I have a confession to make—I have lied to myself and to everyone else.
I never intended to lie. I mean, who among us actually wants to lie to themselves? We all do it though, at one time or another. I lied to myself to make sense of my choices, to justify my fear and to alleviate heartache.
Losing love was not what happened, although my mind and heart fought mightily to convince me otherwise for a while. Distance and time can wreak havoc on even the most powerful connection. I know because what he awoke in me became one of the most important relationships in my life and yet, now he is gone.
While it is true that goodbye was painful every time, I lied to myself about why. I told myself he was never good for me and that we were too incompatible. Neither of those things is true.
It came down to a choice I made based on what I felt I needed most at the time. Letting him go was not about anything other than loving him more than wanting to keep him. After hurting him repeatedly in my attempts to make sense of the senseless, I realized it was not only possible, but necessary to let him go, in love.
This brings me to my honesty.
The issue arose as to how we could both move on. When for two years we had built up long-distance dreams together: ideas of what life would be like once we found our way to each other, dreams of what partnership might be like in creating our reality day by day together. Someday was elusive. The distance was just too far. The circumstances too complicated. The gap between where we actually are, held against where we wanted to be, just became too wide.
In the end, it was my own fear that unraveled us.
Fear of changing my entire life. Fear of leaving my family, home and stable job, to move to another state to find out what it would be like to be with him. I just didn’t have the courage to take that necessary step. What I have with my beautiful family is everything incredible I have hoped for in my life. Loving my life here while aching for life there, quite literally felt like tearing my heart in two.
In what ways do we allow fear to guide us, rather than our passion, hope or dreams? In what ways do we cater to our insecurities and create situations that reinforce our need? How do we learn to distinguish what is fear based and what is love based?
In my effort to regain integrity with myself and my family—to rebuild a solid relationship with my husband, to be a more present and loving mother to my daughter, I had to choose. Struggling with the options before me, I chose to let him go, in love.
I chose love: love for myself, love for my family, love for the life I am currently living. Love for the present moment, the present people, the simple ordinary presence of me here, now.
He taught me a lot about love—about loving openly, freely, and without restraint. He taught me how to love without holding on too tightly. To love without demanding anything—not even the presence of the beloved in our lives.
Love is capable of setting itself free and it is adept at letting go.
The way we let go into the unknown as we first fall in love, can be revisited again in the midst of love as well. You see, love doesn’t have to end when a relationship changes. Love allows the shifting tides and natural movement between its borders.
When it comes time (and it always will) to let go of those we love, it is possible to allow the love to continue its course.
The love I have for this man is as potent today as it was when I first met him, in fact, I would say I love him even more. My love has birthed a new quality, a freedom, a trust it didn’t have before. I find comfort that my broken heart rests in a love that is real and tangible. I have lost nothing of myself in letting him go.
Can we let go and allow love to remain? Can we bring compassion to our interactions with the people in our lives, as they come and as they go? Can we allow the natural ebb and flow, the rise and fall? Can we wish for our loved ones their highest joy and their greatest lives, even when it doesn’t include us?
I aim to love myself this way, and to unveil the lies that keep my heart hidden.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman