You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.
~Thich Nhat Hanh
When I was young I loved with great passion and at times, without any passion at all, taking for granted what I thought I’d always have. What did I know? I was young. My role models were awful.
When my beloved left, I clung to him with desperation, as if I could not go on without him.
And yet, go on I did.
As do most of us, who have lost a love.
There is work to be done.
In the years that followed I worked on myself. Therapy was a big help. There wasn’t one big aha! healing moment but just, after years, the growing knowledge that I had found a way through to the other side of issues that I’d struggled with. The therapeutic process is mysterious to me, but has always been effective.
(After Riley died, I engaged a grief therapist. Our sessions didn’t seem at all like therapy, they were about spirituality. I often felt that she was just talk-talk-talking and it wasn’t related to me at all. Maybe not even therapy. And yet, after far fewer sessions than I thought, I began to feel better. Mysterious. But effective.)
Releasing that tight grip
But back to love. Once I released my effort to grip tightly what would never be, the world opened up. My freedom meant I could create a completely different life than I had originally envisioned, and I did.
On the infrequent occasions I spoke with my former beloved, who by then lived in a different city, I felt no great emotional pull. Oh, sure, once in a while I’d think about what I’d be doing if we’d stayed together, but I was more focused on living the life that I had, which was pretty darn good.
Fast forward 26 years and my former beloved approached me about getting back together. Was anyone more surprised than me? No one in our families, that’s for sure. But me? I had to recover from my shock. And then, really think about it.
I’d released him decades before. Was there anything to re-engage with?
It was a real question.
Apparently there was. We have been remarried more than 10 years. Life is good. More than good: it’s awesome.
….that only happened because I released my tight grip on love and let it go where it would. I figured it was gone for good and I was at peace with that. But something different happened: it boomeranged back to me decades later.
If the other person feels free, when your love does not confine them, amazing things can happen.
We’re living proof.
And so are the millions of others who went on to find a later-in-life soulmate and are happy and content as they age in that newer relationship. Who know that a tight grip never held anyone.
Interested in finding your soulmate? Think it’s too late? You can and it isn’t. Book a discovery call with me here.