When I chose to let you go, there was no great moment of triumph.
There wasn’t an earth-shattering epiphany that changed my life, where music played and the universe conspired to bring everything together for good.
There was no conflict, no turmoil, and no struggle. No internal argument. No weighing of pros and cons. No decision to be analyzed to death—even by me, who cannot make a decision without weeks of obsessive thought over every possible outcome.
There were only two words when I chose to let you go:
No more will I measure my worth against your opinion. No more will I be pressed into the shapes you carved for me. No more will I tell my heart to quiet down, ashamed of its clatter. No more will there be blood on my feet from the eggshells I walked on as I tried not to give cause for your disapproval.
No more will I anguish over the ways you misunderstood me. No more will I fight to justify the intention of my heart. No more will I beg for you to see me, the real me—to know me, to love me.
No more will I live my life for you.
When I chose to let you go, there was no holy encounter. The stars did not collapse from the sky and cascade into the oceans. There was no ferocious wind that rattled the walls or blazing fire that consumed all within its destructive path.
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There was only quiet resolution, the silent death of leaves that drift to the ground as frost begins to waste them away.
And there I found myself, in the barren ground where you once stood; I came to understand there must be winter.
Winter in all its loss, its grief, its letting go.
There must be a time for old things to die, that new things may be born.
When I chose to let you go, it was for me.
I learned to love myself even when you made me feel I deserve no love. To honor my own needs, my own heart, and my own potential. To walk my own path, not yours. To not be pulled back into your confines while my spirit yearned to be free.
When I chose to let you go, I made coffee, ate toast, and folded clothes. I went to yoga and collected my mail and paid my bills. There was nothing out of place on the outside of my ordinary life—no visible change, nothing new or different.
There was only a surrender. One moment. One breath.
I chose to let you go.
And in doing so, I chose me.
By Kathy Parker
Printed with permission