My Total Truths: #2 Cut Your Losses

May 18, 2012

# 2 Cut Your Losses

“In the clearing stands a boxer,
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev’ry glove that laid him down
Or cut him til he cried out
In his anger and his shame
‘I am leaving, I am leaving’
But the fighter still remains.”
 
                                        – Simon & Garfunkel
                                         “The Boxer”
 

This isn’t something I say lightly.

I am a fighter and a competitor and, to the core, fighters and competitors don’t believe in losses because a loss equals failure and failure is not an option. But in the past year, such immense milestones transformed my life that it inevitably made me see many things that I used to see as truths in a different light. And now, cutting your losses seems more like a winner’s strategy than a loser’s outcome.

Cutting your losses is a lot like emotional warfare, especially when the losses you cut are people. It requires you to eradicate someone from your life, roots and all, that at one time might have been important to you, valuable to you, central to you. It requires you to really evaluate and be honest about who is worth keeping, who still makes your life better or whose time in your life has passed and is only still around because they have always been. It shouldn’t be done from a place of anger; I say this from the corner of sadness and healing. I have realized in the last year that not everyone will stay in your life and not everyone should. And sometimes, cutting those losses is a necessity.

Maybe it is as trivially put as blaming my pregnancy hormones or maybe it is born from significant changes in the midst of huge milestones: leaving my country, a death in the family, getting married and becoming a mother, but whatever the reason, at a times in my life when I was supposed to realize who my friends were, I realized who they were not.

It is incredibly sad that when I think back to the single most momentous and meaningful year of my life, all of those miraculous memories will also stand alongside great grief. Some grief, like losing my grandfather, was unavoidable. It is a loss that has to be cut because there is nothing anyone can do to escape the inescapable. But some grief was inflicted by people of supreme trust and total love. It is a loss rooted in selfishness, causing nothing good and leaving only heartbreak. This kind of loss breaks down even the strongest of fighters.

But great fighters, and remember we are all great fighters when we need to be, return. Stronger. And I had the most important reason to fight, growing inside of me. Life threw me too many punches in 9 months. I ducked and dodged, weaved and danced, all the while swinging and breathing and resting, but in the end, the only way to win the prize that mattered most, a healthy baby, was to concede those other fights and cut my losses.

I needed my rest for the only fight worth fighting. The planning a wedding “stress” and moving from the country “stress” and sitting in the hospital with my grandfather “stress” and then losing my grandfather “stress,” fighting people who should have been in my corner seemed unbelievably not worth it.

It just became a fight not worth fighting any longer.

Being a fighter doesn’t just mean being strong. It means being smart enough to know when to let go of the things that are unhealthy, draining, and damaging. It means knowing that not every fight is worth winning and not everything is worth fighting for.

But knowing that no matter what the outcome, you are always a fighter.

Rocky Flickr

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