Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How to Let Go of the Past

One of the toughest phases in life is when you are trying to get over a relationship. It is hard to forget that one person who had meant the world to you. Letting go of the continuous thoughts about them and those precious memories can be torturous. At one or other time, we have all gone through this phase. 

But in order to survive, we need to let go. We need to release the sadness, the loneliness and the haunting memories.
Why is it so important to let go?
When we hold on to the past, we do not grow out of it. We continue to remain in our past and the present and future slips unnoticed through our hands. This quote explains this better.

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” 

― 
Steve MaraboliUnapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

There are many methods to let go; I am writing about a few, which I have known to be helpful. These methods are efficient in letting go anything you associate with a person or an event. Be it anger, frustration, bitterness or stress.
The Methods:
1) Write about it:
Take out a notebook, write about the person or experience you wish to let go. You can write it in the form of a letter if you wish to.
Write your heart out; express your feelings without bothering about grammar, proper language or order. Write whatever is coming to your mind when you think about it. Continue writing; Tears may flow, you may start to feel overwhelmed but continue with your writing.
 Once you have put everything you feel on paper, read it again. This time you will again drown in the same emotions. Once you finish reading, tear out the pages and burn. Affirm to yourself that the flames are taking away all your worries and thank them for the courage it is giving you.
 Repeat this until you are feeling less and less in the trap of your memories. You can do this once a week or once a month, as you feel necessary. 
This is the easiest method.
2) Treat it as a lesson you had to learn:
Everything that happens in our life happens for a reason. Every person comes into our life with a lesson. Identify the lesson this person or event gave you. 
Often when we understand what we learnt from the experience, there is a sense of closure. May be that person had taught you to love and to be loved, may be he/she had made you start loving yourself, maybe she/ he was the one who gave you that push in the right direction. He/she may have been your light. 
Remember what the experience taught you and let go of it, as you have done with many other lessons you have learned in the past.
3) Remember to remember:
When we are in a relationship, which is the best part of our lives, we have it etched as a part of our emotional system. If it suddenly ends, we cannot let go because this person was part of our best memories.
We all know, human beings are not perfect. There is bound to be bad memories about the same person as well. Remember to remember those bad moments. When a bit of negative thoughts come in about the person, you will find it easier to forget.
Most of the time, when we remember a person we love, we just remember the good times and conveniently forget the bad times. Nothing is perfect, ever… Try asking friends/ relatives for help. You may not remember. But they might.
4) Empty the cache of memories one by one:
If you are grieving over a person who left you for another, it is time to empty the bin of all his/her memories. Delete phone numbers and photos from your phone or computer. Throw away any other memorabilia. Do it with the intention of letting go. Do it one at a time.
You will realize you are better off without this extra load of memories.
Let go of them. If you want to fill your glass, first it has to be empty. Empty your life of past memories so you can start creating new ones.
5)Stop following them or stalking them on social networks.
In this highly connected world, technology often makes it hard to forget. Memories comes haunting when you are bombarded by old photos, messages or even their latest photo update which proclaim they don't have a place for you in their life anymore.
Unfollow them on the networking sites; block them. You can't think of forgetting someone by keeping on looking at their photos, their updates or tweets.
Stop yourself every time you feel the need to visit his/her profile; even anonymously. Stalking never brought back anyone their ex-boyfriend / girl friend.
Go on a technology fast when you feel overwhelmed by the memories. Switch off your phone and disconnect the internet.
6) Enjoy being single:
Go out and do things you like to do, now that you are single.
Watch funny movies, catch up with friends, listen to peppy songs, and visit that art gallery you were wishing to go. Do whatever you feel like. Visualize the happy single you, instead of visualizing the sad lonely you.
Laugh. Learn new things to do; craft, art or baking. Anything, to keep you busy…
Fall in love again, this time with yourself.
 Fall in love with life.


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