Ask: How do you know if you have outgrown your relationship?

 “An interesting follow-on topic in your blog may be specific examples that may be used to determine if you have outgrown your relationship…as it applies to ACIM followers…” – JW

It does not matter if one is a student of A Course in Miracles or not. It does not matter the relationship, whether it be romantic, family, friend, to a job, to an object, etc. The determinant of when to leave a relationship is the same:

When the pain of staying outweighs the pain of leaving.

Some people are healthier and can recognize it is time to leave before it gets too painful. In their case, they recognize that if they stay the pain of staying will outweigh the pain of leaving. They do not wait for it to get too painful.

Are you in a painful relationship and trying to determine if it’s time to leave? Email me at to set up a telephone appointment. Learn more at

If you have a question the answer to which you think will help others, email it to me at and indicate that you want it answered in the newsletter/blog.


ES said…
I’m responding to last week’s article, “Resistance is the Path”, (9/20/17). I was surprised to see that it generated only 3 comments. I can’t imagine people sailing through all of this. I’m always interested to know how others “keep going” considering the massive obstacles we all face.

I liked the language and the tone of the article. In particular: “..resistance is part of the process. It does not mean something is wrong. It does not mean you are failing.” And, “Resistance really means “not ready” or “not now”. It does not mean you have fallen off the path.” All this is comforting and reassuring. It fosters kindness for the self which is always helpful.

Just the other day I had a profound realization that I was finally beginning to develop the patience that is so necessary to pursue this path. I was happy to see that this patience was coming from within rather than being imposed upon me as some requisite behavior. (The horse should pull the cart, not the other way around.)

Liz has often said that we need to build upon our spiritual experiences regardless how few and ephemeral they may be. What other choice is there besides giving up? On the other hand I often feel like I’m grasping at straws. How does one build on a straw? How does one build on the memory of a glimpse? Yet I keep going because the alternative is unacceptable.

Deb said…
A relationship came to visit and brought along a full size mirror. I looked in the mirror and looked and looked and looked some more. The visitor left and I did not like how I was feeling. I contemplated this feeling and it came through as, I did not feel emotionally supported.

Funny, I had thought this relationship had moved away, had fallen away, that it was over and so why was she back in my awareness?

It seems as though to confirm what I am ready to let go of, to say goodbye to within this mind and what I need to give to myself.

It took humility to see it in myself.
Deb said…
Thank you Liz . . .your last 4 or so articles help gently move along some stubborn resistance"as" this path. I hear this phrase from you often in this mind "I don't have to anymore".

My power "go to" phrase.

Fill Blessings, Deb
Deb said…
Tears roll out as this song rolls in . . ."Love Will Lead You Back".

Holy Spirit speaks to this mind through music. You see some of my stubbornness, resistance was not to feel and so learnimg to cry is the opening of the emotional release valve.

Thankful for the tears.
hannah said…
deb, i hear that idea in my mind too, it really stuck in my mind when reading liz' article.

everything keeps coming back to choice lately. i recently saw and felt how i was already at choice in my misery.. and the power of the mind to choose pain and then deny that it had chosen that just blew me away. i recognised this through attempting (somewhat successfully) to choose peace, and recognising that part of me was actively choosing to stay in conflict. the beauty in that experience was that in really knuckling down in that moment and being honest about the motivations i was feeling, i didnt feel guilty for choosing the 'comfort of pain'. it was really neutral in that moment.. like oh, so you value this set of ideas that being a sad person gives you? being the innocent victim of forces you cant control? (the world, my mind, haha!) dont worry love, thatll change when dont value it anymore.

now, i just noticed something strange! i feel like if i dont need, then ill be terribly lonely! if im not asking for fulfilment from outside, ill be setting myself adrift in an loveless void. which is so contradictory! thats the very void i noticed myself actively choosing the other day. hannah the innocent powerless and incapable. well.. i guess that trusting special love (and special hate) not wholeness. existing in a state with Self love seems awfully threatening!
Deb said…
Thank you Hannah,. You filled a blessing I am continually asking for, just had to receive. Choice and denial.

I heard these words this morning, "it's okay to be happy" and last night "it's okay to change the body you came in". I was stuck in a dark cloud and "saw the blindness of belief" in form as a most unworthy form of denial and thinking I was further along the path then I actually was. Warnings I've heard more than once but in the space of non judgment, I now see,this too had a purpose of teaching this mind about not-Truth.

I feel today the sun has come from behind the cloud, shining her love. I remain vigilant.
hannah said…
i just LOVE 'its ok!!' i keep getting surprised by it!
Unknown said…

Just wondering if this is from the Course or elsewhere. "When the pain of staying out weighs the pain of leaving" . Either way it's Beautiful.

ACIM Mentor said…
Jacomina, the quote is not from ACIM. I got it from my wife years ago. And she got if from a 12-step sponsor years before. I don't know where her sponsor got it. Maybe her own wisdom; maybe someone else's wisdom.
Unknown said…

okay Liz. Thanks. It certainly applies to me and all my relationships. Mostly my relationship to my story. My History. The pain of hanging on to my story is more than the pain of dropping it. And all becomes quiet once again.......
hannah said…
deb can i ask what you mean by change the body you came in? please just ignore if im being too nosy.
Deb said…
Wow I was asking and well, contemplating the exact same thing this morning Hannah. I have been working on healing my self judgment and one area that has been a storehouse of guilt has been the body. Growing my trust, I brought my issue with the body's "weight" of guilt to Holy Spirit and received the loving response that it is ok to change the body. This morning however I am in the mind, "what body?".

I am learning to see myself as Love, as Truth verses the home of evil, darkness and sin and it is unfolding as the Love within is telling "me" it's OK. I am vaccilating I believe the word is.
Deb said…
and in this moment,I am feeling Loved and the tears are flowing. It's like the weight has been lifted so thank you for asking Hannah. Feeling Light and Feeling Blessed and well feeling.

Love, Deb
Deb said…
For me, being heard, represents feeling loved. The Holy Spirit, my relationship with Jesus sounds like this . . . "I hear you darling" and once received is, "I love you darling". The Love is always here.

Off to get a tissue.
hannah said…
deb, youre welcome xx

id been wanting to ask for a couple of days but i was worried i was stepping too much into somebody elses space. i find it very difficult not to filter myself.. i often feel like i take up too much space, with my body and with my mind. you have really offered me something to look at here, in relation to the qualities of the different impulses regarding wanting to ask you, in light of your response. thank YOU!

ive had an eating disorder in my past that was triggered by guilt, i was getting skinnier to punish myself, consciously and purposefully, while simultaneously believing that skinnier would be more lovable! talk about convoluted!

i wonder what the relationship with my body would look like if i existed in self love. maybe then it would meet the needs of bodily health, but aside from that be more like 'what body?'. i asked liz once if she was ever concerned about her body weight etc in her current self identity, and she said that she truly just didnt think about it anymore, so thats encouraging!

im not sure about this, but if i try and tune in to what i imagine liz or ken (or the HS, laugh!) might say, i imagine it would be something like.. accept and be kind with where you are in your mind right now. so, if it feels more loving and relieves.. stress? to take steps to be more comfortable currently with your weight, then show love for your 'current self space' by doing so. the awareness that peace and love are not not found in the shape of your body or found in relation to the body at all, isnt going to go anywhere, and will only grow stronger with acts of gentle kindness and feelings of caring for and loving yourself, and in dropping guilt for currently caring about things that you know will fall away in time.

ken always said, just do the things you feel happier with doing, but just be mindful of the fact that part of you thinks its finding some kind of peace or wholeness in it. he said dont stop doing the things, dont go into sacrifice or martyrdom via 'i should be more spiritual and not "fill-in-the-blank", but just remain mindful that you will not find peace in "fill-in-the-blank'. and liz has said to me, more than once, laugh, thats its ok! it doesnt matter one iota what the self does or does not do. be honestly where you are, and and dont try and drop things you simply cant yet, all that is not authentic or helpful will fall away when its time for that to fall away.

and im certainly finding that not judging my selfs thoughts about my mind or body, and being more authentic and less striving to be 'spiritual and not care about worldly things' is a BLOODY BRILLIANT step towards less inner conflict, so far much more effective than trying to drop attachment to worldly concerns! plus its so much easier to let others be where they are, im less judgemental and its helping ease the grip of co-dependency! as i intimated in the first paragraph, i still have a lot of self judgement/dislike.. but its so much EASIER somehow. i have greater trust that there is way out of this fear/conflict that does not in fact, at its heart, involve sacrifice and harsh control.
Deb said…
A lovely, loving reflection of growth. Thank you Hannah.

Setting the goal and asking this being in the stillness, what do you want? This, stillness, a peaceful state of mind, knowing whole mind, integration, recognition there is nothing that exists apart from the whole mind. Yes, of course!

Embraced in love the morning after, a dream of loving even the illusory darkness and the experience of light shining the thought away. It only ever is just a thought.
hannah said…
nice dream! it really does keep coming back down to choice, doesnt it!

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