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The Power of Letting Go

I resolved to never give up.

I used to think I was proving how strong I was, how unselfish I was, and how worthy of love I was by refusing to give up on the ones who were incapable of giving me the love I was longing for.

I was so programmed to believe that love would conquer all that I couldn't see that there was nothing loving in the way I was allowing myself to be treated, all in the name of love.

I was blind to anything else except that this is what real love must be.

After all, I had always heard that anything worth having was worth fighting for. That to get to the good part, you had to go through the bad.

So I assumed that it was through giving so much of my own heart and soul that I would eventually be rewarded with the love I was searching for. That in unselfishly giving of all the love I had in my heart, I would receive the same kind of love back in return.

I resolved to never give up.

Little did I know at the time that this was a fantasy, not reality.

Little by little, unbeknownst to me, I was chipping away at whatever self-esteem I had left.

All in the name of love.

All because I thought I had to prove something – that this was a test – to prove that I was loveable.

I can't even tell you how much I missed the mark. The harder I tried, the more I did in the name of love, the lonelier and the sadder I felt. 


There had to be something wrong with me, was my only conclusion.

Wasn't this what my mom had done, and her mom, and her mother before her? Wasn't this what all the women down through the generations before me had done?

Give, give and give some more. So unselfishly of themselves until they didn't even recognize who they were.

Yes, this was the legacy I carried within me. We give and we give and we give some more. Until it hurts, and even then we excuse the pain away, we excuse their reasons away, and we keep on giving some more.

I had repeated this pattern so perfectly; I couldn't understand why it wasn't working for me like it had for them.

They had found love. They had men who loved them, who committed to them, who stayed with them through thick and thin. Why wasn't the same true for me?

I became more determined to be more of what I thought the particular “he” who had become my project, wanted me to be. I became more of the perfect girlfriend, the perfect lover, the perfect potential wife – the role I was auditioning for, until one day it all came crumbling down around me.

I couldn't live like this any longer.

I could pretend no more. This meeting everyone else's needs at the expense of my own. This pretending I was fine, that I didn't have my own needs, that I was here only to serve everyone else.

I found myself physically sick, unable to pretend I was OK anymore. Even if I hadn't had enough, my body had.

Something had to change.

The pretending. The trying. The striving. The chasing. But most of all, the refusing to let go of what was doing so much irreparable damage to my heart and soul.

Enough.

I stopped. Oh, not overnight. But slowly, gently, I began to let go of the things and the people that weren't in my best interest, that didn't add to my life but merely took things away. 


I started learning to say goodbye to them or not let them near my heart in the first place. But first I had to learn to recognize them.

That was the hardest part of all. Learning to recognize them. Before, they had been signals to come, to engage. To try. To prove something within myself.

Now they were signals to let be, to leave well enough alone, to turn and slowly back away. Or run, run as fast as my legs could carry me.

I listened. I watched. I observed.

I checked in with myself to see how I felt, to see how being around someone was feeling to me. I learned to trust my own intuition and gut instincts for the first time in my life.

Until one day, a real kind of love found me.

One between equals, instead of the opposite kind I'd been used to. One where I could be myself and be loved because of who I was, not in spite of who I was.

If you had told me back then the journey I would take from where I was to where I came to, I would never have believed it.

But by being open to listening, to hearing myself and what I needed and turning down the voices of the world around me, I found more love than I could have ever dreamed of.

For both myself, and for another. The only way real love can ever be.

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Jane Garapick

Jane Garapick is a dating and relationship coach, and the founder of Getting to True Love, LLC.

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chenshewhangdeeDebMelissa Rose RothschildJackie WilushewskiRubina fazal Recent comment authors
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chenshewhangdee
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chenshewhangdee

Wow. For me, the letting go is of a parent who never protected me from the physical/mental/emotional abuse of the other parent… who allowed sexual abuse to be doled out by her younger brother for an extended period of time. And now, in the twilight of her life, when she needs me, I have stepped up to the plate to help her… even though she regularly tries to undermine me through horrible comments/actions, etc. I choose to treat her with kindness and respect, though she deserves neither. I am better than how she has ever treated me. This (her life) won’t last forever. The kicker is that she worked in a Christian bookstore for 40+ years and the impression is that she’s a wonderful, special, godly woman. If they only knew….. She wonders why none of us siblings have much of a relationship with one another or with her, but her greatest fear is of what will happen to her earthly possessions. She’s scared to death of dying (no pun intended). When she is cold and buried, I will sever ties with all but one sibling simply because I choose to surround myself with people who are uplifting, who make me feel good, and who are healthy for my emotional health. Sad situation? Yes. But she cannot give what she does’t have, and she doesn’t have love. I feel sorry for her.

Deb
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Deb

Wow! I found so much of myself in this article that I could have written it. I’ve been in situations where I’ve given so much of myself to try and be who someone wanted me to be, then still found myself alone. And in one where I’ve been told that I was loved, then had it suddenly yanked away, but still in the “relationship” and feeling that if I loved enough, he’d begin to love me again. I feel that if I love him good enough and show him how it could be if he loved me back, that we’d both be happy, when if fact, I’m just losing more and more of myself. I want and need to be loved. I go over and above to love in the best way I know how, just to feel that I’m not loveable in return. If I was, I wouldn’t have been left, wouldn’t have been told that they just didn’t love me. I need to find me again. Thank you so much for this article.

Melissa Rose Rothschild
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Melissa Rose Rothschild

Necessary losses. ❤️
Just like life is a series of beginnings and endings… We have to let it go to be free to love and live.
Thank you for the article , Jane.

Jackie Wilushewski
Member
Jackie Wilushewski

Wonderful article @JaneGarapick!
This article really hit home for me. I felt a wave of emotions and it was also very refreshing to read. I have been through multiple situations and relationships of all sorts in this toxic way; it took me quite some time and quite so many choices of not choosing me, of not choosing love (my love for me) first to realize this.
I totally know what you mean, I felt the same way many times, thinking that what I could give would be enough and enough to get that back. The good thing though (and maybe the best part though) was that one day after many days of praying to my higher self, the universe, using the LOA, meditation, affirmations, etc. I got it- IT all made sense, I was aware.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this experience and awareness with us. I am deeply grateful for this article. I am so happy for you and where you are now in this apace. <3

*sharing*

Robina fazal
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Robina fazal

Beautiful article❤👑To lead a life with ease of Souls and mind..letting go…is the key note..for a happy healthy life.
If we keep in heart and mind that some persons or conditions are major cause of our anger…bother..worry..or depress situations.. we can’t go on with life….with a happy note..we have to make ways for us by our ourselves.. by neglecting .forgiving..not extra sensitive..be realistic..and powerful..by letting go…as we let go things.. and our behaviour is cool…and calm….and we concentrate on our works….we don’t try to make ourselves sensitive about the people or conditions..that…are supposed to let us in misery…or pain without any solid reasons…those people and conditions with the passage of time..gets better…and they are turning into our favour….as much we let go..less response…be relax…and cool..do our works with courage and love..those who wanna make us trouble some..Feels..pity..they feel they are not doing something’s right…they will see their own faults.. in some individuals it takes a better result to come out ..but in some it takes time..Main thing is we have to have our own power..confidence..and wisdom…let go….and move forward.. don’t take any thing so personal..don’t get upset by people or conditions…This will make life much relax…and better….live life…with purpose…and love yourself and your Life….wht is meant for you will be yours….life is a continues circle of learning.. taking knowledge…love and care individuals…giving…respecting others…Let go…..and let love pass through each others souls….with pure heart and intentions….❤💐Amen

Carol Roberts
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Carol Roberts

I enjoy these so much but I need to know how to get out of a toxic relationship

Lalie Nietol
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Lalie Nietol

Hello Bryant and Jenni 💕 Letting go is a reality that most people find hard to accept specially when what you’re trying to hold onto means a lot to you. Another reason is fear of the unknown and fear of living your comfort zone. But there comes a point in time when you have to Let Go/Surrender for various reasons. Sometimes you find yourself stuck, unhappy or not growing anymore or the other party changed and don’t want you in the equation anymore (even though you’re still happy or because you have to change some bad habits). So when faced with this decision, we should remember to have a blind faith and put our trust in the universe or Unseen Hand (God) that the changes happening are for the best interest of everyone involved and that there are unlimited possibilities out there waiting to be explored if we will just open our heart and be more receptive.
Part of Letting Go is releasing the people we love/illusions/dreams. As the saying goes, ” if it’s meant to be, it will be” or “What’s meant to be will find a way, what’s not will fall away” Nothing is definite in life. People and events can change, but what’s important to remember is to make the most of whatever resources we have and BELIEVE that there is a beautiful replacement for anything that we lost. Love and hugs to both of you💜💛💚💙💕

Sean
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Sean

I have found my journey to be very personal.
When I was younger I accumaled Ptsd that was very extreme. Spiritual beliefs were not strong enough in some ways yet acute in others. And I guess that explains the excruciating process of Letting go.
I finally had to start chipping away at my old story, and when I started going deeper and deeper the pain was leading me back to feelings of innocence. However I find that the more I am able to let go of expectations as well as outcomes. I still have all these tools That I feel I have inherited to deal with everyday life. It’s still a process but the more I allow myself to feel ease and to recognise that ease, it helps me move through negative emotions as well as traumatic moments with more clarity and ease, even if it is heartrenching, I have a stronger belief that it will pass than I did in the past. It does have a lot to do with mindset and having courage. and I tell myself, go easy on yourself, be kind and gentle, and slow down, and I feel sometimes that too is courage to let go and just sit with what’s going on and allowing it to move on as something still from the past. I I think, that’s also fine, there’s no timeframe and everyone has a different piece of the puzzle to heal and let go and learn to self love again, even when things are not wonderful and somewhat hard.se

Rita
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Rita

Boy, I wonder if it was my ex husband, u were talking about. My ex husband was just like that. Him and I had eight children together…and he still had time to cheat. I had two miscarriages, and a sids baby in 2001…5yrs later I got hurt, had to have knee surgery and couldn’t work, he ended up taking my five children away from me….I’m still to this day trying to recover!!!

Bonnie Hosey
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Bonnie Hosey

First I would like to thank you for publishing this article for all of us that need that final boost or confirmation to let go! I was in a 12-year relationship with a gentleman that had a drinking problem…. no, that’s not exactly true he was an alcoholic… When he was sober he was one of the finest men you could ever know but, and that’s a great big BUT, when he was drinking he turned from dr. Jekyll to mr. Hyde. The first few years were like a fairytale and they were beautiful and loving which caused me to fall deeply in love with this man… He had lost his wife a few years before I met him and from everything I was told he was the perfect husband and showed his wife nothing but love, compassion and understanding during her illness and since I had a similar illness I thought wow he is the perfect man for me I know he would be there for me in my time of need if it should come……
After those first few years of bliss the alcoholism became worse and of course his children blamed me for that, they had no idea just what I was living through with him. He became verbally abusive when he was drinking and would call me names and tell me basically how worthless I was and even though I knew that I wasn’t my self-esteem began to dwindle of course the next day he would have forgotten all of the hurtful and hateful things he had said to me and everything should just be all right he did not want to discuss anything that he could not remember … I began to find telltale signs of his infidelity until one night I actually walked in on him in our bed with another woman!! Of course he blamed it on his drinking and after a short period of maybe a month I went back to him and we began to date again and it was wonderful for a few months and then the cycle began to repeat itself not once but over and over and over… Why was I allowing this to happen to me??? ,,, yes I knew I loved him …still even with all the hurt he put me through .. I gave him my all everything that I was I gave to him why could he not love me or see how much I loved him!!! I did not even know who I was anymore because I had tried so hard to become what he wanted me to be … I did not even know who I was anymore because I had tried so hard to become what he wanted me to be… Then the unthinkable happened…. I became ill! I was no longer able to cater to his needs or those of his family. Then I began finding out from his extended family that he had treated his wife of 34 years the exact same way he had cheated on her also and had been an alcoholic since he was in his early thirties. It was not my fault and that was the thing I had to come to grips with. I mustered up the energy to tell him the relationship was over and it would never ever be the same again. Of course he continued to call like he always had and thought that I would forgive him again but not this time. This time I had my own battle to fight, you see, now I have cancer which after much study and enlightenment I have discovered more than likely I brought on myself because of all the stress and the anxiety that I went through for those years!!! I don’t know exactly where I am going from here but I do know that I’m going to fight the best fight of my life and I’m going to win it one way or the other. He does not even call to check on me now you see he has another love that he has moved into his house and proposed to her the same way he did me 12 years ago.
If you are in an abusive relationship whether it is mental abuse or physical abuse you do not deserve to be treated like that. You deserve love and compassion with understanding … you deserve to be who you are and happy within that. Believe me I know how hard it is to give up that sense of security with another person but it’s not worth what you’re doing to your own body. I spend most of my days now searching the web and discovering a whole new me. Do whatever it takes for you to begin to love you again. I wish for you all many blessings and unconditional love.

JOAN VENDLINGER
Guest
JOAN VENDLINGER

Yes, all of us, ALL OF US, NEED TO TAKE A REAL INVENTORY OF HOW WE WERE RAISED. Did your parents give you the emotional foundation you needed or deserved? Many parents do the “right” things……dads, moms do their best, they do, BUT as an HSP (highly sensative person) a counselor helped me realize that my parents were NOT THERE FOR ME EMOTIONALLY. WOW…A BIG LIGHT WENT ON. NOW I KNEW WHY I WAS ATTRACTED TO MEN WHO AT FIRST TOLD ME HOW MUCH THEY LOVED ME…TO FILL IN THE CRACKS IN MY HEART. SO I DID THE WORK, HARD WORK TO HEAL MY HEART, KNOW MYSELF not the false self, the real ME. To love ME, to respect ME, to understand why I had made poor choices and to now SEE I WAS GOOD, KIND, LOVEABLE AND GODS SPECIAL GIFT TO THE WORLD…saying this in a humble, thankful way. NOW I am ready to accept the love of a very, VERY special man. A man who is mature who kNOWS , LOVES AND RESPECTS HIMSELF…SO HE IS FREE TO LOVE ME IN A TRUE, OPEN, HONEST, AND LIVING, LOVING RELATIONSHIP. I COULD NOT BE HAPPIER.

Lina Vera Sjöberg
Member
Lina Vera Sjöberg

Iam exactly the same, until i was studying at the University and also progressen knowledge about behaviorproblems, social dynamics and peoples lack of selfawareness and consiousness to provide the sequre love and attachment i needed. To let go of others, it is not only to love oneself, but to really be educated in Why people treat us bad, because we hold on to beliving that we can change their behavior and understanding, when it comes to pur own emotions and needs. The second thing is that we belive that we have an impact over others by common sense and logical resonble conversations, when in fact we are a target of being used or manipulated back, or used in our ability to reflect and communicate from a health balance between emotions and thoughts. To let go over other people is also a statement over to let go of love, based one the reality over who they truley are, insted of having a fiction over what we want them to be. In fact, we ourselves dont love the real person behind them, because we belive that they are the people we want them to be, insted of who they truley are. That is not fair for them either. When we are real and honest over what we ourselves want, we can also be more fair in relation to o5ers, based on that we know them well first, before comitment or long lastning friendship. With love and support Lina Sjöberg

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

This is me to a T!!!!! I always put others first because my mom did and her mom, my sisters etc. while admirable to be selfless, we can’t lose our whole selves in the meantime. We end up unhappy and even resentful. Why don’t I matter to them like they do to me? Fact is they’re not us. What we allow is what. Will continue. I finally had enough and ended my 24 year marriage. Now I feel loved by someone who always loved me. Except now I have I new set of problems with changes in family dynamics and opinions of me. I gained something yes, but lost a lot too. We stay in these situations because at least we are familiar with the pain, as oppose to unknown pain. It’s a tough situation. But ultimately we are responsible for our own well being and happiness. We can’t put that job on anyone else. Great article.

Mousumi
Member
Mousumi

Its a beautiful article and so true, as if its my story being narrated..

Suzan
Guest
Suzan

Very good article it is true that we need to let it go anything’s brings to us bad or sad feelings in relationships you have to give and receive making balance beside love trust and respect but still no grantees it could continue or not because feelings could be changed

baya elbey
Member
baya elbey

thank you for your amazing article

Robin
Guest
Robin

Wow. In a perfect world, what you send into the lives of others comes back into your own. The Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. In other words, treat others the way you want to be treated. But this isn’t a perfect world. And some people, I have learned, are horrible and self-serving and exploit you no matter how good you are to them. I’ve been hurt deeply in believing and living by the law of reciprocity… getting what you give. Knowing when to let go. Incrementally, until finally. You cant keep pouring into a bottomless bucket. I’ve learned that too. Idealism to disillusionment to realism. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t without scars. I have traded the bucket for a cup… one I serve from and one from which I receive. My inner circle is now small. On all levels.

Beatrice Hernandez
Member
Beatrice Hernandez

Beautiful article…worth reading if you cannot understand how love can become sadness and despair…
One does not necessarily have to experience everything painful in Life to realize when a relationship is one sided….
Sadly it takes a lot of strength to walk away and say my Child is more important than this person who is too self centered…
It is better to remember we are never really alone..

Pam
Member
Pam

I heard myself in this article I thought I always had to give in give in give in order to be happy and to receive love. It wasn’t until I lost my husband of 32 years that I learned to depend upon myself and to find myself and to realize myself worth and to love myself. It is then that I Returned to my faith and to God. I had forgotten the God so loved me that he gave his only begotten son So that I could be forgiven of my sins. I rededicated my life to God I sold my home and I moved 400 miles from where I had lived. I found a new church And I’ve dedicated my life to Christ again. I have found love again with the most unlikely person who’s ever been in my life, my 1st husband. Being alone and praying and talking to yourself and answering yourself reading your Bible is the one thing that we all need to do to bring us closer to the person that we are supposed to be. May God’s grace bless you and keep you all safe happy and most of all closer to god.

Barbara
Guest
Barbara

Really good article I enjoyed it

EileenMarschke
Member
EileenMarschke

Great article. Thanks you.