I’ve loved something intensely for the past several years. And it’s time to let go. There was no recess bell, no kitchen timer that went off, nobody yelling from the back door “Marcela, come down from that tree, dinner’s ready.” Nothing that clearly signaled, finish what you’re doing and start something new.
We’ve all certainly been the recipients of at least one horrible cliché – “it’s time to move on,” “life is passing you by,” “it’s not meant to be,” – but how do you know when that time is now? How do you know when to leave the one you’ve loved, to let go of that dream that still hasn’t been realized, to get off of that path you keep tripping on?
If you’re at all like me, you can be stubbornly optimistic, which seems like an oxymoron in and of itself. This persistent “I’m sure something more can be done, tweaked, tried, tested” is often more draining than enlivening. This energy drain should be accompanied by a flashing neon STOP sign, but again, as grown-ups, we’re not given these luxuries in the everyday life of our dreams, professional pursuits and loves.
Endings are final. Simply put, what we have done up to this point is finished and requires nothing more of us (period)
And then something else can start. Which does NOT inherently mean, when you end a relationship, a new one starts. When you let go of an unrealized dream, the new dream will reveal itself to you. When you stop moving in one direction, the exact right direction for you will open up. NO. Life is not linear in that way. It simply means all the energy, time, passion, intelligence, self that you have invested, until now, in that one person, dream, direction, STOPS.
But there is a real “optimistic” moment. You can now put that energy elsewhere. You can free up your time, heart, intelligence and self for something new. Something totally NEW!
Usually we aren’t so clear and decisive about endings. They can bring pain, they can bring fear, so we avoid, prolong, postpone, etc. While we may mentally say, “enough,” and some of our actions may even reflect this, the ending is often incomplete. Part of us remains physically or emotionally attached to something we have ended. So the endings are murky, sticky, stretched. Then, too, are the beginnings. They overlap, leaving us without a sense of completion, confidence and energy to begin something new. Reducing our ability to discover possibilities and options.
By paying attention to endings and making them complete, you can fully direct yourself toward beginnings. You can willingly climb down from the tree, with the pain of saying good-bye to it and all it gave you, run through the screen door and smell the chicken casserole that just came out of the oven.