Is it true what Katy Perry belted out in her latest song: it’s never really over? No, it’s not true and sometimes it is finally over and that’s when it’s time to start letting go. This summer, while I was distracting myself with the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and the new 90210, I was also dealing with letting go of a relationship that played a huge role in my life. Since you all have been a great comfort to me the last several months, I thought I would close out the chapter and share 5 ways of letting go.
Here are 5 Ways of Letting Go:
I spent a lot time reading all about how to get over a break up and one of the central tips that came up was called the “no contact rule.” It’s pretty self explanatory and is truly the only way to really start to heal and see everything much more clearly. No contact gives you the freedom to invest in yourself again, detach from the relationship emotionally, and move away from the pain that sporadic talking with your ex can cause. (No: you can’t be friends with your ex.) Understanding that no contact isn’t cruel and unusual punishment but actually the path to moving on is what will keep you from contacting your ex as you navigate through the tougher moments.
This one is big but also hard. People always said this to me: take some time for self-care: to which I replied: what does that even mean? (Clearly that answer would come at my most cynical moments.) As I stayed the course of no contact: self care became more evident. It meant: participating in activities that really made me happy: taking my dog for a walk, going to a workout class, sleeping, watching TV or reading, making weekend plans with friends. Just creating rituals and reminding myself of all the things I actually enjoy doing.
Therapy can be expensive but I was fairly savvy when it came to finding one for myself: you can contact your local university and see a PHD student in the psychology department. Or ask for a referral — a friend of mine runs her own practice and she suggested I meet with her intern at a much lower rate. There are ways to see a therapist inexpensively. If you can’t afford therapy, maybe you can reach out to a friend to talk now and again. My friends and family offered me invaluable support.
Boundaries are so important — some people view it as a selfish way of living but honestly if you don’t have boundaries, you are likely living a very unhealthy lifestyle. I saw how lack of boundaries contributed to the demise of my relationship and I maintain that keeping my boundaries is what kept me true to my needs. Setting your limits when you are trying to move on and let go is just as important.
Forgiving Yourself and Acceptance
This one has been a tough one for me. Forgiving yourself can be an up and down process. So be easy on yourself and know that some days you’ll feel you made the right decision and others you may feel regret. Regret is ok to feel, although it can be emotionally taxing — so my advice is to not let yourself dwell on your regrets for too long. Once you start to forgive what you think were mistakes in the relationship (or were actual mistakes), the letting go process will really start to take form and you can accept that you are moving in a new direction.
These 5 ways of letting go have all been implemented into my life in the last 7 months, sometimes I went against them just to find myself at square one again but that’s the great part of letting go: it’s never too late to start. So that’s where I am today: figuring out a new kind of life. Acceptance of being alone and being content in that way. Being open to new experiences and people that could enter my life and finding happiness in the day to day events.