By Brianna Wiest
“Wherever you are is the entry point.”
Feeling intense grief or fear over the (real or imagined) loss of someone is not a product of love. It is a product of avoidance. It is what happens when you think there is something that someone else can give you that you cannot give yourself. This illusion isn’t only maddening, it will make you push aside essential parts of yourself in favor of traits and behaviors and choices you think that someone else will find more palatable.
Letting go is not so much about forgetting as it is realizing you are capable of filling the gaps you believe someone else is responsible for.
And more often than not, this kind of loss isn’t just something we want, it’s something we call into our experience. We choose the kinds of people who will leave us, or who can’t really love us, simply because the work is not in finding someone who will promise us forever, but in developing the capacity to feel as though we are capable of being happy regardless.
In the words of Melissa Hughes: “It occurs to me that starting over was letting go, and letting go is a bit like prayer: Involuntary and also deliberate. You will get what you ask for, what your energy moves undeniably toward, the most desperately whispered desires of your heart. It’s only that the answer might look like nothing you imagined.”
When you’re in the process of letting go and moving on, especially when it comes to someone or something you loved, you must remember that love is not a thing other people can give you. The feeling they hold within them when they are with you is not something that can be transferred. Other people can give you expressions of that love, but the feeling you get is your openness to receiving it. It is you. It is all you. It is always you.
The things we lose are not losses – they are entryways. They are moments for us to rise and bear witness to the parts of us that are closed. They are second chances. They are wake up calls. They are the world saying to us clearly and sharply: there is something else out there. And even if it seems like we’re standing on the edge of some unknown abyss, we must always hold the faith that the pain we feel is in closing ourselves to what’s possible, not in having someone “take” something that was inherently ours away.
In the words of Erin Hanson:
I was the type of person,
That held onto things too tight,
Unable to release my grip,
When it no longer felt right,
And although it gave me blisters,
And my fingers would all ache,
I always thought that holding on,
Was worth the pain it takes,
I used to think in losing things,
I’d lose part of me too,
That slowly I’d become someone,
My heart no longer knew,
Then one day something happened,
I dropped what I had once held dear,
But my soul became much lighter,
Instead of filled with fear,
And it taught my heart that some things,
Aren’t meant to last for long,
They arrive to teach you lessons,
And then continue on,
You don’t have to cling to people,
Who no longer make you smile,
Or do something you’ve come to hate,
If it isn’t worth your while,
That sometimes the thing you’re fighting for,
Isn’t worth the cost,
And not everything you ever lose,
Is bound to be a loss.