Learning to love with boundaries has been one of the hardest lessons of my life.
Wanting to express love and care to someone you simply can’t have in your world anymore because it’s too taxing and harmful to your heart. Wanting them to know that you celebrate their wins with them from afar, knowing they probably don’t think you care at all anymore. Wanting to share those little moments of synchronistic joy and having to smile and laugh all to yourself.
I’m good at letting go of what no longer serves me.
But that doesn’t mean it’s easy for me.
Quite the opposite, actually.
Several years ago, I learned how to open my heart as wide as it can go, and in doing so, I realized that I love deeply. It’s part of who I am and my work in this world. I love people so damn much. Add to that the fact that I can’t hold a grudge to save my life, and it makes it challenging for me to stop funneling my love toward certain people.
But I’ve also learned that not reaching out is an act of love for myself.
There are certain people I’ll simply never stop loving, no matter how hurtful and careless with my heart they were. It’s just never going to happen.
So I’ve had to practice the art of sending out love and blessings without a single word to them. I’ve had to learn to trust that it makes its way in some form or another. And I’ve had to learn to make peace with the fact that we may never speak again in this lifetime. Even though that’s heartbreakingly hard, it’s for the best.
Sometimes I write them letters.
I cry as I pour my heart out and then hit delete.
Because even though I know what a gift it might be for them to receive a note of appreciation and unconditional love, I also know that it comes at a cost for me.
And for the first time in my life, that’s not something I’m willing to do.
I’m here, and I matter too, and some people cause too much pain, hurt, and confusion to my big ol’ heart. Some people leave my nervous system massively tangled and my spirit wildly unsettled and spun out.
So I write them letters and “Care Bear stare” all the good juju their way.
Learning to love with boundaries has been one of the hardest lessons of my life, and it’s also been the most self-respecting and self-honoring practices.