“What is your tipping point?”
Years ago, a friend posed this question to me when I was going through a particularly challenging time. In other words, he was asking me, “How much are you willing to put up with before you make a change?
I’ve always seen life as a hero’s journey, an adventure filled with great challenges and great joys. It’s not the challenges that defines us, but how we act when facing them. Do we run? Tackle them head on? Or wait to be rescued? In the end, we all want to live happily ever after, with meaning, joy, health, and security. Right? I know I do!
When the negative outweighs the positive in our relationships, careers, or other aspects of life, it’s time to ask “What is my tipping point? How much will I tolerate before I say ‘enough’?”
The particularly challenging time I faced all those years ago was an unhealthy relationship. I had spent months trying to “fix it” alone. He wasn’t going to be what I needed and I couldn’t make him. The tipping point was the realization that the only thing I could change was me. Was I willing to put up with his behavior or was I going to walk? With clarity I saw that failure wasn’t in leaving the bad relationship; failure would be staying where I was crying more than I was smiling. Ending it took immense courage and strength but proved I loved myself enough to rescue my Self, be the heroine in my own story.
Fast forward several years and the next big obstacle on my life’s journey was a career that was in conflict with everything I value and hold sacred. It started out small, as many problems do, easy to dismiss as just a bad day or an isolated incident. Then, the problem grew. It was harder to ignore but the positive still outweighed the negative so I stayed. It started to impact my life mentally and emotionally through worry, stress, and dread. It affected me spiritually, compromising my principals and integrity but still I held on, thinking “It could be worse.” And finally, because I ignored all of the warning signs, the Universe said, “Ok, Susan, I’ll get your attention with this!!” and I suffered physically- chest pains, insomnia, nausea, lowered immune system… That was my tipping point. I felt something powerful awaken in my Soul and I knew I had enough. My health and well-being had to be the priority.
I resigned from public education in June of this year for reasons that could fill a book, not a blog post. Suffice it to say that it took everything I have inside of me to make this leap of faith. I was terrified to leave but more terrified of what would happen if I stayed. Every aspect of my life has improved since making this decision- physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
Calling it a “leap of faith” is an oversimplification. It was a leap of faith based on intuition, intellect, and imagination. And if I can do it, you can, too!!
So why am I sharing something so deeply personal on such a public platform?
For years, I’ve been leading women’s spirit circles, workshops, and Red Tents with the intention to celebrate, honor, empower, support, and awaken the authentic Self in each woman and girl who attends my events. How can I continue this purposeful work if I’m not willing to celebrate, honor, empower, support, and awaken my own authentic Self? In other words, I need to walk my talk and come from a place of knowing. Otherwise, I’m a fraud and a hypocrite, and that’s not an option for me.
Reaching the tipping point and choosing to change is empowering and scary at the same time. I know. But I also know this… people don’t regret leaving bad situations. They regret staying. So when intuition says “You’ve reached your tipping point”, honor that still, small voice inside and take the leap of faith… faith in your Self.