Let’s be real. Romantic relationships are really challenging at times. We have talked a lot about how relationships (and especially romantic ones) are our biggest platforms for spiritual growth and teachings, but one of the true challenges in relationships is letting go when the time comes.
They say that it never gets easier to recover from a broken heart or dissolution of a relationship that we once cherished, but as seekers of inner peace and fulfillment, there are ways to let go with grace and find meaning and purpose in the pain. Often the biggest disappointments and heartaches lead us to breakthroughs and transformation. Believe me, I say this from my personal experience.
I went through a romantic relationship and subsequent breakup that completely changed me. It was dysfunctional, co-dependent, and at times abusive, AND it was also the most transformational relationship I have ever been in. Why? This relationship forced me to look at myself and to truly understand, love, and connect with me. This relationship, that took me so far away from who I truly was, is ultimately what brought me back to my own self-discovery.
The period of letting go is what brought me so much reward, and as time passed, I ultimately was able to see the value, the lessons, and the growth from the pain. Here are some of my biggest takeaways in letting go and how to find the silver lining during difficult times.
– Remember that this too, shall pass. Just like the relationship that ended for you, so will this time of struggle. When I was going through my difficult time, my mom gave me a bracelet that had “this too shall pass” inscribed on it. I wore it always, and it was a beautiful reminder for me and became my affirmation; “time changes all.”
– Don’t be afraid to feel. Often we want to appear strong and unaffected by the end of a relationship, which is not real. Relationships are huge parts of our lives! Do not rob yourself of the time to grieve what has ended.
– Take note of your role in the relationship, and what you learned moving forward. Relationships end for a reason, whether there’s dysfunction or it simply wasn’t meant to be, find the lesson from each one. Honor the relationship for what it was, and have gratitude for what it taught you. Allow it to empower you as you move forward with more knowledge and strength than before.
– Resist the urge to fall back into unhealthy patterns to avoid feeling alone. I clung to dysfunction for five years of my life because I was terrified not to be in a relationship. I was scared of being alone, of feeling rejected, and of looking at myself and figuring out who I was and what I wanted. True growth comes from resisting the familiar and the comfortable to find something even better that’s on the other side of your fears.
– Find relief in things that bring you joy. The loss of a relationship can leave holes in our lives. What a wonderful opportunity to fill those holes with people, hobbies, and activities that bring us pure joy. Choose to look at this time as a gift you are giving yourself; a return to happiness.
– Jump into a love affair with yourself. Ultimately, letting go is about connecting back with YOU. It involves picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and cultivating a deeper sense of who you are as you step back out into the world. The road to self-discovery is a lifelong journey and oftentimes is painful and challenging. But oh, is it worth it. Take comfort in knowing that we all go through times of letting go, and find peace in knowing that it can be such a gift. What better present to give yourself than space from a relationship to truly master who it is that you really are.
I hope these takeaways are helpful for any of you going through a difficult time. I would love to hear your thoughts on letting go! Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments below!
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org