On "Letting Them Win"

Today, one of my friends mentioned that my deciding to close my bar and leave this neighborhood was "letting them win."

In one way, it is. I have neighbors that hate me, who actively worked to destroy my reputation and my business, and who clearly would be so happy if I would just go away. And because I am now going away, in that respect, they "won."

I believe that I have been a champion for this community for a very long time, and that things that were not being addressed before we moved here, started to be addressed once we did. I believe that my actions helped the community look better, helped to reduce drug traffic and helped to bring people together. At the risk of sounding too proud, I believe that I'm a good person. And I believe that my presence in this community was positive and made it stronger. And I believe my leaving is not a win for this community, but rather, a loss.

But I also KNOW that my leaving this community is a win for myself, because people here have made life so very difficult for the past year. There comes a point where you have to decide if "winning" is worth being miserable every day. Or working yourself to exhaustion. Or constantly having to defend yourself against rumors. Or feeling hurt and betrayed and fed up and angry all of the time. And this is a battle that's just not worth it to me. It doesn't feel like winning. It feels like losing every single day. And the only way to "win" would be to compromise my values and I don't want to "win" like that.

So, yes. I am very happily "letting my neighbors win." And I feel lighter than I've felt in months.

If blogging is supposed to be about passing on wisdom and advice...then I don't really know why you're here, because obviously I'm a hot mess.

 Just kidding.

Sort of.

Anyway, the lesson that I have learned is this: If the only way to "win" is to compromise yourself and become darkness rather than light, then leave the battle. Retreat. Let them "win."

If "winning" means staying in a situation that makes you miserable all of the time, leave the battle. Retreat. Let them "win."

There comes a point where you have to believe that you are worth more than this, and that there are people in the world who will appreciate you, who have a bright light inside of them, who spread love and not hatred, and who will value you as you value them.

If you retreat from a situation, you might lose the battle.

But if you are finally and truly happy... you win the war.

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1 comment:

Cindy said...

Life really isn't a contest. We're here to help each other. Anyone who doesn't get that, is the loser. And thank you for what you have done for the neighborhood. You have been a catalyst and will definitely be missed. Glad you'll still be in my neighborhood. :)