I was a public school teacher in New York City for less than 3 months! I've taught middle school social studies. It was the worst experience in my life! My time teaching there was so bad that it was changing who I was. My wife was getting scared! I had no peace, not even on the weekends because I knew that I would have to go back to school. The best time during the school days was the bus ride to school!
Man, just writing about this experience is making me edgy!
I had some hopes that things would get better. But, I just couldn't take it anymore. I left. The students were sad, but sorry, I couldn't do this work anymore! It was just better to completely remove myself from the situation.
My wife had a similar experience as a dental assistant. While she still lived in Buffalo, New York, she worked for this one particular dentist for a very short time. This dentist was a very difficult person to the point where my wife had no peace on that job. She had to leave it.
Sometimes, it's better to leave than to stay. Sometimes, it's better to just start over than to fix something. Sometimes, it's better to take another road than to keep traveling on a broken one.
One of the hardest things to understand is when to leave and when to stay. We don't want to be quitters, but we also don't want to live in constant disturbance. When should we just give up the fight and find another battle? Perhaps the best way to answer this is to ask yourself how much the situation means to you?
When I've left my public school job, I did it because it didn't mean much for me to stay there. I didn't care for the administration, the structure teachers had to follow when teaching classes, and the whole entire public education system. So, I didn't lose any sleep when I left it, as harsh as that sounds. It was affecting my life in a negative way. It was time to go!
Same thing with my wife when she left that dentist office. Working there had a negative impact on her. Being a dental assistant at that particular office didn't mean that much to her. So, she left.
If it means little to you and it's affecting you in a bad way, then leave.
But what if something does mean a great deal to you, but fighting for it would be useless? How would you know to move on instead of fighting for it?
One man in my church had recently gotten divorced from his wife of many years. He admit that he made mistakes in the marriage, but he wanted to fight to save it. His wife also made mistakes in the marriage, and one of the biggest ones was committing adultery. The husband actually forgave her, but she didn't care. She not only cheated on her husband, but while they were separated, she was seeing somebody else. She made it clear to her husband that she wanted out of the marriage. Sadly, they have three YOUNG children.
In addition, she not only wanted a divorce, but wanted more than just joint-custody of the children.
Was she worth fighting for? You may think not, but any marriage is worth fighting for. But obviously fighting for her was useless. All attempts the husband made to save the marriage failed. She made her choice and was sticking with it. The husband just had to let her go.
When a situation shows no signs of improvement despite your BEST efforts, then you just need to let it go.
Some marriages can't be saved. Some job situations won't improve. Some business pursuits would lead to nowhere. Some dreams just won't come true.
Maybe you're trying to start a business. Five years later and no signs of improvement despite your BEST efforts. I think it's time to spend your energy on another business venture that would work for you.
You and your husband tried having children of your own for years. You're approaching your 40s and there's no positive sign that you'll have a baby naturally. It's time to consider adoption. Most of your other friends already have kids that are in middle school! Adopt a child now before your friends' kids are old enough to be your kids' college professors!
You and your father may never work out your differences. You and your mother may never be at peace when in the same room. Your boss may always have a hard heart. Your teenage child has chosen a life of sin and has no intentions of changing heart. Some situations won't change despite your best effort. It's time to move on -- or "let go and let God."
When it's clear that things won't get better, then remove yourself from the situation.
- Break off ties from family members
- Kick your rebel teenager out the house
- Quit your job
- Pursue another business
- Chase another dream
- Find someone else to marry
- Go to another college
- Adopt a child
- Find another church
- Live in a different neighborhood
- Live in a different country
Don't let some things become parasites to you. A parasite is something that doesn't benefit you, but hurts you! Don't let your job, certain family members, or business pursuits become your parasites. Rip them away from your life and pursue bigger and better things.