Saturday, 28 September 2013

Letting Go and Moving On: Why Is It Necessary?

Photo by me
Letting go and moving on. Arguably the most difficult thing we must do as humans. It is also, however, vital and necessary to living our best lives. How? In life, nothing is constant; it is a series of phases, of seasons one after the other that we move through, each with a purpose, each meant to teach us something. We move from high school to university to the work place. We move from singleness, to a relationship and back again. We move from darkness to light, from ignorance to enlightenment, and so forth. Some transitions are natural and inevitable; some we have to choose for ourselves.

Much of our suffering comes from trying to hold on to something that no longer serves a purpose in our lives. We think something is meant to be with us forever, so we grasp tightly to it, ignoring the warning signs and making excuses for the pain it causes us. We think that holding on is easier than letting go, that you're not strong enough to live without the object of your desire. But if you don't ever give yourself a chance to find out, how will you know?

It is indeed terrifying to think of leaving behind something or someone who has been an important part of your life. It is tempting to keep replaying all the good times and use that as proof that you shouldn't let go of it, but even the worst of relationships have good times.

In my case, what I struggled with letting go of was the person I fell in love with for the first time. In my lifetime, he was and still is the only person I would say I loved (in the romantic sense). The intensity of my feelings, coupled with my irrational belief that we were meant to be and the fact that life kept throwing us together, caused me to truly believe I couldn't let him go. At my lowest point, I didn't want to. But time proved to me again and again that I was only hurting myself more by holding on. Life was beginning to nudge me to make the decision to let go and move on. In my heart of hearts, I knew it was the right thing to do.

So I took the plunge. 

I began the process of letting go and moving on. And if you had told me a year and a half ago that today I would be the happiest I ever was without him, I would not have believed you. But here I am, on my own, blessed by knowing real, true joy, all because I made the decision to let go.

Every season of our life is meant not only to teach us something, but to prepare us for the next phase. Every single experience we encounter, no matter how good or bad, is necessary for us to become who we are meant to be. They give us the tools that are necessary for us to fulfill our unique purpose.

We can't move ahead and keep growing if we hold on to things that are no longer serving us. We can't fulfill our destiny if we are stuck in the past. 

Listen to the still, quiet voice that is telling you it is time to move on.  Trust that you are strong enough, brave enough, and simply enough on your own, to live a beautiful, happy and fulfilling life. Trust that this ending is the beginning of a new and wonderful phase of your life, one that you could not have experienced if you chose to hang on to the past. Trust that there is something better for you in the future that can come only as a result of letting go.

Nothing is this life is permanent; this is just the nature of life. The sooner we embrace this, the quicker we end our needless suffering. Because while we can dwell on the fact that happy times may not last, we can just as well rejoice in knowing that the dark times will end, the heaviness will lift, and your sun will rise again.

Be blessed.


In future posts, I will be exploring the phenomena of letting go and moving on in more detail. I hope you'll stick around!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

20 Things I Learned From a Broken Heart: Part II

This is the second installment of a two-part post. Read the first part here.

Photo by me
  • I've learned to be wary of people who think they know themselves completely and are not open to feedback from others. I've learned to be wary of those who feel they don't need the help and support of others. No matter how independent we are, as social creatures, we simply cannot survive happily or healthily without the support of others. None of us will ever have all the answers, not about love, life or even ourselves. Thus, it's important to be open to other perspectives. Beyond that, it's important to let yourself be vulnerable and let your walls down around the people who care about you. It's the only way to form truly deep connections.
  • I've learned that some people come into your life as a blessing, but some come as a test. Every single person who has ever crossed your path was put there with a purpose. No matter how brief the interaction, or how painful, they were there for a reason. After a heartbreak is a good time to reflect on the lessons you learned from the experience, or otherwise try to see what good came out of it. In the midst of pain and anger, it can be all too easy to dismiss this fact, as I did previously. However, if you quiet your mind, and your raging emotions for a moment, and open yourself to the possibilities, the answers will come to you.
  • I've learned that life is choice. You actively choose whether to let someone back into your life, whether you realize it at the time or not. If you find that history is repeating itself and you're back in the same place with the same person, you can usually pinpoint the exact moment you let them back in. It helps to be aware of your catalysts; sometimes it means making the difficult decision to say no to someone.
  • I've learned that even when you're at your lowest point, and hope and faith have all but disappeared, it's still possible to rise up and be okay again, be more than okay again. It's possible to be happy again. You will make your way out of the dark and there will be a lightness in your heart again, even if you can't believe it right now. 
  • I've learned that you probably never stop loving him or missing him, at least not for some time, but every once in a while, especially in your weaker moments, it's worth reminding yourself why you made the decision to let go, and reaffirm your belief that you did the right thing for you.
  •  I've learned that if he isn't willing to fight for you, then he isn't worthy of your love. There is no simpler way to say it. If he wants to be in your future, he will make the effort in the present.
  •  I've learned that my feelings and emotions are as valid as anyone else's and I have the right to speak up when something bothers me. I will not be stepped on. If you are constantly walking on eggshells around someone, or always weighing your words for fear of their anger or disapproval, this may be a sign of an unhealthy relationship. Depending on circumstances, the best thing to do may be to let them go.
  • I've learned that you need to love yourself and respect yourself enough to know when to walk away. What you put up with, is what will continue. If you don't speak up about the way you are being treated, it won't stop. And if talking does nothing, then it's time to walk. Remember your worth. You're worth SO much more than second class treatment.
  • I've learned that I'm strong on my own, and I don't need a man to come save me. The biggest lie we are told as females is that we are helpless, and need to wait for our knight in shining armor to come save us. Whether you are in a relationship or not, newly single or perpetually so, you are strong and capable. You are competent and worthy and you have the ability to create a beautiful life of your own. Claim it.
  •  I've learned that life is SO MUCH MORE than romantic relationships, and it's such a waste to sit around tearfully waiting for someone to sweep you off your feet. GO LIVE. There's a whole WORLD out there. DO something with your life. Do something for yourself. You're more than worth it.

    Sometimes it is the most difficult decisions that lead us to our best selves. In the midst of your pain and heartache, it can be easy to be drawn back to something or someone who is not right for you, just to fill the void in you. But in being still and listening to your inner voice, you will know which path to take. And yes, it will likely be the more difficult one, but the destination will be more than worth it. With time and patience for both the journey and yourself, you will begin to see why it was necessary. Take the leap of faith, and you will be at peace again.