“This is not a goodbye, my darling, this is a thank you. Thank you for coming into my life and giving me joy, thank you for loving me and receiving my love in return. Thank you for the memories I will cherish forever. But most of all, thank you for showing me that there will come a time when I can eventually let you go. I love you.”
~ Nicolas Sparks
As humans we have our differences.
Across the spectrum of all things involving our existence, and our relationship to it, we sometimes find it difficult to relate to one another. Each person, is fully arrayed with their own set of beliefs, opinions, desires and truths.
But the one thing we can all relate to is the power of love.
We may not define it identically, we may not all welcome it warmly, and we may not all relate to the emotional stigma that resonates within each of us when we lose it. But we can all understand, to some extent, that one element that binds us together so tightly.
For most, falling in love feels like an enchanting phenomenon that encompasses our entire being. A sensation of losing absolute control of our mental and physical facilities. Complete withdrawal from ourselves as one—we fall so hard for another that we no longer consider ourselves in the singular sense.
But on the other end of the love spectrum, we tend to welcome melancholy.
When we lose our loved one, we lose ourselves again—but not in the way we did before. For a short time, or sometimes an extended grieving period, our mind becomes fixed on what we lost. We begin to lose faith in ourselves, in others and find doubt in what we created with another person.
When we fall in love we bond with each other in every way. Our beliefs, our passions, our desires, our weaknesses, they all begin to encompass everything that makes us an us. We are no longer one in a sense, our actions become empathetic, because they do not just affect us anymore.
In this process of falling in love, we let go of singularity.
We progress in our abilities, because we learn a vital lesson. If we are lucky we learn selflessness, we learn how to care for one another, we learn how to communicate our thoughts, we learn to let go of our fears, we learn to trust. To fall in love is powerful and freeing in a world of challenge—we find a way to truly let go.
But when we fall out of love, we find ourselves in a dark place. We try to grasp onto anything that will make us feel whole again.
When we lose the person we love, we do not lose what we created with them. Everything that we learned, everything that we gave into is still a part of who we are.
It is a sensitive process, to lose the person attached to the love we create. We vividly still see the things that seem familiar—smells revisit us, warmth returns to our side when we sleep alone at night. And when we decide to move on we still have troubles comparing others to lovers lost.
We glorify our connection to another, because we do not want to let go of what we created. But we do not have to.
It took me awhile to come to such a realization. When I fell in love, I created something with someone. Although what he may have created with me had long dissolved, the thing I had created with him was still very strong and existed in my world. And just because it was no longer attached to another being, in no way meant that its existence was dissolved. What I created in that time we spent together, was love. I hadn’t experienced it yet and I felt it so strongly for that time, then when he left, I thought it would cease to exist.
The energy expelled, and the hope created when we finally give in to someone is powerful. It is the most intense rush we encounter in our lives.
We can leap off the tallest edifices, we can swim miles beneath the sea, we can run great lengths through the backcountry, we can ride off the largest cliffs, and we can dive into chaos. But that feeling we get when we look into someone’s eyes, and we feel exactly what they feel, and we feel like for the first time someone finally sees us for who we truly are. That feeling is enslaving for the time that it consumes us. Touch, smell, sound, all our senses become heightened and empowered in those moments.
Falling in love was beautiful because there was someone there to catch me. Falling out of love ended up being even more beautiful, because I learned how to catch myself.
The love you create is still within you, and instead of attaching to another being, use it in all areas of your life. That is why we fall in the first place. We are given a gift. We are given insight and we are given empathy—put that energy into your writing, into your friendships, into your art, into your bodies, and into your healing. It would be a shame to think that something that so forwardly progresses our openness like falling in love could be discarded and forgotten.
After I fell out of love, my world became electric. Without this other person attached to what I had created, I had it all to myself. And I began to give it to everything I created from that moment forward. I was a creator before, but what I create now is different.
There is nothing more raw and genuine and beautiful than a song sung, or a work of art created, or a poem spoken, or a book written, or a practice practiced, than one created by a being that has lost love—and regained it.
So next time you fall out of love, remember that it’s perfectly fine to fall right back into love—with yourself—and your time here.
The relationship you have with yourself and your world, after that sort of loss, is one of the most powerful, respectful and beautiful relationships you will have with yourself in this lifetime.
“The funny and the most beautiful thing about love is you don’t need any one else to fall in love with, you can love yourself, the ambiance around you, the things which belong to you, and even those which don’t.”
~ Sanhita Baruah
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Sue Adair/Editor: Travis May
Photo: R. Getty