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A Boat Only Sinks When It Lets Water In

A Boat Only Sinks When It Lets Water In

Sometimes sweet words aren’t what you’d expect them to really mean. They’re sugar coated, they’re slick with honey, they’re confectionary. The words beneath the honey might not be as sweet as they sound, they might taste very bitter. Whoever spoke the words might not have meant to be so bitter, so tangy. Even so, the deception begins to lose its luster. You begin to know what you’re going to find beneath the sweet layer, and so you anticipate the sweet words that are suddenly too sweet. But, you have a sweet tooth. They’re hard to let go.

Sometimes things sound wonderful. Relationships are too good to be true. Friendships are strong. Even though we might not like to think about it, not everything is as it seems. Suddenly someone who was close to you becomes a different person all together. Their skin color is the same, their voice is the same, they look identical. You might wonder what you ever thought about them, if anything was true. And it’s uncomfortable, disconcerting and damaging to realize that maybe none of it was. You start to question yourself, inevitably the start of some late nights thinking about everything about them.

Friends turned family can turn back to friends. Strangers can turn into the people we spend the rest of our lives with. This isn’t to say everyone is hiding things from you; it is to say that if someone is, it’s OK to let them go. To let it go.  Sometimes we care more about people than they do for us… it hurts, it hurts badly but when we realize this, it’s almost a gift. We learn that we need to stop giving of ourselves when what we receive back is bitterness under what looks sugarcoated. It’s a difficult thing to learn, for sure. But if a boat keeps letting in water, won’t it sink?

I would love to speak up, to tell my friend that I’m sad she doesn’t reach out to me. To remind me we’re friends. To kick off the ground for this seesaw of a friendship. My friend doesn’t, but I’m learning to kick off the ground for myself. To recognize that what I gave wasn’t received, what I offered her wasn’t asked for. I learned that I couldn’t keep giving to my friend if they wouldn’t receive. I couldn’t make a relationship based on giving 90% of myself, them meeting me at 10%. I’m already full, I’m already sinking then. Maybe making boundaries is the thing that keeps you from giving too much. I learned that while I recognize maybe she doesn’t want to meet me halfway, I can feel sad about it and learn to let it go.

I think there’s a point we get to where we realize we’re sick of the sweet words. We’re sick of how we feel, so we distance ourselves. We begin to un-thread the needle that was stitching our beings together. For our well being, for our self worth, we need that distance. Maybe we’ll end up in the same boat together again, but until then we need to build ourselves back up. To plug our dam, so to speak. Even if it hurts for a while, or even if it is hard. By valuing ourselves, the bitterness beneath the sugar coated things we used to listen to stops being able able to flow into us freely.

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There’s a difference between giving your all. Giving all of yourself to a person who opens their arms to you, who accepts you, who receives you is a tremendous and wonderful thing. But you’re worth more than what happens when someone lets you keep giving until you have nothing left of yourself. You don’t deserve to feel empty or hung out to dry.

So when it comes time, it is OK to let go of relationships that don’t work, of friends who take and forget to give back. It’s OK to let go. There will only be more room in your life for someone who loves and cares about you.

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