Many of us struggle to let go of relationships, or parts of them, that no longer serve us. We hang onto all kinds of threads in order to get the attention from them that once validated our worthiness or desire to feel wanted, or anything of that flavor.
One time a past lover of mine and I were both at an out-of-town event together, and we met up for a bit in the ‘living room’ of my hotel room. We were done being lovers and our friendship felt really good, but there was still a part of me that wanted him to be attracted to me; that wanted to be validated in that way. It was sweet to see him and we had a great conversation, and after he’d left and we’d said goodbye’s, I turned and saw something on the floor. I walked over and picked it up, and realized it was his socks.
I stood there, in the middle of the living room, holding his socks in my hand and looking at them. I could feel this intense, immediate and visceral impulse to run out after him, saying “your socks, your socks!”
Now, this would have been a fine thing to do, but I could also feel the part of me that wanted to do it in order to extend our connection, to hug one more time, and so that it wouldn’t quite be goodbye yet. It was subtle, but I could feel it, having spent the last several months really paying attention to witnessing this part of myself, without acting on it.
I paused, standing there, in the middle of the living room, looking at his stocks. Then I thought, “Oh, I don’t need to run out after him, I’ll just bring them to him next time I’ll see him.”
Again, not a big deal, but as I had that thought, my witness mind showed me so clearly: “Really Kendra? You’re going to pack his socks in your suitcase, take them home with you, wash them, remember to bring them next time you see him, and then give him his socks?”
There’s nothing objectively wrong with this, but I laughed at how I thought that might be the better, or more letting-go, response than running down the hall and giving them to him.
Still standing there in the middle of the room, looking at his socks, having these impulses and thoughts, and simultaneously witnessing them – my next thought was, “Or you could just put them in the trash.”
It wasn’t some dramatic attempt to push him away, it was this sense that I really could just put them down; that I could just put this whole thing down.
That I could drop all the little attempts I’d tried to keep the thread of our lovership alive.
I could just let it go.
There was part of me that felt sad about that. I felt the loss of no longer having an excuse to feel connected, but I could also feel this giant release. So I walked over to the trash, put them in, and walked away. And I felt free.
Then an extra beautiful thing happened.
The following day I had an opportunity to talk to him and again, and I once again felt the impulse to tell him what had happened with his socks. Once again I could see & feel how that was just the desire to create that energetic thread all over again. “Let’s connect about how I wanted to stay connected to you, but I dropped it. See? See how over you I am? Let’s connect about that.”
And then I had this clear thought go through my mind, “Don’t pick up the damn socks Kendra!”
I saw how this moment of ‘picking up the thread’ and sharing about the socks was exactly the same as the actual socks the night before. So I didn’t. I let what was genuinely there be true—that I had a lot of love for him—and I let go of the place that wanted to be more connected than we actually were.
I felt so very free in that moment.
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