Letting go is one of the most difficult tasks we will ever face in our lifetime. Letting go of a relationship, friendship, the past, etc, there’s no question that breakups can be painful, and that it’s difficult to trust and love again. But there are ways to get past the pain. Dr Phil once said “Grief is a process to go through, not a destination in which to wallow”
I am writing my story because it is part of my healing process. After a 11-year relationship with a man who gave me the most beautiful daughters and son (his son from a previous relationship). The lover of my life, my soul mate, the guy who made me fall in love with Bob Marley…I left him. I left him after 7 months into our marriage after he beat me up so badly and I knew the only thing I needed was to let go. The feelings of loneliness and longing were almost too much to handle after the breakup. True to African culture our families used every trick in the book to unite us. The possibility of us reuniting was an entertaining idea that gave me hope amidst the pain I was feeling. But that’s all it was…an idea… a thought that sometimes made me even lonelier knowing it wasn’t a reality.
But in the months that followed (it’s been 36 months and counting) the breakup, I uncovered a secret formula that taught me that letting go does not mean I stop caring. It means I do not do it for somebody else. I need to love myself enough.
It does not mean to cut myself off, however, it is the realisation that I can’t control another person.
I have asked myself this question so many times “Am I hiding in the relationship so I don’t have to face the reality of being on my own?” Now that I am alone I can safely say I cannot stay with someone because it’s comfortable and safe. It may seem more secure, but it must be healthy for me, for my girls, and if applicable for his kids too. Yet if your relationship is fading, you’re not doing anyone any favours by battling to maintain it. When one feels drained rather than fueled that is when resentment kicks in. No matter how great your in-laws are, you’ll likely have conflicts at some point, I had very good in-laws, but sometimes we disagree on how to deal with the divorce itself. But what I learned was that how you respond will either bring you closer together as a family or drive you further apart. I am raising their blood so when conflicts arise I choose to cover wrongs with love. This takes humility, but let it go. God covers my own wrongs with love, therefore I choose to let go.
It is not to enable but to allow learning from natural consequences.
I am a mother and have a responsibility to my daughters. A responsibility to teach them to love and respect themselves and others. That is never justifiable for a man to put his hands on a woman. To allow them to love their father without witnessing his weaknesses on a daily basis. To teach them that we are all not perfect, but when you cannot enable a situation, the best you can do is learn from it. It is also my responsibility to remind my children that even if we are not together, their father loves them in his own way. He gave them a beautiful family with an older brother and every holiday they visit their family to embrace their history and love from the rest of the paternal family. I love my stepson as my own and the respect and love I receive from him reminds me that it could only come from a solid home when I married his father I embraced him as my son and I never divorced him.
It is not about blaming each other or trying to change, but rather about making the most of me. Not to criticise or regulate anybody, but to try to become what I dream I can be.
In the beginning, I waited around because I thought he was going to change, of course, I could make him change. I have helped a lot of people fix their relationships, why could I not fix mine? Learnt the hard way that “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior”. We tried counseling, and both families tried to unite us but it was not to be.
It is not to nag, scold, or argue but instead to search for our own shortcomings and correct them. To take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.
Combined with prayer and extensive counseling, I have had the privilege to search for my own shortcomings and every day I have committed to correct them. My biggest shortcoming is that I love too quickly and I don’t know how to love light. I have learned to take things slow (remember learning is a process!) and get to know someone before committing to them. I have also created a system of doing my homework before dating someone, just knowing a bit about them, all of that makes it easy for me to develop trust and a bond.
I am an absolute homemaker and I am proud of it. Most men love that about me so before I give in to the beneficiaries so to speak, I keep them away from my house or my home. I have to be selfish about it as I share my home with my children and entering it means entering their space as well. The more alone time I spend with myself I have learnt to cherish myself.
It is to admit to powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands
There are times when I miss my ex-husband and I think about all the good times we shared but I remember that I have done that before, and now instead of journeying on that road with sadness I say ‘Oh yeah!” and I remember why I left in the first place. I used to blame myself for denying my kids a family structure. But I quickly learned that a happy child comes from a happy family. Ours was destructive and my decision had to be for them too.
It is not to be the judge but to allow another to be a human being
A relationship is an imperfect union between two willing spirits who say, ”I’d rather be in a relationship and share my life, share my joys, share my fun, share my activities, share my life than do it alone.” If you want to be in a relationship, know that getting hurt comes with the territory. You just have to decide that you are durable enough, that you have enough confidence in yourself that you can handle it.
To let go is not to be in the middle of arranging all the outcomes but to allow another to be a human being
To let go is not to deny but to accept: not to regret the past but to grow and live for the future.
I have promised myself that I don’t want to hold all men responsible for the mistake my ex made. Why should someone pay for the sins of someone else, this is obviously easier said than done I know but I put 100% effort into it for my future. “Trust is not about how much you trust one person or another to do right or wrong. How much you trust another person is a function of how much you trust yourself to be strong enough to deal with their imperfections.”
In conclusion, I have learnt not to invest more than I can afford to lose. While it’s important to move forward, I need to take things one step at a time. “Unless and until you’ve figured out everything you’ve got to figure out about yourself and you get closure, you will never come into a relationship with a fresh and clean heart and mind and expectancy and attitude.” You’re probably not ready to get into another relationship until you heal the wounds of your past.
LETTING GO TAKES LOVE