Watercolour, Psyche's Ocean, December 2012, Roslyn Ross.
Sometimes we are not right in people's lives and stepping back is a gift to them and Self - both theirs and ours.
At such times what matters is knowing you have done all that you could to work on the relationship and when soul paths take different directions there are no regrets about what you might 'have said' or might 'have done,' because you have said and have done all that you could. This does not mean there is no grieving for as long as we love, we feel, but there are no doubts that we could have done more than we have done.
Real love contains within in it the power and grace to set free those you care about deeply, even when, with every fibre of your heart and being, you would wish it to be other.
It is always so very much harder to do this when family is involved than when it is a friend but perhaps there, the depth of love is greater and so too is the power to do what needs to be done.
And sometimes, these parting of the ways, in truth, have nothing to do with you. Relationships are not always equal and responsibility is not always shared although it is better to approach in the beginning, as if this were so.
People change. People become wounded, or their inherent damaged-ness is re-awakened by life and what you are to them or appear to them or seem to them, just adds to the hurt. It doesn't have to be your fault. In truth it does not have to be anyone's fault - they cannot help what has happened to them and they are struggling to heal and learn in their own way. The fact that you now get in the way of that healing and learning is just the way of it; a turn in the trap of life.
Hanging in there in any active sense with someone you love is required - but only for a time. If the path does not show hope of resolution and the hurts you feel and no doubt the hurts they feel, continue to grow, then it is time to step back.
It is not that the door is closed but rather that you set them free to continue their journey alone, hoping that in time, their path will lead back to where you are. It may or it may not and it is the fear of the latter which often keeps us holding on beyond the place where pain is bearable.
All of life is a journey and such journeys are made in various forms from the physical and literal to the emotional and psychological and on to the spiritual. We stand in airports waving goodbye to those we love, crying often, as they head to distant and often unknown lands, sometimes for a brief visit and sometimes for a long one and sometimes for the rest of their lives or ours.
Journeys of the soul and psyche are like that. Some things we need to do alone. Just as many cannot die while those they love remain in the room, so too perhaps, many cannot die to Self in order to be reborn, while those they love and who love them in return remain in the 'room' and so unconsciously begins, a process of rejection.
I liken this to the adolescent need to learn the shape of her or his Self; to step out from the shadow of the parent's tree in order to stand strong, independent, and to gain enough 'sun' or light of consciousness, to send down sure, stable, certain and individual roots. The child cannot reject the parent - the psyche will never allow it a- and so the child challenges the parent, torments, hurts, attacks the parent, so the parent will push the child away. In time the child as adult can and should return, but the original breaking away must be done by the parent for it is the parent who has the power; the parent who will always have the greater power. The parent, or anyone in your life who has been 'given' that role by you, consciously or unconsciously, will always have a greater capacity to hurt the 'child.' It is the nature of the dynamic.
And so it is with relationships. When we love it is because we are drawn together as Souls - whether familial or friend. And when someone we love, demonstrates, for it is often demonstration in the beginning in subtle ways, by a word, or lack of word, by an expression or lack of expression, by an act or lack of an act, that somehow they are not comfortable with us in their world or they are not comfortable in our world, then so is beginning the process of disconnection which the Soul and Psyche require for their journey of becoming.
The first 'signs' are akin to those of someone who begins to talk about taking a journey far away. This may not be a modern journey where technology allows communication to continue wherever they might travel, but more like a journey of old where a loved one sailed away to distant lands and might never be seen or heard from again - or where occasional 'words' came back from them or others, that they were still 'alive' and had thought of you.
It is when the 'ticket' for this journey is purchased that the one who is 'left behind' must accept the inevitable and take a deep, grieving breath to wish them good voyage, safe travel and farewell. The 'ticket' for such a journey usually comes in the shape of anger or even rage. They fear we will hold them back; they fear our power over them and just as the last dying breaths will be held off until we give them permission to 'leave' so too, in such times of 'death and rebirth' we need to let go; to accept the inevitable no matter how much it sears our heart and wreaks havoc with our mind.
For they are being called to 'distant lands' within; places where we may not travel. We cannot go with them. We may not even know where they are going, when or if they get there, nor what they find if they do arrive safely. We may never 'see' or 'hear' from them again.
Just as our ancestors watched their loved ones sail on oceans of tears in order to 'make a better life for themselves' in a material sense, so too, are most of us called, at some time or another, to do the same in a spiritual sense. For that journey to Self is a spiritual journey and some are drawn or called to it more than others.
We can only 'see' the shape of ourselves when we are alone and unconsciously that is what we will be driven to achieve. What holds us back more than anything is 'love' or those bonds of connection which we fear, unconsciously, will keep us trapped and beholden. They have no need to of course, but for some, the fear is so great, that breaking free is the only option.
You can only ever prepare yourself for their journey and do what you can to prepare them, if they should wish it, and then accept that they have gone and only the breath of prayers and the eternal drape of your invisible love will go with them.
To 'sail' beyond the bounds of the 'known world' still happens, but it is done within the mythic realms of psyche and often will require a physical demonstration of their commitment to the Path - they will 'leave' and the only comfort is knowing that they must!