“I am leaving you for me. Whether I am incomplete or you are incomplete is irrelevant. Relationships can only be built with two wholes. I am leaving you to continue to explore myself: the steep, winding paths in my soul, the red, pulsing chambers of my heart. I hope you will do the same. Thank you for all the light and laughter that we have shared. I wish you a profound encounter with yourself.” ~ Peter Schaller
A few months back I was someone you could easily walk all over. I was afraid to let go of friendships because I feared having no one in my life.
A friend would call me a sissy if I didn’t want to go out drinking with her, so I’d tag along and then feel miserable and angry with myself for the next few days.
My wake-up call came when I learned that a friend had driven drunk and died in an accident. Even though I barely drank, I knew it was time to make a change.
I had to let go of old friends who I only hung around to avoid loneliness, as well as one-way relationships. When you cleanse your life, both physically and emotionally, you create space for something better.
I was tired of holding on to that man for whom I meant nothing; I wanted a relationship that would make me feel alive.
I was tired of holding on to unhealthy friendships; I wanted friendships that would make me feel supported.
I realized I had to stop sacrificing myself and my happiness for others. It isn’t healthy. Doing something out of love, to be helpful, is different from doing it out of fear or need, because you want validation.
I also knew this would help me attract healthier relationships. When you start doing things for yourself, people pick up on that energy and can see and appreciate you for who you are.
We can face a lot of resistance when we try to let go of people. A call, thought, or memory is enough to reel us back in.
The ego loves instant gratification. The soul knows something better awaits us. We’ve got to do the work to move past resistance, and the only way is to move through it.
If you, like me, have considered letting someone go, ask yourself these questions:
How do you feel in their presence: drained or alive? Does the person always have your best interests in mind? Do they belittle you when you share your feelings? Do they make promises and never follow up?
If you answered yes to the final two questions, it might be time to move on to make space in your life for healthy, happy relationships.
If you’re afraid of letting someone go, realize you are doing them a favor. You’re not only creating space in your own life, you’re also creating space in theirs so they can find someone who is a better energetic match for them.
It’s never easy to let go of the past, but when the pain of holding on is far greater than the pain of letting go, it’s time to take the leap.
I’ve started incorporating a few practices into my daily life that help me let go; I hope they help you too.
1. Express your feelings in a letter.
Focus on one relationship that’s draining you and write a letter to the person you want to let go. Pour out your feelings onto the paper. The letter can be as long or short as you want.
End the letter with, “I release you across all space and time. Thank you for helping me learn and grow.” Fold the paper, burn it, and bury it in the ground to signify a complete release to the universe. This particular ritual is magical. I instantly start to feel lighter.
2. Clear your physical space.
Physical cleaning is so helpful when you are letting go of the past. Our physical space is a representation of what we’re giving space in our life.
Sell or donate any gifts you received, and burn any letters from the person you’re tying to let go. You’re going to face a lot of resistance; you’ll come up with reasons to hold on to these things. Remind yourself that this crucial to moving on and feeling happier with yourself and your life.
3. Get clear on what you need.
Write down how you want to feel in your life and within your relationships.
This is how I want my life and relationships to feel:
- Filled with laughter
If you’re not sure how you want to feel on the whole, start with just the immediate future. How do you want to feel this month?
4. Start filling the empty space.
Now that you’ve created space by releasing unhealthy relationships, write a list of activities that will help you feel and experience your desires. For example, you could join a dance group to feel alive.
Put a little time into your passion every day. Writing makes me come alive, so I make sure to write daily.
As you start dedicating time to things that are important to you, the right people will come into your life—people who see and appreciate you for who you really are.
When you try to let go of someone, don’t be surprised if they reach out more than they usually would. They can energetically sense that you’re letting go of them.
When this happened to me, I decided to have a one-on-one talk and be frank about why I’d decided to move on. Do what is best for you.
The entire process may seem overwhelming; take it one step at a time, and be aware of the emotions that will come up. If you remember that this is a normal part of letting go, and remind yourself of why you decided to move on, it will be easier to stick to your decision, in spite of your feelings.
I pray you have the courage to let go of your past.
I pray you make room for your best life to unfold.
I pray you live a life beyond your wildest imagination.
Alone on a swing image via Shutterstock