BY KATHY FOUST
If you plan to live life to the fullest, you need to be able to let go of the past. Yet, every relationship is part of who you are and how you got there. If everything happens for a reason, then so did your relationships. You can take what you need from them and finally let them go.
When it comes to letting go of relationships, you have to think outside the box. Caring about someone means developing patterns and habits that are not always easy to break. Whether the relationship seemed to be a positive thing in your life or not, you can let it continue to have an impact long after the relationship is over. It is up to you to decide how this past relationship is going to impact your present life.
Go ahead and cry. I’m not sure what makes me people say it. Perhaps raw grief is just something that most people cannot witness comfortably. Whatever the reason may be, people have gotten into the habit of using “Don’t cry.” as their version of a compassionate phrase. If you stop the crying, you aren’t stopping the pain. Grief is an actual process and we all go at our own speed. Whether you are angry or hurt, or even both, express your grief in a way that brings comfort to you. This your grief. Own it.
Think of the role that person played in your life. You probably think I am going to tell you that everyone is replaceable or some other such nonsense. Relax. That is not even close to where I was going. You don’t need to replace the person. You need to find them a new role, one more fitting to the situation. His new role in your mind could be the keeper of the memories of your favorite summer. It doesn’t matter what the role is. Create one in your mind that has to do with your memories. The important part is recognizing the fact that he or she has changed roles. This is part of the acceptance that the relationship has ended, whether because of illness or argument.
Celebrate your time. No matter how or why the relationship ended, you can take something and be glad for it. Try to see how you have changed because of the relationship or what you have learned. We know that sometime the hardest lessons are the most important. There are very few relationships that exist because we were forced to have them. If you were, then you can celebrate the fact that you no longer have to. Otherwise, there is some reason for you to have a relationship with the person. Ponder that and try to be thankful for the time you had with a person.
Move on. You have to stop wondering what they are doing or if they are ever missing you. Focus on your present, not theirs. They are filling a different role now, and so are you.
Kathy Foust is a freelance writer who believe in embracing life rather than watching it pass by.
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