There is nothing more painful than looking at the person you love beyond what you thought possible and knowing that you cannot make them stay.
You can hope that they do. But you can’t force a damn thing, and you can’t make them continue to want you, or to love you. The way of the world is a fickle one, and it rips happy hearts apart like afterthoughts on a cruel whim. You can stand there, breath caught in your throat, raggedly exhaling your aching affection, and they could very well turn and leave you in your empty shock. It is terrifying, and yet we come back to the brink over and over again.
It’s a process that requires immense vulnerability, throwing yourself into love and hoping for the best, losing despite every desperate effort, only to go there with renewed optimism all over again. The heart that continues fighting to find the correct love is a resolute, stubborn heart indeed.
But maybe it’s time to try something different now. Perhaps instead of fighting, you let it go. You open up space in your heart for yourself and begin to give all that love to the person who needs it the most. There is not much that you can control in this life, but you can make the conscious decision to put your energy and emotions into whatever you like. Your soul and your worth are far too magnificent to keep cooped up in an oppressive prison of heartbreak and regrets. Breathe away the keen sorrow of your attachment. Do your best to think of your tender loss not as a finality, but a way to open yourself up to new possibility.
You cannot make them stay, but you can decide to let them go. The stark reality is that you have absolutely no control over their feelings – if they choose to leave, there is nothing that you can do. It is out of your grasp … and in a way, that’s incredibly freeing. You have no responsibility to be anyone other than exactly who you are. The difficulty of navigating this freedom is in accepting the situation as it is and truly letting go of ego and perceptions.
Be ever so gentle with your sweet spirit. It is aching, and you are allowed to sink into the tenderness. Let the feelings come and go and course through you, even though at times it feels like you cannot bear another moment. Breathe and know that it is only temporary. Everything is fleeting, nothing ever remains constant, and you have such a short time to live your unique existence.
Try your best not to use that time clinging on to people or situations that, despite your deepest genuine efforts, must develop in a different direction than you hoped. Strive to find the peace that comes with releasing expectations. When you need to process your pain, do not rush to numb it. Let it come, let it go. You are whole entirely on your own, with or without them. Don’t forget that, and if you do not feel that you are, then turn your energies towards making yourself the joyous, loving, free and completely soul that you absolutely can be.
Releasing them is not losing. It’s not failing. It’s simply a shift of life, which is constantly moving and changing. Trust that it will all be okay even if it does not always feel that way. Eventually you will find the home your heart seeks – in yourself.
(Originally published on Thought Catalog)