“A sad thing in life is when you meet someone who means a lot to you, only to find out in the end that it was never meant to be and you just have to let go” – Unknown quotes
There is something about these words, “letting go”, that just makes the heart to skip a beat, probably because it has a negative feel to it. The just concluded US elections come to mind. I read that Mitt was “shell-shocked” when the results started streaming in, and it was clear that BO was not about to go anywhere. Mitt came out to meet his supporters and concede, but not before telling his campaign manager “it’s over”. To his credit, he gave a dignified speech,it was evident that he had to let go of his dreams to become the President. He said, “We left everything in the battlefield”. Mitt’s campaign had ignored the pundits – that BO was going to win – and hoped that somehow, they could craft a winning path.
Aren’t relationships a little bit like this scenario sometimes? Because often times, and this of course depends how long the relationships has lasted, we can take stock and be able to tell whether it is working or not.Nonetheless, even with unresponsive ‘vital signs’, we still make that decision to continue being in the relationship, putting our hopes so high,and the reasons or justification for this varies from person to person. Sometimes there is justification to hang in there – you probably feel strongly that, maybe, just maybe, with a little more time, you might manage to move the relationship from the ‘high dependency unit’ and give it a new lease of life. You might also feel the need to work on important aspects of the relationship that have been neglected – we know of relationships that pulled out of some dark phases to emerge strong.
However, there is another reason why people sometimes fail or refuse to let go: the fear of being alone coupled with the feeling that the investment is too big to let go. Truth be told, relationships require an enormous amount of sacrifice, and there are those of us who give our all when we get into one. So the idea of letting go sometimes seems so difficult. I do not know if any of you remember Hilary Clinton’s run in 2007? She too had a lot of difficulties letting go, she said, “we will not stop until every vote is counted” even when it was clear that BO had hit the threshold for nomination. Obviously, she had invested so much, her hubby had been out on the campaign trail vouching for her, but the BO machine was unstoppable, she was up against so many people with vested interests including the black folk feeling that ‘their time had come’ and young voters with ‘primitive energy’ (hehehehe – just kidding!). So in the end, even with the heavy investment, she came out and later made a dignified speech, jumped onto the BO bandwagon and we all know that other doors opened after that.
When it comes to relationships, I think we need that discerning mind, so that when one door closes, we stop to focus on it and look at others that may be opening. This way, we stop hanging on relationships that have no semblance of who we are, or what we deserve. I get it that for Eve, Big Ben gongs louder than before. You are now aware of the clock, thanks to the constant reminders within and around you. And maybe you have all your hopes tethered on this Adam, only that he has nothing close to giving you what you want from a committed relationship. The red flag is flying at full mast and flapping furiously. You recognize it for what it is, but harbor the hopes that maybe the strength of the ‘wind’ will weaken and the relationship will survive. The investment is too much to ‘just let go’.
The same can be said of Adam, sticking with an Eve who you know deep within, does not fit the bill. She does not treat you right, she is in it more for what she gets from you than what you are with/to each other; or maybe just like Eve, you feel that you have invested too much so that moving forward seems impossible, not to mention that the “cookie jar” is likely to get shut immediately you voice concerns about the focus (or lack thereof) of the relationship.
We all know that it is not easy to drop hopes and dreams and move on. But there comes a time in relationships when hard and wise decisions have to be made. One of these times is when a relationship does not meet expectations or is just not going well. And by this, I do not mean unrealistic expectations but the basis of what a good relationship is or should feel like. From experience, I can say that, a relationship has a greater chance of succeeding when two people want the same things. But humanly speaking, sometimes, we just hang in there, forgetting one thing: being in a relationship that is not functional or fulfilling, is not only detrimental to us, it also denies us the chance to meet someone else who we are likely to be happier or in sync with. Not letting go denies us the possibilities out there – the possibility to explore new relationships and new experiences.
When you let go, you feel like a door is getting shut, and that makes you look back constantly, wondering about what would have been. It requires courage to accept facts and move on. I think it also shows that you not only care about yourself but also the other person well enough to let them know that holding on to a crumbling relationship only does a disservice to both parties.
Just like Mitt and Hillary, we know it is OK to show tenacity, to hope, to dream and give everything to make those dreams come true. However, we also learn that it is also possible to bow out with dignity, especially when you know that you gave it your best shot (left everything on the battle field) and without all that gab about “it’s not you, it is me” (such a tired line :)); just be open and straight forward with the other person, and tell them there is indeed a need to pursue another winning path.
Let each other go, let each other fly till they find a favorable abode. For in essence, as you get crushed from seeing the door closing behind, a gate may be waiting to be opened right in front of you, an opening through which you go on to meet the Right One.
Have a good week!