The divine art of letting go
Love is defined in many ways. Ask anyone on the street for their definition of love, and you’ll get no two answers the same. The Bible defines love. Movies define love. Turn on the radio and you’ll get a definition of love. We see evidence of love in the unlikeliest of places and among the most unlikely of men and women. Your cat loves you. Your dog loves you. Your neighbor loves you. Your mom loves you.
Love is everywhere we look. It makes the world go round, you know.
Something I’ve learned recently, and I didn’t learn it the easy way…is that love…true love…real, unselfish, unconditional love…can be found most prevalently in the act of letting go. I know, I know…we’ve all heard the saying: “If you love something enough, let it go. If it comes back to you, it’s yours forever. If it doesn’t, it was never really yours to begin with.” As cliche as it might sound, it still holds true. I am learning that the most selfless act of love one person can show another person is to let them go. The inclination is always to beg, to cry, to plead for the other person to change their mind, forgive you, love you more, want you more, need you more…to show them why they can’t live without you…to prove to them that if they give you just one more chance, you’ll get it right this time. It’s human nature. It’s definitely my nature, as I typically refuse to give up without a fight. But if the person you love most in the world is struggling to break free…ready to move on…slipping through your fingers…regardless of how much it breaks your heart, shouldn’t you wish them the best and let them fly?
“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” ~HAVELOCK ELLIS
We have to let go. Not just for our own sake, but for the other person’s. Our hearts will never sing as long as we cling. When someone I love makes a choice, and his choice is not me…no matter how much I adore him and want to prove to him how wrong he was and how much he needs me in his life and how perfect we are for each other…I have to release him, and his memory, and trust that life and God has a plan for us both, even if it’s not together. And that moment, that decision, that act of letting the other person go…that’s our gift to them. At the end of the day and on the horizon of moving on, I guess our goodbye is really the only gift we have left to give.
Letting go is not for the faint of heart. It’s the hardest thing most of us will ever have to learn how to do…but still, we must do it. Because true love, real love, unselfish love…demands nothing less.