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I love you, but I’ve got to let you go.
Each time our paths cross I open my heart with renewed hope that it will be different somehow. And each time I walk away feeling empty.
My dear (____________), I realize now that at some point, I gave away my power to you. I was rebuilding my life, creating it piece by piece, and in all of its uncertainty and tender roots, I shyly let a chosen few in to tread softly and take a peek. I wanted to share my trepidation and fear and doubt and exhilaration and sheer anticipation with you. So I gave you permission to validate me. In no small way I longed for it. But it never came. Judgement came, followed right behind by the critic who doubted me and questioned my choices. I let you crush me, if only for a moment, but in truth the residual sadness lingered for a couple of years. It took me just as long to understand the part I played in my own pain.
As I continued to change and grow, radically transforming myself and my life, my light grew brighter. At my best, I could be a virtual flood of joy, gushing with excitment. When I would see you, I would bring all of me, but then feel the need to immediately auto-correct, adjusting to the darkness as if walking in from sunshine. I would level out somewhere in the middle. Adapting, always adapting. I began to see just how hard it was for you be around happiness or positivity.
Inch by inch I pulled away from you, unable to trust that you could show up for me without your bag of resentment, a toxic mix of bitterness and anger at how your life had failed you. It seeped out all around you. It filled you up with nowhere to go but out. And I was an easy target, wasn’t I? So pollyannaish, so hopeful, so trusting. Soon those pangs of jealousy and envy became hard to hide. You may not even be aware. But I know that each and every time you spoke those words out loud and behind my back, they came from a place of hurt deep within you. Sweet (____________). I forgive you.
Somehow you’ve resigned yourself to thinking you can’t have what you long for. You’ve put those dreams on a shelf, high up and out of your reach, out of obligation. You don’t have the luxury of pursuing them, do you? Of this you have convinced yourself.
Yes, (____________), I have changed. My boundaries are stronger and I can no longer invite you into my world. I only share my life now with those who can celebrate and uplift me; inspire, encourage and teach me. Those who honor me with their presence when I am down and listen deeply with compassion, not comparison.
I will always love you unconditionally, (____________). I will always wish you well. And if you ever tire of dragging around your luggage full of disappointment, I will cheer you on when you decide to unpack it. Should you ever desire to pull that dream off the shelf and live your life wholeheartedly, I know the way. I will be your guide. You see, (____________), there is no other way to truly live.
Early on in my personal spiritual journey, I went through a phase of watching and reading stories of NDE’s or near death experiences. It was an integral part of shedding my ingrained catholic beliefs of heaven and hell and life ending at death.
This led me to the work of Dr. Michael Newton (Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives), which quite literally blew my mind and made me eager to experience my own past life regression; which I later did with the fabulous Nancy Hajek right here in Nashville.
In the forward to Frank Ostaskeski’s beautiful book, The Five Invitations* is this quote by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.:
Chances are until you have experienced that one great loss, this will read to you as more ominous than catalytic. Like grief itself, these types of statements can’t fully be absorbed and understood until you experience them yourself.
We can get attached to who we think we are. We can be downright stubborn about it. Our identity seamlessly and completely intertwined with what we do. What we do becomes what we are. But what if what we do is taken away from us in the blink of an eye? Who are we then?
In the words of Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu: