Try Harder or Walk Away: The Decision.

Via on Jun 23, 2012

“One of the hardest decisions you will ever face in life, is choosing whether to try harder or walk away.”
~ Anonymous

Try harder or walk away—this is the only choice we make in every moment of life. We either try harder or we walk away from being present, loving ourselves, loving another, pursuing our passions or completing a task. We choose to continue doing, thinking, saying, listening, eating and being what we are, or we break up with it.

There is only one way to do everything, completely or not at all. If we half-ass life, we cheat our truth, stop growing, we suffer.

Imagine if an architect half-assed plans for a building, or an aerospace engineer half-assed the construction of an airplane. The building couldn’t stand on its own and the plane couldn’t fly. We are the architects of our lives. We have to devote entirely to our project or walk away from the drawing pad until we are willing to do the work.

The choice to stay or leave, determines whether we free ourselves or we suffer. How do we make the “right” decision?

We learn how to discern between the doubt of the mind and the surety of the spirit.

The discernment is in the volume. The mind is loud and the spirit is quiet. We have become accustomed to listening to the loud voice, because it takes no effort. It takes practice to hear the quietest voice, and discipline to listen to her. Once we listen, the real work begins, the challenge—we are required to act courageously, as we brace ourselves for the whippings of sadness, longing and unease. Our freedom is dependent on courage. Courage is conceived through faith. We have courage because our faith whispers that peace exists, even if we can’t see her.

Peace carries freedom as a gift. Freedom is presented when we entrust in our choice, and endure the feelings and conditions that hitch a ride with the strength of our spirit. If we remain indecisive, we live in stagnation, in the land of half asses.

Right now, I am struggling. I have my ear cupped to the jailed door of my spirit. I can decipher the words, but I’m scared. I’m scared to unlock the door and face her as she looks me in the eyes and tells me exactly what I already know. I don’t want to listen, because I know there lies an uncertainty, what’s next?

Predictability is my pal, but she is also my captor and torturer. She is the accomplice of my mind. She feeds me my meals, allows me to bathe. She may even crack a smile, but the reality is she has locked me up, pinned me against the door, knife in hand. I remember being here before, feeling this piercing pain as my mind stabs my spirit. My spirit is fighting back, grasping for the knife, pleading for her life, holding her wound and begging for mind to leave.

Life is one struggle after the next, a battery of choices every day, “Do I stay or do I leave?” We liberate ourselves when we understand our emancipation is granted when we abide by one commandment: Thou shall not struggle against struggle.

It’s simple, but it’s not easy: Do not make more struggle. We are released from bondage when we know, regardless if we stay or go, we have the choice to stay or go. We are in charge of our own suffering. We can walk away from it when we wish.

Struggle is the wrinkle of life. We can not escape it, but we can honor it, see it as part of us, as our counterpart and coexist. Peace is acceptance of struggle. How do we create peace? We don’t create more struggle, we acknowledge we will struggle.

How do we not make more struggle? We listen. We listen to the quiet voice, we tune out the loud one, we grab the knife and crawl out the door. We patch up the wound and devote to our recovery as exhausting and painful as it may be.

I have the ability to nurture my wounds, heal from them and become stronger and healthier than before.

How do I know I will be stronger than before?

Because I’ve freed myself more times than I can count. Life is a series of imprisonments that deliver us to our next liberation. Experience and practice is our liberator. If we choose to learn from our experiences of struggle and only listen for the quiet voice, the duration of our imprisonments shorten and our liberation lengthens.

I’m not free right now. I’m in the knife fight. I’m still deciding. As I struggle with struggle, I know I can make the easy decision or I can make the decision that will challenge me, that will help me grow.

The choice to follow the voice of our spirit takes effort, determination and tenacity. It is easy to be defeated, to be a coward and listen to our mind. Honoring our spirit takes time, patience, faith and trust.

Struggle is indestructible and inevitable. Our response to it dictates our quality of life. The bouts of suffering will lessen as we learn how to win the battle, how swiftly to grab the knife, unlock the bars and walk through the gates to peace as we hold hands with struggle.

I may be imprisoned right now, but I’ve learned from my experience. I’ll be free soon, I just have to stop half-assing it and answer the question, “Do I try harder or do I walk away?”

Relephant bonus:

Editor: Kate Bartolotta

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About Rebecca Lammersen

Rebecca Lammersen is the founder of Yogalution, an intimate, boutique style yoga studio in Scottsdale, AZ. I love being alive. I love being a mother. I love teaching yoga. I love to write. I love to know. I love to not know. I love to learn. I love to listen. I love to read. I love to swim. I love to travel. I love to dance. I love to help. I love to serve. That pretty much sums me up. For daily inspirations, check out Rebecca's website. Visit her yoga studio website and peruse her articles at The Huffington Post. You can also find her on Facebook. Subscribe to Rebecca's feed and never miss a post!


27 Responses to “Try Harder or Walk Away: The Decision.”

  1. Thank you Adam M. 😉

  2. Hudson says:

    Hi Rebecca, thank you for this heartfelt and beautifull article.
    These things are helping me tremendously at the moment, giving me some strength to draw upon. Thank you!

  3. Hudson, I am touched that you found comfort and strength in this. That's why I wrote it. We are all in this together! Be strong, be courageous and know the universe is always taking care of you. Hug, Rebecca

  4. Thank you for sharing your personal struggle Maureen. It sounds like you know exactly what you need to do:) All we can do is trust in the faith we hold. I'm sending you strength! ~Rebecca

  5. Maureen Miller Maureen Miller says:

    PS… this is going on my favorite blog posts page.

  6. […] we thought we wanted, but what we will get are continuous opportunities to bump against this veil, and shed a lot of what we are not, and begin to free a lot of all what we […]

  7. […] I doubt both spirituality in a collective sense and my own personal relationship to my faith. When I really dig down inside, I see that faith is something I have wrestled out of my doubt—one practice at a time—something […]

  8. […] No decision is still a decision. Don’t let life pass you by. You are the navigator of your own ship. […]

  9. melodiously says:

    Thank you for this..

  10. Sara Rodriguez Sara Bex says:

    I know this was posted a while ago, but your writing proves that words are always relevant, even if the way in which they apply changes with time. I just keep reading this, over and over again. I love this and I love you.

  11. Michelle Threndyle says:

    Struggles in life means challenges that you either love it or not. The choices to either work with it with love or let it go. Good article! I have just made a life changing decision that was very difficult to make which was to let it go. I feel sad but freed from the drama of the situation. I felt force to make this decision but once I made it my inner body/ mind and soul immediately let me know I have won over the situation. I walked away a winner. I won my freedom back. I am starting all over again but this article was a great reminder to reinforce I made the right decision.

  12. Jasmine says:

    Thank you very much for writing this, I am in the process of walking away from an emotionally abusive situation and reading this has resonated with me and is helping me reaffirm my spirit driven decision.

  13. Sara says:

    I just came across this article and I can't thank you enough for writing it. My fiance recently passed away and the struggle I am going through has been rough. Very well written!

  14. Dylan Barmmer @dbarmmer says:


  15. Wan says:

    This is exactly what I need at this life moment…Thank you so much.

  16. Stef says:

    Thanks, sometimes I think I am the only one having these struggles and your words somehow get me back on track and let me focus on the important things in life.

  17. Millette Kish says:

    Loved your article Rebecca. Thank you so much.♡☆♡♡♡♡

  18. Amy says:

    It's important not to go away angry. I have done that and it is not a good way to go. It leaves me with many unanswered questions. Love this article! Tough decision!

  19. Amy E says:

    I would stay open to possibilities. Don't burn the bridge. You never know what the future holds. It takes two to tango.

  20. Kristy says:

    Every word resonated with me….my struggle now is time. When? How? and When? I'm digging deep for courage, for the right words to describe my growth and needs, but it's never easy. Time to process sometimes can take too long. I'm grateful for finding this piece. Thank you.

  21. Noemi says:

    Thank you for the article, as usual it helped me a lot.

  22. Chelsey says:

    Where did the picture of the woman with many arms and self struggle come from? Does the picture have a name?

  23. Moniwuv says:

    I loved this. I dissected it and just wanted you to know I pulled some lines, rearranged them, condensed and now see it this way, posted on a piece of paper, pinned to my pinboard. Thank you for the insight.:
    "We learn how to discern between the doubt of the mind and the surety of the spirit. The discernment is in the volume. The mind is loud and the spirit is quiet. It takes practice to hear the quietest voice, and discipline to listen to her.
    Predictability is my pal, but she is also my captor and torturer. She is the accomplice of my mind. The comfort zone, and dangerous.
    We patch up the sound and devote to our recovery as exhausting and painful as it may be. When we listen to the spirit, we are required to act courageously, as we brace ourselves for the whippings of sadness, longing and unease. Honoring our spirit takes time, patience, faith and trust.
    Courage is conceived through faith and our freedom is dependent of courage."
    [Added some words for emphasis or to combine the thoughts]

  24. Schatze says:

    Today I took the knife and walked away. I have done this several times in the last year, but this time I can not look back. I’m on my way to a new chapter……

  25. berni says:

    After ten yrs of physical , emotional abuse I finally got out . I feel anxious and scared , but it's the only way . No return . I pray for a better new safe life

  26. Stephen says:

    This is bloody brilliant…you've nailed it….the quiet voice is always the hardest to hear….we hear it best when we are still…when the din of thought and distraction are muted and ignored…but it is ever present…the path that scares you the most usually leads to the richest treasure…Mary Oliver's poem "The Journey" flows well with your thought stream…

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