For over 72 days, Quin and I have been feeling an aggressive, assaulting, and also somehow breathtakingly beautiful pull between, “loving and letting go.” Long ago I had sensed that these words (emotions?) were connected in a profound way, and about a week ago I awoke suddenly with the word, “pendulum” on my mind. As I often do, I got up before the sun did, and sat with my friend Google. I allowed my intuition to guide me to what appeared in front of me.
I started with the word “pendulum,” then went to “Galileo,” then, “the ebb and flow of the sea,” then, “tides,” then, “waves,” then, “pendulum” again, then, “chiaroscuro.” Then, remembering that my parents were soon bringing us a grandfather clock handmade by Mr. Anderson in my home town, I read about “grandfather clocks.” I paused to acknowledge the irony that Quin and I had purchased a stunning clock the last time we visited my family in WV. Although I had never thought of myself as, “a grandfather clock kinda gal,” I fell in love with it when I first saw it several months ago. My parents were kind enough, as always, to offer to drive it to VA for us in the back of their truck. (My parents, and the clock, arrived safely yesterday). Little did I know at the time of that decision to buy a grandfather clock, that I would be sitting alone under a dim light reading about “pendulums,” “waves,” “light and dark,” and “Galileo,” at the end of September without my babies still tucked warm, growing, and healthy inside my womb. Little did I know how many “ebbs and flows,” “light and dark,” “waves,” and “deep gravitational pulls” to the far extremes of human emotions would be coming. Little did I know how much meaning that grandfather clock would come to have, and how much that swinging pendulum would come to represent in my life.
That same afternoon, I found an old journal full of my scribed poetry from another challenging time in my life…2002. I randomly opened the journal and the below poem stared up at me. Having it “show up” in my life again at a time of far reaching emotions, and on the same day as the “pendulum” came to me, deeply reminds me that during the difficult moments in life, to swing back to the side of the pendulum where I trust in God and a divine plan that is more inevitable and more awesome than I know on this side of time.
“Is it possible to love and let go at the exact same time?
Is it possible to be moved by another soul in time?
Is it possible to live truly in the moment you are in?
Is it possible to love, let go, and love deeply again?
Is it possible to be vulnerable and to give your heart away?
Is it possible to embrace and also abandon what the people around you say?
Is it possible to know peace in the midst of the unknown?
Is it possible to have joy in the love that you have shown?”
Now, 8 years later in 2010, I am again learning to “love and let go” in a brand new way. Perhaps the challenge of getting pregnant, the two lives that were then created, then the life, loss, and life of an infant twin is the ultimate first-hand experience of what Galileo knew. There is an inevitable “light and dark” in life, and this is what life’s ebb and flow is about. Anytime we love….truly love….we know we will someday have to let go. Often much sooner than we want to. Often we do not understand. Sometimes, the way we can show our love the most is by letting someone go and loving more purely those we still have. Sometimes we get a shocking reminder of what’s important in life and that each moment we love another earthly being is not a given, yet never gone.
As a parent, a spouse, and a friend, we have to be willing to continually, “let go….grieve…experience fear…be hurt…and love again.” Each time we love, let go, love, and let go, we are reminded of the gift and depth of our love. We are reminded that we must see darkness in order to actually know where the stars are.
Each time I take conscious moments to meditate on our pendulum’s graceful movement, I will be in gratitude for my girls and the inevitability of the pain and the beauty of all life… the daughter that we painfully said goodbye to and will celebrate tomorrow, and the one who joyfully remains on earth, yet is still away from the warmth of our hugs and home. I will be reminded that only through letting go are we most able to know what it means to hold on. That sometimes it requires letting go of a “love of our life” for one or both of us to reach our full potential. That sometimes it takes letting go of what WE want, and surrendering to what the Universe wants, for our dreams to finally be realized. That by being forced into feeling the depths of emotions, we are given the magnificent gift of knowing the depth of emotions. That by letting go, we are often loving the most deeply.
I think the truest way to gauge how authentic your love is and/or was for another is that your love isn’t contingent on being loved back, or having things go your way. It isn’t about your proximity to them, staying married, having them not leave home at 18, or your ability to physically touch them or talk to them each day. How do you feel about them and treat them when they are no longer yours? What energy do you send to them and the world? Are you bitter about those that now get to hold them or spend time with them? Do you have character, integrity, perspective, and kindness in their absence? Are you at peace with them making their own choices or being different than you originally envisioned? Have you felt the depth and pure raw emotions of loving them and letting them go?
True love in its purest form, knows that it’s not about the one you look at in the mirror each day, but sometimes about those we must say goodbye to, and sometimes about those we must move forward with. I now believe that true love resides in the wisdom of the pendulum.