The divine art of letting go

Love is defined in many ways. Ask anyone on the street for their definition of love, and you’ll get no two answers the same. The Bible defines love. Movies define love. Turn on the radio and you’ll get a definition of love. We see evidence of love in the unlikeliest of places and among the most unlikely of men and women. Your cat loves you. Your dog loves you. Your neighbor loves you. Your mom loves you.

Love is everywhere we look. It makes the world go round, you know.

Something I’ve learned recently, and I didn’t learn it the easy way…is that love…true love…real, unselfish, unconditional love…can be found most prevalently in the act of letting go. I know, I know…we’ve all heard the saying: “If you love something enough, let it go. If it comes back to you, it’s yours forever. If it doesn’t, it was never really yours to begin with.” As cliche as it might sound, it still holds true. I am learning that the most selfless act of love one person can show another person is to let them go. The inclination is always to beg, to cry, to plead for the other person to change their mind, forgive you, love you more, want you more, need you more…to show them why they can’t live without you…to prove to them that if they give you just one more chance, you’ll get it right this time. It’s human nature. It’s definitely my nature, as I typically refuse to give up without a fight. But if the person you love most in the world is struggling to break free…ready to move on…slipping through your fingers…regardless of how much it breaks your heart, shouldn’t you wish them the best and let them fly?

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” ~HAVELOCK ELLIS

We have to let go. Not just for our own sake, but for the other person’s. Our hearts will never sing as long as we cling. When someone I love makes a choice, and his choice is not me…no matter how much I adore him and want to prove to him how wrong he was and how much he needs me in his life and how perfect we are for each other…I have to release him, and his memory, and trust that life and God has a plan for us both, even if it’s not together. And that moment, that decision, that act of letting the other person go…that’s our gift to them. At the end of the day and on the horizon of moving on, I guess our goodbye is really the only gift we have left to give.

Letting go is not for the faint of heart. It’s the hardest thing most of us will ever have to learn how to do…but still, we must do it. Because true love, real love, unselfish love…demands nothing less.


6 Responses to “ The divine art of letting go ”

  1. Bhagya
    August 15, 2013

    I’m not trying to tell u that u are wrong but it is the most hardest thing in the world, letting go. It hurts a lot, make u feel nothing, make u feel lonely even if u are among thousands of people and it changes u. Changes u a lot; to a totally different person. I know that but also I know that what u say is correct, if u truly love someone letting them go is the best thing and I think I did it though the consequences are terrible. Thank u for reminding that what I did was a good thing; it makes me feel a bit healed.

  2. mec
    October 23, 2013

    letting go is HARD. and i can’t 🙁

  3. azure
    November 8, 2013

    came across this article going through your blog. I’m currently going through orr rather was going through one of the hardest things to ever experience in my life, letting go of someone I truly believed I was to spend the rest of my life with. the entire process of letting go is turmoil in itself. endless questions, multiple scenarios played in my head day after day, tears in my pillow cases and never ending prayers all raised to God. your article truly touched me and made some sense.

    Thank you for that, and keep up the good work.
    warm regards

  4. Natasha Brown
    September 3, 2014

    Reading this blog, I truly agree with everything that you said about letting go. It is the MOST difficult thing to do; not just when its someone you love. Its difficult to let go of anything that you put energy behind and don’t receive the results that you were looking for. But letting go of the person that you love, is something that if you haven’t experienced, you can never truly understand. I’m still struggling to let go of the love of my life and its been over a year since we broke up. I thought that he was the one; I was happy and there was no need to look further because he was perfect. The day that he break up with me, my world was pulled from under me and I couldn’t even begin to figure out how to put my life back together. I tried everything that I could think of to try to get him back; none of which worked. It wasn’t until I realized that, I couldn’t hold on to him that I begin to try to let go of him. I’m still trying to completely let go and I thank God, family and amazing friends for the support I have received. What I have learned over the last years is this: If you truly love someone and care about their happiness, love them enough to let them be happy. Even if that happiness does not come from being with you. When you have to try to convince someone to stick around, that you never had to in the past, let them go because they are already gone. And most importantly: Sometimes you have to have the courage to break your own heart. Thank you Mandy for the help you have provided me.

  5. Deb
    March 19, 2015

    I came across this article today, I too understand the pain and difficulty of letting go. I was the one who broke off a relationship over a year ago. I find myself thinking of him everyday, missing that relationship. I realized the relationship was unhealthy as he was verbally and mentally abusive. One of our last lunch dates was a quick run throuh a drive through as I was on my way to work and he was on his lunch break. He is visually impaired and depended on me to read off the menu, he was trying to make up his mind on what he wanted& I named that specific item and he corrected me, well again I named the specific item, I was told to shut the f@#k up through clenched teeth….as I drove myself to work that day I realized what I was allowing to go on for a Lil over a year. I had allowed his (sometimes sober sometimes not) ranting and tantrums, I had looked back and realized his lack of respect for women. He had told me awful stories of abuse and neglect of his childhood and that’s where I believe his disrespect stems from..of course he doesn’t see it. But I did, when he was on his best behaviour he was the sweetest man, always complementary to me, and asside from the deep wounds he had was a wonderful man. I truly loved that man but I loved myself more. I still grieve that relationship for some weird reason. Hopefully someday he”ll realize he needs some help getting over his past and maybe find love again….

  6. Thobeka
    April 3, 2015

    I was in an emotionally abusive relationship for three years. I never realized while was in the relationship because I really loved him I made excuses for him whenever he did something I didn’t seem to like. Basically we never communicated as well as we were suppose to as he was never emotionally available to discuss issues that bothered me in the relationship. He was the kind of guy that wanted to be right at all times and argued almost everthing to make a point. I had a responsibility of making the relationship work the whole of 2014 as he was too busy to come see me always had to go to his place when I get there I would cook, clean, do all the wifely duties while he kept on sending to make him this and that. We had a good time together and I enjoyes the relationship until I realized we were not on the same page. When we first met he told me he was ready to commit and get married a year down the line he seemed to have changed his mind however we continued mind you this was after he had impregnated me and asked me to abort and I agreed because of being scared of loosing him and saving the relationship. Our relationship was now boring we were not going out he was always busy with work basically didn’t give me the attension I needed anymore. Last year towards the end of the year started recenting him secretely and started entertaining other men on whatsup from my exs to new potential guys that were giving me attension little did I know I was now experiencing post abortion effects before I knew it he had gonne through my fone and dumped me for cheating while both his phones had a password.

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Something wonderful is on the horizon
Turn Toward the Sun CoverLife doesn’t always look the way we want it to look. In Mandy’s upcoming book, Turn Toward the Sun: Releasing What If and Embracing What Is, you’ll find encouragement to live in the moment, sit with your experiences, and trust God with the unknown.
Preorder from Baker Book House for 40% off and free shipping!*
*US shipping only