How do you know when you have reached the tipping point? What tell-tale signs alert you that your situation is unsustainable? How do you know how much you can endure?
How do you know when you’ve had enough?
The difficulty of the matter is that I have found, time and time again, that we say to ourselves ‘this is it. This is enough. This cannot go on”. And then we turn around…and allow it to continue.
How many times have you been in a relationship that is breaking your heart, yet found yourself seemingly unable to leave? How many times have you thought to yourself ‘I have got to quit this job’, but then stayed on for months or years? How many times have you looked at a situation and realized that the costs outweighed the benefits, that it was ripping you apart, and yet, still continued on with it?
The beauty of this dilemma is that it demonstrates the strength of the human spirit. We can survive in the most dismal of situations, holding on to that hope that someday, it will be different.
The drawback is that we suffer for so long, because we are able to bear it, instead of making the change that we know we need.
So, given our astounding capacity to endure, how do we pin-point that moment when something inside says to us “ENOUGH”?
This morning I found myself in floods of tears. These were tears of anger and frustration: for 9 months my life has been put on hold by slipped and bulging discs in my back. I quit my job, gave up my apartment with my boyfriend, left my life in England and moved back across the Atlantic ocean to live with my mother, who has been supporting me as I try to heal.
Other than the crippling nature of this problem in my lumbar spine, I am a fit, healthy 24 year old woman. A fit, healthy, normally active 24 year old woman who has been cooped up in her bedroom for 9 months.
My tears of frustration came as, from deep somewhere in side of me, I howled “ENOUGH”.
But even as I have tears rolling down my cheeks, I am aware that my spine might not capitulate with my fervour. There is a thin line that I am trying to walk between making sure that my emotional world isn’t shattered by pressing the ‘pause’ button on my life, and the fact that my physical body simply cannot function the way it should.
So I am asking myself: is this one of those defining moments where, after all that time, you recognize the signs that tell you that you are at the tipping point, and finally, finally get out? Or is it simply one of those heartbreaking moments where you recognize the tipping point, you can see change, but you pull back and continue on, making use of your incredible ability to endure?
Can you tell the difference between those two moments? You are stood at the edge of abyss: can you tell the difference between the ‘enough’ that will help you step off into the unknown and change, and the ‘enough’ that still lets you step back from the edge, into enduring that old situation?
I’m not sure I’ve worked out the difference yet.