In doing a study the other day the question was posed, “What is it about quitting that is so attractive?”
I am not talking about knowing when to say “when” or “uncle”. Nor the absolute and intentional stopping of a behavior: “I quit (smoking/drinking/cussing/working out) years ago.” But the emotional knee jerk reaction of self-protection.
This caused me to pause and give the idea of emotional knee jerk quitting thought. Yes, it does lead to wallowing in defeat, pity and rebelliousness, but there is more to it.
Quitting is the ultimate place of complete control. Total disengagement. Not caring. They can’t make you.
The consequences of such control quickly followed in my thoughts…
The control is an illusion (really, isn’t all control an illusion?). You may have disengaged but not without consequences. You can ignore the reality that consequences will happen and/or pretend they are not there, but they are and they will effect you and probably others.
Quitting is rooted in a deep need to protect yourself. It is rooted in fear. It is saying you will not take the risk. Risk of looking foolish… experiencing shame… not being met…
But here is what really stood out to me. Quitting is the opposite of vulnerability.
Vulnerability is authentic engagement. It takes trust. You may be disappointed. You may be rejected. You may not be seen. They may not care back. Now that is risk.
In our closest relationships quitting and vulnerability cannot coexist. Vulnerability builds the foundation of truly intimate relationships. Quitting chips at, if not fully destroys, the foundation that vulnerability built or stops it from ever getting started. Vulnerability is expressing love and care with the knowledge nothing may be returned and being bless by what is built when it is returned.