“Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation." ~ Rumi
The old saying that "time waits for no one" is why learning the art of letting go and holding on matter so much. Increasingly, I have the sensation that life is passing me by, days feel like they pass by in 10 minutes and my Mondays become Fridays in what seems like a day. Months are over before I remember what number I am writing on the check and the change in seasons seems to always catch me by surprise.
However, nowhere is this fleeting experience of time more acutely felt than in the changes and inevitable distance it brings to many of my primary relationships. Letting go of the people we love, as well as the life situations that are familiar and comfortable, inevitably reflects how we relate to both time and its sister, change.
The reason big life changes are so difficult to master is that neither letting go nor holding on can happen without the other. Depending on what side of the time continuum you are sitting on, holding on has to live inside of letting go, and conversely, letting go must also live inside of holding on. A good example for me is my preoccupation with letting go of the daily care of my children, without the nagging feeling of forgetting something essential. Many days contain the gaping sense of emptiness, in which all the checking in and coordinating of lives used to happen. It is on the days when I come close to releasing thoughts of their care when I am able to recognize what is still being held. For them, there is an essence of me, an echo of my voice about eating well, wearing a jacket, getting enough sleep, knowing they can do whatever challenge is in front of them, where they hold me. Acknowledging how deeply my love for them is rooted between us, lets me appreciate the space and quiet around me, instead of suffering in the echoing silence of my big empty house. Truly letting go can only happen when it is met by what we hold of who and what we are releasing.
Conversely, when we are holding onto something that we are trying to make happen, whether it is building a home, a business, or a relationship, there is a letting go that has to take place. Growing Good Clean Love is a great example… all these years of trying to get shelf placement demanded continuous change and improvements in everything from formulations, to packaging, to communications. Good ideas would take months to execute. Everything would take months to execute. Learning how to hold onto your vision, while also being able to let go of how it happens is the only way it can work. The same can be said of the often painful awakening and necessary transition that happens when the falling-in-love feeling dissipates and we need to learn the more difficult ways of loving over time.
Learning how to wait for what we want to happen is all about letting go of how or when we think it should occur. This is why so many people give up on their dreams, because they don’t understand that patiently waiting is actually a form of letting go. Nothing really remarkable can happen in life without first mastering how holding onto anything has to have letting go living inside of it.
“Learning how to wait for what we want to happen is all about letting go of how or when we think it should occur.”
The way you perform the dance between letting go and holding on is, I believe, the ultimate reflection of everything that transpires in your life, from the loving relationships you cultivate to the career aspirations you achieve. Nothing will work the way you want if you get stuck without both activities learning to co-exist. And, like any good dance partners, the leader is always switching. Being able to flow between the spaces of both letting go and holding on is how time becomes your friend and how you learn to really trust in the things you are hoping to find.
Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family. In her new book, "Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy," she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative advice. It has been called "the essential guide for relationships." The book is available on ebook. Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13-23 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. You can follow her on Google+