You deleted their number from your phone. You removed them on Facebook and unfollowed their Instagram and Twitter accounts. You took down the pictures from your bookshelf, you removed your text message history. You’ve even gathered all of your might to not contact them and haven’t spoken to them in weeks, in months, or even years.
Despite your best efforts in digitally and symbolically eradicate their existence from your life, this person still seems to occupy a corner of your heart, a little dusty nook you just can’t seem to reach.
Your memories of them, both the good and the bad, sit there, haunting and taunting you into a nostalgic, toxic madness that decides to turn its head at the most inopportune moments.
And it’s not like you like feeling this way. You truly do want to let them go. You’ve screamed and shouted into that abyss of your heart asking them to leave, but these memories and feelings are so stubborn it’s almost cruel.
So you start to feel helpless, and begin to believe that you will never be able to get them out of your mind and your heart. That you’ll feel this way forever. That you must be insane to not be able to break free from someone who, in the end, was not good for you.
But please understand that you are not crazy. You are not weak. You are a human who is recovering from heartbreak, and this is often a painful, long process that makes you experience a whole lot of uncomfortable, terrible feelings that are all necessary to feel in order to move on. After all, pain lets you know what’s wrong.
Pain lets you know where it is that needs healing.
And so you start to acknowledge the aching gaps in your heart left behind by this person. Maybe they provided you with validation and support. Perhaps this person made you realize the strength you always had. Whatever it is, realize that you can cultivate this on your own. No person can make you whole. No person can make you okay. This is all up to you.
And with that, you start to harvest your own strength and begin to let them go. Please understand that you don’t find the courage to let them go in bursting moments of self sufficiency, but in quiet moments, the seemingly insignificant portions of your day when your mind would wander to them as an escape from life’s mundanities. Late at night when your defenses are lower. Running errands that used to be a little more fun when they were there for the ride.
And it’s in these particular instances you must summon all the courage and strength within you to allow yourself to remember them, but to realize that it’s only a memory. It’s only a feeling. It’s only a fleeting moment that will soon dash away as quickly as it came.
Eventually, these passing thoughts will become less painful, less frequent. You’ll build new memories.
You’ll find your own strength.
You’ll meet someone new. And then one day you will pass their little section in the hallways of your heart, and have no interest in peering in.
You won’t say hello. You won’t look back. It’ll be like passing a stranger. You may notice them slightly, but ultimately they have no business in your life and you no business in theirs. It will be bittersweet and a little sad, but mostly it will be empowering. After all, you found the courage to let them go, the bravery to walk away. So keep on moving. You’re free.