Friday, September 12, 2008

The Hardest Part is Letting Go

2 years, 3 months, 4 days, and 16 hours—yes, I am that precise—is how long it took me to let go of him. The him (not worth capitalizing), I refer to, is my ex-boyfriend. The man that consumed me for four years, the man I once proclaimed to many, as the love of my life or the cliché terminology of "my heart." Was it the smell of his cologne? The fullness of his lips? Or maybe, the swagger he evoked as he perused the "street life?" None of the above. In fact, I realize, today, that I was, then, in love with the idea of being love. Scratch that, I was in love, with the idea of being in love with him.

As I reflect on that relationship, I ponder on what kept me imprisoned by his love for so long. Even after our relationship ended, I spent the subsequent two years comparing the guys I would date to him. It wasn't like him had his game right in all aspects of his life. Our relationship started off as the typical teenage love affair—you know, the young high school student, falling for this weed-smoking, thugged-out, cutie who promised you the world. It took me about 3 years to realize that the "world" he promised me was full of angst, grief, tears, and a cultivating fear—the fear, I would later realize, to let him go.

The summer before the start of my freshman year at the University was when we broke up. The break up wasn’t one of those overdramatic, movie-type, ones. No. It was rather subtle. It came after I realized that the bad began to outweigh the good in our relationship. After explaining to him that the “street life” wasn’t what I was going for nor the desire to be ride or die but ride and live, I made the decision to “let” him go. The funny thing is, he didn’t beg for me to stay, he simply said “ok.” I didn’t even have the energy to ask “that’s all?” I hung up the phone, and the rest is history. SIKE!

Nothing was history. The subsequent months were spent on an emotional rollercoaster that would drive me to strongly dislike him and distrust any man that tried to break down the walls. Yes, the walls that I built around my heart, shielding it from the pain, hurt, harm, fakeness, illegitimacy, and adjectives alike. The truth of the matter is, the wall I built to shield my heart were to protect the love I still had for him. See, what people don’t understand sometimes is when you love someone for a long time (4 years to be exact), it takes more than a month, a week, or a year to undo the emotions and the love you have cultivated for the individual. A part of me wanted to forgive, forget, make excuses for all the good times we once had. So I disliked him for imprisoning my heart when the liberty of love was knocking at my door.

It took a freakin’ Tyler Perry Movie to help me understand why I NEEDED to let him go! Can you believe that? It was in the Diary of a Mad Black Woman, and I can’t remember who said it, but I remember the character asserting that “Sometimes God is trying destroy the very same relationship we desire to hold on to,” because we serve a jealous God. I finally understood why getting rid of him was necessary. He needed to be let go because he was impinging on both my spiritual and academic growth. It took me two years and change to see that—thank you Tyler Perry!

The good thing is, when you let go, you really let go! I can talk to him about his new girlfriend and not feel some kind a way about him. As a matter fact, when I talk to him now, I smile, and thank God for the learning experience I gained from that relationship and smile even brighter when I think about the man God has destined and designed for me to live, love, and create life with for eternity.

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