“No llores porque ya se terminó… sonríe, porque sucedió.”
– Gabriel García Márquez
Moments of separation between people, be it the death of a loved one, a close friend moving away physically or due to new life choices they’re making as well as the breaking up of a romantic relationship can have a have a powerful impact on the way in which we view ourselves and the world. The context of the events leading up to such circumstances will further inform how we treat the event. An unforeseen death may leave one feeling that they live in an arbitrary, meaningless world; a close friend moving away due to new life choices or opportunities may make one feel slighted or that there is now something missing in a milieu once seen as abundant, while a break-up can lead one to feel rejection or resentment.
The quote by Gabriel García Márquez that opens this blog is not meant to indicate that we should not feel these losses by suppressing our emotions. Doing so would only hold and perpetuate anger, despair, doubt, resentment, jealousy or feelings of loss within and so keep us from being present. However much we feel this, we must also not fixate upon such feelings.
It is a product of delusional thinking that any relationship between people is permanent. Each individual has their own needs and desires that can and oftentimes do come into conflict with others. No matter the lofty expressions of commitment or the amount of time spent together building a relationship, such relationships, just like our mortal life spans, will always come to an end on a long enough timeline.
At these moments of separation we are presented with two choices. We can continue to hold on to those feelings based on fear that evoke such internal commands such as “Never trust anyone again”, “Don’t get close to anyone”, or “The actions in my life have no meaning” or we can see the experience as one from which we can instead grow through forgiveness of ourselves and others.
For instance, an unexpected death can inspire us to apply more energy and vitality to the areas of our life with which we feel passion, for we too are mortal and can leave this coil without a moment’s notice. The moving away of a confidant or comrade can be recognized as prods to meet someone or several new people that can perhaps expand your personality in new ways that may bring you even greater joy and happiness. Separation with a romantic companion can be a point at which to examine aspects of the self that had informed such a decision so that future romances need not repeat similar travails.
We all have incredible personal strength and power that at times we seem afraid to exercise. Once we recognize these truths of the human condition, we no longer need to hold onto those lower emotional sentiments that inform our personality to our detriment. While it may be hard to recall at the moment, we must always view these instances as opportunities from which to learn and grow. To not do so we condemn ourselves to unlearn our truly resilient nature free that is free of only the fetters that we would place upon ourselves.