Monday, July 18, 2016

The Flames Behind The Woods and Letting Go

Flames and Forests
Have you ever noticed how hard it is for people to let go of the past? When we are still having feelings for someone we used to be in a relationship, it is said that person carried a torch or a flame for someone. The light of their love or what they thought was love is still burning. It is not just past loves we hang on to. We hang on to past hurts and traumas and people we used to be close to and miss and eras like maybe school or a job we had or a club or church we were part of. Fond remembrances, pain, or a mixture. All torches with flames still burning.

When you see these people with flames or holding on to any torch of any manner they seem lost in the woods. Part of that is because the light they cling to is illuminating where they have been and not where they are going. 

Just as an example. I remember one time I had dated someone and we had broken up and I had tried to date again when I still had feelings for the person I had broken up with. It was unfair to me and unfair to the new person. I was never present with her because I was always looking backwards. When that ended and I realized why and what I had done I now had two torches in my hands full of woulda coulda and shoulda and no room to carry anything else while lost in the woods. I had to make a choice and learn to let go. 

Letting go is not forgetting the pain we have in life. Letting go is not forgetting the love we have shared with others. Letting go means freeing yourself of the burden so we can walk forward. The flames of remembrance can still burn, but they can serve as torches showing us where we have been and come from as we move forward in life. Letting go does not happen in an instant either. We may have to pause and stop traveling and process to carefully place the torch on the path and honor it.

The love you may have shard with someone? That happened and it is okay to remember it fondly. Just do not let it get in the way when that woman in stilettos or man with the wingtips get in the way of forward. Do not let that time you shared stop you from being the best you if being single is what is best. 

The trauma you experienced? That happened and PTSD is very real. Your parent(s) did that horrible thing. That man did something unspeakable and hurt you. These things happened and you can never forget, but you can live forward. 

I suppose what I am trying to say is this. Our memories and our torches can actually help us navigate the woods. They can show us where we have been. The things we have overcome, the joys we have shared and so much more. The torch can still light and give us something to reflect on. Of course I wish I had been fully present with the new smile that I saw. Of course I wish I had not let the abuse in my past ruin that day or that moment. I can now look at the torch in the distance and say...yes....I have been there, now where am I going?

If you have remembrances, be they good or bad, that is all right. They are part of the most brilliant light of all that ignites and lights the flames. You.

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