“Even if it seems like it’s taking too long for what we want to arrive, it’s better to stay with the ache than abandon the desire.” ~Danielle Laporte
Last week when I was in the front row of a yoga class, I moved my hips up and back into downward dog, and through my legs saw the top of my ex boyfriend’s head. I hadn’t seen in him months, and I wasn’t really interested in having small talk with the man who’d crushed my heart.
He approached me, eyes shining, happy to see me. I, on the other hand, drove home, walked into my apartment, and sat on the bed for a good cry.
I cried because when I saw him all of the love came rushing back in and because he didn’t seem to have a clue how much he’d hurt me. So I found myself considering reaching out again.
Should I write him an email so he knows how much he’s hurt me? Should I get coffee with him and fill him in on everything he seems to not understand?
My mind was moving into “fix it” mode, my habitual state. It’s a controlling tendency, something that has kept me in back and forth relationships for most of my life.
You see, I have had many opportunities to learn the lesson of letting go throughout my life. People I loved have died, friends have vanished, and men have come and gone. Every single time I have had the opportunity to let go I have fought it.
We fight letting go because we’re afraid. We’re afraid of what’s on the other side.
First we’re afraid of the pain we’re going to have to face when we let go, and then we’re afraid that things won’t be okay. We’ll never find love again. No one will ever be as good. The pain will never stop. we’re unlovable.
When I was going through the devastating first weeks of my breakup, I kept getting the same message over and over again: You are being cleared out for something amazing to come in. Deep inside me, buried quietly under the overwhelming heartache, was my soul nodding yes.
I have actively faced my pain over and over again these past few months.
I know that to heal we have to be with our feelings so we can release them. I cried more than I ever have in my life. I went deeper into my darkness than ever before. I saw the unworthiness I felt and all the fears. I was braver than I’ve ever been.
Because of that bravery I’m connected to my soul in a completely new way. Instead of just hearing it, I am fully abiding by it.
My soul is telling me clearly that it’s time for me to get what I deserve in life, and the only thing that has been holding me back is myself.
I have been making choices that aren’t serving my highest self. I have dated men who were not capable of holding space for a strong, passionate, big-hearted woman. It has felt easier to fall in love and to keep giving chances than it has been to say no and hold out for a partner who is right for me.
I desire a relationship with a man who I can deeply connect with. Who gets me. Who can open his heart as big as I can open mine. Who won’t run away because he’s afraid. Who can hold space for me to live in my power just as I will hold space for him.
I desire an incredible partnership that is mutual and trusting and loving and joyful and honest.
And I deserve it. I am finally waking up to the fact that I deserve that kind of love.
I am finally waking up to the fact that if I want to have that kind of love, then I need to do things differently. I have to listen to my soul and choose to give myself what I deserve. I have to allow that man into my life.
So the aching, it’s worth it. It’s worth it for a little bit longer while the right person finds his way to me. It’s worth it so I can learn more about myself.
There are times when it’s your turn to take responsibility, to be the one to reach out and make amends. But if you’re on the Can’t Let Go Bandwagon like me, you probably need to delete that email, put the phone down, and bring the focus back to you.
When we find ourselves reaching out for someone else it’s usually a sign that we need to pause, take a deep breath, and ask ourselves what it is we deserve. Then we have to let go of the need to ask someone else to give that to us and give it to ourselves instead. That’s self-love. That’s self-respect.
We stay in unhealthy relationships because we don’t feel like we deserve anything more. We refuse to let go of exes because we don’t trust that someone better suited for us will come along. We reach outside of ourselves to feel better because we’re terrified of facing the pain.
The truth is that you can actually have what you truly desire. You can have the great love and whatever else your soul is yearning for. It just might show up in a different package than your mind is willing to accept right now.
When we have deep faith that everything is exactly as it needs to be, that the universe is supporting us, and that good things are coming, then we’re capable of letting go. We trust that it’s all going to work out.
If you want something greater for your life, pay attention to where you’re reaching outside of yourself. In those moments choose to pause and breathe. Ask yourself what you’re avoiding. Feel the pain you’re running from. Cry if you need to.
Embrace the pain and the fear and the hurt and love yourself through it all. That is your job, no one else’s.
Do this over and over again until you find yourself more and more free. Trust that everything is exactly as it needs to be. Be patient. Stay with the ache a little bit longer. Something big is coming your way.
About Michelle D'Avella
Michelle D’Avella is an author, Breathwork teacher and mentor. Her memoir, The Bright Side of a Broken Heart is available here. Download her FREE guide to heal your heart and follow her on Instagram for daily doses of inspiration.