A conversation with a friend recently posed the question, “How do you stop loving?”, a question I wasn’t not prepared to answer. Let me pause for a moment and say that this is not one of those “friend of a friend” posts which actually is talking about me. This is really about a friend, a real, live friend. For sure. Okay? Not me. Alright? I digress.
Anywho, the question was posed, leaving me speechless because I just don’t know the answer. She shared her multiple failed attempts to be removed from the feelings she’d carried for a gentleman for several, several years. I’ve been in a relationship or two, so I could totally relate to her as it relates to a couple (as in only two) persons I’ve been in relationships with and faced this dilemma where they obviously didn’t get the “you are evicted from my heart” memo. (Now, friends and family, before you boggle your brain trying to figure out who those two gentlemen are just know they are more than likely absolutely not who you think they are…LOL!) Again, I digress.
Anywho, having my share of expertise in love and life I started to reflect on my past loves/likes/”undefineds”. Some have ended as cut and dry as a slice of roquefort cheese. Others were not so smooth in transition with leftover feelings which either served me well, making me pause and pump the brakes for a time being or lingered around too long royally messing some other things up for the long haul. Either way the answer to “how do you stop loving” escapes me.
I’ve been thinking about it and the best answer I can muster is that you don’t. I believe you don’t stop loving, not once you’ve really loved the way love was intended and ordained to be. I believe you can stop being in love. (And I believe there is a strong difference in loving and being in love, but that’s another post at another time.) I believe you can transition from romantic love to genuine, heartfelt, platonic love (from a distance, whether you ever speak to or see one another again) for one human being from another simply because of the impact they’ve had in your life. I believe the lessons learned, the love once shared and the fact that, as I just stated, you’re both human and we’re required to love can be sufficient and is more than enough. I absolutely believe you can stop exercising the actions (and reactions) that spawn from love. I believe God can shield or heal you from the side effects of love if you let Him. I believe you can accomplish the purpose the relationship was allowed in the first place, and move on to something God-ordained without unhealthy remnants of the past. I believe you can be equipped to be empowered to know what God desires whether He’s saying “no”, “not right now” or “NEVER”, and move on peacefully either way. I believe you can realize that all endings aren’t negative, but some simply are necessary.
In playing that question over in my mind, I now hold to the thought that real love, not that homemade rendition man has concocted over the centuries, but the kind that’s a gift from God, part of His purpose and a reflection of His love for us doesn’t stop. I believe it just knows well enough when to step back, step aside or step away and take it’s proper place for the greater good of God’s plans.