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If You Love Something

If You Love Something...

coaching communication personal growth relationships self love Dec 07, 2022

If you love something, set it free
If it comes back to you, it’s yours
If it doesn’t, it never was

I have heard this saying uttered to me often in my life, as friends and family sought ways to be supportive during times of transition. I always appreciated the gesture but, to be completely honest, the phrase itself has never made much sense to me - and here is why.

It begins with the first line…if I love something, I should set it free. In my experience, if I love something it should already be free. This line would indicate that I have somehow controlled or held captive what I love and need to take steps to release it to validate its compliance. In my view, this isn’t love. Love is a choice between two beings in every moment. It isn’t forced or manipulated – it's a free exchange. In this way, freedom is built in from the start.

Then we move to the second line…if it comes back to me, it is mine. First, I would offer that all that I truly own in this world is the energy that I create from the experiences that I share; the rest I simply borrow until I transition. Think about it, what do we take with us when we pass on? If something was ‘mine,’ it would move on with me. The only thing that I feel moves on with me in death are the memories and energies I generated in this lifetime. 

Second, I have always felt the notion that someone you love ‘is yours’ is like a two-year old with a toy screaming ‘mine, mine, mine’ every time someone comes close. No person belongs to anyone else. There is no ownership – there is choice. And, when we choose one another, the depths of love are amazing. We know that person is with us in every moment not because they have to be or because we are forcing them to be, but because they desire to be and are choosing to be.

Regarding the last line. Simply because something (or someone) chooses to move on to another experience in their life does not mean that they did not love us fully and completely in the time that we shared together. To say that 'if it doesn't come back (to you), it never was (yours)' is to shift love to anger simply because someone we love is journeying onward in life. 

When we love, fully and completely, we desire joy and happiness for those we give this love to – not anger that they didn’t come back to us. It's natural to mourn the end of the time together, but if our response is that the person was never truly ours, it might be a wonderful opportunity for inward reflection. Why are we discounting the connection that was shared and the time that did occur instead of giving gratitude for the time and all that was shared together?

I do understand that this is simply a phrase to help people as they are waiting to see if someone or something they love is going to return to them. But, words carry energy and these phrases mean something. As a society, it is important that we begin to take a step back from them and ask what they truly represent.

If each of us were to stop using words and phrases that don’t resonate with us and create new ones that do, we could break old cycles of control that we may not realize are there. We could stand upon new cycles of freedom and love and empower ourselves to uplift one another with compassion and connection. ❤️




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