We don’t want to miss you anymore, to feel your silent presence haunting us.
Mocking us, twisting our open hearts into something more like a cave collapsing in on itself.
By the goddess, we will exorcize you from our hearts!
And then we will rise up, soft skin dripping wet in the moonlight, clean of you and your treacherous heart. Glowing, we will dance in the clearing, arms like branches whipped to a frenzy by the wind, clothed only in the reflection of the stars.
If you could see us, you wouldn’t know us, having only glimpsed a portion of our power. Seeing it unfurled might undo you, might cause your selfish heart to tremble with fear, aching for the dark places we once led you—which you will never find again.
But first, we will quietly take out each memory of you from the day you came walking toward us until the day you left, never looking back. We will see you as you are and not as we wanted you to be. We will remember that the way you left told us everything we ever needed to know about you. We will strip ourselves of every dark feeling that you left in us, and then standing in the moonlight, we will release the love that we felt, knowing it can find another heart where it will be cherished.
We will go from here, leaving your memory behind.
We will drink again and again of our own soul. We will wake up in gratitude for our every breath. We will fill our days with every form of bliss, taking pleasure in the sound of our own feet solidly walking on the ground, the crunch of leaves, the way the wind caresses our skin, the rain heavy in our hair as we walk, our fingertips reaching out to touch this tree and that blossom. We will leave the feeling behind of your skin hot on our own and instead concentrate on how the sun fires that same skin, illuminating us, turning us into gold in a way that you, with your Midas touch, could never do without also turning us to stone.
We will dream infinite dreams into the world and will find a way to manifest them, streaking bold colors across the canvas of our lives, searing words into stone. Slowly, we will exorcize you, casting you out with each moment of joy that is lived without you in it, with each kindness we grant to others which you would never grant to us.
And we will take a moment of meditation in the morning, moving through each warrior pose to find our strength. We will bend and stretch and find our center. We will find peace in the movement of our bodies, our breath moving in and out, our thoughts calm. We will move inward through our heart space and will then stretch slowly out, expanding our love into everything around us. We will not rely on your strength to hold us but will remember our own.
We will come to a sacred place and whisper prayers to a loving Universe, and we will not fill every moment with what might have been. Instead, we will draw on our faith that what is meant for us is ours and more than enough, just as who we are is, always and ever, more than enough.
We fell so far and so fast, expanding and collapsing like galaxies. Now we will rise, a universe of love and light pulsing beneath our skin. Fragile but strong even in our weakest places, and your time with us, those dark hours of the eclipse, will fade to distant memory, a planet no more, stripped of its name.
And when you are gone from us, all the love released into the moonlight, we will walk the earth more sure-footed than we ever could have been with your constant need to unbalance us warring with our need to be grounded. We will not feel the shadow that your leaving cast because we will be dancing with our own shadows, digging deep to find those that may do harm if not brought into the light. We will lean into our peace and learn to love both the light and the dark in our own hearts, that we may teach the world how to love us in the way that we need.
And our love will not be destroyed but will find a safer place to rest. Rooted in us, gone from you. Moonlight reflected in our eyes where once we saw only you.
We are galaxies, and you are one star burning out even now, fading in the dark.
When I wrote the above, I was struggling with the need to let go and move on from a relationship that had brought me joy and pain in equal measure.
I found myself filled with a need to rid myself of the thought of him and to embrace the way forward. The words began to write themselves. They came to me while I was running, playing out in my head, images following fast.
I hope they have been of benefit, and I leave you with these few suggestions of ways to exorcize the one you miss when the need to let go is more powerful than the need to hold on:
1. Practice gratitude. It is our most essential practice. In order to let go of the past, we have to find our gratitude for what we have in the given moment. By embracing and appreciating the lives we have, we can begin to let go of the longing for something that is gone.
2. Practice kindness. When our hearts are bruised, it can be easy to give in to anger, to despair, to the desire to lash out at those happy couples walking hand-in-hand through life. Always practice kindness. When we begin to give to others the kindness that we need, we can begin to let go of the anger and sadness surrounding our loss. We can feel those emotions and start learning to replace them with our joy.
3. Practice mindfulness. Put simply: we must relentlessly seek joy in the world around us. We must open our senses and find bliss in the sensual nature of the world we live in. Let go of that person or that idea, that thought or that need. Let go and instead embrace the beauty that is always around us.
4. Create. Create art or music or put pen to page. Just create. Put something beautiful or meaningful into the world. Express the feelings, and then let them fall away or transform them into something lovely. Be made stronger by them, not destroyed.
5. Remember the truth. The truth of any relationship is not told by the beautiful moments alone. In order to learn to let go, we must remember why the relationship ended. For me, I loved someone who was, in truth, never strong enough to truly be with me. He did not have the courage for honesty and was so focused on his own feelings that he did not give consideration to mine when he decided to remove himself from my life, suddenly and without explanation. I could have forgiven and accepted a change of heart. The truth of that relationship wasn’t the strength or intimacy of our connection but the fact that he could do to me the one thing that I told him would hurt me more than any other action: he could leave me, completely and absolutely, without saying goodbye. He promised that he would never ghost me again and then walked away forever, haunting me. Until now. Because we can not let go until we accept the full truth of the relationship in its entirety and not just the parts that we miss.
6. Accept more but never less. As we move forward in the process of letting go, we need to begin accepting the type of treatment we deserve. “What we allow is what will continue” and when we keep allowing others to treat us in ways that are unkind, we open ourselves up to reliving all of the old hurt. We can accept better treatment from others, but we have to stop allowing others to treat us as less than. We need to teach others how to love us by loving ourselves, wholly and passionately. And when behavior that is unacceptable comes our way, we can gently say no and remove ourselves from relationships that are not healthy for our growth. We learn to let go when we can accept more but never less than what we deserve.
7. Move forward. Letting go is a practice. This means that it takes actual work. We may have to change our perceptions, change the direction of our thoughts or find something new to focus on in the process. We may have to remind ourselves that those moments of beauty are an incomplete part of a story that has ended. We have to resist the temptation to romanticize the past in the face of a less forgiving reality. To move forward and let go, we cannot allow ourselves to stay rooted in the past. Instead, we have to take the small steps toward a future that will not include what we’re leaving behind.
The star of that other is fading even now with every step we take in the process of letting go. Remember that we are made up of galaxies and have whole worlds inside of us.
Let go, trust in the work and be at peace.
Author: Crystal Jackson
Image: Oakley Foxtrot/Flickr
Editors: Emily Bartran; Nicole Cameron