This song by Katy Perry – By the Grace of God – is saving my ass right now.
(The song will open in another window).
There is nothing more joyful and more painful than love.
When we’re in it, it supports us and makes us feel invincible. When it turns its back on us, it has the power to devastate and make us question everything about ourselves. Where we used to feel strength we feel weakness. When we stand in the wake of a love lost or a dream crushed, where do we turn?
I’m not terribly insightful today, but I will share with you my favorite line from that song.
“I picked myself back up, I put one foot in front of the other, looked in the mirror, and decided to stay. Wasn’t gonna let love take me out that way.”
When I heard that, it hit me: was love, the thing that made my heart sing over the past few years, the very thing that was cutting me down now? Can love be responsible for my current anguish? There’s something wrong with that.
Because I don’t think love can destroy. Love can only create. I was blaming love for the pain I’m feeling, but love can’t hurt, it’s just not in its nature. It’s withdrawal and obsession that are giving me pain… not love.
Also, because love is never destroyed, it just changes, all we need to do to feel better is focus back on love. By sending the object of my obsession love and compassion, I’m much more free to focus back on me. Marianne Williamson says to recite this mantra “I release you <name> with love, to be where you want to be and to do what you want to do.” Doing so doesn’t come without tears, but those tears sting less and less each time I say it.
Every day we have a choice. When I choose to indulge my obsessions, I feel misery. When I choose to send love (you know, the kind that is all “if you love something let it go”) out into the world, I feel free. It still hurts, but at least it’s the kind of hurt that thinly conceals hope.
I’m not going to let love take me out.