We’ve all experienced it at some point– the pain of a lost love lingering like a subtle poison.
Letting go of someone you truly love is one of the most difficult things in the world. Unfortunately, sometimes…it’s necessary.
And since the pain you experience from letting go of someone you love can stop you right in your tracks, you need to take action now if you hope to move forward with your life and find happiness elsewhere.
Sometimes, you know what happened. Other times, you feel as though things slowly slipped away from you and you can’t quite pinpoint any one cause. But in any case, you’ve decided it’s time to let them go and move on.
Let’s talk about how to do that.
Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.
– Hermann Hesse
1. Cut contact
Before you do anything, and I mean anything else, you need to cut contact with the person. This is less a step and more of a critically important prerequisite.
You’ll never be able to heal if you keep the person who hurt you so close at hand. Remove phone numbers, discard contact information, pictures, and anything else directly connected with them.
You’re not erasing your memory, just removing your ability to potentially contact that person the next time you’re in a moment of weakness and might think of reaching out.
2. Be with what you’re feeling
Possibly the worst thing you can do is to ignore what you’re feeling and start looking for means to either bottle those feelings down or hide from them. The longer you do this, the worse you’ll get, so you need to take an entirely different approach if you hope to heal this wound.
Face the pain head on and don’t run from it. Allow yourself to simply be with whatever you’re feeling, even if it’s uncomfortable. Over time, the mind has a way of settling itself if you allow it to focus in on the pain.
3. Stop fantasizing
Next, stop fantasizing. As you begin to experience the gradual process of internal healing and reflect on past memories, you’ll be motivated to fantasize that maybe, just maybe, they’ll change. Maybe things could work out this time, if such and such was different. Things won’t workout — and they won’t change.
This process is your brain trying to keep you away from the pain again. Be present for these feelings so that you maintain clarity. But it’s important to then give yourself a reality check and remember that this is a natural part of the process of healing.
It’s the same thing as binge-drinking after a breakup or some other loss. You’re not really healing, just attempting to put a band-aid over the issue. Eventually, that band-aid will come off. And, when it does, it’s going to hurt like hell. The only way to heal is to be with what is (reality) and move on, so stop fantasizing.
4. Practice forgiveness
Now is when you really begin to dig deep and get to the heart of the issue. Whatever happened has left an internal wound that needs to be sewn up. And, to do that, you need to practice forgiveness.
It’s not always the other person’s fault. Sometimes it’s our own. Whatever the case, you need to either practice visualizing the other person and repeating a simple mantra such as “I forgive you. My pain is my own” or imagine yourself apologizing and searching for those feelings of sincerity within you. When you can recognize this, the process has started working.
Depending on what happened, it will take time to heal. However, in every case, if you invest the time to be with yourself, listening to what goes within you and being kind and compassionate with yourself, you’ll heal the wound.
5. Get out there and live
Now that you’ve created a nourishing foundation you can use to heal internally, once you feel ready (don’t wait too long) it’s important to get out and into the world and start living.
Get to work, pursue a passion, meet new people, or go on an adventure. Whatever it is, start creating new experiences, memories, and connections to replace the old memories. The more you do this, the easier it will be to move on.