Nothing lasts forever. People come, people go. I think in some way this is romantic, because it shows how adaptable our love could be. There is beauty in releasing someone from our lives, because it is an act of honesty and gratitude and an exercise of our freedom.
Sometimes we need to let go of a relationship. Sometimes we need to let a friendship take its natural course of drifting apart. Sometimes we need to leave a place we briefly called home. Sometimes we need to bid goodbye to a dream we once had. Of course it is painful and sad, but to have the courage to release is a most honest way to live.
I know what it is like to hang on to a relationship long after the end is due. I know what it is like to try to keep an old identity just to keep a friendship going. I know what it is like to live somewhere and be really good friends with a few good people and have to tell them I cannot consider their home my home anymore.
Everything is temporary. Some things just last longer than others. A release is not an indication that the relationship was not meaningful or the connection not genuine or the time spent not worthwhile. Things change. Maybe we start to get to know ourselves better and have to move on. Maybe we realize we cannot accept being told how to think or what to do, to be less vocal, to be more sociable, to be more of this and less of that. Maybe the timing or circumstances are just not right. We are not meant to change the pace of our lives or progress because someone told us so. We are not meant to be afraid to make mistakes and be imperfect. We are meant to live our own lives the best way we know how, as we are meant to accept others in the way they live their lives in the best way they know how. Our choice is in whether to hold on or to let go.
Love stays for as long as it needs to. Love does not end. It only changes. Release is difficult, but it is also the most natural thing to do. Every sad ending means that a story worth telling had occurred. A final release is to cut our spiritual ties. It is not to not care. It is to trust that freedom supercedes any pain.
Release is hard on many levels. But holding on, if it is an effort, is harder. We may forget who we are. We may make the mistake of relying on someone else for our happiness. We may choose the relationship over our own sense of being alive.
Happy endings are not about things staying the same. Happy endings are about us being able to fill our hearts with gratitude, being able to forgive and let go of petty grudges, being able to feel the sadness and know that that too will not last forever.
Release is goodbye. But it is more than a sad goodbye. Release is a thank you. Thank you for coming into my life. Thank you for sharing a piece of you with me. Thank you for allowing me to share a piece of myself with you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for how you made me feel. Thank you for awakening me to my own capacity to love. Thank you for reminding me that life is a mystery.
Nothing lasts forever. But knowing this is not being a cynic. I think it is very romantic, this idea that we choose the people in our lives to continue to be in our lives, not because we owe them something or they owe us something, but because in that moment we are our truest selves and we can connect and love and share. And if circumstances change, we would be big enough and brave enough to allow ourselves and those in our lives to keep experiencing that love and connection again.
To release is not only to let go of the other person or relationship or situation, it is also to let go of our own limited notions of what had been and what should be. To release is to let go in love, to transform our love into trust, to know that there are gains in these losses. To release is to love with the love that we have without asking for anything in return.