I knew a woman roughly 35-37 years old, divorced, still gorgeous inside and out, but never moved on to find new love. I would always wonder why? How could someone so full of life and love just come to a halt with their life?
There was an old quote that I saw while browsing Twitter that read: "'We often hold on to past seasons because there is an object or thing that we are still attached to and we want to hold on to every bit of it, even if it hurts us.' - Unknown." I started thinking about how I have always prided myself on being someone that can "swim up out of shit quick", and most recently my partner referred to my resilience as my superpower.
In the midst of my rambling thoughts, I reflected on the many people around me who don't have or have yet to tap into their ability to let go and heal.
I thought, maybe some don't see the benefits of letting go. Maybe it's easier to stay stuck in a familiar place, in a familiar feeling. Perhaps there is a feeling of guilt or shame surrounding letting go. I recalled the times where I have felt stuck, and I realized I couldn't let go because I had created a sort of identity around my pain at that time; I was the heartbroken girl and tying myself to that image kept me in misery, unable to heal, and my life stagnant. There are many reasons why a person may have difficulty letting go, but for sanity's sake it must be done.
If you can't let go, you can't unlock the powers that come from healing. Let me explain:
I remember being two months out of a relationship that had run its course and I began to see how much great things started happening for me, things I was stressed out about during my relationship such as finding an internship, finding work, paying bills I was behind on, and shit, trying to avoid becoming homeless in a new city. Ending that relationship allowed me to begin healing and then some of my blessings began to pour in. Unfortunately I ended up going back to that relationship because I had not fully let go, and sure enough, more drama and disaster entered my life (enough for me to write a damn book!).
Fast forward to almost a year after completely letting go of that situation and I'm no longer in survival mode, am flourishing, and most importantly my soul is at peace. Applying the lessons I learned throughout my healing process created the woman I am today; I would not have healed if I had not first let go. It may be hard to accept but we can't take everyone on our journey, and honestly, everyone doesn't deserve to come along for the ride.
Constant reminiscing about what things could've been, should've been, or would've been leaves no room to think about what is...and we need to be present in order to heal.
I believe we all may go through a period where we have trouble letting go, so here's a few tips to help with letting go:
- Stay Present: Focus on the here and now, not the future or the past.
- Write A Release Letter: Address the letter to whatever or whomever you need to let go of, and burn it to symbolize release; let that be the end of your attachment to it, and when/if you relapse, remember that you have released it.
- Forgive Yourself: Know that you did the best you could with where you were, and who you were, in your life at that time; don't be hard on yourself.
- Self-Reflect And Accept Your Part: We play a part in almost everything that happens to us; if you haven't figured out the part you played, self-reflect through journaling or meditating to help you figure it out, accept, and move forward.
- Accept The End: The hardest part is fully accepting that whatever it is has come to an end; forget the second chances and the what if stories you've created and accept that the chapter has closed. Focusing on a new beginning will help with this.
Sometimes we can't let go because we're unsure of what lies ahead. Uncertainty is only scary when it's attached to fear and negativity. But when you decide to heal, you look forward to the uncertainty that the future brings.
Letting go allows lessons to be learned and incites discernment to be practiced going forth.
During the times that I feel stuck, I find strength in this simple phrase that helps me let go and heal like Wolverine: You Only Live Once. There's so much strength in remembering that I only get to do this thing called life one time.
So for everyone time you're stuck in sorrow, pity, or constant reminiscing, remember that you don't get that moment back! Life is simply too short to be stuck and unhappy. Remember that when a chapter in a book ends, it's just the end of that chapter, it's not the end of the story. The story goes on. If you can't think of any other reason to let go that shit go and heal, remember that your story must go on.
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