If you see life as a path, as I do, the word ‘continue’ is extremely apt. One foot after the other, sometimes at a pace so snail-like, it feels as if we are going backwards, continuing is our only option.
Many sayings have arisen from this concept: keep on keeping on; winners never quit: quitters never win; never give up and so forth.
In general, I am absolutely in agreement with this philosophy – and have, on countless occasions, picked myself up, dusted myself off and, feet shredded and muscles yelling, trudged ever onwards.
However, I do think there are circumstances in which it is best NOT to continue. I refer here to relationships (and I use that word in its broadest sense) which are unequal, abusive, toxic or just very unwise!
I do not think it prudent or healthy to continue a bond in which you are an option, or a punch-bag, or an unpaid counsellor, or a trollop in all but the lamp-post and the brothel!
It can be draining and dangerous to continue with a connection in which you feel demeaned, scared, isolated or only taken up when there is nothing better around.
At such times, the self-respecting and sensible thing to do is to stop the habit, sever the bond, cease the continuation of a vicious circle, get the hell out!
If, in the wider sense, the path advances your life in a positive manner, continue. If it does not, turn back or take an alternative track or sit down and cogitate for a while.
This is not to say that we should scuttle down another and tiny parting in the long grass at the first sign of pain, sadness, grief, illness, difficulty; these are inevitable parts of life’s journey and we can only run away from them a finite number of times before they catch up with us.
But I do think it helps us all to be more bloody, bold and resolute when it comes to relationships, to people who we know are bad news, to situations which cause us more harm than good.
I am guilty of continuing with life situations, and friendships, and work placements, way beyond their sell-by-date! The resulting foul-smelling mess in my metaphorical refrigerator could not be ignored indefinitely, and refusing to continue with the rancid viands rotting within, hoicking them out, disinfecting the whole area and staring afresh was, in the end, the only decision I could make!