Non-Fiction: Why Letting Go Is Really Hard

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Why Letting Go Is Really Hard
When a relationship ends, why is it so hard to let the love end too? 

Most of us have been conditioned since birth to believe that nothing is eternal. Good times come and go; relationships begin and end; the sun rises and sets. Nothing lasts and everything dies.

Except love.

This can be a beautiful, humbling, easily appreciated truth except for one major detail: it makes letting go of the things we love really hard. This is especially (though not exclusively) true of relationships. When we establish a relationship with another person, we wind up giving them the parts of ourself that can’t be taken back: our heart, our soul, our love. This is true no matter what kind of relationship is established, whether with friends, family, or romantic partners. When we give love, it never goes away.

But often times, the love remains and the people don’t. The relationships we poured our love into come to an end, and we’re forced to let them go. Letting go of the relationship, the memories, and everything built together is hard enough, but we also find ourselves wondering how we can possibly let go of the love as well. The problem is we can’t. The love, once given, is here to stay.

I’m a big believer in the philosophy “everything happens for a reason.” I’ve made too many beautiful connections in my life to simply chalk it up to coincidence. Every experience has served a purpose, and that includes every relationship. I could condemn every relationship that ended in a broken heart or a stab in the back, and I could mourn every loss or analyze what went wrong, but the truth would remain: every relationship existed for a reason, and ended for a reason, but the love would always remain. 

Relationships change us. They’re supposed to. Every relationship exists because we have something to learn from it, and learning is how we grow. Every relationship ends because we have nothing left to learn, and therefore must move on to continue our growth. This is why the love will always remain. Though the way a relationship ends isn’t always pretty, the reason for it is always truly beautiful. We may cloud this realization with memories of pain or hatred, but the love doesn’t go away. We need only to catch a glimpse of our former loves to feel this truth.

So, yes, letting go is hard, and in the case of love, downright impossible. But if we accept every relationship for what it is- or was- letting go becomes easier. Not because we finally learn how to let go of the love we shared, but because we know whether the relationship ends or not the love never will. We learned and loved until there was nothing left to learn, and we were left with love. Or hate (which, for the record, is the same thing). We’re finally able to let go with love for what was, is, and forever will be.

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