“A thousand half-loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home.” ~Rumi
When I met my first love, my dull black and white life became as bright as a double rainbow. The intense hues of love flooded over me with extreme joy and happiness.
Soon after meeting, we married and lived together for ten years. Yet, like rainbows and raindrops, our love evaporated and I took our divorce especially hard, soaking in self-pity and sadness while grieving for the past several years.
After experiencing a painful breakup, you never, ever want to be in a relationship again. A broken heart and pained soul wants to give up on love altogether.
Why put yourself through so much pain and suffering for a love that hurts and could end?
The reason to give love another shot, I’ve learned, is that by loving better and deeper, we become even more whole. Our hurt and tears clear the fog around our heart and illuminate the soul.
The journey to love is a journey to one’s self, your highest, most sacred and loving self.
There are plenty of obstacles keeping us from loving again. Sad to say, I’ve experienced them all.
Here are ten way to let go of the obstacles preventing you from having love in your life.
1. Let go of pain.
You can’t let go of pain by resisting it. You could avoid the pain for some time, but in order to move on you must fully embrace the pain.
Embracing the pain means experiencing loss, sadness, and grief. As difficult as it might be, allow the tears to flow and share your experience with your friends and family.
Write down your feelings and come to terms with the emotions you’re going through.
Instead of judging yourself harshly for your feelings, wash yourself in compassion for finding the strength to move through your pain.
2. Let go of trespasses.
When you break up, you feel like you want to blame everyone for causing your heartache. This includes not just your ex, but also their parents, your parents, their friends, your friends, and everyone in between.
The only way to stop blaming others is to forgive them. No matter how grave the offense or how unacceptable their behavior, your healing starts when you let go of the gripe. Yes, it was unfair; yes, it was unjust; and yes, they did you wrong. But there’s nothing to be done now but forgive.
Forgive people, because they, like us, have many imperfections. They know not what they do. They don’t live up to our expectations and have had difficult pasts that we may not understand fully.
3. Let go of bitterness.
The way to let go of bitterness toward others is to think of the many positive qualities and experiences you’ve had with them.
Your ex is not an evil person; they just weren’t the best person for you.
Instead of being stuck on their flaws and wrongdoings, allow the power of forgiveness to overlook what they’ve ‘done’ to you. Look at what good they’ve done, how much they’ve helped you be a better person, and the happy times you had together.
Remind yourself of their redeeming qualities. See their light.
4. Let go of resentments.
We let go of self-pity and resentments by being more grateful.
Not only be thankful to your ex and the relationship you shared, but start living a life filled with gratefulness.
Notice the small things and the big things that are constantly occurring around you.
Appreciate the kind gesture, the words of encouragement, and the favorable circumstances that unfold in your life.
Making a small gratitude list as you start or end the day can help you move from focusing on resentments to focusing on thankfulness.
5. Let go comparing yourself to others.
What I’ve learned is that no relationship is perfect, and most relationships look good from the outside. Comparing your relationship to others isn’t very constructive.
Once again, transform bitterness toward others to gratefulness that others have found love in their lives. If others have found love, let that be a message of hope and possibility for you.
We are each on our own journeys to better understanding ourselves and loving better. Our journey is independent of anyone else’s.
Your day will come. Your broken love and loss are the seeds of true love.
6. Let go of expectations.
We’ve grown up to expect a lot of things to turn out a certain way. But like the weather and weather reports, you can’t count on sunny and bright all the time.
If we can’t expect good weather, we sure can’t expect a perfect love or a partner to behave a certain way.
The way to be happy in and out of relationships is to let go of expectations and conditions.
Your Mr. or Mrs. Right isn’t a certain height, a certain profession, or a specific personality.
Be open to the magic of possibilities.
7. Let go of resistance.
Although love can be painful and heart-breaking, be willing to open your heart anyway.
Be open to meeting new people, be open to being vulnerable, and be open to falling in love again.
Love can only bloom if you’re open to love in your life. Set the intention for love to enter again.
8. Let go of being tough.
I know the feeling well. “The stronger and more closed I am to others, the less likely someone else will hurt me again.”
If you close your heart and feelings to others, you may avoid pain, but you’ll also miss out on happiness and joy.
Seek to be your most honest self. Instead of hiding behind a cloak of someone you’re not, be yourself in the world, which will only make you more attractive.
By being true to yourself, you’ll also attract people who are better suited for you.
Being vulnerable means being honest about your shortcomings and sharing your feelings. It’s choosing honesty over trying to look good.
9. Let go of telling the same story over and over.
You want to tell the same sad story repeatedly to friends—a love gone wrong, a love soured, a love that fell apart.
What if that story simply wasn’t true?
There are many perspectives and stories in every relationship. Are you holding onto a story of resentment and bitterness?
Are you willing to see a different story? A different perspective?
Could the lost love have helped you grow? Heal some part of yourself? Learn about an open wound?
Is the story you’re telling yourself blocking love from entering your life again?
10. Let go of fear.
The way to let go of fear is to recognize and embrace it.
How is fear holding you back? Is it keeping you stuck from living the life you want or the love you desire?
Call fear out for what it is. What is the worst that can happen if this fear came true? How likely is it that this fear will come true? Have you overcome fears like this in your past?
When you confront fear and acknowledge it for what it is, you can have an honest conversation with fear.
Ultimately, a partner is a mirror and guide to help you complete the journey to your truest self. Even if you break up with them, they can be a conduit to healing and being made whole.
Let go of your blocks keeping you from experiencing joy. Let go and choose love again.
Couple with flashlight hearts image via Shutterstock
Vishnu is a writer and coach who helps people overcome breakups to rebuild their lives and live with purpose. He blogs at www.vishnusvirtues.com For Vishnu's latest book, 10 Sacred Laws of Healing a Broken Heart, visit his Amazon page here.