Learning to let go is not easy, no matter what it is you need to let go of. But you can learn to let go.
Maybe it’s misplaced self-blame for a relationship that didn’t work out. Blame you placed squarely on your own shoulders as he more or less told you that he couldn’t handle your past. That’s not your burden to bear, your past cannot be changed. Just because someone isn’t strong enough or ready to hold that truth as a part of you, doesn’t mean it’s your fault.
Maybe it’s unhealthy coping mechanisms. A reliance on substances to get through the days or nights. Disordered eating habits because it’s the one thing in your life you feel you can control. An unhealthy reliance on your partner as your only source of worth. Coping is hard to do, but you deserve more than these things.
Maybe it’s an old version of yourself. A view of yourself as someone you used to be. Judgments about who you are and the choices you made. A perspective on who you are that’s only keeping you stuck in the concrete of self-criticism. Locked into who you were, rather than seeing who you could be.
Regardless of it’s a failed relationship, a bad coping mechanism or an old version of yourself, learning to let go takes time. It’s not always as simple as ‘okay, I hit my wall finally, I’m ready to let this go’. Sometimes it is a daily, even hourly, commitment. A commitment to let go, not for anyone else, but for yourself.
Sometimes you have to continuously remind yourself of why it’s time to let go. Remind yourself of the hours you spent aching in pain because of that person. Remind yourself of the people you’ve hurt with your unhealthy coping. Remind yourself that your body is okay, just as it is, no starving or fad diets required.
Letting go is an act of self-care. Letting the things that harm you, or simply no serve you, fade from your life. Giving space for new things, relationships, or habits to grow. Letting go is kindness directed towards yourself. Perhaps a subtle, active choice and acknowledgment that you deserve better. You deserve more than this.
Choosing to let go and move on, will never really be easy. I know that. But how hard it is to let go, may just be a sign of how important that thing once was in your life. Just because it doesn’t serve you now, doesn’t mean it never did. That relationship once meant something. Those coping mechanisms got you through hard times. Letting go doesn’t mean saying those things were always worthless, it’s saying they no longer serve you.
It gets easier over time. With each moment, each hour, each day, the pain fades away. You have more space for new things. You instead, can focus your attention inwards. Who do you want to be? What kind of person? Are you in a career that fulfills you?
So with each moment of letting go that feels unbearable, with each twinge of pain, remember what you’re moving toward. Remind yourself why you’re letting go, and keep going.