How do you let go in love?
There is such beauty in surrender, I’ve taken my whole life to realise this. It’s not something that you can theorise about, or analyse, or conceptualise or fool yourself into believing you have. It happens when it happens. When you allow it to.
Letting go is not giving up, it’s not throwing away, it doesn’t even mean not caring. Letting go means leaving things as they are, letting it be, not attaching your desire to the outcome of a situation.
So armed with this knowledge, how do you actually do it?
How do you watch a loved one slowly and methodically drink themselves to death? How do you not try to do everything in your power to stop this from happening? How do you control this monster? How do you not throw out the alcohol in the fridge? How do you get through to a person who just won’t listen to reason? How do you continue to live knowing someone you love is slowly killing themselves?
Do you turn a blind eye? Ignore it? Separate yourselves by distance? Cut them completely out of your life because it hurts too much? Or do you invite them in, telling yourself that you can help them. Pretend you didn’t seem them hiding the bottle in the bathroom, pretend you didn’t hear it in the plastic bag by their feet.
Do you book them into rehabilitation? How many times? Once, twice, three…or four? How do you deal with the hope that this time it will be better? You tell yourself that this time is different, he’ll see what he is doing now. He will come around. And then…It goes well for a month, or two, or three and then…you find a bottle hidden at the back of your own cupboard… How do you deal with that excruciating pain of disappointment? How do you deal with life knowing that the bottom is always going to fall out?
How do you listen to the wretching all night and convince yourself it’s a stomach bug – so that you feel better? How do you see their flailing body, look into their eyes and hear them beg you to please buy them some Vodka, because that will make it stop? How do you carry on going when the straw breaks the camels back?
How do you…?
I learned the hard way.
I know how. You let go. You don’t scream and shout and tell them you hate them. You just let go. You don’t tell yourself you don’t care, storm off into another room and pretend it doesn’t bother you. You just let go. You don’t sit and wish things were different. You just let go. You just let go. It just happens.
In that moment, peace descends all around and everything becomes crystal clear. There is nothing more you can do. There was nothing you could ever have done. There is nothing more to do. You surrender to what is, and it’s beautiful. Life is unfolding exactly the way it should.
On that day that this happened to me – my heart broke. It broke into pieces, but I was at peace for the first time in my life. I recall looking him when, like the missing piece to a puzzle I was looking for, everything just clicked into place. I walked away from him, who could hardly get out of bed. I sat down in the living room. I wasn’t angry and raging at him, I was sitting quite calmly. A sense of peace descended upon me that I’d never felt before.
“there’s nothing I can do”… and I knew it deep in my heart, and I was ok with that.
I was prompted to pull a book out of the bookshelf – The Language of Letting go by Melody Beattie. I turned to my birthdate and read what was written there. It was is though it was written for me in that moment in time.
“Detaching in Love Detachment is a key to recovery from co-dependency. It strengthens our healthy relationships – the ones that we want to grow and flourish. It benefits our difficult relationships – the ones that are teaching us to cope. It helps us!
Detachment is not something we do once. It’s a daily behavior in recovery. We learn it when were beginning our recovery from co-dependency and adult children issues. And we continue to practice it along the way as we grow and change, and as our relationships grow and change.
We learn to let go of people we love, people we like, and those we don’t particularly care for. We separate ourselves, and our process, from others and their process.
We relinquish our tight hold and our need to control in our relationships. We take responsibility for ourselves; we allow others to do the same. We detach with the understanding that life is unfolding exactly as it needs to, for others and ourselves. The way life unfolds is good, even when it hurts. And ultimately, we can benefit from even the most difficult situations. We do this with the understanding that a Power greater than ourselves is in charge, and all is well.
Today, I will apply the concept of detachment, to the best of my ability, in my relationships. If I can’t let go completely, I’ll try to hang on loose.”
I had finally let go, and I was at peace.
This is a post from my previous blog posted in October 2012.