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Letting Go of the Lies That Make Us Feel Bad About Ourselves

Keep Calm and Let Go

“Genuine forgiveness does not deny anger but faces it head-on.” ~Alice Duer Miller

The man who I thought was my soul mate walked out on me fourteen years ago. He immediately remarried a lovely, beautiful woman who was everything I was not.

I am desperate to fall in love. I’m thirty-eight. I want a baby. I want a relationship. I feel alone.

A year ago, I fell unexpectedly in love with my photographer. Yes, star-struck romantics, it was just like the movies. Shy, awkward woman gets pictures taken for her brand-building website, and she is completely unraveled by his boyish sweetness and the power of his lens.

I had never felt so beautiful, so free, so seen, so celebrated. It was a wham-bam-thank-you-mam whirlwind romance. We “hung” out only four times.

But I had felt the life times between us, even if he didn’t.  And he didn’t. He didn’t choose me. But that didn’t stop me from becoming a crazy woman. Obsessed.

I cried every other day, made up stories, fantasies. Of course we had shared past lives together. He was my “real” soul mate.

Even if my mind was making up the stories, my body remembered. Why else would I be so upset? I felt like I was dying, my heart was being squeezed into blackness, and all I could do to get past the tears was scream.

I had many, many moments that looked like this:

Imagine me, on my bed, with a box of tissues, crying from the pit of my soul. Snot coming out my nose and spit out my mouth, all dripping into a sticky pool on my bed. I’m angrily screaming out and yelling “Why?!? Haven’t I suffered enough pain? I’ve done what I thought was right. I’ve prayed. Meditated. Done good deeds. Challenged myself. Don’t I deserve love? The man I want? What can I do differently? What is wrong with me? Why am I not blessed? What do I have to DO-O-O-O-O-O-O-O?!”

Not a pretty scene.

It was gut-wrenchingly painful being in that victim hell realm. I had to get out. But how?

How do you get out of your own way? How do you survive when you are drowning in a pit of dreadful dark emotions and thoughts? All I could think about was that penetrating question, “Universe, what do I have to do??

Do? What do I have to do, right? Because obviously, I did something wrong or didn’t do something right to win his love.

In this two-lettered word, do, I realized everything. It wasn’t about doing. It was about surrendering, letting go, and trusting in the organic flow of life.

Not easy.

I constantly forget this, and the universe kindly reminded me of my sticky attachments to the external, yet again. Then, to make matters worse, that little voice crept up and said in its annoying voice, “You need to look inside for love, not on the outside.”

Who’s heard that before?

And I say back defiantly, “Easy for you to say. I’m only human. I’m not an enlightened being. I want love, damn-it. Love!”

Then, I stopped. I took a breath, dropped into my body, and surrendered. And then surrendered some more.

Finally, I said to myself, “It’s okay to want love. It makes me a loving human being. It’s even okay that I became a crazed, angry woman, mad at the world, making up fantastical, delusional stories. It happens. But, mainly it’s okay because deep, deep down inside myself there was a lie I was telling myself.

(Breathe)

I was telling myself that it was my fault for being so unlovable, so broken that these men didn’t choose me. And of course, I know that’s not true.

At first, I felt like an idiot. Geez, not the stupid loathing-lack-of self-love-thing again. But then I remembered to give myself empathy. I forgave myself for my lie because I know that many of us on this planet have the same one.

That is what makes us human.

Self-acceptance, forgiveness, and self-love washed over me. And I felt a little bit better, lighter. I felt like I was thrown a divine rope to pull me out of that pit of despair.

I went through this routine about 100 more times, until one day, months later, I felt normal, clearer, and joy eventually snuck in again. I haven’t met Mr. Right yet, but I’m hopeful. I’m more grounded, more open, more trusting, and less attached.

And when I start to feel the chatter of my mind and those icky feelings bubble up again, I remind myself of what I learned months before. There is a universal process of forgiving and letting go. We each have our own way of describing it, but mine goes something like this.

1. Acknowledge what you are feeling, your anger, your sadness, and your pain.

2. Release it. Express it (safely, away from blunt objects, and in the comforts of your home). Don’t hold it in your body to fester and turn into disease!

3. Ask yourself the tough questions, and answer truthfully until you get to the very bottom of your pit of despair. There, you will find the treasure: the lie you have been telling yourself.

4. Be gentle. Accept your lie. Forgive yourself for telling it.

5. Lovingly let it go and rewrite your story. For me, it was: “I’m not unlovable. I’m lovable, and love will come to me in its perfect timing! Yahooo!”

6. Finally, chuckle at the absurdity of it all, and remind someone else of this human process of death, rebirth, and growth through your own sharing, storytelling, and your art.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. And smile.

Photo by Randy Heinitz

About Jani Moon

Jani Moon is a Media Coach, Brand Innovator, Communication and Connection Expert in New York, NY. She coaches clients to be their lovable, authentic superstar selves on the radio and TV, on the job, and in their lives.  Visit her at www.janimoon.com and @janimoon1 on Twitter.

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  • sia

    hi.. beautiful words written in a very beautiful way… I too feel the same way most of the times, and m in that position where my friend does not feel that way while I think he is the one, at this moment.. but I didn’t understand what is that lie that I am telling myself. can you please elaborate on that? Is it just that I think I am not lovable? nothing else? thank you..

  • Carolina

    jani, you’re speaking from my heart. love will come to each of us in its perfect timing. sending love to you 🙂

  • Peace Within

    Thank you for sharing your story. I would just like to say that you don’t really need anyone else. You can’t look for love. You can’t expect people to stay in your life. People will come into your life for a reason, season or a lifetime. Make the best of it. Love yourself and be true to yourself. Be your own best friend. We come on this alone, we leave alone. If someone does walk into your life, that is a plus. If someone doesn’t, it’s not a minus. You are whole. Life is what we make of it. The way we look at it is the way it’ll be. We choose the lens to look through, whether it’s negative or positive.

  • Peace Within

    You are loveable. You can’t rely on others, you have to rely on yourself. Cherish the relationship for what it is, but don’t expect anything more. You are not lacking anything. Love yourself <3

  • Thank you so much for sharing. Love this comment. So true. I do believe we can feel WHOLE being alone. I feel that way I think most of the time with the love of Spirit. But there are times where I have to be honest with myself & acknowledge that I do want love.

  • <3 <3 <3 Thank you! Aho!

  • Thank you!!! Thank you so much for sharing. I think it’s ok if you don’t know your “lie”. Sometimes it’s hard to find under all the emotional stuff. But I think that there can be lots of lies/ limiting beliefs/ false stories. “I’m not good-enough. ” “I’ll be hurt.” “Something is wrong with me.” “I must suffer.” You have to hear the ONE that is the loudest & flip it, dissolve it with LOVE. I love, personally, to pray, dance, & write it out! And talking like this helps too!!! Big hugs!

  • Thank you so much. I love you comments! I not gonna “LIE” it’s hard to be that vulnerable even for me as a media coach. I totally had a freak-out moment. “Like did I just put that out there for the whole world to read . . .ahem.” But I know that I always don’t have it figure it out. I’m doing the best I can. And I truly believe with all my HEART that if we speak from the HEART we can heal, inspire and change. Love you all!!!

  • Ivan

    I guess everyone of us have some sort of things going through our lives, just maybe different style of the story. Thank you for your post, I think that there is some fate you writing it and us reading it over here, not just pure coincidence. I especially liked the breath and smile thing. BREATH, SMILE~~~ PEACE~~ XD

  • lv2terp

    Wonderful post! Thank you for being so vulnerable with your story to get this awesome message across!! This was perfect timing in my life, thank you so much for writing this, and providing such wise guidance, and advice! 🙂

  • My husband left me for another woman, he actually told me he is choosing her over me, they are having a baby and so on. i meet someone and became so attached that i scared him away, am sure he double locks his doors now lol. I have had all the feeling you described and then some. I have felt worthless because am crying over a guy that did not love me and with this post you have given me permission to cry and hurt because its normal and am not some idiot. From the buttom of my heart Thank you for sharing this

  • So true Ivan. THANK YOU. I don’t believe in coincidence either only synchronicities! Let’s ALL breath & smile TOGETHER. XOX

  • Shawn Lowe

    Man – did I need to hear that. Thank you so much for writing and sharing it. I hope we find the love we seek when the Universe decides it’s time.

  • Yes! Yes! Yes! I do believe the Universe has an infinite supply of LOVE so “Universe, Holler! Please bless us all with love & grace & the openness to receive it!” XOX

  • You are so welcome. Thank you for receiving it with such love!

  • Thank you. Thank you so much for sharing. So many of us have the SAME story. I LOVE what you wrote that now you have “permission to cry & hurt because it is normal”. I am glad it’s normal! B/c I CRY all the time!!! Big big hugs to you!!!

  • Csaba

    This came just in time for me. Long story short: I have a classmate at university, who I fell in love with, and she didn’t with me. I asked her out and she said no, but wanted to remain friends because I am her best friend. After half a year, she got a boyfriend and this just tears me up, my emotions didn’t disappear and I meet her every day at school. My lie that I am telling myself is that “the feeling will go away and we will be great friends” or “she will kick him out and will come to me”. Now it came to the point where I realised how much bull-shit (I’m sorry but this is the best way to describe this) was I thinking. Tomorrow I’m going to meet her and end out friendship. It’s not gonna be easy, and I’m gonna hate myself. But it has to happen for me to be able to move on, and love somebody who will love me. Wish me luck and strenght, and thanks for opening my eyes.

  • Unrequited love is the worst!!! knowing that you love someone so much that you could walk to the end of the earth for them if they asked you too ( i know cliche) but they don’t feel the same way about you. it totally sucks listen to Bonnie Raitt i can’t make you love me. And GL hope good things happen making the bad things in life worth going through.

  • Josh

    I do very much like this line: ‘chuckle at the absurdity of it all, and remind someone else of this human process of death, rebirth, and growth through your own sharing,
    storytelling, and your art.’ Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Dee Wise

    Well said!

  • Leighmama

    I am so glad I’m not the only one who’s been there. I’m so amazed you had the courage to share your story. Even after years and years of being left by a man I adored (leaving me feeling unworthy), marrying (a man I love) & 2 kids later, I can’t shake that he left me. I can’t shake that I wasn’t good enough for him & it still tears me up. So I put on my favourite film, have a good cry & get on with it. The best quote from Eat, Pray, Love… “But I love him.”
    “So love him.” “But I miss him.” “So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, then drop it. You’re just afraid to let go of the last bits of David because then you’ll be really alone, and Liz Gilbert is scared to death of what will happen if she’s really alone. But here’s what you gotta understand, Groceries. If you clear out all that space in your mind that you’re using right now to obsess about this guy, you’ll have a vacuum there, an open spot – a doorway. And guess what the universe will do with the doorway? It will rush in – God will rush in – and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed. So stop using David to block that door. Let it go.

  • LOVE this!!! So perfect! Thank you for sharing. My good friend Lara told me as I was going through my divorce, “Wow, he loved you that much to show up and teach you all those lessons, huh.” And I was like “Say what?%#!” I had never thought about it in that way, that the ppl who we feel have hurt us the most are actually our greatest teachers. xox!

  • Thank you!!! 😉

  • Good luck! And how brave & compassionate of you to acknowledge your own lie! May all our eyes be OPEN. 🙂

  • Ha ha! I’ve listen to that song more times than I want to count, but I LOVE it!

  • Anna Smirnova

    I really enjoyed reading your story. We have all been there and this is something we all have to learn.

  • SerenitySeeker

    This entire post resonated deeply with me, but my main take away was “I went through this routine about 100 more times”. I’ve read all the literature and understand cognitively the importance of self-acceptance and what’s necessary to get to that point, but it is so easy to get stuck when you realize what a long process it is. In my experience, getting frustrated and not having control over how long it takes has been a huge struggle and has perpetuated more self disgust. Reading your words that it took you so much repetition, and that the lies creeping their heads up again isn’t a sign of failure gives me hope.

  • Jeevan/Mirthu/Gupt

    “We come on this alone, we leave alone.” That line almost takes me back to LOST….hahah! :-). But on a serious note, its so true what you said…the society that we are living in; we are conditioned to think from a very young age that we need someone else to complete ourselves or there must be something wrong with oneself to be content & happy by our-self!

  • Yeah, I relate to this story very well. My husband left me 18 years ago and I’m now 48, still single, and no children. I found that I not only had to get over my broken heart and my feelings of not being good enough, but I also had to mourn the loss of the life I had envisioned for myself. That life fell to pieces.
    I feel a deep sadness sometimes. But when my mind and my emotions go to that dark place, I know I have the power to choose. I can feel hopeless or I can have faith.
    My path may not be what I envisioned, but I choose to have faith that it can surprise me by being better than anything I could have imagined.
    Thank you for sharing your raw emotions – I’ve been there and it’s comforting to know I’m not alone.

  • Humble

    Jani I’ve been feeling the same pain you have, and I just wanted to let you know that I’m grateful for your article and sharing this. I have felt the same in the wants and being very much alone. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Peace Within

    Thank you for understanding. These are valuable lessons my mentor has taught me. She lived up until she was 98 years old. She was the happiest person I have ever met in my life. The most genuine and had a very happy soul. She had the biggest heart and loved everyone. She taught me how to love myself. She taught me that there is a difference between being alone and being lonely. Now, I embrace it. I try to share the wisdom she has given me with other people. It has completely changed my life. I am beyond grateful.

  • Peace Within

    You are welcome. Glad you understand my perspective.

  • Thank you for such a raw, honest and inspiring article. Your point about surrender is so important for all facets of our lives. By practicing surrender, letting go and being present with our internal experience we can shape our external one. As you said, doing so helps us notice the stories we tell ourselves (often they are those sneaky, nuanced stories) and begin to shift them with tenderness and care.

  • sia

    thank you… yes, i am right now, keeping a journal of all my positive (only positive, happy ones..) feelings and thoughts so that later on, i will read and feel this joy again… lets see what time has in store for me this time..

  • sia

    thank you.. once again, i must say, this post is really good..

  • sia

    thank you, peace within for your kind words..

  • JLB

    I completely relate. Thank you for speaking confidently and have the willingness to say, you are lonely and you want love. Sometimes its a no no to say out of being viewed as insecure. It’s natural to want to have a support system in place, someone to share your day and bed with. I accepted someone into my life when I got angry at myself. This man represented everything that I was not. I jumped at the chance to have a dramatic change. I let him change me and my life until I didnt recognize it anymore. I lost friends, family, etc. I was so mad at myself for letting life spin out of control, I gave control to the wrong person. I lied to myself and said I could deal with a small, simple life. I was hiding from life, believing my own lie.
    Its taken months to forgive myself. I sought forgiveness from my friends and only received it after I forgave myself. It got to the point where it didnt matter anymore what they thought. And then suddenly, they were back. I learned the hard way that loving yourself is the most important thing. I deserve to get the right person at the right time, even if it means waiting. Never gonna settle again.
    Thank you Jani. You are such an inspiration and strong woman. You are stronger than you know. Sometimes when we feel such deep pain and loss, its a blessing. Its a blessing to feel and have the opportunity to grow and to help others grow. There would be no good without the bad. Like my Mom always says…… everything passes, the good and bad.
    Enjoy the good while it lasts and have faith the bad will not last long. Love you
    Jenni L.

  • sid.

    I sort of found the ‘snot running from my nose” endearing. In summary, don’t be so hard on yourself; we can be our own worst enemies. And go have a baby!

  • Emma

    I think we have all been the crazy person. I fell in love with a man I only had a fling with and long distance talked/texted with for over a year, yes he did not feel same way. I told him I loved him and I still do. I sent him so many text messages and emails, he told me I was crazy and to get out of his life. I was completely devastated and cried so much, achingly so and even went through a period of depression, I was so lonely. I miss him still, which I know is silly, but the heart does not choose who it falls for. I know he is not right for me, but I still care about him and have wished him all the best and happiness in my heart, even if he does not know it. I still want to be loved, as I feel I have so much love inside of me to offer someone, but I am nearly 41 and it has not happened yet……..sigh

  • Ha ha That’s a good one. I say that to myself more than I care to admit. Thank you for such a thought-provoking conversation!

  • I love the journal idea! I need to do that too!

  • bdzc

    This is beautiful. I can definitely relate to what you’re writing, and for me that is the most beautiful thing in the world 🙂

  • DEH Reborn

    That is a phenominal statement “Be your own best freind”

  • Jeevan/Mirthu/Gupt

    Thats beautiful…if you don’t mind me asking; who was this mentor of yours? I have noticed from a number of your comments recently that you seem to share a lot of insightful thoughts… You should write a blog here in Tiny Buddha about some of those wisdom that your guru passed on to you! 🙂 By the way; sorry about the late reply.

  • Peace Within

    No worries on the late reply! That is a great idea. I will write one. My mentor was my co-worker and a family friend. My dad’s boss for the last 25 years. She taught me how to run a business and gave me wisdom of life. My spiritual friend <3

  • Jeevan/Mirthu/Gupt

    haha; thats nice to hear! Will hold you to that blog & better get started on it soon! 🙂

  • Dear Jani, I believe we all have times in our lives when we feel broken and we feel as if no one loves or wants us. It’s easy to give advice and say that we need to find the love inside our hearts instead of looking for it outside, but at the end of the day, it’s important to realize that we are social beings, we’re meant to love and be loved and we find fulfillment in that. I recently discovered this story that put a different perspective on the idea of being broken and acknowledging that instead of hiding it away and being ashamed of it. I think every time we’ve put ourselves back together should be celebrated. Feel free to read my post about it, I would love to get your opinion as someone who has dealt with “being broken before” http://justlav.com/2014/06/11/covered-in-gold/

  • IBikeNYC

    “I also had to mourn the loss of the life I had envisioned for myself.”

    Thank you. I’d never have seen it this way.