The terror (and euphoria) of leaving people behind.

In a bee hive, the Queen is the heart of the matter. She runs the show by sending out instructions via pheromones. Each pheromone carries a distinct message for the worker bees.

I have dubbed one of these pheromones “Fit to Rule”. This pheromone tells the other bees: Yep, I’m still fertile, still strong. Definitely fit to rule.

But as the Queen ages, even if her strength and fertility is only just slightly starting to wane, she will immediately alter her “Fit to Rule” pheromone to tell the rest of the hive that they need to find a replacement.

bees and leaving people behindThis next piece of information is where the honey is (so to speak):

She has the capacity to maintain her levels of the “Fit to Rule” pheromone. She could extend her queendom for a bit longer by not telling the hive the truth right away, but she refuses to lie. Not even for a second.

Even though it will mean the end of her position of authority and comfort, she immediately hands the reigns over to another Queen. Translation:

When you see the writing on the wall, leave.

There are times to put in work. There are times to try a new approach. There are times to stand firm in the faith that together, you will start a new chapter, soon. There are seasons that require patience.

But if this is not one of those times, if you KNOW that you’ve given and tried all you possibly can (and you already know – deep down, you know), pack up your stuff and leave.

Narrowly focusing on the blissful beginning, while ignoring the current realities of disappointment will narrow YOU. Don’t fake what’s not there anymore. Speak up. Let your mouth form the truth that your pheromones have probably been pumping out for a while.

This doesn’t feel good anymore.
I’m not happy.
I don’t want to continue like this.

Sometimes, truth-telling will lead to clearer communication and deeper intimacy. New possibilities will light up.

And sometimes, no amount of tears and vulnerability will change the nature of what this thing has become.

If this is one of those latter times, one of the times when you know your heart is screaming “WHY THE FUCK ARE WE STILL HERE?”, consider these words the permission slip you don’t need:

You can leave.

Right now. First thing in the morning. Anytime. For all of time.
You can leave. Yes, you can. I know there’s all the things… but yes, you can.

Your life is your own. Your joy does not need to be earned. Pleasure is not supposed to be on a layaway plan.

Leaving something that’s dead is partly about respect. You honor the other people involved by being clean and clear.

Mostly, it’s about your soul. It’s about being available for, and devoted to, the reasons you’re on this planet.

You’re not here for friendships that ask you to dull your shine.
You’re not here for work that feels like it’s sucking you dry.
You’re not here for romance that’s I-guess-this-is-good-enough.

When you gather up the courage to leave when you know it’s over, you’re making a statement to yourself, to each person involved, and to God, that says:

I’m here for soulful connection and kinship.
I’m here for relationships built on deep devotion.
I’m here to make my work a work of art – and prosper in the process.
I’m here for vitality, adventure and everything that makes me feel good.

Despite the ache that comes from the parting, leaving when it’s done and dusted is a choice in compassion — compassion for your future, and for theirs.

It’s an affirmation of your right to choose for yourself. You don’t need anyone’s permission. You are your own permission.

If it’s done, if you’re ready for something else, leave. Just… leave.