Perhaps one of the most difficult things in the world is accepting that sometimes you have to disconnect from relationships with people which no longer serve you in a positive way. A better way of saying it is, where the relationship no longer serves the both of you.
For some, this comes easier than for others. Letting go is hard. At times, downright painful. For better or worse, I’ve always been the type of person who, while I may not jump easily into a romantic relationship, when I do — I can’t just turn my feelings on and off with ease. Sure, I can move on, but on some level the emotions still exist. I don’t consider this a bad thing. It is just the way some folks are wired… Of which I am one.
It also means I tend to be more aware (perhaps even more cautious at times) of getting into serious romantic relationships. Right or wrong, I guard myself against what might otherwise be a string of broken relationships that take me longer to get over, or work through than others might experience. By the way, I’m fully aware that this has probably cost me what might otherwise have been some truly wonderful life experiences.
However, as the saying goes, “it is what it is”, and I should point out that I am aware of it, and am intentional about working through it. I’ll get there. I’m not there yet, but I’ll get there.
So with all that said, I realize this article may not be for everyone, but, if like me, you can relate to what I just shared, or know someone who can, you may very well find the ideas that follow helpful.
Often times it is difficult to let go of relationships — romantic or purely platonic. After all, irrespective of where things are currently, there are good memories attached. A whole host of reasons may exist as to why you resist letting go, and moving on with your life, the life that lies ahead of you.
Perhaps you lost the person unexpectedly to some tragedy. That can be excruciatingly painful because there’s nothing to distance you from your feelings for the person. You just cared deeply for them, loved them with all you had, and then they were gone. How do you reconcile that in your mind? You don’t. Plus, it is natural to assume that had we not lost them, we would have continued uninterrupted in the state we were prior to their passing. Blissfully happy. In love.
A romantic relationship that comes to an end can be altogether different however. There is a near endless stream of possibilities as to why they come to an end. Yet, whatever the reason we mourn the loss in different ways.
While this in itself is nothing new, that is, dealing with the loss of either a close friendship or a romantic love interest, what is different are the highly connected times we live in.
For example, in my early twenties I was in what was in a pretty serious relationship with a girl who I still consider to be one of the “ones that got away.” While I’m not under the illusion that she feels the same of course (but for me, as my closest friends will tell you I didn’t think I’d ever get to a point where she’d be “a memory” at the time).
I had a heck of a time letting the love I felt for her go dormant. A lot of that is because of the way I’m wired as mentioned above. When I give my heart, well, it is given 🙂 And it just takes time for me to readjust. So while it took time to move on emotionally the healing did happen. And eventually I got to a place where I took that painful experience and grew from it.
I believe a key factor in me being able to move on past that experience was that there was distance, and separation from that person. Aside from the memories in my head, and notes, and pictures I had, there weren’t constant reminders of what could be — like exist now with all the Social networks, and the interconnected world we live in. We are as close as the computer screen, whereas before search engines and social networks didn’t allow for the opportunity to reconnect us near as easily as they do now. We moved on because the disconnectedness allowed us to more easily do so.
In the hyperconnected times we live in now it is much more difficult to disconnect from those we need to in order to shift our heart centered feelings to those of a more platonic nature. It is worth noting that when we make the decision to disconnect, we want to be careful not to do it from a place of anger or mean spiritedness. While we may be disappointed, even hurt by the other person (for good reason or not) that doesn’t mean that the way we see things is right and they’re wrong.
As hard as it may be to accept, there’s a lot of truth in the old saying, ” there’s my story, then there’s your story, and often, somewhere in the middle is the truth.” So it isn’t about anyone being the bad guy. It is just about us disconnecting so that we can let those strong feelings morph and expand into a different place. And of course, in some instances, hopefully rare instances, that we simply realize we have to remain removed from the other person because it is too difficult, and emotionally painful to be reminded of the good times gone bye.
I am fortunate that for the most part, even though I tend to “fall hard” — even though I’ve been told I’m terrible at showing it sometimes, I have maintained some wonderful friendships with past romantic relationships that didn’t work out. That said, I have certainly had those that I have had to disconnect from in order to get to a place where I can move on, and be fully open to all that life has in store for me with regards to love. Fortunately, it is rare that I have had to, but it has happened.
If the idea of needing to “disconnect” at times sounds ridiculous, or even mean-spirited, I want to assure you that isn’t my intent at all. In my own life I have been the one that was disconnected from as well. It does hurt, and it is a feeling of rejection that really breaks the heart, but I have found that when I accept that it really isn’t about me, as much as that the other person needs it in order to move on in their life, it helps immensely.
I’m reminded of a relationship I had with a woman whom I loved with a capital L. As in L – O – V – E. Truth be told, I suspect part of me always will. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. To this day part of me still mourns the fact that we can’t at least be friends. We went from incredibly close, she was truly one of my best friends, to her cutting me out of her life completely. It was painful. It still is.
However, I found that when I stopped making it personal, telling myself that I wasn’t good enough, or searching for a reason beyond what it was, that she just needed to move on with her life, and that I wasn’t part of the plan, and be genuinely OK with that, then I gained a peace.
You see, I wasn’t rejected, rather it is just a distance she needs in order to move on with her life. That isn’t to say it is easy to accept, but honoring her decision allows me to take a strange sort of comfort that in time my heart will continue to heal, and I will find that person who is willing to love me where she wasn’t, or couldn’t allow herself to.
Friend, take comfort in knowing that life has love, and great things in store for you. No matter what heartache you might have endured, better days are ahead. Even if you don’t see it as a possibility from where you are now, stay hopeful, and keep the faith.
It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG
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