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“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” ~ Henry Ellis
Far too often in my life, I’ve lived the mantra of letting go, without mindfully practicing how to hold on.
I withheld my love and would walk away instead of asking for what I needed.
I didn’t know how to allow my love to embrace me in the uncertainty and see where things could go. After all, I was raised to believe that love could wait—after my education and career were locked in, then it would really be time to take love seriously.
There are always ways and logical reasons to delay love or withdraw from it when things get messy and complicated. “He did x, which means he doesn’t love me.” Or, “She did y and is going to leave me, so let me leave her first.”
Love is not black and white. It’s a technicolor gradient.
When we entangle our lives with others, betrayal and disappointment will be inevitable parts of our path together. How we show up or shy away at these crossroads will determine the quality of our lives.
Let’s be real: Love is a dangerous path filled with rocket fire, land mines and grenades, but when we’re on our death beds, we won’t be thinking how beautiful that Excel spreadsheet we spent five hours on was, or how glad we were to pull that 4.0, or that extra credential we have hanging on the wall.
We will remember the beauty of the fireworks, and be thankful for the moments we moved beyond fear and into the path of courageous love.
“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” ~ George S. Patton
In this unsteady terrain is where the most incredible growth and expansion takes flight.
The key is to face the pain head on, and create room for the possibility of healing and renewal.
I had just broken it off with Don Juan, the über-spiritual womanizer. Our connection was undeniable. And once I found he was seeing other women, I quickly called it off… without asking for what I wanted. I didn’t have the presence of mind to stare the possibility of rejection in the face.
And then I saw this video.
I highly recommend watching this to evaluate whether it’s really time to let go, or hold on to the one you love. A woman on the brink of divorce has her husband hold her in the places where they first met, had their first kiss, and where he proposed before she would sign the divorce papers:
Instead of playing the victim, being self-righteous or some other amplification of the ego, our main task in life is to allow for the possibility that everyone can win.
It doesn’t mean that Mr. or Mrs. Right/Wrong is going to show up in the way we want them to, or at all.
And it certainly doesn’t mean that you should put up with infidelity or other forms of betrayal.
There are times to let go. But do you know when to lay down your armor and hold on?
In one beautiful act of courage, a relationship can be saved. Never forget the moments that brought you together. See if you can a hold on a minute longer, and really hold each other.
Then, let go. Disconnect yourself from the attachment to the outcome and take comfort in your courage.
Your future self will thank you.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Kristi Kremers
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Wikimedia Commons