It’s an empty feeling inside my chest that I can’t quite describe.
It’s my constantly churning stomach. It’s a rush of blood to my head and a stinging sensation as my eyes struggle to hold back tears.
It’s the hurt of letting go.
We met when I least expected it. I felt myself more attracted to him each day we spent together. The dorky dance moves, the worst jokes I’d ever heard, the grounding energy he carried, his insanely contagious smile. I tried to talk myself out of it. I gave myself a hundred reasons why it wouldn’t work.
But I just couldn’t shake the thought of feeling him wrapped around me, breathing hard into the nape of my neck.
One of the hardest parts about moving on is letting go of the past. For me, the hardest part is letting go of the “what ifs.” What if we were meant to be together? What if he was the one? What if I never meet another human like him? What if I never feel this way again?
These wild thoughts swirl around and around in my head like an angry swarm of bees, threatening to sting if I so much as entertain one.
We shared moments, beautiful moments that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
But our timing just wasn’t quite right. We live our lives on opposite sides of the world and right now, that’s where we need to be. The beautiful timing of the universe brought us together, but it also pulled us apart.
We said goodbye. My heart incessantly aches at the memory of those moments and that ever-looming question rears it’s ugly head once more:
What if he really was the one?
If he were, it wouldn’t be this hard. If he were, surely he would tell me how much I mean to him. If he were, regardless of distance, we would make it work. You tell yourself excuse after excuse in some insane attempt to justify the hurt that is threatening to never leave your already-aching heart, but it doesn’t work.
It is the idea of how things should be, not an accurate reflection of how things actually are.
There is a balloon of hope in my heart that is threatening to burst. It would have been easier had it just been popped. But letting go isn’t that kind; there is no quick fix. A tiny hole has been made in this balloon of mine and there’s nothing I can do but feel it slowly deflate. My only wish is that by the time all the air has escaped, I have made peace with and learned from my beautiful connection with him.
So, how do we move past this? How do we even begin to function and be present in our day-to-day lives when we carry this unseen burden of emptiness and rejection?
We must accept and acknowledge how we feel as being perfectly okay. When we can breathe into this and find peace in this acceptance of normality, we can feel the weight get a little lighter and our hearts get a little brighter.
I know that each time I meet someone who challenges me and matches me, I’m getting closer.
Each time I meet someone whose touch I constantly crave, I’m getting closer.
Each time I meet someone whose voice I could fall asleep to and whose outlook on the world inspires me to be a better person, I’m getting closer.
When he looks into my eyes and sees my heart and not my tough exterior, I’m getting closer.
I am learning about myself and who I am—and I won’t settle for less than I deserve.
In my heart of hearts, I believe you have to trust. Trust that every time the universe presents these souls to you, you are getting closer to the right one.
Trust that you are being given a gift—the gift of knowing different types of love. Trust that these connections have been given for a purpose. Trust the unique and beautiful timing of your journey.
And never forget how deserving you are of the love you crave.
Author: Skye Hughes
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Image: Stew Dean/Flickr