I’m not referring to that old “poor grammar” Apple slogan. Did you ever go into a loop over someone? When you can’t get her out of your head? And even if she made it clear she doesn’t want to be with you, you still keep spinning on it? I found myself stuck in the loop last year. I had been single for a while, met someone I really liked, had a wild and amazing connection for a few months and then poof! She was gone.
While I circled the loop and I kept thinking how stupid and wrong I was to continue to want her, it occurred to me that I could think about it differently. I realized that I could use “the loop” as information about me, a way to stop repeating the pattern. Recognizing the loop could be a reminder to switch my brain to the more interesting part of the story. Not being fully present was becoming destructive to me. What questions was I avoiding taking a closer look at? What did I want in a relationship? Was I actually ready to be intimate with someone—really ready to let someone in close and truly know me? It felt easier to sidestep these questions by allowing my looping thoughts to spin me round and round. When I was willing to look into the questions I hadn’t wanted to face, the looping stopped.
It seems like letting go of loved ones is never completely over. It will come up. A song, a smell, an old photo — its just happens. I have to let go again and again.
A few years ago my Dad died, and I recently found an old video on my phone. There I was — joking with my Dad, being silly and cracking up. It brought up a wave of sadness out of the blue. Not fun. Making friends with grief seems ridiculous, but necessary. If I refuse to feel it — something strange happens. I get all foggy in my thinking and I’m not present. I might snap at a stranger or get mad at my cat. I might even take a whirl on the loop.
I can’t live like that anymore. In order to stay present I have to take the joy and the pain as it comes. Yes, I’ve made a decision to think differently. Life is good.