Okay, I accept I am a slow learner. For the past eight months I've been learning, a little bit at a time, about letting go.
Let go of your sense of responsibility for changing the world.
Let go of your expectations of yourself and all the people around you.
Let go of your desire to be in control of the situation you are in.
Let go of guilt about not being able to protect those people in Shindand.
Let go of the safe and familiar and embrace the unknown, the chaotic.
I've been supposedly learning to let go and yet I haven't applied this lesson at all in my relationship. Instead of letting go I've been clinging on, I've been grasping at my boyfriend and believing that I needed him.
Yesterday I read these words: "Most of the pain of change comes from our resistance to it."
Something literally clicked in my mind and in my heart and I suddenly felt willing to let go.
I was feeling sad because I felt I was losing something, but I know that everything is temporary, everything changes, nothing stays the same. So why not let go? Why not embrace the new, the unknown, the possible, the exciting future?
I feel so much lighter and happier - it is amazing. Really amazing. Last night my yoga buddy could see the dramatic change in me, and although she was obviously happy for me she cautioned me to remember that "these things go in waves".
Maybe she is right, perhaps in a few days I'll be hit by a different wave of sadness. But honestly, I don't think I will. I really gave myself all the space I needed to sit with the sadness. For five and a half days I let myself feel every ripple of loss. I sat down with my pain and had a good look at it. I started to be able to name the different parts of it.
Five and a half days of crying gave the time and space for a lot of pain to come out - and it was not all to do with the end of my relationship. There was left-over pain from the trauma of October, from the dark, scary, lonely months of this winter, and from the recent months of learning to let go little by little.
I cried me a river. More than I have ever cried before. It was all the things people tell you it will be - it was cathartic, it was tiring, it was a release and quite frankly it was a huge relief. I stopped trying to control and reshape my pain into something else and just let it be. I sat with my own sadness and little by little as I let it all go I started to see myself more clearly.
I recalled my own strength, my own optimism, the worldwide network of loving friends and family that I have built and nutured throughout my life. I saw my experiences, my skills, my wisdom and all my potential again. I felt my own smile come back - and I felt for the first time in eight months free of the squeeze of sadness in my chest.
This morning I feel a little bit sorry that it took this for me to get here. That it took my lovely, patient boyfriend getting to the point of no return for me to reach the point of letting go. I feel a little bit sorry about that because I can see now that my unwillingness to let go was a huge part of what was making our relationship unbearable. But in any case, right now I feel liberated. I feel liberated and happy.
Is that weird?