I took this photo of the last full moon, not knowing then, how quickly things would shift and change in my life. But I’m well acquainted with the split second moments where everything changes. Last year it was my brother’s death, Monday it was my dad going into the hospital. This time, I’m not sure he will make it.
I fly out on Tuesday. And while I have to see my dad and will, there’s a lot of business to deal with and paperwork to track down and phone calls to be made, too. Doing it from here, while I also need to advocate for his care in the ICU, is impossible.
But the moon – that’s where I started. The last full moon was March 7th. In a matter of a few days, things were so different. Life can change in an instant. I know we know this. But we don’t live it.
We live in the past, we live in the future. Last night and early this morning I was anxious about things a week ahead of me. I don’t even know any of those things will happen. None of us knows what the future holds. That’s why it’s so incredibly important to remain grounded in the moment. It’s all we have – all we are guaranteed. I don’t want to lose the opportunities I have in front of me, because I’m way ahead, worrying about what may never come.
Life changes and shifts in an instant. Don’t lose out on living fully, loving hard, taking chances, and telling those you love – that you love and care about them. This all sounds rather cliché, I know. But that’s what you get out of multiple losses & grief packed in tight over a few years. Life is too f-ing short to play small and not chase down what & who you want.
There’s a thing we do sometimes – we settle for being loved in a halfhearted way. We know what we want and what we long for and yet, we still seem to find ourselves there. I have been there. Settling for crumbs, when a feast awaits, sounds like a pretty human thing to do. So don’t beat yourself up too much. But if you’re accepting less than what you know you deserve and less than what you want so very badly, it’s time to give up the crumbs.
As usual, yung pueblo seems to share things that hit me right in the gut. I saw both of these posts this morning. Two things have kept me single far longer than I ever imagined – focusing too much on my career and a dogged determination to find what yung highlights in both of these posts. I am not going to lie – I have always been more fearful of being alone and miserable in a marriage than I was of being alone, period. If I’m alone, I still have a life that has meaning. But alone in a marriage seems like a horrible place to be. And so, I’ve been willing to wait until I found it – until I found him. Or he found me – whatever. I was close. I’ve been close. Close, but no cigar. I didn’t realize the complications that come with being older and single – particularly when you don’t have kids and want them. Nonetheless, I’ve recently had this eye opening experience that makes me 100% certain that waiting was good. Waiting was right. It will (eventually) end where I hope it will. Sometimes, we need reminders of what is worth waiting for, pursuing, praying for, and fighting for. A selfless love – one that places the other person before self, and that is just as dedicated to a partner’s wellness? That is worth waiting for.
“If someone cannot reciprocate your love, if someone cannot give you what you truly deserve, you have to understand that aching for them to do so before they are ready is a form of self-destruction.” – Bianca Sparacino
Letting go of a person you love is one of the hardest kinds of “things” to let go of.
Acceptance and letting go aren’t the easiest of concepts to grasp, in general. You may even be convinced you’ve gotten it, only to realize you absolutely haven’t gotten it. I have let go of far more than I’ve held onto in this life of mine. It has gotten tiresome – in some ways. There are moments, right up until today, that I forget the powerful work I’ve done (that God has done) in my life to accept life as it is and to let go of what I cannot control.
Many years ago, I made a decision to live my life in the moment – to try what I wanted to try and do my best to live fully. I don’t exactly regret going where the wind blew. But it has complicated a few things now that I’m in my 40s. From my vantage point now, I look at life a little differently. It has made the process of letting go a little more complicated than I once found it. The stakes are higher, or so it seems.
The stakes are higher (or appear to be) because the world does a good job of convincing us of what our lives should look like and the timeline within we have to accomplish it all. Something about that plays tricks on us, in my opinion, when our hearts get involved. When my heart is involved, I (I know I’m not alone) tend to forget those hard-fought battles I’ve waged. One thing I was reminded of in the last few weeks, is that loving someone that can’t love you back is a heartbreak you don’t deserve. It’s a heartbreak I don’t deserve.
“You cannot keep pouring your love into a heart that is closed off to it. It will only leave you empty. You have to walk away. You have to let this person grow on their own terms, because you can’t love someone into their potential. You can’t love someone into being ready. They have to do that on their own.” – Bianca Sparacino
Getting caught up in artificial timelines or the impression that something has to happen now, adds to your (my) struggle to let go. We compound that struggle to let go of that person, when we are so consumed by the fear that we are running out of time. We aren’t running out of time. When it’s right, it’s right. There shouldn’t be a timeline attached to that. But you can’t, as Bianca Sparacino says, “love someone into being ready,” either.
Which leaves you with a bit of a conundrum when you care so much for someone. Do you wait for them to be ready? The answer is . . . not really. I’m convinced of this today. I’m convinced of this from getting knocked around by life. To wait for someone who is not capable of loving you as you need and deserve, is absolutely, 100% self-destructive.
To stay in the place of torturing yourself over what isn’t and feeling so much attachment to the person that can’t love you back, you’re short changing yourself. Honestly, you’re short changing the one who is capable of loving you back. The ache? I know it so well. But you deserve so much more. I deserve so much more. In the hard moments, when letting go feels impossible (I’m feeling it – trust me), focus on the hope of what lies ahead. You may not be able to see it, but it’s out there. By staying tethered to the person who can’t or won’t love you, you only delay what is meant for you – whatever that is.
Though it seems to be quite the opposite, when your heart is tethered to another and a specific outcome, the truth is – letting go is freedom.
Morgan Harper Nichols is one of my favorite artists. You can see her artwork at the link above (or on her social media accounts). I haven’t shared a “Monday Motivation” post in a bit. This one is a little different than others I’ve shared. Mostly because it usually feels like there’s not much life to be lived when we’re in a holding pattern. When our plans are stalled, when we know we’re waiting, it can be demoralizing. When we want to act and do – when we want to move forward, but we’re held in place – it sucks.
But there is wisdom in what Morgan Harper Nichols writes here. While we may be waiting for that thing – whatever it is – it doesn’t mean that life isn’t beautiful in the midst of the waiting. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t opportunity where we are to live fully in each moment, though we know there’s something great out there we still hope for.
“Right here in the waiting” we have every opportunity to take advantage of each moment as it comes. While slightly off topic, I think my current living situation is a good example. I have a townhouse that isn’t what I’d like to live in long term. It’s small in the areas I most need space (like the kitchen). It doesn’t have a fenced yard – which I’d love to have for my dog. I could go on, but you get my point.
But what it does have, is quiet, a wooded view, and it’s a roof over my head. I am enjoying my home as best I can now. I’m going to decorate, settle in, and function as if I will be here forever because my home is my sanctuary. While I wait for what I really want, I’ll make the most of the here and now.
Don’t lose time (you can never get back) because you’re so focused on what isn’t.