Letting go when gone is here


I met up with a friend the other night. As I listened to some of the details acknowledging an unexpected transition, which seemed sad to me mostly because of the amount of time that can be invested into a construct of togetherness, I couldn’t help but hear that saying about relationships being for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

In relationship, letting go, after the other has made the decision to leave, because they checked out a long time ago, even if they didn’t have the courage to act on the leaving themselves, is the only sane option that exists between adults.

Someone either wants to be with us or they don’t. We either want to be with them or we don’t. Trying to force either one of those things when the feelings are no longer there for one or both is a waste of emotional energy and time.

Life is a stroll into a labyrinth. Sometimes we walk together, side by side, so close our arm hairs prickle against theirs, and other times we are alone. We keep walking. We pick up and meet new faces, the unexpected, those we’ve known before, walking, walking, here and there, retracing our steps, meeting with groups for a while, then two by two and back to solitude, always.  Choices from the past no longer fit, not the choices we would make now.

Birth. Life. Death. Everything in between grace, chance, choice. Reasons sometimes clear, sometimes not.  A floating away that was meant to be. Hard for us to realize nobody did anything wrong. Ambivalence that’s tipped its scale toward indifference.

They say it’s good to walk a labyrinth in times of major change. The in and out, around and back, shows us, in a very explicit physical manifestation, that whatever situation we find ourselves in – alone, alienated, loved, coupled, single, in groups of friendship –  it’s all a movable feast, loss the temporary illusion.

The journey is so short. No point in hanging on to what has already decided it needs to be elsewhere for better or worse, right or wrong, no point in sticking around waiting to see what regrets might arise from emotion that’s finally been acted upon. No looking back. Actions truly are everything. The story that tells all.

It’s a lesson that I know I’ve taken much too long to learn.

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