May well take you years to accept
I had a girlfriend I was madly in love with years ago. Actually there were three. Each one came at a different stage of my life. The first left me. And broke my young heart. As first loves are wont to do, it took me some time but I moved on. And met the woman I would marry about three years later.
Decades later, after a long and brutal illness, she died. And left me with a shattered heart and broken dreams. In some ways I still struggle with that loss. But I’ve also grown into a completely different person. And I have moved on. Sort of. I like to pretend anyway. Enough to pass the gift on, regardless. To the third woman who would steal my heart.
I imagine she believes I bled all over her for a wound she didn’t inflict. But we danced around in our relationship for a number of years. And I did love her. But I just couldn’t figure out a way to fit my vision of this life into the puzzle that she brought to the table. So I let her go. Because not to would have been unkind to her and unfair to myself.
I’ve recently learned that she has launched the dream she always talked about. The one she didn’t seem quite willing to reach for while we were still a couple. And I can see now that the courage she needed to build that dream was the gift she gave herself after I broke her heart.
And therein resides the gift that is so damn hard to receive.
The greatest gift a human can give to one they love. And no, they may not want it. They may wail against it. And they may never embrace it. It’s far from free. True freedom comes with great loss. The loss of the love you wanted to have. The loss of the future you’ve envisioned. It may in fact, have been the love you dreamed of having all your life. But nothing on this earth lasts forever. And as the prophet Janice taught us all:
Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.
Losing one you love deeply, whether through death, divorce or just a parting of ways offers you the courage to know you can survive the end of what was once the most important thing in the world to you. Seize that knowledge and you can build a new world around yourself. It doesn’t mean there’s no longer pain, but what is a scar but new growth? Growth is what life is all about.
Loss is the most potent weapon you will ever face in life. But it’s also the most powerful tool you will ever have. Allow it to, and it will give you gifts of limitless value. It’s your choice to accept them or not.