A Stale Mate

Do you throw milk away on the date on the carton. What’s the difference between the sell by date and an expiration date? If you continue to drink the milk, at what point will it make you sick? Do you wait until it stinks? In my experience, we don’t fuck with the milk past the date on the carton, regardless of whether it says sell by or use by. Why wait until it’s spoiled to find out…

So why do we keep people around longer than they are needed and useful? Why do we ignore the expiration dates on our relationships, especially those that are romantic in nature? Why do we wait until people literally stink up our lives, make us emotionally and spiritually sick, before we walk away?

People are complex organisms… our brains, our mental center, and our “heart” or more appropriately our souls, our spiritual center, are both very much guided by our emotions. We may KNOW something is the right choice but not FEEL like it is, and be at a standstill. Our mind and our soul might be delivering the same message, but our bodies start to physically long for what it is used to receiving from a mate, their touch or just presence. We have physical reactions based on our emotional experiences. We cry, we tremble, we feel physical pain and anguish… at the mere thought of letting them go. Like the milk, we don’t want to waste… money or time. But the cost of milk versus the cost of letting don’t compare to the cost of getting physically sick or being emotionally scarred and abused. Expiration dates aren’t written on people like milk, but yet we still know when that time has come. The trick is in letting go.

I once spent years, not consecutively, but years nonetheless, trying to make a relationship work, with this man. We looked good together, we were both successful, we seemed a good match. Yet, no matter how good things would be going, we’d come to a point where he would become what I later realized was emotionally abusive. As good of a match as we seemed to make in paper, he was severely insecure about my friendships, professional success, position, and intelligence. Years would go by and we would run into each other and fall back into old ways, spending time together. Yet the last time, once I was aware fully of what was happening, I no longer needed explanations, closure, or anything but to shelve his ass into someone else’s pantry. He was not healthy for me, he was past his expiration, and was spoiled AF. He probably had mold spores by this point. It was a wrap. Unlike anytime before, I had done the changing. I was so protective of my own peace and my self that I would not allow any stale mate to position himself on my already full plate. I need nourishment, and my food can touch. I didn’t need him ruining or taking any valuable time from the other parts of my life.

We often hold on to people in fear of them leaving an empty space we believe we might never refill. But trust me, other people who are looking for the type of relationship you have to offer are always present. You just have to be as well. Removing the unnecessary will make room for others. The act of being able to remove those who do you no good is not possible until you take inventory of what you allow to sit on your shelves, waiting to be picked up again, and purge everything that is not in service of making you better. It’s much easier to type it than to do it, but it can be done. If you have a new box of Crunch Berries and you both are calling each other’s names, but you still have spoiled milk in the fridge, you’ll never answer the call. That same carton of spoiled milk will flash in ur mind when you are grocery shopping, making you believe you don’t need a new fresh carton. It’ll have you dreaming of cookies and milk… but in reality it’s no cookies and shit for you. Get rid of everything that holds you back… spoiled milk and stale men, moldy bread and broads doing the most. It is easy, you just close that space in your life. Bust a MFin move!

We make excuses for people and our own behavior that keeps us locked in places not meant for us. In love relationships, uncertainty is always there. When we see someone as long term, and the terms don’t meet our expectations, the first time, we tend to make excuses for folks. Yet we carry that little bit of heartbreak through the span of the relationship until it has reached a point of no returnšŸ’”. Then we reside in that heartbreak for months and years, never standing up and moving out of the muck to fresh ground. That first disrespectful comment will likely be followed by another. That first push or balled up fist will definitely be followed by another. That first other woman may either stay or go away when the newer one appears. Continuing in it is a choice. Letting go is a choice. We can still validate our feelings of disappointment, upset, heartbreak and simultaneously free ourselves from people who mean us no good, who won’t protect us, and who harm us mind, body, and soul. But you can also walk away the first time. They were ripe for the tossing at that point.

I don’t know much. But I’m sure that love is kind and patient. It’s not abusive, inconsistent, disrespectful, hateful, chaotic, or ever ever unsafe. It won’t play a hoax on your soul, trick your mind, or cause your body trauma. It won’t make you sick, and it’s not stale and definitely not spoiled. Love is always fresh and nourishing. Get you sum! And cut that zero…

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