A Love Lesson: Thank You for Not Loving Me

Love LessonDear Eric,

Sometimes we want something so bad, that we shut our eyes, and we follow it blindly, even if we step on hot coals as we do it. We clutch on to it, and we don’t let go despite that frightening feeling in our guts telling us it’s slowly killing us.

It’s now been about eight months since we stopped dating, six since I’ve seen you, and about five since I’ve talked to you. Still, it has only been maybe a month or two since the weight of your memory on my mind, on my heart, and through my deep struggle to move forward after what I Iovingly like to call the Major Mind F**k of 2013 begun to lift.

To some people, our relationship or the major lack thereof, was not real. It was fake and disingenuous and forced. It had too many rules, and none of them worked in my favor. It’s hard for them to understand why it became so big for me, why it hurt me so much, and maybe even why I’m still talking about it today. And for the most part, they are right. On your side it was all of those things and less. But for me it was real. It was very real. Our weak, borderline abusive, unhealthy, pathetic time together is the closest thing I’ve had to a real relationship in a decade. It meant something to me. It meant everything to me. And when you pretended to love me, I believed you. I shared things with you and opened up to you romantically in a way that I had not done with anyone in my adult life. I opened my arms, and I said, “Here, take it. Take it all.” And you did. The problem is you gave me nothing in return.

During that entire year together I struggled with my feelings for what I came to know as a bad person. I struggled to look in the mirror and respect myself, because I knew very well that I was putting up with all of the things that go against everything I believe in, and everything I preach. I let you control me. I let you demean me. I let you disrespect me. And I let you do it over, and over again. Although it was never anything particularly huge, the sum of all the small ways in which you would devalue me and the love that I wholeheartedly offered to you even when you didn’t deserve it (and your rarely did), became much more than I could handle. I began to see your lies, the coldness in your eyes, and the emptiness in your heart. Still my stubborn heart loved you, and at times I thought I’d never find the strength to let you go.

I spent all of 2013 questioning. I questioned my worth. I questioned what I might be doing wrong to deserve your cold-hearted ways and your refusal to commit. I questioned whether the games were real, or simply in my head. I questioned my strength, and whether I would in fact end up settling for someone like you, even though it has been my life’s mission to never settle. I was so scared. The good thing is that, much to your surprise, I did finally find the strength to let you go. It took me a very long time, but I did it. I said I’d had enough, and I walked away. Sure I struggled to cut the cord completely at first, and I might have reached out many times when I shouldn’t have, but as the days and months went by, I felt like I could breathe again. I felt like myself for the first time since I met you, and I began to regain my confidence and my strength. I began to see that it had been your negativity that had brought me down, and that I still had it in me to be very much victorious. My only weakness had been loving you. I was not depressed. I was simply in a bad, soul-sucking relationship. There’s a huge difference.

After more tears than I’m proud of having shed, in the onset of 2014, I made a decision. I was going to live more life. I was going to give up dating for a while. I was going to seek out new adventures, make new friends, take trips, invest in me, regain my center and heal. And for the last six months, I have filled my calendar with musicals, volunteering, ballets, dinners and travel. I intentionally sought out friends, I made plans, I lived. I stopped waiting around for you or for anyone, and I LIVED. Some days I was so tired from all that living that I wondered if it was all worth it or if I was going too far with it. Would this work? Could I once again take control of the happiness I had slowly and painfully let you suck out of me?

Guess what? I could, and I did. Today, as I write this, I am healed. Your rejection and your pain pushed me to reevaluate my life, to get back to my dreams, and to remember, that although I do very much want and believe in love, marriage and children, I have never wanted to be the kind of woman who revolves her life around a man, especially around an unworthy one. I have always wanted my life to be a big adventure full of progress, success, friendship, experience and healthy relationships. I want a partner who can add to my life, and not one who constantly takes away from it. I want to share my life with someone as bright as me, so that together, our lights can shine even brighter and help others in the process. All you ever did was dim my light. For a while there, you damn near shut it off.

But now, I’m in a whole new, beautiful place in my life. Last week I moved to NYC, and this Monday I started my dream job as a writer helping to inspire young girls to have courage and be all they can be. What could be better than that?! The possibilities ahead are endless, and my adventure lives on in true Sonia fashion. I am healed. I am happy. I am ready to date and believe in love again. I am ready to never accept anything less than the treatment I deserve. I am ready to stand up for myself and to be firm. I am also ready to be soft, tender and open with someone who will be able to accept it and appreciate it. I am ready to believe again in the power inside of me, in my resilience, and in my ability to move forward into bigger and better. I am ready to be Sonia again; whole, happy and ready to take on the world.

The lessons your pain taught me are proving to be invaluable. They have made me stronger and better than ever, and they have pushed me into this amazing place where I sit right now; a place where I feel almost invincible. My breaths are deep, and my gratitude is big. I remember now. I DO have control over my happiness, and no one can take it away from me unless I let them.

So thank you, Eric. From the bottom of my now-whole heart, thank you for not loving me. You gave me the love lesson of a lifetime, and changed me forever in the best way possible.

The end.

Yours truly,
Sonia

Letting Go: 5 Important Things to Remember

Letting GoLetting go is HARD. It takes work, dedication and focus, and it can be so easy to slip back into the same unsuccessful routine of holding on. Letting go can be especially hard when what you are trying to let go of is not particularly inclined to let go of you, when the object of your dismay is for whatever reason inclined to keep feeding into the cycle, into the same evil game you’ve grown so tired of playing.

In this case, the ball is in your court, and the strength has to come from within you. No easy outs here. So as I go through my own process of letting go, I thought I’d share five things that are helping me through it on a daily basis. I hope it helps you let go of something you have known for quite a bit is bad for you, toxic to your well-being, or simply not the right fit for you, so that you can become more open to something that IS.

1. There are strong, undeniable reasons behind your decision to let go.

Remember these reasons. Every time you start to get sad, run through them in your head, write them down, say them out loud. Until you have moved on, don’t let these reasons escape you, for a second. Remember that each time you return and give up on your task of letting go, those reasons will be right where you left them, ready to take over your energy again and haunt you. It’s like that saying going around the social media channels says – If the past calls, don’t pick up. It has nothing new to say. It’s so true ya’ll.

2. Letting go is hard and it hurts, but not more so than holding on in vain.

Letting go can be incredibly hard. We’ve established this. But think about it. If there are numerous reasons that brought you to the decision to let go, and you know there are, how much worse can this pain you feel while trying to let go be than the pain you felt as you continued to hold on to something that made you so unhappy that you made the hard choice to let go?

Imagine how much better you will feel each morning that you wake up and realize you are no longer in the holding-on-by-a-string game. Think for a second how much healthier you will feel when your every day, every moment is not consumed by the negativity of a relationship or situation that just has nothing left to give. And finally, remember that the pain of letting go will pass, but the pain of holding on, as long you continue to clutch onto it, will not.

3. Sometimes it’s OK and absolutely necessary to love someone from afar.

Sometimes we have to let go of people that we love either because they do not love us back, or because they cannot love us in the way we need to be loved. Letting go does not mean you’ve stopped loving someone, it simply means you are making a conscious choice to love and protect yourself first.

Love does not mean you should stay in an unhealthy situation. All that will breed is bitterness and hate, and anything BUT love. So if you know you are not fulfilled in your current situation, let go. Do it for love. The right kind will not hurt so much. It will not be so hard. I’ve learned this the hard-headed-gal way. Do it better than me, today!

4. Letting go does not make you a quitter.

If you ask me, holding on to something you know in your heart of hearts has run its course, is what makes you a quitter, not the act of letting that go. Holding on means you’ve quit trying to find true happiness, it means you’ve quit on yourself, quit on your health, and quit on those around you.

Letting go makes you a fighter. It means you still have hope and faith that you will find something that is right for you, a relationship that will bring out the best in you and in someone else, a relationship that will give hope and faith to those around you.  Plus, when you do the best for yourself, you set an example for those around you.

5. Letting go opens up your world and your energy for something better.

And finally, how can you make space for something good and healthy and fulfilling if you continue to hold on to something that is only eating away at you, something you know is so wrong?

Focus on the fact that by letting go of an unhealthy relationship or situation, hard as that may be, you are opening up your energy, your spirit and your life to the endless possibility of something better, something good, something delicious. Let that thought get you through the tough moments when you want to run back into the arms of the thing that was making you so bitterly unhappy that you finally decided to walk away.

And most of all, just remember, as they say, that this too shall pass, but you’ve got to give it room to do so.

What are some things that help you through the fierce act of letting go?

Sonia, Word Share Junkie