Ask Erin: Is it okay to leave people behind when you grow?

Question:

I’ve finally decided to live my life as I think I should.  However, in the process, I had to end a relationship with a person who was too entrenched in her own dogmas and was not ready to change.  Ending the relationship caused her to suffer and feel abandoned.  Although I want to move on, I don’t want anyone harmed by my actions.  Is it okay to leave people on the road when you decide to improve yourself?  Isn’t that a form of betrayal? – Alex

Answer:

First of all, congratulations on making a conscious change to your life. It takes a lot of courage and inner strength to follow your heart.

You are not responsible for the feelings of other people.  You cannot “make” someone feel anything.  They choose to feel what they want to feel.  They choose to react however they want.  You have no control over that.  So don’t accept responsibility for someone else’s reactions.

You did what you had to do and this person could not accept it.  That’s their decision.  You can’t make your decisions based on how it’s going to make other people feel.  You must do what’s right for you, otherwise you are not being true to yourself.

When you take a new path in life, you may find that the people in your life don’t want to take it with you.  That’s their choice.  You offered, they declined.  Is it a form of betrayal to leave people behind?  Not at all.  If you chose to stay with them at that lower level of awareness then you’d be betraying your own spirit.

You don’t have to close the door forever.  Give this person any and all opportunities to join you on your new path.  And then leave it up to them to decide if they will follow.  In the meantime, enjoy your new path and start looking for new people who are on the same one.  It’s an exciting time for you!

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