If you are anything like me, you have probably held on to someone far longer than they were actually around. I have tried to wrap my mind around why we do this, and at the end of the day, there really is no logical reason for why this occurs, except for that it just does. When we lose someone important in our lives, I think it is completely justifiable to be hurt, but at what point do we put our foot down, and say to ourselves, “Enough is enough. We can’t keep breaking our own heart.”
In my own experience with this, I was in love with someone for two years longer than they were in love with me, and the reason? I couldn’t (and wouldn’t) let go of what we once were. I kept this sick idea in my head that one day everything would be normal again, and I held onto that until even I got tired of hearing myself talk about it. I romanticized the past, and I was no longer living in the moment; the moment being the hard reality that it was over, and I needed to learn how to cope with that.
So, how exactly do we do this?
First, we must accept it, and this is the hardest part. When it comes to heartbreak and getting over someone we love, it is very easy to convince ourselves that one day it will all fall right back into place, but the hard reality is that we cannot force others to feel how we feel about them. The sooner we learn this, the sooner we can move on, and become our own person.
Second, we must be patient throughout this process, and know that time is truly the only thing that helps us heal from people. As cliché as that sounds, there is no written rule book on heart break that gives a time frame to get over someone; BUT, if we can make the right steps moving forward, we won’t keep ourselves in this state of ‘brokenness’ that we feel will last forever. It does not have to, but healing from someone else requires us to make certain changes in our lives, and if you keep their memory around long enough, you will always feel a sense of never truly being over them. Learn to recognize when you are hurting yourself more than you are healing.
Third, remember that you had your own life before them. I think a lot of us forget this, and I cannot stress enough, it is so important that you remember that there are other people in your life that love you, and choose to stay on a daily basis. Just because someone decided that you were not for them, does not mean that your own life stops. Yes, it hurts a little more in the mornings when you are reminded that they are gone, but at the end of the day, you still have yourself, and that is the person you should love the most.
Fourth, pay attention to one of the biggest life lessons you will ever learn. Heart break is hard, but it is something you will survive. What I have learned about myself in the process of rebuilding who I am after they left, is one of the best experiences I have had to go through. Finding what makes me, ‘me’ again, and learning to love what it is that I have to offer, is something I wouldn’t trade for the world. Although not ideal, heartbreak, I believe, is necessary. Being forced to let go of someone you once thought would be there forever, is a humbling experience, and because of it, I know now what I want to love and see in another person. Heartbreak is hard, there is no doubt about that, but if you are brave enough to move forward without them (and you will), you will also see the beauty that comes from breaking wide open.
Finally, do not, and I repeat, DO NOT romanticize the past. It is so easy to feel bad for yourself, and continually hold onto to memories that are just that. What happened between you and the person that left was beautiful at one point, and you shouldn’t have to forget that completely, but you should also never think that it can’t get better. I used to firmly believe that I was always going to be sad; that I would never move on from this. HOW WRONG I WAS. As time goes by we start to see that maybe it wasn’t considered an ending at all. Maybe this is just our beginning. DO NOT get stuck in what was, because that is no longer what is. I do not expect it to happen overnight, but eventually, you need to stop living in any moment that is not right now.
We all cope with loss differently, and when it comes to the loss of a relationship, we learn a lot about who we are. In my experience with heart break, I used drinking and drugging as a means of escape. I used other people as a way to get over the person I wanted to be with, but couldn’t. I numbed my way through life so I didn’t have to deal with the strong emotions I was feeling at the time. When it comes to feelings, they always demand to be felt. There is no way around that, and eventually, you will have to face them. I didn’t let go of the person I loved for two years because I chose not to. It certainly didn’t need to go on for that long, and it certainly does not need to last that long for you either.
Letting go is not easy, and I would never say that it is, but ultimately, it is a choice, and it is something we must choose sooner rather than later. The thing about heartbreak that I have learned, is that there comes a point when we start to break our own hearts, and this is line I am hoping that you don’t cross. Know that somethings come to an end for a reason, and although we may not know that reason at first, we continue to search for it. We make it a goal to find our worth again, and stop searching for validation through other people. We rediscover ourselves, find new hobbies, meet new people, and put ourselves out there. You should never let love lost be the reason that you play it safe. We can’t live our lives worried who is going to hurt us, but instead, we just live our lives putting our best selves out there, and know that there are people who love us for who we are.
We must let go, not because we have to, but because we cannot allow someone else to have that kind of power over our happiness. That comes from YOU, and what you find fulfillment in. I know it is not easy, because trust me, I have been there, but I also know that we are all able to heal from painful situations. If there is one thing you take away from this, it’s that you are capable of letting go of who let go of you. Never believe otherwise.
I love you.