Having spent the last two decades advising people on relationships, it has become clear there is one area people have the most difficulty with: letting go.
When we lose something that was important to us, it’s natural to look back at that something (or someone) through rose-colored lenses. We’ve all made the mistake of putting someone on a pedestal, idealizing the past when we shouldn’t.
If our mind is constantly reflecting on the past, then we hold ourselves a prisoner of that past. This keeps us from moving forward to a brighter future. Here are some tips that can help master the much needed and valuable art of letting go:
6 Ways To Help You Let Go Of Someone:
Reflect on the Relationship
Recognize the relationship for what it really was, the good and bad. Pay tribute to the time you have spent with this person and all you have gained. You could do this through journaling, or write the person a letter, stating everything you would really like to say. You could send it, but it is often better to keep the letter and put it away to be re-read at a much later date.
Be Patient with Your Healing
Although it’s best to keep yourself occupied with other thoughts, no one is superhuman. As you begin your journey of letting go, you will on occasion slide back into thinking of the past, and the person who is no longer there. You will have sad periods, and times of intense longing. This is perfectly normal as no one can just shut off their emotions. Grieve when you need to as there is no set timetable for recovering from loss. Just remind yourself to move forward.
Make Your Process Your Own
Our friends typically try their best to be of help in a situation like this, but they may not really know what YOU need. If you feel like being alone, do that. If you want to socialize with others, then do this. And remember it’s ok to tell your friends, “I appreciate your offer to set me up with your co-worker, but I’m really not interested or ready.” Don’t allow others to shape your healing process.
Focus on the Present & Future
There’s an old saying that if one door closes another door opens. When has this ever not been the case? Ask yourself, what can I do to heal, get over this situation and get into better, more suitable relationships with others and myself and take steps to do so. Remind yourself of all you have to gain by moving forward.
Remember Breakups are Natural
If your relationship didn’t work out, don’t be so hard on yourself. Breakups happen all the time. Studies show the average woman will interact with 15 men and have at least several long term relationships before ‘settling down,’ for the long term. It is during these interactions and relationships we learn what we really want and need before finally making a lifetime commitment with someone who reciprocates the same.
Forgive and Let Go
It is important to forgive yourself for any mistakes you feel you made in the relationship. If you could have done better at the time, you probably would have. It is also important to forgive the other person. Forgiveness is often not possible for a while as the process of letting go begins. As you heal and time goes on, it is important not to retain thoughts of hatred, resentment, and anger. Holding on to negative energy does nothing for you.
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