I’ve been writing for MissMuslim since its inception date, 17 months ago. Y’all know me well enough to know my best work is when I get personal vulnerable. During my latest melt down – don’t judge me, I even cry at baby commercials – in between snot bubble snorts, I told my friend Deana, “I… know… I… should… just… let… it… go-.” To which she replied, “You don’t need to let it go. You need to let it be.” After Deana patiently heard me recant my sob story, for the hundredth time, she repeatedly advised me to simply sit with the current emotion and let it settle. A concept that is foreign to me. I need to not control my emotions? I need to not over analyze every minute detail? Basically, it was as though Deana was telling me not to breathe.
For the Judgmental Judys, this meltdown was not about a boy. It was about the uncontrollable frustration of feeling like all the hard, soulful work I had been doing was moving at a glacial pace. When you are quick to dismiss your emotions with, “I should just let it go,” you are crushing yourself worth. You are denying yourself the opportunity to accept your feelings. Honor your emotions and give them the proper time and space to be processed. You’re upset because the guy at the grocery store who cut in line was carrying a carton of you ex’s favorite ice cream flavor, so that sent you into a downward spiral of you recounting all the times you two shared a scoop. Fine. Accept it. Work through it. Is it really about the jerk in line? No. It’s about the loss of your ex.
“Buddha said it best, the root of our suffering is attachment.”
My friend asked me the other day what to do with an on and off relationship. Some days, he is communicative, but mostly, he’s not. She expressed her concern with letting him go and shared her misery with the constant back and forth. Energy is cyclical – everything you put out comes back around. If you are chasing someone and only receiving silence, that is an answer. Rest in the assurance that you will receive another individual who will be receptive and deserving of your attention. The one ghosting you no longer merits your time or energy. Often, the love of your life comes after the mistake of your life.
“I know he can be epic. I feel it. I don’t get why we aren’t connecting,” she said. Nobody understands more than me the feeling of holding on tightly because you see the potential in this other person. You see the person they can become and you patiently wait for him/her to realize it. Sadly, that archetype never comes to fruition and you cannot be the one to create it. So, you have to let the person be. You must let that person figure out his/her own shit because it is not your responsibility to make the change.
Buddha said it best, the root of our suffering is attachment. Getting attached to the story rather than the lesson leaves us in a state of despair and agony. My friend who continued waiting around for the guy to communicate once in a blue moon was staying attached to the idea of him.
One of my childhood best friends went through a break up years ago and it’s still shocking long after the fact. They were perfect for each other. They had that kind of Hallmark romance that made for a great Lifetime movie. I met up with her a few months ago when she was in town and she expressed her sadness over the state of her life, “I can’t believe I’d have a life without him. I never thought I’d be in my thirties, unmarried, without a family, and still in a job that hasn’t given me a raise in 3 years,” she said. Oh yes, the gut wrenching disappointment of glorifying what life is supposed to be like – according to society’s expectations. She is forgetting the simple fact: her blessings are bigger than her blunders. What I heard in that conversation was that she has a solid career with a steady paycheck and no real threat to her health or well-being. Therefore, she is ahead of the majority. Everything that touches us carries a blessing. We may not see it in the moment, or even years afterwards, but the reward is eventually revealed. Throughout the rest of the conversation, my friend was engaging in self-loathing chatter. The moment she begins to accept herself, love herself, and embrace her life, she will be able to reclaim herself.
Just breathe. Give yourself a break from all the babblers telling you to “let it go.” Let it hurt. Let it burn. Let it bleed. Let it be.