Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Letting Go Is Not Always Easy

This is written for some very special people in my life.

"Letting go doesn't mean giving up, but rather accepting that there are things that cannot be." ~ Anonymous.

Sometimes we just have to let go. It may not seem at all right to let go, especially if we are letting go of someone who is important to us in our life, but no matter how wrong it may feel, sometimes we are left with no choice. We want to hang on to what we felt was a very good relationship. It’s hard to let go of something we feel is so positive, it takes a lot of soul searching, and sometimes it takes a lot of love to let this person slip quietly out of our life. We feel as if we should fight against this, we feel that maybe if we make a ruckus, if we protest loud enough, somehow we’ll be able to hang on to this relationship. But that is not love speaking, and that is not an act of friendship, it is desperation and self-serving at its worst. We need to step back, we need to take a breath, and we need to let go. This is true for any relationship, whether the relationship is romantic, or if it’s a family member, or if it’s a friendship. And we need to remind ourselves that sometimes the best course of action to take is no course of action at all.

Our lives are a scrapbook of all we hold dear, pages full of people, places, shared memories, and situations, and at the core of it all there is love, which shapes our closest relationships with others. Love comes in many different forms, and the bonds created from love are not easy to sever. We have the love of our life, the love of our children, love of extended family and friends, there are so many different stages of love, but love is at the core of all the important relationships in our lives. So when you think of letting go of a relationship it is hard to do because you know that you are letting go of love. No heart wants to give up on love. But there are times when we have no choice but to let go.
We must force ourselves to look at relationships and situations not with a ‘what once was’ idea, but we must face the reality of the situation. And that reality may be that someone we love has in some way moved away from us, the relationship that is so important to us, may not be so important anymore to our loved one. And holding on to the idea that our loved one may somehow change back into what we want them to be is only holding us back. Sometimes we have to let go to move forward. But letting go doesn’t mean we stop loving the other person, it doesn’t mean we let them go with bitterness in our hearts, it just means we give them the space they need, we accept them for what they are today and we move forward in our own lives with an open heart.

A sad fact of life is that people and situations change. A changed situation can mean a changed heart, feelings change and people change. Sometimes circumstances change the way people feel and act, when this happens in a close relationship the results can be heartbreaking for the one left behind. You may love someone very much but if they choose to lock you out of their lives, you are faced with the fact that you have to let them go.

Sometimes it happens that you lose a good friend. Your friend may grow distant and pull away from you, and after many years of being close it can cause confusion and more than a few hurt feelings. You may begin to doubt yourself and hold onto a lot of self-blame, you may ask yourself what it is you have done to make this person turn away from you. You may ask yourself in what way have you let this person down? You may wonder if you have disappointed them in some way. You ask yourself what can you do to save this friendship? But sometimes you have to accept the fact that there is nothing you can do to rescue this relationship from exiting your life. You may try for a while to continue the relationship as if nothing has happened but if your friend has truly pulled away, there is not much you can do to salvage the fading friendship. For whatever reason your friend no longer wants to share the same relationship with you that they once had with you, and they continue to push you away. You may try for a long time to reach them, you may be waiting to see if they come around, but as time passes you will get used to them not being as involved in your life. And finally, there will come a day when you stop holding on.
That doesn’t mean you don’t still value the friendship that you had, and, yes, you can keep hope alive that things will change for the better in the future. It doesn’t mean that there is no hope left, there may come a time when the friendship can be rekindled. Letting go just means you have reached acceptance, and you recognize that for now this person no longer wants the relationship to continue as it once was. You now need to grieve that loss and move on.
But you also have to make sure you leave yourself open for the chance that your loved one may one day want to return to a friendship with you, and that is why letting go out of love and not bitterness is important. Be mindful not to let a cherished friendship turn sour in your heart. Remember that this is someone you respected, remember that this is a relationship that enriched your life for a while and be thankful for it. Appreciate the gift of the friendship that once was. Don’t throw away the good.

It is not an easy thing to do, in fact, most times it is one of the hardest things we have to do in life, but sometimes we just have to let go.


  1. God has a path and a plan and a reason for everything we do and go through. That always makes it a bit easier for me.

  2. You were very profound and heart touching, Eileen.

    May I add that love is never ever "wasted"? Loving someone who cannot or who seems to not love you back is an even greater grace from God. I can NEVER stop loving my late husband, nor would I choose to, if I had that choice even though it would take away the pain and nostalgia.

    Love always makes us a better person IF it is truly love and does not depend on whether we are loved back or to the same degree.



    P.S. On a lighter note, at my Blog it is Tickled on Tuesday and you are featured in it, Eileen, my friend!

  3. Diana and Marcy, once again, perfect comments! And I agree wholeheartedly!
    What do you two do, do you read here, go and pray on it, and then get inspired to leave perfect wisdom?
    I love reading your comments and I love reading your blogs!
    And, Marcy, I got a little scared when I first started reading your blog today! I thought I must have slipped up and I thought maybe I really did leave a bad word in my comment! Whew!

  4. Eileen, Due to health issues beyond my control I have learned , the hard way to turn my life over to God. And I find that things go much better that way. The best word for me to describe it is Faith. Thank you so much for the nice compliment!