Life Lesson: Letting Go
A Gay Opinion 10/07/01
by R.A. Melos
I mentioned having removed two articles from all my opinion sites. The articles removed were an on-line conversation in which my ex-lover threatened me, and another threat made by my ex-lover. they were posted at the time as a precaution, and on the advice of a lawyer.
I'm finished with this, or rather, I'm finished with my ex-lover. It sounds like a line from a song, but he's just someone I used to love. The life lesson here isn't about letting go, but the process of letting go.
I've gotten a lot of advice during the past few years, from counselors, friends, strangers, all telling me how to get beyond a bad situation. The problem was, getting into the bad situation was a shared experience, and getting out of it was a solo experience. It's interesting how you can care about someone, even after you see them at their absolute worst, and even after you realize, no matter how much you care about them, they don't care about themselves.
One person suggested anger management, in order to deal with the emotional pain. only it took for years to realize the pain was inflicted upon me by someone in more pain than myself. So I was angry, and I worked through it, on good days, but the hurt didn't heal because it wasn't my pain which needed healing.
There are many types of addictions. Drugs, sex, alcohol, but lesser known is the addiction of lies. The only cure for lies is truth, and truth is something which comes from within. When the lies aren't yours to begin with, then you can't claim the truth as yours. Outside influences can only effect you as long as you allow them their control.
Learning you can't save someone from themselves, if they refuse to see their own problem, can save you from making their problem yours. Knowing you can't save someone from their self-destructive behavior doesn't make you stop caring for them.
I'm not a bad person, or a good person, only a gay man dealing with everyday live to the best of my abilities. Holding on to pain is not a bad thing, unless you are holding on to someone else's pain in an effort to protect them from experiencing it.
Emotional pain is just as hurtful as physical pain, and letting go of the pain, especially when you hold it for as long as I did, is a difficult process. Tears, anger, depression, loneliness, when elicited by an outside source, out of their own pain, are wasted emotions.
Situations can get very convoluted where the heart is concerned, and the mind will not always find a clear solution when distracted by the pain of depression, but clear thinking is exactly what is needed.
I've held on to pain, which was influenced by an outside source; a pain which isn't mine. Just because I care about the one who caused me this pain, doesn't mean I have to hold the pain. Nor does letting go mean I don't care anymore.
There is no such thing as closure. We hear about it, counselors and friends tell us we need it, but it isn't real. Getting beyond the pain to a place of understanding is real.
So I'm letting go of the relationship pain. I'll continue working on letting go of the anger, but the memories of the good times will temper my, well, temper. The process isn't easy, and different for everyone, but when letting go is the only option, eventually you will choose to accept it. Sometimes letting go is nothing more than the act of acceptance.