If you love something let it go.
We have all heard these words of wisdom before, usually when we are in the throes of heartbreak- at the exact moment when those words mean absolutely nothing to us.
The truth is that people walk in and out of our lives all the time. We let loves walk out, we redefine family relationships and drift away from friends. We even actively work to make this happen with our children. We teach them the skills they will need to survive on their own. Experts tell us that when our children test their boundaries we are actually doing our jobs as parents correctly. We go into the job knowing that someday they will strike out on their own and leave us behind.
There are hurts in each of these leavings. Our children push us away and it digs into our hearts that our babies don't need us as desperately anymore. We realize we haven't spoken to our best friend in weeks/months/years and it tears at us that the inside jokes may not be funny anymore and instead of "What are you doing today," we are left with "Once we did things together." A love leaves us and we crumble a little with the knowledge that we gave a stranger a piece of our heart only to have it handed back for not fitting quite right against theirs.
But here is the thing... do we ever really let go of the people who were important to us? The people we love poke us and sting us and stab us and stretch us and grow us. Our ties to them stretch like rubber bands and our relationships are redefined and readjusted. They become a part of our story. Do we not hold them in our hearts? We can remember the way they looked when they laughed. We can still hear their voices in our minds in quiet moments. A sight or a scent in a crowded room can take us back to a specific moment in time entangled with the memory of that person. We don't need their permission to love them, we just do. Maybe the only thing we need to know is not that they loved us, but that we loved them.
I was issued a challenge this week regarding the idea of letting someone go. Not so much with the first part of the saying- letting go is something we do when we have no other choice. When those that we love have already gone. The challenge comes with the second part of the saying: "If it comes back to you, its yours forever." I am not really sure that anything can ever be yours forever. Relationships are fluid, not solid and guaranteed. Maybe we can love someone enough to let them go....
But can we love someone enough to let them come back?