The heart rips less when you give to it.
When we hold on to what we must let go of, clutching it in our grasp until our hands bleed against the pressure, we know pain. When we lean in and let go, we experience ease. Maybe this is what is meant on pg. 417 in the big book (excerpt below)?
I held on so tight to my idea that we were supposed to be together, after all we had fit together so well. My heart was ripped out. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe for a second that any amount of acceptance work is going to change the fact that when someone breaks your heart – well, it’s broken. It hurts like hell. Every breath felt like it was suffocating me, there are moments that still feel this way. It takes time to come back from pain like this.
There is also this twisted desire to hold on to that pain like a precious gem. As if holding on to that pain was all that was left of my time with her. I realized that part of me was afraid of healing, of letting go of all that pain because I was afraid not hurting so much meant it wasn’t real. Terrified to not feel how deeply in love and connected we were, I kept holding on.
Now I feel a loosening in my heart in those moments when it’s every beat isn’t sounding her name. It’s more than just healing when I hear her song playing and I smile, remembering her sitting in our friend’s living room writing it. It’s beyond “getting over” her, because I don’t think I will ever “get over” her, whatever that means. It’s leaning in and giving her away.
I look at their pictures and see their happiness and I cannot help but smile and feel good for them. Does it hurt? Of course, but when I lean in and give her to this other woman whole heartedly then I feel ease.
Why would I keep someone I love from experiencing love? I wouldn’t. So I lean in and give. It’s not free though. I am giving with expectations. I give expecting this other woman to take care of her. I am giving knowing this doesn’t mean the pain goes away or the love stops. I am giving knowing there will be times when the small wounded parts of me protest and kick and scream and grab at the pain again.
It’s probably easier because I feel genuine love and care for the woman she is with. This other woman is a light in the world, she radiates goodness, she loves much like I do – she leans all the way in.
“Leaning into love” has taught me so much. I lean into love as a force all its own and I am able to see it between them and give. The gift of love is giving it away.
Excerpt from the Big Book:
“Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation—some fact of my life—unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.”