How Real Freedom Lies in Knowing When to Say, “I’ve Had Enough”
You push away from the dinner table because you’ve had enough to eat, averting obesity and health problems. You have a lovely glass of wine instead of too many, because you know one is enough.
You look at the clothes hanging in your closet and decide to skip the trip to the mall because you have enough clothing.
For some of us, these decisions are not complicated. We can easily assess when we are done eating, drinking or shopping.
However, in relationships, it is more challenging to reach the level of done-ness. The human heart and its longings are mysterious. Maybe real freedom lies in realizing you are enough, so you can more easily tell when you’ve had enough.
What My Tiny House Taught Me
When we only had two children, we moved across the state for my husband to take a new job. At the same time, I transitioned from full-time professional to full-time mom. We bought the cheapest house we could find. It was a tiny 3-bedroom ranch, but with two kids it was enough.
More kids came. With their number doubling, the house was no longer enough. I spent over a year railing against my situation. “This house is horrible! I cannot stand it!” became my constant thoughts. It was no longer enough.
Coincidentally, this was about the same time of the real estate market crash. I slowly grew to accept my reality. We purged belongings ruthlessly and shared the space, finally reaching a sense of peace.
Soon thereafter, I found a house that wildly exceeded my needs. Each child would have their own room, with room to spare. Plus, it was affordable.
Did Acceptance Lead to Change?
My too-small house taught me that when my externals are out of my control, the only choice I have is an internal one. I can choose to accept my reality as enough – for now.
In that acceptance, the Universe, my mind and my heart make an opening for change. I don’t have to fight, whine and rail. When I’ve had enough of my own belly-aching – then change can happen.
Enough-Ness and Relationships
Being able to proclaim, “Enough!” holds the potential for growth in our relationships, as well. Are you in a painful relationship, with a friend or family member, a child or a spouse? When will you reach enough-ness? Here are some thoughts:
- Is communication difficult, if not impossible? If it is impossible to share thoughts, dreams and ideas and most of your conversations are negative, you might be done.
- Are all your interactions negative? If you can’t remember the last time you had a positive time together that you both enjoyed, you might be done.
- Have you tried to remedy the situation and nothing has changed? If you’ve read books, tried therapy, and really ‘worked’ on the relationship and nothing changes, you might be done.
Having enough with a relationship may mean you are ready to be done with it. With my estranged adult child, it took years to get to the point of being done. I spent so much time, energy and money trying to fix it that it emotionally bankrupted me.
Accepting that this situation would not change – at least due to my efforts – led me to the freedom to say, “I’ve had enough.”
On the other side of enough-ness, I found peace.
Have you had enough with a relationship? Are you done with railing, trying and whining to change a situation that is not changing? How will you decide when you are done? Please use the comments below to share how you deal with situations of enough-ness.
Christine Field is an author, attorney, speaker, listener and life coach. She has four grown kids, mostly adopted, mostly homeschooled. She provides MomSolved© resources and reassurances to moms facing common and uncommon family life challenges. Christine helps moms rediscover their mojo for wholehearted living after parenting. Visit her website and Facebook Page.