Maybe It’s Not About Letting Go, But About Making Room For What We Can’t Change

Sarah Loven

When something tragic and gutting happens to someone, something that is miles beyond what we can empathize with emotionally, we tend to think to ourselves, how do they go on after this? I am talking about the people who lose parents suddenly at a young age, who have infants die in their arms, who are diagnosed with terminal illnesses while still in the throes and wonder of adolescence. The things that seem, if they were to happen to us, to be the end-all. I’m not sure that we can grasp that kind of emotional pain until we’ve been in those shoes ourselves. But for the little bit we can understand from our own experiences, we inevitably wonder how people move on after the worst befell them.

The people who have seen these depths know something. They know that often, it’s not about moving on or figuring out a way to be happy about something. Not everything will be tailored to our liking, and just because it’s not, it doesn’t mean it’s going away. It’s not about getting over things, it’s about making room for them. It’s about painting the picture with contrast.

We never want to make room in our lives and hearts for things we don’t want there, but in all honesty, we can’t control most of what comes in and out anyway. And in our efforts to manhandle our existence, we hurt ourselves, because we get caught up in being upset over the failure of what we “thought should be.” Another thing that, of course, we never really know.

So maybe what we do when there’s nothing else to do is we make space in our hearts for the big, bad, ugly things we’re afraid of, and we learn to love them. We learn that these things are roadblocks that we aren’t supposed to knock down, because they serve us and show us that we need to go in another direction. We learn to love them for that, even though we don’t love them at all. We learn that they serve purpose, and it’s in going through this process a few times that we realize how what doesn’t work is usually far more important and poignant than what does. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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