Let it Go
Letting go, it’s a common belief, if you love him/her, let them go. Love should be unconditional and should include the other’s happiness and if that happiness lies without you, then it is better to let go. Another belief attached to this first, is that if you let go and it is meant to be, they will come back.
Ok, so letting a person physically leave from your life has reason and has meaning when it comes to love. And this can be the love a parent has for a child, or the love that exists in a romantic relationship.
There is another kind of letting go. And this is beyond just the physical, and even more important. It has to do with the person left behind. This letting go revolves around the emotional and psychological states of that person. Physically allowing someone to walk out the door is the easy part, a few steps, a shut door and they are gone. But letting go of all the emotions that this action breeds and even maybe some emotions that led to the action itself is what makes the difference.
Letting go of fear, the fear of abandonment, letting go of old negative thoughts and behaviour patterns, letting go of destructive imaginings, letting go of anger and resentment, of hurt and pain, of the obstacles that prevent one from moving forward. This ‘let it go’ takes work, takes self-evaluation and finally gifts the remaining person with a lasting happiness, peace and even freedom.
This letting go is what should be the focus
Unfortunately in these situations most people tend to pay more attention to the act of leaving itself. They focus on the person leaving and may beg and plead for it not to happen, they may manipulate the situation, foster guilt, try for understanding and finally show anger trying to make the person stay. Egos get hurt, and pride takes a knock. And the remaining person is left with misery, unhappiness, and pain, which may even lead to unhealthy behaviours such as, eating less, or more, sleeping more, lack of social interaactions. The person starts to spin into a destructive cycle.
But what would happen if, instead of focusing on the person leaving, the individual immediately started to give their attention to their own self? If the remaining person started to look at their own needs, understand what it is that they want in life, who they want, and start on the journey of recognizing themselves with more clarity?
Self-evaluation, a hard and sometimes seemingly torturous effort, yet one that has immense returns. Clarity in recognizing the emotional reaction to the ‘leaving’ for what it truly is, a hit on the ego, and then identifying all the negative reactions that hold hands with that hit, is the first step.
Sometimes the main reaction is fear, fear of losing, fear of abandonment, fear of being alone or lonely. Recognizing that there are in fact others in your life that continue to be present, others that you have relationships with and share bonds with can help in overcoming this fear. It takes time but surrounding yourself with a blanket of support goes a long way in understanding that you have not been pushed out to the ocean on a driftwood on your own.
Another reaction is anger. Anger stems from the pain and the hurt that is engendered. But what if instead of allowing the hurt to turn to anger, the person uses it to understand that maybe even the one who is leaving is hurt, and that the act of leaving was a result of a combined effort by both parties in creating the current negative situation. It takes inner strength to take this kind of understanding on, yes. But once the remaining person is able to see clearly their role, if any, and any negative behaviours they may have contributed towards the situation, their own change and growth can begin towards peace.
The third, and sometimes the most difficult recognition is that of the presence of the ego. When a person is left remaining the first few emotions can revolve around the loss of self-esteem, thoughts of not being enough, of not doing enough, of being worthless. The ego is hit hard. And when the ego is hit, it takes away with it a sense of identity. This can be difficult to overcome, but not impossible. It’s a journey to (re)discover hidden talents, and reminding oneself of the good in themselves. A positive support system will help in fostering self-esteem. Sometimes the remaining person may even find new areas in their life that they had not paid attention to before that can give them satisfaction. Rebuilding self-worth and self-esteem, nurturing this ‘new’ identity can have rewards that are exciting and wonderful.
Focusing on the self, letting go of the negative, paying attention to growing and changing towards the positive gives the remaining person one most important reward, and that is the true freedom to allow happiness and peace to plant their seeds, flourish and bloom