I saw the most perfect quote this morning (I’m a quote junkie, tons saved on my phone). ‘What you allow is what will continue’. Isn’t that the TRUTH? I can think of so many times in my life where I felt stuck in a situation that made me feel… icky. And, it wasn't until I mustered up the inner strength to step away that I felt good again.

Sadly, this world is filled with people with unkind motives. But, one of the biggest revelations I had not too long ago is that I’M THE BOSS OF ME. Now, you might laugh a little at that and think - you JUST figured that out? I get it! It does sound like something I’d tell my kids! But, hey, life's a journey. And truth is, it’s really, really, easy to get swept up in situations by manipulative people. It’s easy to lose yourself. The key is recognizing it, trusting gut feelings and making a change. THAT is self-respect.

I remembered who I was and the game changed. (See, I am a quote junkie.) That happened. I started to wake up and see things for what they were. I’m a super trusting person by nature. So, when I love I love hard and I trust hard too. And trust is my deal-breaker. If my husband were to ever (God forbid) cheat on me… I know myself well enough to know that I could try to forgive and forget. But, it would never fully work. And that is a crushing thought to even consider. So many kudos to the far too many women who have had to do that.

In this case, I tried to move forward but as I knew in my heart from the jump… it wouldn’t work. And, it didn’t. That was crushing. I knew what had to be done and it took every ounce of inner strength I could find to cut ties completely. Self-respect.

My heart broke. I was in that frustrating place of just wishing so, so hard for things to go back to what I thought they were. My anxiety was at an all-time high. I was angry, yet I was so profoundly sad. I questioned everything about… everything. But after a little while, I realized that while I couldn’t control the actions of this other person or change what happened — I could take control of myself. So I did that.

Life is so hard sometimes. Things you think will be ‘forever’ can change in the absolute blink of an eye. But, I truly feel that every person we cross paths with in this life is not by accident. We are meant to grow from each and every relationship and experience.

So, I’m doing that. I’m growing. I’m learning. I’m looking at myself and the kind of person I am - and I can say with certainty I whole-heartedly try to do my best and put some good out there in the world everyday. I am not perfect. I make my share of mistakes. But, I do know this. I know who I am. I know what I stand for. I know what I won’t stand for. I know that I respect myself and if that means walking away from people, places or things that threaten that? I know I’m strong enough to do it.

If you’re in a place where things just don’t feel good to you… they feel… icky. Take a hard look at the situation. Trust yourself enough to make a firm decision and stick with it. We are so much stronger than we think. And in the end you’ll feel better for respecting and loving yourself enough to do it.

Jennifer Waldman