Don’t Force It: Outgrowing and Moving On

Don't Force

This post is inspired by my writer’s block…Nothing deep!  I legit had NOTHING to post as of 3:30 p.m. yesterday.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  I had about 4 saved drafts that weren’t “speaking to me,” and a few ideas rolling around but nothing was connecting.  I did what any good writer who hits the wall would do: I cleared off my desk, turned on some mood music, sat straight up in front of my computer, and stared at the screen. 😂  I eventually began forcing words to come together, and though the blog was pretty good, it just wasn’t right.  I decided to move on from my strained words and go with the flow.  Here’s what I got…

So I was once with this dude that I absolutely loved.  I mean this dude could have given me his last name and drove me off into the sunset.  The only problem was he didn’t want to.  Ooo Ooo!  After years of being in a relationship (off and on cause we broke up like 1 or 2, no 3 times), the only natural thing left for us to do was take this thing to the next level: get engaged, plan this wedding, start our lives, and get some beans in this oven!  *insert satisfied nod of approval*  That’s what I and most of the people who knew us — the outsiders looking in– were rooting for.  Yeah, but as aforementioned, we couldn’t stay together to save our lives, and homeboy, though he wouldn’t fully admit it, was not interested in a one way trip into the sunset…well, at least not until he “got some stuff together first.”  [He ran that line every 6 months for about 3 years…and 3 years later his “stuff” was still scattered.] So I did what any other #woke girlfriend would do.  THEE CHRISTEN FREAKIN ROUSON with my independent, intelligent, and fiiiioone self…stayed and tried to make it work.  #loyal  😒😒😒   I  mean I worked, honey!  I worked overtime like I was trying to buy Christmas gifts for my small kids.  Eventually, after exhausting myself from fighting for us alone, I realized why things weren’t working or moving forward.  I was a different woman than the one he met, he was a different man than the one I fell in love with, we wanted different things from life and each other than when we first began, and we weren’t the best fit for one another anymore.  Maybe his stalled “getting some stuff together” was because it wasn’t meant to come together with me…the new me.  I accepted what was and uninvited him from our relationship.  (That literally just made me laugh!) Thus concluded a 7.5 year relationship and my hope of marrying him.

Oooo, I have another story.  So I had this pair of jeans that I LOVED!  (Seems like I love everything….)  They were the perfect dark denim, and those jeans made me look like I was blessed in ways that I wasn’t….daggone genetics.  Anyway, these were my go-to pair of jeans: I could dress them up or down, they were stylish and comfortable, and I was cute in them!  Funny thing though, while going through my frequent rotations with my beloved jeans, I started to notice that they didn’t fit quite like they used to.  I don’t know if I was “growing” or if the dryer was shrinking them, but they were getting tighter and tighter…  Aight, let me stop lying; I was getting fat y’all..daggone Hostess Cakes and pasta.  Either way, the fit changed, but did that stop me from attempting to wear my jeans?  NOPE!  I would still hop into those pants, lay across my bed, inhale really deeply, squeeeeze those two pieces of fabric together, and practically break a nail trying to get the button through its assigned hole.  Baby, I promise I could hear my zipper crying like a kid getting snatched up out of church to go get a beating… (That was the worst!)  So here I go, all tucked –literally– into my favorite jeans about to check how bomb I looked in the mirror just to be MORTIFIED.  If I didn’t have THEE biggest muffin top of life!  I mean that thing looked somebody had been squeezing me from the feet up like you do a tube of toothpaste.  (I am currently WEAK by the way! 😂)  I looked DUMB aaaand I was IN PAIN!!!!!  (I am cracking up! 😂😂)  I had no option, I had to peel those jeans off, examine the battle scars imprint it left on my durn stomach, and accept that I could not make those size 12 jeans fit my new size 14 life…okay size 16.

Okay, so now that you’ve laughed at with me, let’s do some thinking.  Let’s take inventory of who and/or what is in our lives that we are forcing to remain there.  It could be a childhood to adulthood friendship, it could be a long-term relationship, or as the picture above implies, a stressed ponytail.  LOL!  It could be the extra effort you put forth to work that unfulfilling job that doesn’t line up with your passion area simply because “it’s safe,” or the great antics and extra heirs you put on to fit in with people who aren’t really “your people.” It could be the stress you put yourself under to live out a dream that someone else dreamed for you, or the way you diminish yourself to be accepted.  Whatever “it” is, it is not working anymore, and you know that.  Still you put your effort into making it work.  For what though?  Here is my list of reasons for continued forcing:

  • Relationships:  “I don’t wanna start over.  I don’t feel like letting another man get comfortable with me and my flaws.  I don’t want to be alone.  How am I gonna explain our break-up when we were together so long?”
  • Friendships:  “But he/she knows everything about me.  I can’t live without him/her in my life.  Who’s gonna be my friend now?  I’ll be all alone.  How am I gonna explain us going separate ways when we’ve been such close friends?”
  • Jobs:  “But I got bills!  Tuh!  I don’t feel like looking for a new job and learning new people.  What if what I want to/am purposed to do doesn’t pay what I need it to pay?  How am I gonna explain leaving this job that I prayed and shouted for?”
  • Jeans:  “But I love them!  They are perfect for everything — sneakers and heels, boo.  Sneakers and heels!  *pats weave*  Maybe I can just lose a few pounds.  How am I gonna explain giving my favorites away?”  *Rebelliously tucks jeans in a plastic bin in the back of the closet*
  • Ponytails:  “How am I…” Just kidding! 😂

Sidenote:  Can you see that most to all of my excuses for continued forcing include me taking into account the opinions of the aforementioned “outsiders looking in?”  Daggone people pleaser.  Sweetie, other people’s opinions don’t matter as much as you think.

Don't Force 2


Trying to make something work that isn’t meant to work is like attempting to shove a square peg into a round hole.  Now you know how sideways you’d look at little Johnny as he sat in his overalls on his kindergarten mat trying to make something that clearly wasn’t made for that space work.  Baaaaaby your face would be contorted, head tilted ever so slightly to the left, trying to mask the slight giggle under your breath as you patted him on the head while saying, “Bless yo heart, sugar.”  🤔  Well, that’s how I imagine God looks at us when we try to force something to be or remain in our lives that is not meant for us or at least this season. 

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. …A time to embrace and a time to turn away.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 5 [New Living Translation]

I must take a moment to briefly talk about seasons.  [For a more extensive point of view, read my blog “Adjust To The Season.”  It’s really good!]  Not everything is intended to last always.  Things change, people grow, moments shift…everything is in seasons.  For me and my former beau, there was once a time that we were the best of friends.  He carried me through some of my life’s most tragic situations, and I was stood by him through some of his lowest moments.  As time progressed, we became different things to one another.  No big deal…it was time to shift, but I was dead set on only experiencing our relationship as I once remembered it!  I was trying to force us to be who we were a season ago.  This learned behavior was also evident in my trivial pursuit to tuck myself into those small jeans.  In both cases, in very different ways, I grew… And that’s okay.

Maybe that thing that you have to have or keep doesn’t fit into the grand scheme of your now.  Am I saying to throw everything and everyone away?  No!  What I am telling you to do is to evaluate what is, compare it to what God’s will is for your life, and make adjustments as necessary.  It is possible for two people to be good people who love each other but are not be meant to be together.  It is possible to have the greatest of times with someone who shouldn’t remain as an intimate friend.  It is possible to work a job very well but not be aligned with your God given assignment.  It is also possible to deliberately mold something/someone to fit into an unintended space in your life…but you’re the clay not the potter, remember? (Isaiah 64:8)  I have learned in my short lifetime that some of my best relationships, friendships, and experiences were organic.  Nothing was forced or coerced…it just flowed…it just fit.  And when it no longer worked because it’s purpose in my life had expired or because God’s purpose for my life required me to outgrow that space, it was time to move on.  Please don’t misunderstand me.  This is not to say that there will never be effort required.  Some of the best things worth having require effort to obtain and maintain…not to be confused with effort to make it be something it is not.  Forcing something to fit is often accompanied with stress, pain, exhaustion, and disappointment — just ask my stomach after being squeezed into those jeans! 😂

My thoughts were a bit jumbled and this became a very lengthy…I’m so sorry.  I challenge you today to momentarily take your hands off the proverbial “round pegs” of your life and evaluate what isn’t fitting without your extra pushes.  If it doesn’t fit, don’t force it. 

I hope this helps.

-Chris ❤




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