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Friday, December 28, 2007

How Do I Let Go of Love?

Photo by Lynn Davis
A dear friend of mine is going through a painful time that I can completely relate to. He has been madly in love with a woman who has now made it clear that their relationship will never be. He is devastated and asked how to 'kill' the love he feels for her. The pain is unbearable for him. I am on the tail-end of a 'losing love' experience, so I shared the following with him, based upon what I have been learning along the way:

Time. They say time heals all wounds. Time also allows us to grow, change, let go, and move on.

Acceptance. Its hard to accept that what we wanted to the very core of our being - what we believed in and worked for with all we had - will never be. In conjunction with Time, Acceptance will allow us to let go, and move on.

Reality Check. Sometimes, no matter how right something may seem or is; no matter how much we give and work and sacrifice; things still don't work out according to plan. That is part of life and has no bearing on who we are or our worth - unless we distort it into such.

When there is betrayal or some clear wrong doing it is easier to move on because we can use fault and blame, and we have something concrete to hold on to that explains why it didn't work out.

When there is no fault or blame - when it just 'is', it is gut-wrenchingly difficult to get past. As humans we like to tie up loose ends. We don't like unfinished business, and we like to resolve things. When something just 'is' there is no resolution - only acceptance that it 'is'.

Prayer for Peace. When there is no resolution, Praying for Peace is the tool that allows us to Accept and move on. Peace fills in those gaps left behind by the loose ends and unfinished business.

Bite-Sized Pieces. Taking it one day at a time sometimes seems like too much. If it has to be dealt with one moment or one breath at a time, it is ok. We only need to deal with what we have to when we have to. There is plenty of time, and there will be much growth along the way. We need to learn to be ok with that, and find things about the process to embrace. They are there - we just need to watch for them.

Live*Laugh*Love. Along the way, we need to allow ourselves to truly live again; to laugh and cry and mourn and feel joy; and we need to open ourselves up to loving again. Shutting ourselves down at first can be helpful in allowing the wound to scab over and to help us get some perspective. But we need to take care that we don't stay in that place - that we take one baby step at a time if necessary, back into living again.

In the movie Field of Dreams, there was a now much-quoted line, "If you build it they will come." Well, to put that into context for this, "If you allow it, you will heal." We are not being disloyal or showing our love to be any less real when we accept, let go, and move on. Real love accepts the other person and their agency. Real love also loves and respects ourselves and our right to happiness, too. It is a mark of true love, and emotional maturity to be able to put things into perspective and to allow ourselves to live, and to love, again.

I don't believe this will 'kill' love, but I do believe it will help existing love devolve into its proper place and perspective for the circumstances so a person can live and love again.

What do YOU do to let go of love?

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