Thoughts To Live By…

Letting Go of Someone You Love

Posted on: February 22, 2009

Here are ten ways to let go of someone you love – and trust me, we’ve all been there: dumped, ditched, and devastated after someone leaves us (or dies). To achieve your health goals, check out these tips for letting go of the pain of unexpected deaths, pet loss, or rifts in family relationships.

But first, a quip from Gwyneth Paltrow:

“The best way to mend a broken heart is time and girlfriends,” said Paltrow.

To learn about mending a broken heart and achieving your health goals, check out The Girl’s Guide to Surviving a Break-Up by Delphine Hirsh (just click on the book cover). And, to learn about letting go of someone you love and thriving after your heart’s been broken, read on…

Letting Go of Someone You Love

1. Accept your lack of control. No matter how “good”, smart, helpful, giving, or sexy you are, you can’t control whether other people want to stay in a relationship with you. There are other factors that lead people to detach…and the sooner you accept your lack of control, the easier it’ll be to let go of someone you love and achieve your health goals.

2. Accept the role you played. This may sound contradictory, but even though you are out of control in many ways, you were still part of the relationship. You played a role, you affected it somehow. There’s an intricate balance between being out of control in one sense (you can’t make someone stay in your life) and being an active participant in the way your relationship unfolded.

3. Talk about it. To thrive after heartbreak, share your feelings – but don’t obsess, whine endlessly, or get mired in the past. Talk about your loss, but have a purpose. Figure out your role in the relationship. Sort out your feelings, and learn how to do it better next time. To let go of someone you love, you need to work through your feelings of loss, disappointment, pain, anger, or frustration. Working out your feelings will help you achieve your health goals and enter into a new relationship.

4. Trust time. It really does get easier. Even as you feel the pain of the loss right now, know that one day you will be breathing easier and laughing easily (Gwyneth Paltrow’s quip was right on the mark!). To achieve your health goals, trust Mother Nature’s passage of time.

5. Get professional help. Talking through your problems with an objective counselor, pastor, or psychologist can help you let go of someone you love by helping you recognize the big picture. For instance, I usually take the blame when my relationships go off track, but a counselor helped me see that the problems weren’t all about me. As hard as it is to do, getting professional help can help you thrive after heartbreak and achieve your health goals.

6. Accept that your loss may always hurt or confuse you. Some things we never get over – and we don’t necessarily have to get over all the heartbreaks in order to live full, rewarding lives. It’s important to put the past behind you and move on, but that includes accepting that your losses, heartbreaks, setbacks, disappointments, and so on are part of who you are today. To accept yourself today and achieve your health goals, you have to accept your losses.

7. Start something new in your life. To let go of someone you love, open up a new chapter in your social, professional, personal, or spiritual life. Volunteer, take a solo vacation, join a new gym, take a night class, join a support group, check out a new social club, quit your job, find ways to take risks every day. To thrive after heartbreak and achieve your health goals, you need to branch out in new directions.

8. Remember both the good and the bad. When you’ve lost someone you love, it’s easy to just focus on the great parts of your relationship and his or her personality. But, remember the flaws in the relationship and your loved one. Remembering both what you loved and what you hated will help you thrive after heartbreak and help you achieve your health goals, because it’ll give you a well-rounded picture of your relationship.

9. Know you’re not alone. Girlfriend, we’ve all been there. Heartbreak feels like you can’t breathe, like your life is over, like you’ll never love again, and like you’ll never laugh again. Letting go of someone you love is easier if you take Gwyneth Paltrow’s advice and talk to your girlfriends, or take a bookworm’s advice and read books such as The Girl’s Guide to Surviving a Break-Up. Don’t go at it alone; help and support is out there!

10. Accept the ups and downs of grief. Sometimes you think you’ll never get over this loss; other times, you feel fine and happy and good about your life. These ups and downs will even out over time, but you may always experience some days that are more painful than others. Birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays can be difficult even years after a breakup. Just be aware that letting go of someone you love, thriving after a breakup, and achieving your health goals isn’t necessarily a linear experience.

August 23rd, 2008 •
Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen


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