I remember the first day I knew he wasn’t the one for me.
I was sitting cross legged in his living room, trying to calm him down as he swirled around me going through the checklist of things he still needed to make sure he packed. He was moving five states west so we could be together. The moment we’d been waiting for since we met. The moment we’d laughed over and cried over and fought over. We were finally going to be together.
As he handed me a pair of jeans to place inside the blue tub in front of me, a thought passed through my head like a quick blinding light. “He isn’t the one for you,” it said. I tried to shake it out of my head as quickly as it came but its harshness was suffocating, like those six words were strangling me.
Of course he is, I thought. How silly a thing to think. This is my guy. This is my future. I love him. He’s mine. I’m his. Forever.
But the clarity of the thought and the trueness of the words imprinted into me. Like when you drop food on your shirt and quickly treat it with water. After it dries it’s mostly gone but the stain is still there, however faint. This stain started faint too but then it grew larger as I began seeing more cracks. The lack of freedom I had was one of the biggest. I didn’t have the space I needed to explore the world around me in the way I needed to and that restriction was stifling. So as I began to see more cracks I began to hear the voice more often.
He isn’t the one for you. The stain grew to the size of a quarter.
He isn’t the one for you. It grew to the size of a golf ball.
He isn’t the one for you. It started trailing down toward the hem and over to the sleeve.
My shirt was starting to become more stained than clean and I hated myself for it. It felt like my mind was betraying me, evil and manipulative, planting seeds in my heart when I wasn’t looking. I felt myself grow distant to his touch, unreasonably annoyed by his words. I wanted him. I wanted it to work. But as the days grew longer, and my heart grew more distant, soon enough the words “He isn’t the one for you” didn’t feel foreign anymore. They felt like truth.
So I cried. I cried and got angry and threw things because I didn’t understand why I couldn’t just let myself be happy. Why couldn’t I want him the way he wanted me? Why couldn’t I love him the way he loved me? Why couldn’t I be sure the way he was sure about me?
Because even if it was right for him, it was wrong for me. Even though staying would have been easier, it would have been a lie. Because my intuition was steering me toward a greater future, even if it wasn’t one I could identify at the time.
Letting him go was one of the hardest things I’d had to do. But it wasn’t just letting him go; it was letting it all go. The future we had planned. The relationships we’d built with one another’s families. The security of the love I knew I’d wake up to every morning. The dreams we’d shared.
Saying goodbye to him was a visual representation of letting go of people’s expectations about what my life should be (including my own). And it felt like everything around me was falling apart as if I didn’t know who to be without him. Correction- I didn’t know who to LET myself be without him.
But I knew, deep down, I had to let go to find myself.
There were so many other things I wanted to change in my life, but those things went against what was considered the status quo in my community. So as soon as I let this relationship go, I knew I was going to have to rebuild my foundation. Rebuild it based on who I was, not who I was supposed to be. And that was both daunting and inexplicably freeing.
Letting go is hard; but sacrificing a life in line with your inner self to avoid a chapter of pain is suicide. Sometimes, we are so scared to hurt that we run from making the right choices. We equate right with happy and wrong with sad, but that mistake comes at a high cost; the cost of our freedom.
Which is why it is vital that we take the time to know ourselves- our beliefs, our goals, our dreams, our ideals, and our values. They are the crux of living a life in line with our inner selves, with the person we are stripped down, without anyone or anything telling us what we should be. Once we begin to really dig deep and focus on who we are without all the weight, we can begin to see who is adding to our lives and who is subtracting.
Sometimes the waters are muddled but letting go isn’t just a lesson to be learned about romantic relationships. It can easily apply to friendships, and even family relationships.
You deserve to be free from it all- so gather your strength and let yourself be. Listen to those still, small voices of your intuition; they are your beacon of light in the storm.
Is there something you need to let go of but are too scared to admit? Have you been ignoring the dull persistent voice of your intuition leading you in a different direction than the path you’re on? Is there something tying you down? Is there something keeping you from living your truth?
If there is, let it go. Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and let it go. I can’t promise it won’t hurt, but I can promise the freedom it brings you will be worth it.