July 5, 2022

Maya Angelou on the Most Liberating Thing we can do in our Relationships.

 

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Let’s be honest:

About 99 percent of what Maya Angelou said and wrote during her illustrious career can be considered life-changing. She had a way with words and the ability to use her profound and often difficult life experiences to connect with others.

I remember being introduced to Angelou’s poetry in elementary school, and immediately knowing I’d return to her words for the rest of my life.

A few days ago, I came across a video of her talking about love and letting go.

I had never heard this quote before but it’s still running through my mind. (And, of course, there is nothing better than hearing Angelou’s words in her own soulful, iconic voice).

 

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“If you need permission to go, I liberate you. You see, love liberates; it doesn’t bind. Love says I love you—I love you if you’re in China. I love you if you’re across town. I love you if you’re in Harlem. I love you. I would like to be near you. I would like to have your arms around me. I would like to hear your voice in my ear but that’s not possible now. So I love you. Go.”

When I heard these words, I immediately thought about all the people I’ve loved, romantic or otherwise, who I’ve walked away from or who have walked away from me. So many of us are taught that if we truly love someone, we should let them go. We should practice non-attachment. If it’s meant to be, it will be.

And while there’s some truth to that on a large scale, I think we often forget or ignore all the little ways we already let go (or can learn to let go) in our current relationships. In the ones that are going well. In the ones that we don’t plan on walking away from, hopefully ever.

Consider how many times we say, even silently, to our partner:

I love you, even if you’re in a bad mood. 

I love you, even if I want to spend hours alone in bed watching TV.

I love you, even if you’re golfing all day. 

I love you, even if we’re next to each other on the couch but feel miles apart.

I love you, even if you’re obsessing about work stuff.

I love you, even if you don’t feel like cuddling right now.

I love you, even if I’m out with friends. 

I love you, even if you’re busy and can’t give me all the attention I crave.

I love you, even if we have to skip date night.

I love you, even if you’re frustrated and want to leave. 

I love you, even if I’m frustrated and want to leave. 

I love you, even if you need your space.

I love you, even if I need my space. 

I love you.

Go.

Like I said—life-changing.

~

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