Someone asked me a question that is difficult to answer. In fact, I don’t think it has just one answer. The question posed was this: “If someone you love is involved in something that you believe to be dangerous, and you have tried to communicate your concern, at what point do you give up and walk away?”
I don’t know. I suppose it all depends upon the situation; but here’s what I do know.
Love says fight for them, for their safety, for their physical well-being, and for their emotional, mental and spiritual balance. Reality says you cannot continue to beat your head against a wall if they are not listening to you and don’t care about your concerns. So, how long do you fight for someone you love?
Time, experience and heartache have taught me one thing: Love and respect must be mutual for a relationship to flourish. If you take your concern to someone you love and they refuse to listen; then what is the point of further talking. If you open your heart to reach them and they ignore your words or worse yet, tell you that you are deceived; perhaps it is time to let go.
Life is about making choices. People can choose to live out of balance or balanced lives. The burden of that choice falls on their shoulders, as do the consequences. Obsessive behavior destroys relationships because with that obsession comes isolation from those who don’t share in the obsession. It often takes relationships that were once meaningful and causes them to have a fake, surface-level feel.
For example: if I eat oranges every day for every meal and it is the only thing I eat; is that a healthy choice? Sure, oranges are rich in Vitamin C and have qualities that are good for my body; but a diet of only oranges is not healthy. Then, if I grow my own oranges and all I talk about is oranges, and I attend orange conventions and speak on orange growing; what becomes of the people in my life who don’t like oranges? What do we then discuss? Eventually, with a diet of only oranges, my skin would begin to tint orange. I would stand out as odd-looking, that is, unless I surrounded myself with other people who only ate oranges. Then, I would fit in and never have to deal with the uncomfortable feeling of being around those that were not as unbalanced in their orange consumption as I had become. By becoming obsessive about oranges, I have isolated non-obsessive people from my life. I’ve created my very own orange-obessive-zone.
The point is, there are things in life that have goodness in them, when they are taken in moderation. Too much of a good thing can quickly become a bad thing. Obsessive behavior destroys relationships because it is a life that has spiraled into an out-of-balance tailspin, casting everyone and everything else aside.
If someone you love is living out-of-balance, and you have tried with all of your might to show them the damage their lifestyle has and is causing, then it might be time to walk away. If they don’t respect you and love you enough to care about your concerns for them, then why are you continuing to beat your head into the wall they have built?
Pray for them. Be there if they ever decide that they need you. Love them from afar. BUT… if watching them destroy themselves, their family and their friendships is painful, then don’t watch. Looking away isn’t turning your back; it’s simply guarding your own heart from the pain they have caused. You can only try so many times and endure so much rejection and be told that you are deceived and wrong so many times before you finally have to accept that they do not care. Your opinion doesn’t matter to them.
Addictions come in many forms. There are workaholics, spendaholics, sexaholics, alcoholics, drugaholics, religionaholics, sportsaholics, etc. There are mental addictions, physical addictions, emotional addictions and spiritual addictions. ANY addiction is unhealthy and throws life out of balance. There is no “right” addiction. There is no “harmless” addiction. If someone is addicted to something… if they have made something their entire existence…if they eat it, drink it, breathe it, think it, love it, live it and nothing else… it IS harmful to them, no matter how good it looks or feels.
When you confront a loved one about an addiction and they are more willing to lose you forever than to loosen their grip on the compulsion that has taken over their life… that’s a problem…that’s an addiction…and they need help. The painful part is that you can’t force them into caring. You can’t force them back into a state of balance.
Only they can change…and if they refuse…then maybe it’s time you let go and walk away. ~