Letting Go and Moving On
“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 Maraboli
I think every girl has that one guy they have trouble letting go of. For myself, it was my first “love”. I met him the start of my freshman year and he was sophomore. He was one of the popular guys and the fact that he even acknowledged me, a scrawny little freshman girl that knew nothing about being a high schooler, made me fall completely head over heels for him. I never thought this kind of emotion would ever happen to me. I mean, I was just a teenager. Kids my age don’t feel this sort of way. Kids my age do not need to endure this kind of affection. Feelings are supposed to be just a crush. An infatuation. Puppy love. But there I was, completely and utterly in love with a boy whom I barely meant anything to. Love is a bizarre concept, and being in love acts on a girl in ways that nothing else quite does.
Whenever we were together, my breathing would change; my heart and mind would race. Just seeing him made a smile so bright light up across my face. Over the next two years, he became my best friend, my other half, my home. We did everything together; he was at every family event and so was I. I became a part of his family and vice versa. Our love was a picture perfect effusive love story; we rarely fought, constantly pleased, everything was wonderful. However, the feeling of finding out I had been cheated on throughout my entire relationship is not just a rancorous feeling.
Love is not being able to breathe no matter how many times I tried to slow my breathing down to catch a breath. Love is being able to feel my heart slowly crumble and fall apart. Love is racing thoughts that keep me up at night making sleep impossible. Feeling downright worthless is what heartbreak is. Heartbreak is not beautiful. Heartbreak is not poetry. Heartbreak is not staying up until four in the morning listening to somber songs. Heartbreak is breaking down in the middle of a busy street. Heartbreak is seeing his face in all the people I pass by. Heartbreak is feeling tolerable for weeks at a time and then all of the sudden, I feel the ghost of his lips on my neck and his nails on my back and then I’m choking on memories of his presence. Heartbreak is waking up from dreams of him and screaming in the middle of the night because my chest aches like a rotting tooth. Heartbreak is missing him when I can’t sleep; or right after coffee; or right when I can’t eat. Heartbreak is not something that we can get over.
I’m not sure if I will ever forget about him and all our memories made together, but I have learned how to let go of him and move on. It took many nights of laying in bed rolled up like a little sushi roll of blankets with a bowl of Ben and Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk in one hand and tissues in the other torturing myself by watching the sappiest of all romance movies, usually Nicholas Sparks movies, to finally realize that I was better than this. Why should I be sad over losing someone who didn’t love me anymore when he lost someone who loved him? I was better than wasting my high school career laying in bed over a boy who didn’t love me anymore. I was going to love myself. I was going to move on. Everyday I would tell myself, “today is the day. You will move on.” Then I would find myself seeing something that would remind me of him, or I would end up stalking his social media and feel ruined again.
After 8 months, I came to conclusion that there are 5 steps to moving on.
1. You Must Reduce Contact With Them
It is near to impossible to move on with their company still very present in your life. As much as you want to talk to them, it won’t help you in the long run. Just because they are your ex does NOT mean you can’t be friends with them, you just need to reduce contact during the intial healing period.
2. You Must Forgive Them
For a long time, I loathed my ex for cheating on me. I was bitter for awhile and tried figuring out why in the heck he stayed with me but cheated on me. What I learned that the only way for me to be content with myself was to forgive him. Say whaaat? Forgive HIM? Yes. Forgive him. Being bitter and having hate in your heart only does harm to yourself. You can’t change what happened. I once read a book on forgiveness which shared a powerful idea. It said that whenever we refuse to forgive someone, the person we are not forgiving is really ourselves. It makes sense doesn’t it? When you feel angry/bitter toward someone, it’s not the other person who is carrying the anger and bitterness. It’s you. You are the only person carrying the baggage around. On a deeper level, I believe you are angry/bitter at yourself for allowing yourself to be hurt by this person.
3. Recognize They Are NOT The One For You
Since my ex was my first love, I thought he was “the one.” I thought we were going to have a future while he saw nothing more than high school with me. He was my whole story and I was just a measly chapter in his book. I did not want to acknowledge that he was not and will not be the one for me. One concept I figured out was if he does not have 110% intention to be together, then he are not the one for you. I always believe if real intention is there, any obstacles, no matter how insurmountable, can be overcome. If the intention isn’t there, then anything else can come forth as a “reason” for not being together. If you keep thinking that you guys will be together once the circumstance changes, or once the timing changes, or once you are a better person, then perhaps this isn’t the right person. These prerequisites are signals this relationship isn’t meant to be. Because ultimately, it’s not about the right place or right timing. It’s about whether he/she is the right person. If he/she is the right person, you guys would have been together regardless of how wrong the place or timing is. That’s why it’s called the right person.
4. Know There Is Nothing Wrong With You Nor Him
I spent too many months trying to wrap my head around why he would cheat on me and what the heck was wrong with me that he felt that he had to cheat on me. I felt like I was not good enough for a long time. If I wasnt X person with X traits, then I wasn’t good enough. However, everyone looks for different people. There is no present criteria on what are the “right” and “wrong” traits to embody, just different expectations. There is nothing wrong with you…or him. You two just aren’t suited for each other.
5. Recognize There Is Someone Out There For You
It might be hard to believe as you move on from a broken past, but it’s true! There’s no reason why you shouldn’t think so. I don’t care how many relationships you’ve been in the past, how many wrong men/women you’ve been with, or whether you’ve never been in any real relationships. You’re definitely not the only single out there in the world. There are 7 billion people in the world. For every couple you see out there, there are multiples of other singles. There is someone out there for you. Just because you are single now doesn’t mean you will remain forever single. It just means you have not found the right person. Meanwhile, focus on living your best life in your definitions. Most importantly, remember that your life doesn’t and shouldn’t hinge on having a special partner or not. We are complete by ourselves and relationships should not be there to complete us.
Trust me when I say moving on will be a long healing process. (I am currently still finding myself) However, I am finding peace within myself. I no longer beat myself up and think myself as not good enough. I have learned to love who I am becoming and myself. Hopefully this will help you as well!