someone like this before. The important part is to not give up on the idea of reconciliation unless you REALLY know that they fall into one of those categories. And if they do, It’s ok to move on, forgive, and pray for them from afar.
Sometimes, however, you could just be annoyed with each other. You could be TOO CLOSE and need some space. There’s fracturing of the relationship because of the outside stresses in both of your lives: Work, family, even hanging out, but on their terms, or literally EVERYTHING happening in 2020…this can have an effect on how you start to view this person. So do you ghost them or stick it out and become miserable? Do you start to let little things fester?
It’s like that joke about marriage. When you’re in love, every little idiosyncrasy is cute and endearing … years later it’s what you can’t stand. Sound familiar? I’ve experienced this with many friends and almost EVERY leader of mine. I’m elated to be learning from another leader and gaining wisdom, but almost like clockwork, 9 months to a year later the newness of the relationship has left and I’m asking myself, “ is this person out of ideas”? Am I really inspired? And if not, uh oh. It’s a struggle. I work at it.
Truth time. When I was younger and not settled down like I am now, I’d always been a gypsy at heart. I LOVE new things, places, adventures, and people! Extrovert by nature, these things fill up my tank and power my battery. Most folks love this about me. However, when you are in a leadership position and trying to lead me, it’s pretty grueling. People like me take extra work because we are ALWAYS seeking new ideas and inspiration. If you don’t have it, we’ll look to the people who do. And frankly, if you don’t have challenging vision for us to experience, our type will head out the door to the next location and leader who “out-thinks” you. I’m a “challenge the process” kind of guy because I know God has called us for greatness. He has equipped us all uniquely for such a time as this. People are dying and going to hell, and I can’t stand by and watch. I’m going to do everything short of sin to help people find and follow Jesus. Eternity is at stake. So I NEVER stop thinking about how to expose more people to the kingdom of God in unique and inviting ways. The local church is the hope of the world, and I want to prove it. So if I’m not inspired, I start to check out.
However, Now that I’m a little older, I’ve gained the wisdom that says, most of the time, this is NOT the way to solve things. To just say, "peace out" and find the back door.
In my opinion, which is what this blog is, we should learn how to use distance instead of completely shutting the door. Being honest about our needs and desires, and at the same time not exiting is a skill. Using the communication we SHOULD use about the truth of who we are and what we crave in our leaders, co workers, spouses, and friends is the way to go. It’s scary as all get out, but “honesty is the best policy” still holds true. If at all possible, using distance from each other to go and figure things out, then coming BACK together and WORKING things out is what I’m suggesting is the BEST course of action.
So how do we do that? How do we tell the truth and give some distance to our problems and not get fired or shunned for not being a good friend or divorced or … fill in the blank. If you’re honest, then the outcome will far outweigh the results of doing nothing and being miserable until you just say, “I’m done” and walk out ANOTHER door. Be honest with your leader, friend, spouse, co worker…whoever…just be honest and say, “I’m having difficulty with XYZ. I would like to take some time to gather my thoughts and let’s sit down and talk about how we can resolve this. “ Many times, you’ll find out that the other person has been feeling, sensing, thinking the same thing.
I’m in ministry, but this holds true everywhere. In ministry, we talk a lot about being unified or in unity. This is because unless you are unified, you can’t be a “united” front for the battle that is waging every day. Our battle is winning souls for Jesus when the world tells you that it’s an archaic and silly notion to even believe in a God that saves us.
Your battle is probably different than mine. Your battle may be to keep profits high, or just MAKE a profit, or appease your board. Maybe it’s to stay married, or not bicker at each other. All of the above takes a united front from every person in the organization or relationship to get up the mountain. If you have people who are not in unity, they can bring the whole thing/team down.
So, this is how you gain unity. Being honest, taking some ownership, and taking some distance to gather what you are really looking for, working for, want and need, what your mission is, etc. etc. Then, you either align in unity with the rest of that organization/person or you don’t.
If it’s a marriage, you FIND a way to be unified. If it’s a physical harm thing, don’t stay, get safe. But everything else can and should be worked out. In my opinion.
If it’s a friend thing, try hard. Try again. If still no. Move on. If you have to tip toe around your friends, they are are not your friends.
If it’s a work thing and you don’t align… You’ve tried and you’ve tried to no avail. You have been honest. You have sought council. You have asked for a mediator. You have done ALL that can possible be done even when it was uncomfortable. And still no?
Guess what? NO ONE wins if you stay. You slowly get more bitter and eventually go the “done” route anyway. You could have saved tons of time and money for your leader to put someone in who DOES align in unity with the mission and vision of that organization.
And then there’s a VERY RARE possibility that is the “unicorn” of this whole paradigm. You be honest, take some distance, and gather your thoughts. For Christ followers this means we pray, but you may just be quiet or meditate. However, if you’ve never prayed, I’d suggest you at least try it. Then, here comes the unicorn, you change your mind.
You decide to not have to have all of your needs met, but instead choose to take the good with the bad and learn to celebrate the wins. You go back to the table with a more honest outlook on the mission and speak up when you need to, but know that NO situation is absolutely perfect. Not one! If we learn to bend but not break and always communicate what’s real, we’ll gain the exact thing that we are seeking without having to search for it elsewhere. You can find what your wanting in your current relationship by using an old adage that might save you from having to run away again. Everything has give and take. Give a little, get a little. You shape each other. In church world we call that iron sharpens iron. You get it?
Now, I’m not saying that this will always work. Sometimes, the other person will NOT want to “work it out”, change, try to bend, be amenable to a sit down and fix the relationship. Sometimes you can do the right thing, be honest, and talk to them and you get an adverse result with an even worse outcome. They can totally remove the relationship. They could blame you for everything and not see their part in the problem. Or, you can now have an adversary who is actually working AGAINST you and perhaps starts to figure out ways to discredit your feelings and emotions because they refuse to take ownership. A thousand scenarios are possible. And in some of them, YOU are fully to blame. And in others, you will have no choice but for one of you to leave the relationship and move on. All of them hurt. Being honest is risky.
So why do it? Because it’s WORTH IT. An honest relationship with an authentic dialog can accomplish far more than any fractured version ever will.
"An honest relationship with an authentic dialog can accomplish far more than any fractured version ever will."
So, what’s next? If you’re really not functioning like you think you should. And you’ve examined the possibility that it’s actually YOUR fault. Then… Be honest, with respect and love, and schedule a sit down today. Be honest and let the other person know where you’re not aligning in unity. Ask for some distance to figure this out and come BACK to an honest conversation about how to try and make this work. The longer you wait, the worse for everyone. “Done” is the easy route, but distance takes guts. Go get ‘em!