Letting go courageously sometimes involves releasing what you love, have loved, will always love. You bravely say goodbye to your lovable dying pet, your dear friend as cancer wins, your sweet child, whose wonderous life and tragic death reminds you how painfully precious each day really is. You may have lost a beloved spouse who savored life up to the last breath. Sometimes life crashes over you with the loss of several people you love in rapid succession.

Some of you have said goodbye to an occupation you loved for years or a lifestyle that is no longer sustainable. Others navigate the empty nest as your children step into the world of adulting.

This can take you to your knees or your bed with unrelenting grief. On the other hand, the ocean wave of losses can also spark you to live every day with fierce, unstoppable passion, gratitude, tenacity, and resilience. You realize death and loss painfully teaches us how to live like it freaking matters.

If you live long enough, you’re likely to face the loss of someone you love or something you love.

Many of you realize you must part ways with belongings you still love because of downsizing to a much smaller living space, making a conscious choice to simplify or finally beginning to make peace with a dream that won’t ever be fulfilled. These items could include the exercise equipment that will not make it down the stairs of your now much smaller house, the couch that holds many memories of your children as wee ones, heirlooms, your favorite collection of figurines, books you read ten times or more, paintings you created, the gorgeous vase your best friend gifted you, and valuable hope chest treasures associated with dreams that cannot ever come true.

Sometimes there’s no preparation for the brave relinquishing of a beloved one or a belonging. If you’ve ever had something stolen, a fire, flood, or experienced the unexpected death of a loved one, you know what I’m describing.

Your heart must break wide open if you want to live like your life matters.

With heartbreak and complete surrender to uncertainty, to the unknown next moment, you say goodbye to who and what embodied love and support. This may create an existential challenge in your entire being. This brave letting go of beloved ones and treasured belongings reminds you of how much you’ve cultivated a capacity to love. Your heart must break wide open if you want to live like your life matters. These types of letting go involve a grief that only those who have experienced these losses can describe. Sometimes there are no words for the loss you’ve experienced. There are only gasps, tears, sobs, wails, a silent communion, or fierce internal fuming. Eventually, there may be a time for radical acceptance or maybe not ever. In the meantime, grieving remains a process that will have its way with your very essence.

Relinquishing the ways you once loved living involves a time period of disorientation. Sometimes there’s unraveling, uncoiling, or a peeling away until you find yourself at the very center of what you deeply value about being alive, what now matters most to you. The journey inside yourself becomes urgent and necessary for your ability to rise with resilience, to transcend, to live free. Facing fully the impermanence of all that is outside of you, you can begin to flourish as an awakened being, an untethered soul.

You learn to live in the flow of each day with heart open, always open. You learn to stand up with a strong, flexible back and take steps forward. You humbly, graciously, and with gratitude receive with soft hands all that comes your way while generously sharing who you are and what you now have to give without ever compromising your values, wisdom gained, or your lived experiences. There is no more holding back. You savor life through this internal faceted crystal.

No one was ever yours to have forever. No belonging was ever yours to hold forever. Love never left you forsaken because love lives strong inside of you and always will.


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Laura Staley
The founder of Cherish Your World, Laura helps people thrive in the physical spaces where they live and work. She educates people about the optimal arrangement of belongings for comfort, safety, and flow; de-cluttering for freedom; and planning transitions to new or updated spaces for optimal joy in life. Laura knows that the conditions of our homes and workplaces shape the quality of our lives. Trained and certified with the Western School of Feng Shui and seasoned by more than a decade working with a variety of clients, Laura uses her intuition and expertise to help her clients produce remarkable results in their lives. Her own awakening to the power of feng shui came on the heels of a flood and the realization that she could live with beloved belongings rather than unloved hand-me-down stuff. Her trifecta of serving people includes public speaking, writing, and compassionate coaching. Laura is a published author of the books Let Go Courageously and Live with Love: Transform Your Life with Feng Shui and Cherish Your World Gift Book: 100 Tips to Enhance Your Home and Your Life. Prior to creating her company, Laura worked as a full-time parent and an assistant professor at Ohio Wesleyan University. She earned a Ph.D. in political science from The Ohio State University. Her joys in life include loving her dog, laughing with great friends, dancing, reading, meditating, running, being in nature, and listening to music she loves. You are welcome to connect with Laura below.
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Kat O'Keefe-Kanavos
Member

Laura what a beautifully written article that says so much about how Love Never Dies. Although we relinquish our prize posessions and say good bye to loved ones everything is but a memory or dream away because the love we hold for it all never dies.

Laura Staley
Guest
Laura Staley

Oh, thank you for your kind words, Kat O’Keefe-Kanavos and for your succinct, beautiful contribution to the discussion. You are exactly right. Love does not ever die, not ever. One day we will leave in the middle of the movie-hopefully what we’ve left behind will be a bunch of wonderful love/laughter filled memories-“tiny hand prints” on some people’s hearts. :) I really appreciate you taking the time to read the article and to comment. Very Grateful.