Last month, as the moon became new, I stayed home and did mundane things like clean out my underwear drawer. I always forget how cathartic it is to sort through old underwear. To throw it out because it has simply been worn long enough (read: too long) or because it has too many memories attached to it and needs to go.
As a person who once saved the most ridiculous items for fear of change, being able to throw out the old to let in the new is huge growth for me. The irony is, I've never had a hard time letting go of relationships. When they are over, I recognize it and I let go. In some cases, maybe too quickly. In others, maybe not quickly enough.
But, ultimately, when it is time to go, I go.
It was always during the relationship that I held on too tightly, couldn't let go, give it space, room to breathe. I feared what that space might bring. I feared loss. What I didn't acknowledge or accept is that everything is impermanent. We can't hold onto anything. But, I certainly tried. And, as a result, I suffocated myself within these relationships until I had to break free.
And break free I would, leaving broken pieces of my beloved scattered underneath my fleeing feet. And then I'd go crazy, run wild, and free until I met another boy to tame me, repeating the cycle again.
It didn't take me many years to figure out the destructive nature of this pattern. But, that didn't mean change came easily. I spent hundreds of tortured hours forcing myself to give others space the way that I needed space, which means I was really learning how to give myself space. To feel safe and confident being alone, silent, and at peace.
Tortured in my own silence, I had to break the pattern of control. I had to learn to trust. Have any of you ever sat with yourself and learned to let go of your need to know? Your need to control?
Do you have any idea how fucking hard this is?
Your insides rip you apart and your mind spins you into some vortex of fear and worry until all you want is to do the thing you know you shouldn't do; reach for the phone, the email, the Internet and try to push, coerce, control...try to pacify your need to know.
My ways of dealing with the fear of what could be was to create a safety net in the form of objects, place them strategically in spots that they would stay, locking in the safety of my life. Rows of bobby pins here, water glasses there, clicking on and off the light switch X number of times until it felt right to let it go. If those items stayed there or I continued that routine everything would be okay.
In the beginning phases of my letting go, these actions were off the charts. Shit had to get really bad before it began to get better. I was trapped within my own fear, unable to let go, unable to see clearly the life that waited for me on the other side.
I didn't even know what I was scared of. All I knew was that I didn't know and that was the scariest thing of all. The fear ate me alive paralyzed me, kept me walking in circles, the same cirlces, for fear of breaking out of my self-made cage. Until, slowly, through hours of disciplined yoga practice I began to see through the cracks. Soon those cracks became windows, and soon after that the windows opened and I was able to step through.
You see, we never know. That is one of the most beautiful facets of life. It's this amazing journey through the unknown. And, the most magic blossoms in the unknown. If I'd known this maybe I wouldn't have wasted so many precious moments trying to control. Instead, I would've spent those moments loving.
I would have loved and understood and loved myself enough to understand that it is only by letting go that we truly love another, only by letting them be free do they feel loved enough to let the most amazing pieces of themselves grow. And only when they feel loved are they able to love us too, not out of obligation or guilt or fear, but truly and completely, unconditionally until we know that we are safe and we let ourselves grow too. We are never alone. Love is all around us.
It is in the letting go that life unfolds. When we are able to dissolve our resistance and give space between we are free. And, we all want to be free.
Peace and Love,