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The Missing Link Series: The Why’s, When’s, and How’s of Letting Go

Posted Nov 12 2012 12:28pm

It was not my intention to take more than a week off from posting, but last week I had a personal crisis to deal with and couldn’t find the right thing to talk about.  Today though, I feel an intense urge to gain back some normalcy in my life, so what better way to do so than to show up here and write about it? :)

For those of you who are new to the series, you may want to check out the following posts:

I knew that when I wrote about Acceptance that Letting Go would be the ensuing topic.  It’s something that I struggle with tremendously though, because I have this thought that I must right all wrongs from the past in order to move forward with my life.  I don’t like leaving relationships or situations a mess, especially when I’ve done something to contribute to it in the first place.

Although I think it is admirable to want to correct our mistakes, to make things up to the people we have hurt, and to try regain our self-respect, sometimes the process of fixing makes the situation even worse, and it is important to know when a relationship can or should be fixed, and when it is time to move on.  That’s what I want to talk about today.


The Why of Letting Go 

I don’t know about you, but I have a proclivity towards hanging onto relationships out of my own desire to not see things fall apart, even when I don’t particularly value the relationship anymore.  It’s the principal of the thing, you know? This is not the wisest decision, especially if you’re someone who has their own struggles with things like depression, eating disorders, Borderline PD, self-esteem, self-worth, etc.

Letting go doesn’t necessarily mean surrendering nor giving up.  Letting go can be an act of self-preservation, a declaration of one’s self-worth (that you believe you deserve more than a relationship that doesn’t suit your needs), and an assertion of hope that you are moving on with the optimism of finding something better/different.

The When of Letting Go 

When your relationship leaves you feeling shitty more often than feeling wonderful, it’s time to let go.

When you have a pattern of troubled communication with your partner (or ex) and you talking in circles, you should let go.

When you feel you have given your heart, mind, lungs, and kidneys and have nothing left for yourself, it’s time to let go.

When you and your (ex)partner make each other feel bad (intentionally or unintentionally), it’s time to let go.

When you are hanging on out of principal not out of love, it’s time to let go.

When you start to wonder if there’s someone better for you and your needs, it’s time to let go.

When you are no longer attracted to your partner in one or more ways, it’s time to let go.

When you give more than you receive, it’s time to let go.

When you are hanging onto the thought of someone rather than the actuality, it’s definitely time to let go.

The How of Letting Go 

Walk away with your head held high–just because it’s broken doesn’t mean it’s all your fault.

Don’t call each him/her names (unless he/she did something absolutely terrible to you and it helps you move on) because it will only lower your self-respect.

Be classy about it, you’ll be grateful you were

Remember that you don’t breakup, you trade up! (Or so my intuitive healer told me)

Give yourself time to mourn/let go, but don’t take forever.  You have to get on with living and loving at some point!

If you find yourself idealizing your ex, remember that they weren’t perfect either. If they broke up with you, then they obviously weren’t perfect :)

Try new things. Meet new people. Travel to new places.

Enjoy doing things that your ex never wanted to do with you.

Keep in mind that you only have one relationship that works/lasts forever.  The ones before have to fail so you can find the one you’re meant to be with.

To quote the Fray: “You never know what’s wrong without the pain, sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.”


What are your Why’s, When’s, and How’s? Share the wisdom! We can always use more :)

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