I Won't Let Go - Why We Keep Hanging On

What lies behind your decision to keep holding on to someone even when it is obvious that something has ended with the finality of a loud thud? We tell ourselves that we can't let go, can't give up and never will. Can't really means won't in this instance. This choice is comparable to holding on to a live wire; your grip is the connection to the pain, yet you won't let go.

Letting go of anything that has really mattered to us requires a grieving process; something in our life is lost, gone... it has died. Acceptance becomes the friend you really need in this situation. Fear lies behind the refusal to allow acceptance to enter and relieve the pain.

The fear is that someone else will never love you as much and that somehow you are flawed and unlovable through the loss, or that things can never be as good as you imagined they were. We are all the masters of illusion, so much so that we enter the world of delusion when we elect to love the pain more than the cure. It becomes comfortable, a strange kind of friend we can count on.

When others ask why you won't let go, you may feel like you are being strong, a survivor; you can take the pain, but you'll never let go. How did you get so far away from reality, refusing to accept the change and alter your course to a different destination? Why, because somehow the fear of starting over is greater than your faith in you. It is easy to get comfortable with denial and delusion when things abruptly change, especially when you believed they never could.

This happens more frequently when our identity becomes so enmeshed with another person that we lose our own sense of self-worth. We are a part of someone, a unit; one that we imagine is less if the parts are separated. This is the downside to embracing something so tightly that you failed to leave room for personal identity and growth. Acceptance means understanding that someone else has changed, not that you are less of anything but simply, they made a different choice.

A strange thing that happens when you allow acceptance to enter this situation is the subtle bubbling up of excitement that accompanies starting over, unencumbered by all the things that led to the end. You give yourself permission to forget the words or actions and disappointment. 

As you do this, the part of you that has been submerged in the pain beings to surface, it is you meeting you, again. It soon turns to the excitement of making choices on your own, of seeking things that were unacceptable to a partner who had a different pursuit of happiness.

You become free again; free to follow your dreams. You can tear off the self-imposed bandages that have bound you to a life lived on yesterday's terms... If only you will let go.


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