Lessons on Letting Go: Relationships

How do you overcome the guilt and anxiety and bad feelings that come when you want space? When you feel that certain relationships in your life no longer resonate with who you are in this moment?

Space in friendships. Space in relationships. Space to breathe. Space to grow.

How do you honor yourself and your needs without putting everyone else before yourself?

I have noticed as I move through my self journey, parts that were once important no longer seem to fit as well as they used to. Like a puzzle piece in the wrong box. I have an empathetic nature to me. I care deeply for others. I care so deeply for others that I figure if I shoulder their pain, it would help. It does for a little bit but then it turns into a co-dependent relationship, like a patient needing pain medication to numb the pain. The pain is still there and the relief is temporary and then the need for the medication soon comes.

How do you learn to say ‘No I don’t want to hang out and I still love you‘ to people that played important roles in certain stages? How do you move from the mindset that everyone you know is supposed to follow your entire journey?

It’s like hiking – sometimes there are trees for a large part of the journey, and then you end up somewhere at the top where the trees have disappeared and you’re left with this wide expanse of rock and air and clouds. The trees don’t lift their roots to come with you. They stay still, there for you and other travelers who pass by to love in another part of your journey.

I have found that it isn’t my responsibility to coddle my relationships. It’s not my responsibility for their feelings about my needs. It’s not my responsibility to shoulder their journey. That would be doing them a disservice.

Love isn’t always gentle. Sometimes love is standing your ground. Sometimes it is tough and tears and brings you this discomfort in your heart because you are doing something strange and different.

Sometimes love is letting go, like setting a bird free from its cage. You hold it close to your heart yet grant it its freedom.

One of the meditations from Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie says:

When traveling with another person, we sometimes come to a junction. It may be in the best interests of one person to go one way, to see certain sights, gain certain experiences, learn particular lessons, and for the other to go in another direction. This is a difficult time of challenges, maybe hard choices.

Blending journeys sometimes is not always the best, or even possible. We can accompany another on his or her journey, but there may be a price to pay for that. We may forgo our own journey and become passive observers. We can ask or insist that the other go along with us on our journey. But for the most part, he or she may be as bored and restless as we would be if the situation were reversed. Sometimes we need to let go. Sometimes we need to say goodbye. These junctions can surprise us. They can appear early on or after years and years. They can occur in friendships, professional relationships, love relationships, or with family members. Although arriving at these junctions may be a surprise, it’s usually not an accident. Often it’s an important part of the journey.

Feel all your feelings. Although you may need to feel angry for a while, clear all resentments from your heart as soon as possible. Say goodbye with blessings and love toward the other, thanking that person for all he or she has helped you learn. Remember that any curses you place on another will ultimately come back to harm you too.

Grieve your losses. Say your goodbyes. Then let each travel down the road that he or she needs to go. Holding on won’t help. Let both be free to plan their own journeys, map their own trips, and embrace and enjoy their own destinies.

Set others free to achieve and experience the path that leads to their highest good and you, too will become free to find yours.

June 26, Journey to the Heart: Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul by Melody Beattie

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