“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realise that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” ― Steve Maraboli
Letting go. It’s easier said out loud than done. It’s easier to pretend you’ve let go, when in reality you’re holding it all in. I never knew what it was like to need to let something go until last year.
After you’ve had your heartbroken, after the hurt, the upset, after the betrayal, you feel angry. You’ve been lied to, betrayed, played for a complete fool. So the logical thing to do is be angry. Be so angry and hold onto it until you feel like you’re going to burst.
But the reality is, that anger has nowhere to go. You can’t let your anger out to the person that hurt you. You can’t swear and shout and scream, you can’t tell them what a mess you are. It might make you feel better, but only for a little while.
“Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go but rather learning to start over.”
Regardless of whether it’s heartbreak, a broken friendship or even bereavement, we find it so hard to detach ourselves from various situations. Focussing on the past seems far easier than looking to the future, which now feels clouded with uncertainty. We hold onto things like a comfort blanket, afraid to let them go, just in case.
Letting go is one thing, but we’re scared of starting over. When a relationship ends, the prospect of life without that person is incredibly daunting. It’s like someone has taken out a puzzle piece.
But moments like this are an opportunity. They are an opportunity to find yourself again and establish yourself on your own two feet; to learn to love yourself again and grow; to learn the art of letting go.
“Letting go means to come to the realisation that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.” - Steve Maraboli
People can tell you over and over again that you’ll forget about it one day, that you’ll realise it will be the best thing to ever happen to you, to drag yourself out the other side of a broken heart. But until you are out the other side and looking back on that time with a fresh pair of eyes, you don’t realise how much you’ve changed.
By holding onto anger and frustration, I was poisoning myself. And it was so obvious. Three months later when I thought I was fine, I was free, I was single, my panic attacks made a surprise return. I was terrified of things I was never really scared of before, like flying. Panic would creep up on me at work, whilst I was driving, like a little parasite just lurking.
We hoard life events like we hoard things in our house. We know they’re useless but we let those memories and thoughts sit there, gathering dust. We dwell on them, knowing we should get rid of them, but then we start asking questions, and they sit there, festering, rotting, poisoning. It’s not just the big things either - how many times do you let something little get to you? Whatever it is, breathe it in and breathe it out.
“I am not interested in the past. I am interested in the future, for that is where I expect, to spend the rest of my life.” - Charles F. Kettering
As time went on, perhaps without being conscious of it, I let go.
I accepted things for what they were and that they had happened. I accepted that everyone’s life has different chapters and however long or short they are, they are just a small portion of time in the big book of life. People come and go and affect your life in different ways, but from the moment you meet them they are only destined to be in your life for a certain amount of time. And there is nothing you can do to change it otherwise.
Focussing on the negative moments in our past doesn’t bring any happiness to anyone.
Forgive, forget, let go.