Dear Youth,

Let’s talk about relationships for a minute…and people in general.  I wanted to delve into this a little bit simply because I see and hear so much of it from social media and online forums to just standing in line at a coffee shop and overhearing someone’s conversation. Here is what I have noticed: we (speaking in very general terms) have a tendency to want to keep toxic and narcissistic people in our lives. Whether it’s a boyfriend, someone we consider a “best friend”, an associate or even people we work with. Why in the world do we submit ourselves to such undeserving, degrading treatment?

I completely understand it is difficult to let people go, but as the saying goes, “if you love something/someone then let it go and if it comes back then it was meant to stay”. Well…maybe that is true in only some cases. But nonetheless, you get the gist of what I am saying. It is your RIGHT to dismiss people from your life and your space if they are “draining your well, and leaving you dry”. Meaning, if they are taking away from you (spiritually, mentally, emotionally) more than they are helping you then it may be a good idea to reduce the amount of time you spend in the company of one another. If you find yourself constantly having to explain yourself and basic human treatment to them, it is time to reconsider the relationship you have with this person.

In my personal opinion, I honestly believe in giving people a chance. No one is perfect and sometimes people are unaware of their behavior if they have never been told OR maybe they have never heard it from someone they truly care about. Maltreatment is maltreatment and there is absolutely no excuse for mistreating someone, whether you are the one doing it or if someone is doing it to you: either they don’t deserve it or you don’t. But give people a chance and take the opportunity to do the right thing by expressing their behavior to them. Holding up that mirror to their face may very well save them in the long run. However, you have to love yourself enough to know when to walk away and provide the luxury of distance and the gift of your absence.

It is better to have one honest and genuine friend than to have a group of people who smile in your face with a knife waiting behind their back.

I have found myself in countless situations where I was constantly telling the same people to mind the way they speak to me and the way they treat me. If I notice I am having to repeat myself too often it lets me know they don’t respect me as a person and it is time to place them on the outskirts of my life. It doesn’t mean I won’t be cordial with them and speak to them, it simply means they have worn me thin and I will no longer go out of my way to be the person I was to them previously.

I am a very loving and caring person…my mother will tell you because it is a trait I have picked up from her. This same trait has left us in some very interesting situations because we are the type to always give but it is not very often that others give back to us. Because of this, I have learned to love people from a distance. I have to be able to recognize your intentions so I know you are not just using me.

In saying all of that, I want to round back around to the beginning of this. Know that it is unacceptable to treat others poorly or to accept poor treatment from others. Treat others as you wish to be treated and even if they are still unkind towards you, still handle them with love and care…but don’t allow them to take you for granted.

When I think about love I think about the way God sent His son to die for us in order to give us another chance at everlasting life with Him. I think about all of the times I have messed up and God still loved me enough to forgive me and take care of me. This is what I am talking about when I say know how to love one another. It doesn’t mean you have to allow people to continue to mistreat you, but still, love them nonetheless.

The art of “bitter-sweet” goodbyes means knowing you genuinely love and care about someone, you have learned something from being around or with this person, but it is time to part ways.

Love yourself ❤ Love others ❤




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