Like most people I have always struggled with letting go or moving on from relationships or certain moments in my life. As a result I have tolerated being treated as less than I deserve and positioned myself in so many situations that were uncomfortable. I think the thought of being alone scared me so much that I was willing to hold on to a little bit of what I thought I had which was basically nothing. You have got to know when people’s part in your story is over so you don’t keep trying to raise the dead.
I’m sure there are so many people like me who had to learn the hard way, who had to endure some pain of being pushed aside and taken for granted. I had to go through some difficulties to learn the simple and yet so hard lesson – letting it all go. As hurt as I was by the betrayals, I don’t think it was ever about them, I think it was about me, my insecurities, my lack of understanding my value and worth.
I had to learn that letting people go does not take away anything from the experiences or memories you guys shared together. And allowing them to move on does not invalidate your pain; you are allowed to grieve a relationship however you want to. Also, saying goodbye doesn’t make you bitter, it makes you matured because you understand better that you are no longer walking in the same path or same direction and that is okay. It’s not an accident that you tried to make things work and they didn’t.
The problem begins when we make everything about ourselves. When people leave, most of the time it has nothing to do with you but more about them. You just need to learn to listen enough to understand. My point, it’s okay to miss people, it’s okay to love them even when they’re gone. But it’s not okay to hold on to things that are no longer there, you will be setting yourself up for disappointment and pain. It’s not okay to talk people into staying with you, loving and caring for you, let people go. Your destiny is not tied to people who left.
When I was 9 years, I was separated from my childhood best friend because of sudden difficult circumstances we faced at home; we had to move. This loss nearly broke me to the core; it was almost as though part of me was missing, at the time I really believed that. I remember growing up, I thought about her all the time like I carried her with me, the memories and the relationship we had, I carried it with me everywhere I go. I believed that one day our paths would cross and we’d finally be together again and I would explain why I never had a chance to say goodbye.
When I engaged with people who live or lived in the same neighbourhood she lived in, I would ask about her all the time. I would ask strangers if they know her and tell them about all the crazy and childish stuff we used to do together. This went on until I was in high school when I found myself talking about her to my classmate who happened to know her very well. Can you believe what she said to me “But, she is also studying in the same school”, imagine my surprise when my childhood best friend, the person I have loved throughout my entire childhood was attending the same school as me and I didn’t even recognise her.
I asked my classmate to introduce us after school and she did. I was going through a lot of emotions in my heart at the time, I hugged her and I thought to myself ‘how did I miss this’. We didn’t really had time to talk but I could tell, she had moved on. Sometimes God presents us with second changes or opportunities for closure to take place. I didn’t know how much I needed it until at that moment.
It’s not easy moving on but it is a necessary part of life. When people want to go, set them free, let them go and when you want to leave a situation that no longer serves a purpose in your life, move on too. Things don’t have to end in a bitter way, a clean break up is possible even in friendships.
Ruth comes to the cross roads, she looks at Oprah who left and turns back to Naomi and says “Where you go, I will go and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God. Where you die, I will die and there I will be buried.” – Ruth 1:16-17. It doesn’t make Oprah a bad person for leaving, as painful as it is to be separated from people you love, but their story was over. Understanding that “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord” will give you the willpower or strength to leave when it’s time because some things are seasonal and that is okay.
Maybe one day your story won’t end up like mine, maybe yours will end up in reconciliation. In the meantime, do yourself a favour and leave with your head held up high, put a lipstick on, play your favourite track and step into your new journey even with your knees trembling. It does the soul good to let the waters flow.