I’ve been blessed to have the time to work through some incredibly personal things over the last few months, to start doing work I love, to plan and begin implementing an incredibly exciting year, and to define clearly what I’m working for. I’ve also been blessed to work through some difficult relationships. Though they haven’t turned out how I thought they would, they have turned out how they were meant to be. It has been a test of my resolve to maintain my boundaries and it has impacted my relationships with these people. A few things are still in the works with them, and it’s leading me to understand that regardless of the outcome, the relationships are changed and they will not go back to what they once were.
With that in mind, I started really thinking about beginnings and endings. Specifically the beginnings that come FROM endings. See, when we are with people in our lives in a certain role for an extended period of time (or even our entire lives in some cases) we begin to behave in the expected way, and when the dynamic shifts it can be a scary thing. It’s sad. For me I feel like there was the before and then this moment happens, whatever it may be, and then there is the after. There’s no going back. Trusting in the universe, we have to know it’s always for the better, but people sometimes leave after those pivotal moments and it is lonely and painful and it is a loss. We have to gather our bearings and reacclimate to this new way. Those endings contain a poetic, tragic, beauty.
You can’t move forward until you let go. Sometimes you let go without resolution to the situation. Sometimes in the middle of a sentence. Sometimes it happens when it was all going right. And this kind of letting go also means letting go of the ideas of what could have been. THAT is the part that gets to most of us. If you’re on the sentimental side like me, that is what crushes me. I see the potential and when I feel it drift away I feel lost and confused about how that potential fades. I’ve learned that sometimes we just have to accept and learn to live with the pain of that loss. That doesn’t mean I’m good at it, believe me. Dealing with changes in two of my most significant relationships over the last month has left me raw and open in a way I’m not comfortable with. But I know that I have no control over how this goes because it is firmly in the other people’s courts. And yes, that still spikes my anxiety, but this is where the letting go comes in: the potential is not tangible.
When we learn to let go of what we hoped for, we step firmly into what IS. We can work with what IS. Regardless of how messy, sharp, painful, idealized, unformed, raw, or clear the reality of the situation is, we can work with it because THAT is what’s real. You can’t build on what isn’t there so take what exists and be there with it. For me this is something that hurts too because I often find myself thinking, “If they only did x, everything would be just fine.” It always seems simple in my mind but the truth is that human relationships are incredibly complex. Most of us don’t even have healthy relationships with ourselves let alone other people. And people don’t always play by our rules. It may not be so simple to them. They can choose to not participate in how you see it going. They may not want to be a player in your game. They may decide to run their own show.
The truth is there is only one constant in life: it ALL changes. The only thing we can do is learn to accept what is with grace and confidence and keep in mind the person we want to be. When you release the weight you’ve held on to in hopes of a certain outcome, you allow the life you are meant to have come rushing forward. Life blooms again. And in the sadness of what has to end lies the beauty of what is beginning again. And it never would have if you remained attached to the decaying branch of what you thought it should be. The real flower is infinitely more beautiful than what we can draw.