The most heartbreaking thing you should do at some point in your life is to say goodbye to the people you can’t let go of. Letting go of people can indeed be devastating most especially when you have invested years of giving them time and energy to keep the relationship going. It will hit you more if you have tried so hard to save those healthy relationships you built, and it worked before but it does not anymore.
Letting go of the past is unthinkable, even when you try to reminisce about the memories you hares and the plans you made for the future. But everything is now long gone, and the only thing that is left is to say goodbye since letting go of someone you loved is the easiest choice you can pick right now.
At this point, you may find yourself thinking so hard about what could have been and what should-haves — and that includes what-ifs. You will start to question, what if you did this or that? What if you did not start this particular argument? What if you did not say this thing?
But even when you find the answer to these questions, you will still seem to have failed in finding the reason why you have to cut ties. Maybe you really did not work out in the first place because of the differences that kept you apart in the end, or there is a deeper moment that caused that to happen. While there are so many reasons why it has to end, letting go of people is definitely the kindest solution among all of those.
When you let go, you are not only letting go of someone you love, but also the memories that you have shared together. But seeing them walk away from you when you can’t let go is the first step toward self-care. This will also be the start of you not set your expectations too high so you can just be with them without thinking of anything else.
We know that it is hard to willfully release things that hold you back. But blaming yourself and other people why it ended will not help you either. This is about taking responsibility even if you find letting go of people a hard task to do. But you should not forget what happened either. Though it broke your heart, you should not feel any bitterness when you try to revisit that part of your life again in the future.
In order to wholly hug yourself with full arms, you should follow some self-care tips and the following advice.
1. Willfully Let Go
When you think can’t let go, the only thing you can do to do it successfully is to find your willingness to do so. In order to do this, you should accept first who you really are right now and how your existence should not be blamed for the loss. By then, you will realize that some things will not really go according to your plans, and that is okay.
After all, you still have a lot of relationships that can make you feel better as time goes by. All you need to do is to be grateful for the people you still have for standing by your side and for the people you lost for staying.
Another reason why you might have lost your will is that you might have trapped yourself in chains and limit your abilities when you are too sad after letting go of the past. You must remember that you only lost a person, and losing yourself, too, will be another problem. You see, letting go of someone you loved should not include letting go of your dreams, too.
You can still dream, you just need to open your mind while it still hurts you inside. There is nothing wrong with standing by yourself in this challenging time, so you should be responsible enough to stand for yourself. After all, you are the only one who knows how much it hurt you after letting go of the past and letting go of people, so you should think about yourself and refuse to listen to what other people tell you about you and your situation.
In addition, you cannot successfully find your willingness to let go of someone you loved when you are struggling with your own thoughts. This time, you can ask for someone’s help so you can finally realize that you should accept those things you think you can’t let go of. This is the smartest decision you can make today in order to keep those lights in your future shining brightly.
2. Express Your Pain
When you decided that letting go of people will be the best thing to do, of course, it will hurt you more if you will keep those things to yourself. It is normal to feel sad, angry, and disappointed after letting go of people. But you cannot contain them when you can’t let go of your emotional feelings and just let them eat you up.
There will be days where you will experience internal suffering but you must never ignore it to assure the other people that you are positive in life even after letting go of the past and letting go of people. This is not some sort of bravery, instead, you are just giving yourself experience more sufferings when you should have stopped it in the first place.
Being able to express your pain is vital after letting go of someone you loved. Mental Health America says, “Negative emotions like fear, sadness, and anger are a basic part of life and sometimes we struggle with how to deal with them effectively. It can be tempting to act on what you’re feeling right away, but that often doesn’t fix the situation that caused the emotions. In fact, it may lead to more problems to deal with down the road.”
It only means that when you can’t let go of those emotions, you are not only making it hard for your mental health, but you are also risking your physical health due to stress that letting go of the past is causing you. Even Viktor Frankl once said that if you cannot change the painful situation anymore, you should always have that attitude when you are facing the things they cause you distress.
Most of the time, saying it out loud can lessen the burden you are dealing with. You do not need to have someone beside you if you feel uncomfortable with the thought of looking too dramatic when you finally burst it all out.
But if you want to remain calm, you can always opt to call someone and ask for some advice when you feel like you already lost things after letting go of the past. You must help them understand that you are going through a hard time, be honest about how you can’t let go smoothly, and they will surely understand that.
If vocalizing your feelings still cannot help you, you can just go and grab a notebook and write down everything. You will see how much writing can alleviate the pain and make things a little bearable even though you feel like you are about to fall apart.
Whatever way you have, as long as you express your pain, then you can make it again.
3. Do Not Blame Others For The Lost
You are not only letting go of people, but you are also releasing the blame that you can’t let go before. To let go of the blame is freeing yourself from negative thoughts and allowing yourself to be happy again as you realize that it is still a wonderful life even if you ended up letting go of someone you loved.
Ask yourself, why do you keep on blaming other people for the relationship that did not end up the way you want it to be?
While blaming other people, you are refusing to give yourself the power to turn those events into positive and healthy lessons. If you are also blaming others for your loss, you are even shooing away the real issues by focusing on unimportant and unnecessary things.
As Eleanor Roosevelt so brilliantly said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” So you should start freeing yourself from guilt and stop blaming other people for the feelings you are feeling now.
To stop blaming others, you should also ask yourself what the things you should do next time so you will not end up letting go of people once again. So after letting go of the past, you should stay in the future and resolve the present so you can have a better future.
4. Forgive Them and Yourself
After letting go of someone you love, the next step you should take is to forgive them and yourself. You have been through worst already, and if you try to beat yourself up once again, you will surely no longer have enough energy to get up back.
Holding onto anger at your loved one will not bring you happiness. So you should remember that forgiveness after letting go of people can definitely change your life. But forgiving them does not mean you are preparing yourself to forget them. You are just letting go of the past so you can easily take a step forward and find a better place in the future without them.
You always have a choice. You can control your feelings and thoughts so you can definitely stop yourself from reliving the times you can’t let go. All you need to do is to exercise it and realize that at one point in your life, you need to let go of someone so you can prepare that empty spot for someone better, for someone who will no longer leave you hanging again anymore.
One way to forgive yourself is to empathize and understand yourself and the person who just left. Maybe you two have different dreams so you needed to pursue it by taking different paths. It is your responsibility not to make yourself feel bad about what happened. Instead, teach yourself to see it as a lesson so you can focus on finding joy again and bringing back yourself before transforming into a better person.
5. Embrace The Present
In Steve Maraboli’s “Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and The Human Experience“, he says that, “The truth is unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”
The last step of letting go of the past and letting go of people is to learn how to live in the present, and to do that, you must deal with neglect — the one that plays a vital role when you can’t let go of someone. You should stop giving more fuel to the past since it will just burn down your present and future. If that happens, you will only be giving away your supposed happiness for something that is already gone.
Take your time to embrace your present by going on a hike, traveling with your friends, reading a book, treating yourself to your favorite coffee shop, or having a full makeover. It is essential to remind yourself about the present by doing these things since these activities can shift your mind from barging back and recalling the past.
Retracing the steps you have successfully taken will only freshen up those heartbreaks once again, and no one wants you to go back to zero when you already progressed after letting go of someone you loved. You just need to practice taking baby steps every day until you can no longer notice that you are bravely and naturally moving forward already.