At one point or another in your life you are told “if you love something let it go, and if it was meant to be it will come back to you.” It is a statement told to help someone usually adjust to the loss of something loved that is beyond your control. In theory it all makes sense, but you never want to have to tell yourself to abide by that concept.
I never really understood the meaning of that until I found myself fighting to keep someone in my life. Every day I would struggle to watch them drift away. I would think, how could someone that I love so dearly, and who claims to love me equally, simply fade away. I decided to simply let them go, because in reality, or as the saying goes, “if it was meant to be it will come back to you.” So that is simply what I decided to do.
At first, hours passed, the days, then weeks. The pain was real and it felt all so very fresh. like a deep wound that took ages to heal. Then eventually months began to pass, and I felt whole again, even without my dearly loved person. I accepted their leaving, I never understood it, but I accepted it and I considered that good enough.
I felt whole again, even though I was missing a piece. But after the hours, days, weeks, and months had passed a wave of emotions came back into my mind. I felt the need to reach out, to check-in, just to see how they were. But I had to remember that I let them go so I simply put it in the back of my mind.
That was until I received a message. The person who I loved so dearly came back. Did that happen because I simply let them go, or was it because it was indeed meant to be?
So maybe the age old saying isn’t wrong? Maybe if you really do love something and you let it go, it will eventually come back to you?
Boundaries are a part of our healing process. Many of us grew up in homes where boundaries were non-existent. As children, our boundaries were crossed so often that we become adults without them. We were told how we felt, how to behave, and how to interact with others. This disconnected us from our intuitive responses of stating (and following through with) our own personal limits.
All healthy relationships require boundaries. There’s no shame in us not having boundaries in our relationships if we never had this behavior modeled for us. It’s something we have to learn. And practice. And slowly integrate into our lives.
Disclosure: when I first started setting boundaries it was terrifying. The reactions I got often sent me into fear along with many panic attacks. Being in toxic relationships in the past, confrontation with others was my number one fear. I would completely shut down with the thought of telling someone how I felt about the way they were treating me. It took me a while to realize I am not responsible for the emotional reactions of others. It took me a while to see how this benefited me and everyone I had relationships with.
Boundaries are kind. They provide clear limits of where we end and another begins. They allow other people to understand how to best engage with us. Setting and receiving boundaries can feel terrifying and guilt ridden, especially coming from codependent dynamics.
And for those with unresolved trauma, boundaries can feel like abandonment. They can trigger defense mechanisms within us. All we can do is objectively deliver them with grace. Then hold them regardless of reaction.
How can someone stay happy all the time? Physiologically, it’s due to chemicals like dopamine. They get released and you feel great. A single smile can lift your mood, some might say. I too agree with the “smiling effect.”
However, I am moody in many scenarios. In those situations, I find it hard to smile—I can’t smile when people let me down. When someone has messed something up for you and you’re in a position with the power to either forgive that person or not because of the gravity of the situation, you won’t find yourself smiling.
Okay, you might be wondering why I’m explaining where your negativity comes from. But sometimes, you’ll have to lower your expectations in people in order to be happy. Once I asked a friend of mine about why he felt depressed, he told me it was because the people around him were all letting him down.
When he said that, he wasn’t smiling. His expectations in others were too high to achieve. If anything went wrong, he felt let down. Oftentimes he was in the shoes of either forgiving someone or not. That someone would apologize to him because of the stiffness of his face—that he wasn’t smiling.
However heavy the gravity of the messy-situation, the position to choose either going against our own impulses to forgive or indulging them by attacking that someone can be even heavier. With all that weight on his shoulders, my friend couldn’t smile. So we need to lower our expectations in people to feel happy, it’s not the end of the world. Say if your friend has forgotten to return your text messages and you feel undeserving for it, you should lower your expectations, smile and think that he/she might just be in the middle of something—and in most cases, that is the reason why they’re not replying. No one is failing you because they want to, and they’re not really failing you, because in my opinion, standards that are too high can bring nothing but frustration.
So, how can we feel happy and deserving? When lowering your expectations for happiness seems to be too much to ask, start by giving your friend a smile.
It still hurts, but it’s gotten to the point where I can look at the photos of us and smile instead of cry. I still love you and you still hurt me, but I’m slowly making steps towards letting it go.
The photo of us holding hands and the video of your precious laugh that made my eyes drown with tears just last week has changed now. Absentmindedly, today I found myself smiling at the good times we had.
Thank you for the good times, the giggles. Thank you for holding me and caring. Thank you for the caring gestures and kind words you said to me even if you didn’t mean them.
Everything you have done in the past month would lead any rational person to say that you never truly cared, but then again I am not your average rational person. I don’t think you ever meant it when you said you loved me, but I know that we had something special.
The fact that I tried to treat you with utmost kindness and care for you after how awful you were to me, proves that I’m not rational. Or maybe it proves that I was in love.
The fact that you have shut me out completely, made it impossible for any means of communication proves that you are not the person I thought you were, but it also proves that somewhere deep down you feel the pain of remorse for letting what we had go.
I know that part of the reason you broke up with me over text is because it would hurt you too badly to see the tears rolling down my cheeks that you once used to kiss and touch. I know that part of the reason you blocked me on every communication platform and got your friends to do it too is because you don’t want to face the fact that you hurt me.
The reasons behind your actions don’t make them okay. How you treated me in the end is not okay. Lying to me and blaming your personal issues on me because you knew that I cared for you enough to take your BS and believe that I was the bad guy is not okay. But this will never change the fact that for a point of time, you brightened my days, you filled me with a sense of love and joy I don’t think I’ve ever felt before, and for a point I believed, and I still believe, that you truly loved me.
I still wear the necklace you gave me and the matching ring we have still remains in my room.
You hurt me, but you also loved me and I’m finally making steps towards letting you go.
I sat in my chair sitting not believing what I had just heard. Another student had just told me that you cheated on me the whole relationship and he’s pretty sure you left me for her.
I know it’s been a year and I happy in my current relationship, but for some reason, it stings a little.
Actually, it stings a lot. I am no longer in love with you and still wonder why I ever was, but I still can’t believe it was all a game to you. You were the first person I gave my full heart to, the person I trusted everything with, and the person I was ready to do anything for.
I wish you just told me so I didn’t find out from someone else or that you left me before you cheated because honestly, that would have hurt less.
If I would have found this out before I found my current boyfriend, I honestly don’t know how I would have been able to trust anyone again. I am happy that I moved on and my current boyfriend taught me how much better men can be, but it stings to think about what you did and it’s going to be something I will carry with me in every relationship.
Although I am beyond happy now, I still feel that hurt and betrayal from you, like you stabbed me in the back.
Most people think nothing of getting close to someone. They just hang out with someone and one day find themselves closer than the first day they met. I wish I could be like that, but instead, I sit in my room alone scared of getting too close.
It’s not that I hate everyone and I don’t want to be close to anyone. It’s that I don’t want to lose them. From the time I was 10 until I was about 15, I lost 9 close family members. For a while, I couldn’t go more than 6 months without losing a family member. Whenever a family member died, it seemed like I had just started to get close and attached to them.
For the longest time, I did not want to get close to anyone because I was nervous that they would die. I believed I was cursed and that everyone I loved would die.
After a little, I somewhat got over that and started to get close to people without fear of them dying. This only caused me to develop another fear. It seemed as though most of my friends decided that I wasn’t good enough for them and would leave.
I know it’s a dumb fear I should get over and I am tryin,g that’s why I am writing it out.
My parents tell me that I broke your heart… but I deny it.
Sometimes, I think about how we used to be. I remember that one night when I texted you asking if you knew any good places to get my guitar fixed. We hadn’t really ever talked that much before this so I was shocked by your answer. “I can fix it for you, what’s your address,” you replied. You drove half an hour to my house to come pick up my guitar. You didn’t just pick up my guitar; you played my piano, talked to me, made me laugh, and told me I had a beautiful voice and you would love to play music with me.
From that night we became closer. I remember how excited I got when you would text me, how nervous I was when you would come over, and how happy I would be when we played music together.
Weeks went by and, even though you lived half an hour away, we’d hang out almost every night after swim practice. I remember my best friend saying how perfect you were for me. At that moment, I agreed. You were an amazing guitarist who was looking for a singer in your band. You were funny and entertaining. You were an amazing swimmer. And, you actually paid attention to me, something I had never really experienced from a guy.
One night, I heard a knock on my door. There you were with a guitar case, my guitar case. I opened it to find my guitar clean, polished, and fixed. I thought you were just going to replace the string that I had snapped. I was shocked. I offered you money, but you wouldn’t take it.
That night, you kissed me. I had kissed people before in dares, spin the bottle, or other stupid party games, but this was my first real kiss. My heart beat a million times a minute, my cheeks were probably bright red, and I remember thinking how perfect that moment was. It’s crazy how much things have changed since then.
I remember how you would surprise me with flowers; how we would sneak into your guest house when your parents were home, so we wouldn’t get caught; the guitar lessons you gave me; and the food you would buy me. I met your whole family. We did a triathlon together. You finished way before me, but as soon as you crossed the finish line, you ran back to do the final stretch with me. When I ran my marathon, you woke up at five am to drive to the starting line and cheer for me and you were their when I crossed the finish line. Then, there was the time you told me you loved me, I said it too.
It seems like everything happened so fast. I had so many firsts with you. I had so many good memories with you. Before this, guys always ignored me, wanted nothing to do with me, and would never want to be part of any relationship with me. I never thought I would be the one hurting you.
I was happy in the beginning, for the first couple months, but as time went on, something changed. You didn’t change though, you continued to so many nice things for me and be the amazing person you are. You wrote me a song, comforted me when I was down, wrote me letters when I went to sleep away camp, went on hikes with me, and told me I was beautiful. You didn’t change at all, but my feelings did.
I started acting weird. I became a bit distant. I don’t know why I stopped feeling the same for you, it just happened. The day I told my parents I wanted to break up with you they said not to. “He’s so perfect, stick with him,” they said. My mom would get mad when ever I asked her how I could break up with you.
I tried to feel the same way about you again, I really did, but I just couldn’t. The day I broke up with you, you cried. You said you were okay and that it wouldn’t change our friendship, but we both knew that was a lie.
I cried too. I felt like such an awful person. My mom would tell me I deserved to feel that way, because of what I did to you. My best friend would say it too.
It’s been over half a year since we dated, yet its almost like whenever you look at me, you seem sad. We’re in the same friend group, so I see you sometimes when I’m with my friends. A couple weeks ago, I asked you what was wrong. “Whenever I see you, I just get sad. I get so jealous when I see you with other guys. I still love you,” you said.
Now, we barley talk. It’s awkward when people say your name.
Sometimes I think about how we used to be. My parents tell me that I broke your heart… I don’t deny it.