December 27, 2016

A “Letting Go for Now” Strategy for Past Loves.

I met her in the jungle, 6,000 kilometres away. I never believed in love at first sight until that moment. By minute five I was captivated and there was absolutely nothing I could do but be at the mercy of my emotions.

At times I wanted nothing more than to see her face and bathe in her energy. Countless opportunities to compliment her passed by, but the words to describe what I saw when I looked at her did not exist.

We shared some of the most awesome moments the universe had ever bestowed—unparalleled in every way—and then it was time for me to leave. The inconceivable hours, minutes and seconds that took place were over and I had to let them go…and I couldn’t.

We’re all dreamers; we want that perfect relationship and we hope so much for that fairy-tale ending. We experience these hypnotizing moments, cut directly from a film reel, and we begin to fantasize about the story that may unfold. We daydream and we listen to music that bring these memories to forefront of our minds and revel in that magic over and over like a broken record. We immediately and unfairly impose our expectations onto these moments and undoubtedly set ourselves up for disappointment. We unrealistically assume strangers should act, think, respond and even feel the same way we do. We’re obsessively invested in living for the “what if,” instead of living for the “what is.”

So what if we somehow learn to stop obsessing and begin to appreciate these experiences for what they are? What if we live only in those moments and deny them dictation of our future? What if we acknowledge how grateful we are for those flashes of magic and eventually let them go? The problem lies within our impulses; we’re shaped by a lifetime of experiences and they become our tools of reaction. Combating these impulses is not easy, it takes a lot of mental labour to overcome and can be emotionally exhausting at times.

So, what do we do when her face pops into our head and we so badly want it to stay there?

We accept that it is there, we appreciate it and then we let it fade away and refocus our thoughts. We recognize that we were given a beautiful gift by the universe, one that some people may never receive, and then we release it back. We allow ourselves to not be consumed by memory and feel satisfied with the past as it has occurred and we continue to move forward.

I’m not suggesting we forget all of our memories. I’m saying to have as many as possible and make all of them count. But leave them in the top shelf of the back of the closet and dust them off only when you’ve made a lifetime more. If we stop investing in our fantasies and focus on what happens when it happens, we’ll have a better understanding of ourselves and be able to hone our emotions more appropriately. We’ll have less room for disappointment and more room for appreciation and empathy and undoubtedly have strengthened, lengthened and more fulfilling relationships with everyone.

So let go of the past and live for the now.




Author: Randi Ramdeen

Image: Courtesy of Author

Editor: Travis May

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