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Loving & The Art of Letting GoArticle by: Veronica Baesso

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“Take the weakest thing in you

And then beat the bastards with it

And always hold on when you get love,

So you can let go when you give it.. give it.. give it.”

– Hold On When You Get Love And Let Go When You Give It – Stars

Often when we think of those we love our minds fill with images of holding them close to us. The psychic impressions of a kiss from your lover as they walk out of the door, the hug from a good friend upon crossing paths, the reassuring touch on the shoulder from a parent. Each of these, and countless others, project the warmth that comes from the tactile relationship we have with love and our loved ones. There is no denying the power of closeness, but it can also have the unintended effect of linking how much we can hold on to how much we love. Love often requires us to do what is most uncomfortable which is letting go. Letting go makes us think of falling. Letting go can make us think of loss or of losing. Letting go feels powerless. But letting go can actually be one of the most powerful things we can do. When we let go of our need to control, our need to understand, our need to own, then we can love freely. In essence, we have to let go of fear and let go of our false expectations of what it means to love. Love can be scary to us. What if the object of our affections does not reciprocate in the manner we think they should be? What if the one we love does something to hurt us exposing our vulnerability? The need to control, to hold on, is deeply rooted in these fears. As long as these fears exist we cannot love wholly and honestly. And ultimately this is where the work of love comes in. And make no mistake, anything worth happening is worth working for. Letting go might feel chaotic; as if you’re leaving things to chance. Perhaps on some level, there is an element of chance. That’s life so to speak. But choosing to let go is actually an active choice and requires that you give so much of yourself in order to build something bigger with others. Love in its more romantic expressions is idealized and always perfect. Maybe that’s the problem? Do we want idealized love, with all of its clean lines and perfect prose? Or do we want a more grounded love, with all of its rough edges and broken sentences? Grounded love means you give, as willingly and as unselfishly as you humanly can. You hold on to that precious gift of love and use it to sustain your spirit in moments of trial. In turn, you give love, and hope it nourishes others in the same fashion. This back and forth, this ebb and flow is exhilarating, scary, beautiful, unpredictable, completely logical and completely nonsensical all at once. That’s love. And it’s life. So let go…

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