You Held On Too Tightly; I Had To Let Go


You can’t rush a good thing.
You can’t make people change.
You can’t wish something into healing.
You can’t keep what is meant to be let go of.
And you can’t grasp onto love too tightly, begging it to stay.

People want to be free. This I’ve learned from my own path, from wanting so desperately to push back against everything I’ve known, to leave the people and the place I’ve called home and start new a thousand miles away. People want to discover. They want to rebel. They want to chase dreams and people and paths that aren’t always right for them—but that’s a part of the journey, the journey that we are all destined to take.

People want to learn. Sometimes the hard way, and sometimes stubbornly, despite your best efforts to save. People want to make mistakes. People want to find the one they’re meant to be with, and fall deeply into him or her. People want to love and live freely, without anything or anyone holding them back.

The thing about people, is that we don’t want to be controlled.

And you, your love was too much. It was beautiful and big, but it filled too many spaces, overflowed over my being and covered me like a bubble, blocking me from the rest of the world. You fell too deeply, capturing me under your embrace, wanting me to return that affection back to you, wanting your love to somehow shift my soul—but it was too early, and I wasn’t ready.

You held onto me too tightly, so tightly that I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move, couldn’t find myself in your arms.

You can’t hold onto something, hoping that the more tightly you grasp it, the more it will desire to stay. You can’t clutch love in the palm of your hand, as if to squeeze it out, to bring it to life in the body of another.

Love doesn’t work like that; it never will.

People want to make their own decisions. They want to live openly, and to fall into love naturally. They want to be led by their heart and mind, not by the words of another person.

They don’t want to be forced to feel things they’re just not ready for.

And that was the case with you.

You wanted me to love you, but I wasn’t there yet. I wasn’t quite ready to be yours fully, wasn’t quite ready to commit to something that was, and always had been, bigger than myself. I wasn’t ready to jump all in; I was taking careful steps.

I am the guardian of my own heart, and I can choose the pace at which I fall into someone, the pace at which I let someone in.

But you held on so tight; it forced me to let go.

I felt suffocated in your grasp, dizzy with the lack of oxygen reaching my head. I wanted to make things work; I wanted our love to feel natural, effortless, growing and building with every passing moment.

But you wanted something I couldn’t give.

And so you lost me.

And I’m sorry that life has to be this way. I’m sorry that now we are two separated souls, floating in this atmosphere.

I hope you know that I could have loved you, but that it is, and always will be, a choice I must make for myself.

I hope you find healing. I hope you find grace. I hope you find what you’re looking for in the arms of someone else. Because I must follow the rhythm of my own heart, a heart that cannot and will not be told how to feel. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

Keep up with Marisa on Instagram, Twitter, Amazon and

More From Thought Catalog