I have always had a difficult time letting go of relationships. My dear friend, the person who convinced me to move to LA, moved from the East to the West Coast when we were in fifth grade. Over fifteen years later, when we became roommates, we found our childhood penpal letters. I was pathetic.
Sobbing because he’d left. Overly dramatic. Unable to let go and accept that change is a part of life. I was twelve and for the first time was experiencing that things were not going to stay the way I wanted them to. Instead of taking note and embracing my new life I fought it by being unwilling to emotionally accept the loss.
We laugh about it now, the childish drama of losing a friendship, but it points to something deeper. I have struggled with control issues throughout my life, without knowing it until I began my healing work in my late twenties. Instead of allowing people to flow easily in and out of my life I have held on tightly and suffered greatly when they slipped away.
I went through a devastating breakup a few months ago. My former partner didn’t give me any signs that he was unhappy, and suddenly our relationship was over. These kinds of breakups are traumatic and can be very challenging to overcome. We mourn the future we had planned, the emptiness in our lives without that person, and we try to make sense of what has happened.
This breakup took me to the darkest place I’d ever been. I had to dig deep within myself to find my spirit again, to find the part of me that trusts that people are good and caring and trustworthy. I had to rediscover my strength in a time when I felt it wasn’t possible to exist.
I made it to the other side a changed person. I am somewhat softer, stronger, wiser, and with an expanded heart. I had to let go over and over again and fall into my own arms. I had to feel all of the pain and then release it all. It was excruciating and liberating.
And just as I felt I had found myself again I bumped into my ex in a yoga class unexpectedly, and all of the emotions came rushing back. I didn’t step back into the darkness, but it did begin to feel like I was being sucked into a vortex of unwelcome negative emotion. This was yet again another opportunity for me to let go.
We need to feel our feelings deeply. We need to walk deep inside our pain and see what’s at the source. We need to fill ourselves up with our own love. We need to walk through our pain to transform into deeper, truer versions of ourselves.
But when we do that we are not immune to the pain of the past. When feelings begin to emerge again we don’t have to keep choosing to re-live the pain. We can instead choose to let go.
When we continue to focus our attention on negative energy, feelings of lack, and stories that don’t serve us we become consumed with that energy. When you feed a belief it continues to thrive.
We can find ourselves reliving the pain of the past over and over and over again. We can get sucked into the deep unworthiness emotions that point to the truth that there is something we’re missing. What we’re missing is the unconditional commitment to ourselves.
So when you have already walked through the pain (maybe even several times over), when you’ve done the dirty work and have come out the other side, allow it to be enough. You can keep choosing to suffer. You can keep choosing to hold on and try to control a life that is uncontrollable. You can live in illusion and fear.
You can let go. You can allow yourself to feel bummed out when you see your ex and not judge it. You can let the emotions come and go with ease. You can move your awareness to something that makes you feel alive and happy. You can begin to give to yourself what it is you are deeply wishing someone else will give to you.
Feeling bad feels so damn bad that we tend to make it a big problem when it happens. If you learn to allow your emotions to come and go with ease you begin to see that this is the constant state of life. Our emotions are always ebbing and flowing. When you choose to make feeling bad a “problem” it’s going to feel much worse, and you’ll soon find yourself in a huge pool of pain and suffering.
If you want to have the incredible life and relationships you truly deserve to have you can choose to allow. You can choose to let go. You can choose to have a simpler life full of more joy than heartache.
In your own life, have you noticed how when you place your awareness on negative emotions they seem to grow? What tips can you share to help someone go through a breakup? Share your own experiences and insights in the comments below.