We sat there together, still in the heaviness of the stale air that surrounded us. My eyes were swollen from the tears that poured down my cheeks and I felt only emptiness. I had nothing left to give. We were at a stand still with our hearts, not knowing which direction to go. I felt like I was in a dream. I had given everything to this person...my heart, my plans, my hopes, my dreams, my love. It wasn't enough. I felt that I wasn't enough.
"I just don't think relationships are supposed to be this hard." he said. I looked into his eyes and I could tell he was already gone. In that moment my heart broke and I knew it was over. A few weeks later, he moved out. I'll never forget the gut wrenching sadness I felt coming home to our vacant apartment. Everything we had built together was gone. The ghosts of us danced around me as I stood in the middle of the empty living room...and all I could do was cry.
The end of that relationship crushed me completely. I spent a long time trying figure out what I could have done differently. How I could have changed myself to fit what he needed me to be. I went through phases of being completely angry that I had spent so much time with this person only to have it fall apart. I just kept thinking, "What was the point?" I went through periods of hopelessness. How is it possible for me to find a love like we had again? Why was it so easy for him to walk away? Why wasn't I worth fighting for?
Several months after the break up, I was driving and a song called, "Let It Go" by James Bay came on the radio. I was instantly hooked by the guitar riff in the beginning but then I actually started listening to the words.
"Trying to fit your hand inside of mine, when we know it just don't belong.
No force on earth can make it feel right.
Trying to push this problem up the hill, when it's just too heavy to hold.
I think now's the time to let it slide.
Come on, let it go. Just let it be.
Why don't you be you? And I'll be me."
There, driving in my car, I felt a wave of tears flood through me. It was with those words that I was finally released from the heaviness of regret. I realized that our relationship didn't fail because I wasn't enough. It failed because we didn't fit together. We weren't right for each other...and that was okay. He was who he was just as I am who I am. I no longer wanted to carry the weight of wishing things had been different.
And then I got over being sad.
I decided to take my heartbreak and turn it into a learning lesson. What was I supposed to learn from this pain? How can I heal from this and come out a better person?
Ultimately, I think the greatest lesson from that loss was learning the power of letting go. Letting go of expected outcomes. Letting go of wanting a person to be different. Letting go of trying to convince someone to be in your life. And in that letting go I was making space for something better. I surrendered to what will be, what has been, and what never was. In that surrender I was opening my arms to new opportunity.
In the end, I'm so very grateful for that experience. Since then I've had some wonderful people enter my life who I believe I never would have met without having experienced my pain. I've gone on so many adventures which I believe I never would have had without having experienced my pain. I no longer have space in my life for people who don't want to be there. I no longer feel the need to control outcomes...I know if it is meant to be, it will be. Sometimes, when you let go of what you thought your life would look like, the world will bring you something better in its place. You just have to let go.