One of my best friends once told me, "you know, people come into your life for a reason, season or a lifetime". That statement impacted me on a deep level. Seeing the human connection as a temporary entity can create feelings of both relief and anxiety. It's in the attachment of relationships that we can feel the greatest joy and pain. It's that beautiful connection with another bright soul that can feel so invigorating. At the same time, the beautiful connection that made us feel so good, can also make us feel at our worst when it feels like that connection has died.
As the buddha stipulates, the root of all suffering comes from attachment. Being attached to a permanent idea of a certain connection can get us into trouble quickly, as there really is no permanency in this life, there's just the illusion of it. If you can understand that connections and things happen as they do and then they are gone again, then you can have an impermanence about your living, and in theory, you will experience no suffering. Practicing having an open heart for your connections in the moment while being able to let go after the interaction has ended can support your ability to practice this concept of non-attachment.
However, for those who you have lost a deep loving connection to another beautiful being in the physical world along the way or who may be out of reach for a long period of time, I also find it very powerful to engage in heartfelt connections from a far. You can place one hand on your heart, bring a loved one (whether alive or dead, whether we still connect in the physical world or not) and you can send them some love from your heart and spirit. This activity is not about attachment, it's about sending a loving connection. When I do this, I instantly feel connected to them without having any expectations on the relationship; it's just a simple heartfelt connection.
But what about those times when you feel like you do need to let go of what has felt like a longer lasting relationship? Those times when it feels like it would be best for this person to have been for a "reason or a season"? It makes me think back to the time when I lived an unsober life; a time when alcohol was more of the ruler of my decisions than a true heartfelt connection. This focus seemed to draw in more heavy drinkers into my life. As I embarked upon the path to sobriety, it was evident that I had to let go of certain relationships if I wanted to be successful with my new direction. This letting go provided a combination of guilt, loss and relief all rolled into one.I didn't want to say goodbye to people I had spent much time with, but I realized that much of the time was centered around alcohol and it was clouding my spirit.
Sometimes we stay in relationships with others out of a sense of pure obligation or routine. We don't want to leave others or have them leave us. But, if we can come back to the fact that people come into your life for a "reason, season or a lifetime", you can practice a certain letting go of the mind's attachment to forever and struggle/control over others. All relationships have their ups and downs. When the road feels like a continuous rocky path that takes you further and further away from your authentic light self, it may be time to practice a letting go. Feel into your light and look at the reason, honor the seasons and breathe into the lifetime. The fact is that we simply don't know how long relationships will last nor how long we or others will live.
By Liz Myers, Rooted Living Wellness
Liz Myers, MA, RYT200
Spiritual Life Coach, Yoga and Meditation Teacher.
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