“Drink up baby doll
Are you in or are you out?
Leave your things behind
‘Cause it’s all going off without you
Excuse me too busy you’re writing your tragedy
When you’ve no idea what you’re like
So, let go, let go
Oh well, what you waiting for?
It’s all right
‘Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown”
Let go by Frou Frou
Letting go has been a huge reoccurring theme for me since launching into my Friendly Faith Finder blog and getting through some of the residuals of my divorce and the relationships that immediately followed. This has been an important focus for me to be able to move on in certain areas of my life but an area that I am far from mastering.
When I was thirteen years old I learned my first lesson in letting go. Unfortunately this lesson took me ten years to figure out despite heart break, clear messages, and the multiple relationships that I was a part of during that time period. After that I was on my own and unattached for a year before I met my wife and we got married. After getting married things spiraled out of control and I held on to the shell of our relationship for five years longer than maybe I should have. After we separated I was able to let go of my attachments for a month before I allowed my heart to start all over again. As you can see, attachment is a theme in my life and I tend to hold on longer than I should.
The attachment that I struggle with today is not the same as what it used to be, where having a monopoly on someone’s heart, body, and soul was the only thing to satiate my desire. My attachment today is about holding on to the past and failing to see what amazing things I can experience now. I no longer struggle with only seeing love in terms of possession and I have learned to see love in terms of something that is shared and experienced together in that moment. Life is fragile, especially the connections we form with others, and my challenge has been learning how to let go of yesterday and savor now.
I live with my best friend, and I have on and off for almost two years now. We have known each other for a long time and have established an incredibly strong friendship over the period of a decade. When we ended our respective relationships about three years ago we rebounded with each other and in those months that we were together we shared something I had never felt before nor have I felt again to this day. She was a connection that transcended all other connections. But our relationship was stronger as friends than as lovers so we transitioned back to friends resulting in us becoming closer and our relationship is stronger than it has ever been. The trap that I found myself constantly falling into after we transitioned back to a friendship was me focusing primarily on what we had moved on from and not what we were sharing in that moment. In that mindset I sacrificed the love, joy and excitement of the present because I was so intent on not losing those moments we shared, like chasing an echo from our past. At times the echo was all I could see and I missed the connection right in front of me.
After acknowledging that I was too focused on the past and not cherishing the moments in my present, my friend and I parted ways. We rarely saw or spoke to each other during our time of separation and transitioned in and out of other relationships. In time the echo faded and when faced with the choice I made the decision that the connection I shared with my friend, who meant the most to me outside of my connection with my kids, was more important than holding on to the past. That separation has made me better appreciate the connection we have now and for every moment we share now, we form new memories and a stronger connection as a result. As with every connection we have times that are trying and test the strength of our friendship, but now that we can appreciate each moment for what it is, we have been able to withstand some very tough situations together.
Every now and then I can hear an echo from the past and it makes my heart skip a beat, but I hold on to what we share now instead of chasing something that doesn’t exist anymore. In each moment we have a choice to make, and in that choice we have the opportunity to let go of the past and begin living or we can choose to live in the past and miss out on what is in store for us. Don’t live in the past, instead learn from it and allow those events to strengthen the connections you have now.
“When I look at relationships, my own and others, I see a wide range of reasons for people to be together and ways in which they are together. I see ways in which a relationship – which means something that exists between two or more people – for the most part reinforces people’s separateness as individual entities.” – Ram Dass