Letting Go of Unhealthy Relationships and Rediscovering Yourself

Alone on a Swing

“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:

  • Alive
  • Filled with laughter
  • Supportive
  • Loving
  • Understanding

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

About Lakshmi Raman

Lakshmi Raman is a Speaker, Angel Therapy Practitioner, Energy Healer and Women Empowerment Coach who helps her clients build a deeper and stronger connection with their inner self. Learn how to find your angels and live your non-negotiable with Lakshmi on (coming soon). Lakshmi is the co-author of the book Women Rising Volume 2: Embrace Your Story, Find Your Power.

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  • Action

    I’m having trouble releasing one I love, even though she is extremely toxic for me…It’s a pretty complicated relationship (or maybe I’m just making it as such).I’m 26 and she is 20, so we are on different levels career-wise and maturity wise. She continues talking to other men, mainly for what I believe to be validation purposes. She has never physically cheated on me just flirted with other men.

    Ever since she I have caught her, red handed in lies (about 3 times now) over the course our relationship I have lost all my trust in her. She claims to love me and has even discussed marriage however I don’t think I’ll ever recapture how I felt about her before I saw her talking to other men.

    She has been completely honest since those times, however I don’t feel the same yearning and trust for her as I once did.

    Releasing love is very tough, because not only is it releasing love but it’s releasing a best friend. 🙁

  • Lakshmi Raman

    I know how it feels! It took me sometime before I could release someone who felt

  • William

    Simply amazing. Thank you so much for this article. Couldn’t have come across your work at a better time.

  • Lakshmi Raman

    I know how it feels. I’ve been there and its tough. Took me sometime before I decided to let go of a friend. Releasing someone we love can be so tough, but there are times we need to think of ourselves too. If she is ‘extremely’ toxic, then you need to rethink what is best for you. I hear you saying you find it a little difficult to trust her, but here’s the thing darling, trust is such an important part of any relationship. Work with your feelings, observe them and see what they have to say. Write it down in your journal. I wish only the best 🙂

  • Lakshmi Raman

    Thank you so much 🙂

  • Brando

    Great Article, thank you for sharing. How do you know when it is time to let go of something that isn’t what you want it to be? I’m torn on how long to stay because I feel like there is potential for the person to evolve as she has some already. I don’t want to take the path of least resistance and just abandon the relationship, how much effort should one put into something before giving up on it?

  • Lakshmi Raman

    Letting go of someone isn’t something anyone wants. However, when I had to let go of someone in my life I felt this nagging feeling. I did not feel the joy being around them and I realized that they weren’t treating me with respect. I had to stand up for myself and I decided to let go. It hurt me deeply to let them go, I also tried to reason that they would evolve, I knew that if we were meant to meet again when the two of us were more evolved we would, but right now the most healthy thing to do was leave.
    Ask yourself, what is best for you at this moment?
    As far as effort goes try speaking to them and share how you are feeling. If they are willing to work things out, then great 🙂 if not, then follow what your heart says.
    I hope this helps 🙂

  • Brando

    Thank you. I left once before and was told by her “true love doesn’t give up on someone.” I thought about that and felt that she was right, that the most loving and caring thing to do was to not give up on her. So that has been my internal conflict. I want to be the best loving and caring person that I can be, and didn’t want to just walk away when thing got tough and tumultuous.

  • Brando

    And i’m not sure what the best thing is for me right now, that’s the other conflict. I do love and care for this person greatly, and I love being around her when she is acting a certain way. Its that walking on eggshells around her and never knowing when the other side will surface that I cant stand.

  • Lakshmi Raman

    That’s ok to not know sometimes. I journal to try and understand my emotions and when it comes to making crucial decision.

  • Rose

    Fantastic article…I made a lot of mistakes in my 24 year marriage but stayed in it because I kept needing the validation, I disrespected myself so much along the way. I love the way you framed the discussion in a positive, compassionate and REAListic way, no fluff, just so humane for both sides. Space and how you open it up and refill it–leaving someone is more about going towards your true self–I learned the hard way but better than never. We’ve separated now and as scary as that was for me, I know that we will both be better off as time goes by. Thanks so much for sharing. I really needed to read this today.

  • twinkle

    I walked away from a toxic relationship 7 months ago. Rebuilding a life for me day by day since I walked has been hard, heartbreaking, lonely, draining and very scary. But now I control me and my choices, I wake grateful for the peace and safety I now have.I’m truly beginning to find my pride & I respect myself for being brave enough to walk away. Better things are out there for all who seek them .x

  • go_w//flow

    What about an adult child? He’s the son of my ex and approaching his mid-30’s, but having had no children, I’ve always felt a maternal bond with him. I don’t want to be estranged from him.

    About 5 to 6 years ago, he became addicted to narcotics, and after completing a long bout in rehab – he’s been clean for three years now – he’s more difficult than ever. (He’s always been a difficult, complex person.) We now butt heads over everything, no matter what it is .He claims to have no resentment for my enabling him (I was naive and gave him money which helped him use drugs), yet he then tells me that he credits me with saving his life by stopping the money I was sending, that otherwise, he’d be dead now. (I thought the money was for food and electricity, etc., for my granddaughter, testing and books to further him in his professional life, etc.)

    He often mentions hostility toward my husband and me because I didn’t come stay with him when his mother died (I was very busy caretaking my declining parents and attempting to keep my business afloat, plus his girlfriend of many years was supportive of him.) He also lives about 650 miles away. At that time, I was strapped for money (thanks to him) and time (working and caretaking).

    No matter what happens, he controls, or tries to control, everything I do related to him. For example, he became angry that I wanted to let his Dad bring his Christmas presents to him the first year after rehab, which I usually did, if I wasn’t going to see him around the holidays. (He decided this at the last minute, too late for them to arrive by mail, although his Dad was staying at a motel and spending Christmas with his son’s ex – and his daughter could give him the presents without him even seeing his Dad.)

    Since his Dad is an alcoholic, he bans him from his life, off and on, or won’t allow him to stay at his house when he comes to visit, although his Dad no longer drinks any alcohol when he visits him. I thinks he’s unusually cruel to his Dad, who attempts to jump hurdles for his son. I lived those times, too, and I manage to get along with him. He only has to see him for a day or two,, once or twice a year, and he can’t even make that tolerable.

    When he was going out of town, late last spring and summer, he wanted me to give up my first vacation in 12 years to go to his home to keep his daughter, rather than allowing her to go to the beach with me and some family members. (I won on this point; she and I had a wonderful time.) I truly loved having this special time with her. I had to pay for a plane flight and attempt to please my stepson with the arrangements (not an easy task), but she finally arrived.

    A couple weeks ago after both my parents died (two years apart), I had one day to bring furniture to him, using my brother in law’s vehicle. He gave me the third degree about this, and we did bring it, but he was upset that I messed up his plans to meet with his girlfriend’s air conditioning person (who didn’t even bother to show up). We drove 5 hours there, spent a couple hours eating and seeing a presentation by my granddaughter and other children, then drove the 5 hours back. We’ve been bickering ever since. He’s the only person I know who will give somebody a hard time because they’re trying to bring him free stuff from the only grandparents he was close to. It’s difficult to fathom.

    The most recent issue was my parents’ car, my family was going to give him, as this car has low mileage, and he has a lot of miles on his car. With my parents’ estate, we sold nothing. We used a ‘pay it forward’ theme, and gave everything to someone who needed it. He hit the ceiling when I asked for him to give his old car to his ex, who has NO vehicle. He claims she’s on drugs, and I would be enabling her, although this is most likely untrue (HIS drug problem is the reason they split). He attempts to keep her from their daughter, which is painful to his daughter, and he can’t even grasp this.

    We gave my parents’ clothing and household items to battered women and homeless shelters, medical items to an organization which gives them away to people who don’t have insurance or money to pay for them. We gave most of the furniture and heirlooms to family members, or people we knew who needed certain items. The grandson who had a new house with no porch furniture got the porch furniture. The granddaughter who will continue the family dinners received the china, china cabinet and dining table. Others took items they needed or cherished, for some reason or another. My stepson needed a car and several furniture items, pictures, lamps, a rug, etc. In this way, we got rid of everything, in a manner our family felt good about, in loving memory of our wonderful, loving parents.

    My stepson was so disagreeable and unwilling to make a 5 hour drive to do the paperwork to receive a free car with low mileage, the attorney had to do the paperwork twice. Finally, we just put the car in his Dad’s name (my stepson’s decision), and they will work it out between them in the future…

    How do you deal with someone who won’t play fair, with whom you’d love to have a relationship? It’s become very hurtful. Right now, I’m just laying low and letting some time pass us by to cool things off.

    When this all started, I told him how I felt, that he’s selfish, controlling and mean-spirited. He really became upset with me, but I told him my true inner feelings. I told him I want to get all the toxic people and situations out of my life, or else mend them, yet he continues to do what my husband called “throwing out red herrings.” He’s arguing with everything I try to discuss. so right now, the phone seems to produce screaming, and emails seem to bring out moot points that have been rehashed to pieces – and no compromise or solution, just anger and hurt.

    He keeps claiming that I’m out of control with grief at cleaning out my parents’ house, but this is untrue. There were some sad moments, true, but it’s a cleansing process, and I feel that I’m coping very well. It occurred to me that, four days in a row, the anniversary of his mother’s birthday was a Wednesday, the anniversary of her death was a Thursday, him having me jumping through hoops so I could bring the furniture to him was a Friday, then the day we came with the furniture was a Saturday. He was very uncooperative, to say the least, and we’ve been on lousy terms since that time. He’s told me twice that I’m crazed with grief. The unspoken message is that HE’S grieving for HIS mother (5 years gone) and still angry with me. Perhaps, HE’S the one out-of-control with grief. I’m sure, in his heart, he’d rather have his Mom then me, but I’m the one he’s left with, and that can’t be changed.

    Let me add, he had a drug overdose not long after his mother died, and no one let me know about it. He had a second overdose, later, and again, nobody let me know. He called me one night to tell me he needed money to pay back a loan shark he’d allegedly borrowed money from, who’d threatened his life – and he refused to contact police. When I couldn’t make any sense of what he was saying to me, I became alarmed, refused to wire him money, then called his Dad and asked him what in the world was going on. That’s when I got the scoop on everything. That was MAJORLY SHOCKING and devastating to learn.

    Can this toxic relationship be repaired, considering the unresolved problems and the distance between us? Any advice from you or your readers would be appreciated. This is very disturbing to me. I feel like I’m banging my head against a brick wall.

    Maybe the impartial view of people I don’t know will give me the proper perspective on how to handle this.

  • Peace Within

    Hi, from what I read you are amazing woman, very strong too. There is only so much you can do to help him. You have to create your own healthy limits. A person who abuses substances isn’t always easy to deal with. That person has a lot going on in the brain, that they may not even understand. I think how he is acting and everything is out of his hands. Sounds more like he is grieving and doesn’t know how to heal properly, nor does he know how to express his emotions. I don’t think any human being purposely tries to hurt anyone, especially not their own loved ones. When you said: “I told him how I felt, that he’s selfish, controlling and mean-spirited.” Yes, you were being honest. At the same time from his perception of course he will not see it that way and his feelings will be hurt. I hope I’ve helped in some way. Take care and I hope things get better. <3

  • Peace Within

    Thank you. This is valuable advice. I’d like to add that you feel free when you cut out people that affect you in a negative way.

  • Sarah

    Thank you so very much, Lakshmi! So very beautiful and your ending prayers were lovely and so uplifting! Keep on doing what you do! ~ Sarah

  • go_w/flow

    Dear Peace within, I thought maybe I went too far, telling him that, but he is so difficult to deal with and I wanted him to know he’s alienating people who love him. Thank you for trying to help a stranger. I truly appreciate your advice. His dad was shocked that I old him that! In the past, I was always so careful of what I said to him, but he’s so angry these days with his family. It used to be he and his Dad arguing, but now it’s he and me! He also argues with his cousins he used to be close to.

  • I’m still here

    …and return to God

  • Lakshmi Raman

    Remember you are doing the best you can, give yourself lots of credit and love for that. He seems to be holding onto a lot of hurt, not having been able to process the loss of his mom and holds a lot of unspoken hurt feelings towards his dad. I would say really work on yourself. I meditate and even dance through my emotions or go of run. When talking to him, be firm but have compassion for all that he is going through and he must be in a lot of pain internally. But remember if all this is bringing you energetically, sometimes not speaking to them (no matter how much you love them) is best for you. Its wonderful to be there for people we love, but not at the cost of our own well being.
    Toxic relationships can only be repaired if both sides are willing to work on their side of the street. If you’re the only one trying to repair the relationship, there is only so much you can personally do. I hope this helps ! Sending you lots of love <3

  • Lakshmi Raman

    Thank you so much <3

  • Lakshmi Raman

    Oh yes totally agree, feeling free and so light !! I in fact felt my shoulders relax too.

  • Maris Salsero

    That is one of the best articles I have ever read on here. I have definitely had toxic relationships, and after letting the first one go, it became much easier to do in the future. Sure, there is loneliness and questioning afterwards sometimes, but it is so true that we are better off, and that we find time and space to for things that are more beautiful and more constructive for us.

  • Upma

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful post!

  • Talya Price

    Thank you.

  • Mel M

    As the life of all my friends together, giving my positive energy all the time has left me completely drained. I felt pressured to continue but ended up into a downward spiral. I started to become negative in so many ways, which isn’t the real me. So I have decided to withdraw and make space, as you so eliquently put it. I wrote the letters and immediately the black cloud in my mind has lifted. I feel so much better. It’s the start of a new era and I am so thankful for your post, which has helped greatly. My spirit has returned. Thank you xx

  • Peace Within

    No worries. I can relate to what you are going through in my own way. Take care <3

  • Lakshmi Raman

    Thank you so much Sarah 🙂

  • Lakshmi Raman

    Thank you so much 🙂 So true after you let the first one go, it does become a bit easy.

  • Lakshmi Raman

    Hi mel,
    I am so glad to hear that writing the letter helped you! It sure does makes you feel lighter and brings you a bit more closer to yourself 🙂

  • Phyllis

    That does not sound like love. That’s your expectation, of her to “be a certain way.” That’s not fair to her. She doesn’t have to live in the box you’ve deemed acceptable. Love is not putting someone in a box. It’s allowing them to be everything that they are. That is what really loving someone means. If you can’t love every dark corner, then you probably don’t deserve to have the privilege of her best parts.

  • Great post. It’s amazing how much relationships affect how we feel about ourselves. I always feel like there are people holding funhouse mirrors up all around us, and if we keep looking at their distorted reflections, we’re likely to start believing them. Sometimes being internal is the only way to see ourselves with a true reflection. Thanks for sharing.

  • Mari

    Thank you…thank you and thank you!
    I am trying to let go of a 5 year relationship that was more heartache than joy.

    Let us all pray for a better future!

  • Ana

    Thank you.

  • go_w/flow

    Thank you so much for your input. Lakshmi, I am trying to work on myself, and that’s part of the reason for the impasse. You’ve given me food for thought, Thank you for the love; I’m sending it back. Be kind and love well!

  • Lakshmi Raman

    So true Tara, we’ve got to look at ‘our’ life through the mirrors people are holding up and take a step back and go within .

  • Lakshmi Raman

    You’re so welcome 🙂

  • linacostaa


  • sherry1

    I’m a 20 years girl,i study in a medical school, i was a funny, shinny, and full of energy.My life changes, when my love broke up with me 5 months ago…i didn’t believe it i didn’t ..i was in pain …i was lost …and i always say: why he did that he said that he won’t leave me alone but he DID ! ..i still love him even he hurts me.. the day after the break up,he said that he wants to be my friend cuz he can’t live without me…i said that i can’t and i should go awy…but i didn’t go…i stayed cuz i loved him so much …..we stayed frinds for 5 months after the break up ..every single time i was bleeding :'( can’t even tell you how it was difficult ..days of HELL …while i’m bleeding i noticed that he moved on! he could do that and me no…when i feel alone and sad , i go text him and say:i miss u and i love u :'( …he just say u should move on and live ur life….
    Yesterday ,we were talking like we used too as friends…then i told him i’m in pain and i can’t forget…sohe said :u want to be my GF? i don’t even no how i said it but i said “YES” …he said: i can’t now cuz i don’t love u like i used to …that was like a slap on my face :'( …i decided to move on and let it go…cuz he doesn’t deservemy love …i’m in pain now and i would go and text him and talk with him…i’ve an exam next week “Anatomy” which is really hard ..i’m under stress and i can’t study..please help me guys :'( …THank you for reading.

  • Lynnie

    Thank you so much for this great post. One of the best I’ve read on toxic relationships. I think sometimes when you are in a toxic relationship, you don’t always see it until you have come out of it. I went through a toxic relationship a couple of years ago. I thought he was this amazing being who was beautiful to everyone he spoke to. He would only really contact me if he wanted help with a project he was working on, so I gave him advice which was fine and then we gradually started to get closer and feelings grew. He then started to just want some sexy talk and started calling me his ‘slut’… I really don’t like that word. I find it degrading to women personally but he made out I was the weirdo for not accepting it. Alarm bells rang for me…not a great person but I made excuses for him and decided maybe I am ‘the prude’. Then, one of the biggest wake up calls. I found out he was in a relationship. I didn’t find out until a year into our relationship, so I cut all contact with him. As of now I am so happy to be free and on my own and accept myself for who I am which is the best feeling in the world.

  • maddy

    A few days ago the love of my life left me I’ve been with him since my senior year in high school iam now 21 years old I realized that yes we loved each ther but we were two different people he liked to Game anime cosplay and use technology alot I use to game along side him and use technology just as much. But I changed I stop gaming I stop with being on technology alot but I never stop loving anime or cosplay it has gave me such joy decovering it but soon we began to fight all the time over small stuff and then we felt like strangers we lost are friendship we lost the laughs the smiles the joys of each thers company regardless what we did then one day he called me in a voice I didn’t regonzie it was him just didn’t sound him self and he said to me I love you but I don’t enjoy spenting time with you and I can’t be myself and I want to go out just not with you and hung up the phone that was the end of it I drop the phone and my voice caught in my thoat I realized I loved him but it was to late to fix this and we were trying to fix it for 7 months the funny thing is I still love him I shouldn’t but I respect that things would never be the same what I’m trying to say is don’t stay if you arnt happy or can’t be yourself with someone he is right that after all but yes it’s still messed up also

  • vivian0942


  • becky31280

    I am trying to learn this right. I wish it were so easy but it’s not. After 20 years and four children the love of my life told me he loved me and didn’t want to leave me but he didn’t think he was in love with me no more and we held each other all night the next day I caught him missing another girl. Dumb me thought that if given the chance we could have fixed this but looking back over the years I’ve changed everything about me to please him and maybe hr did me a favor because I thought that I had to keep trying because my kids are more important to me than anything but I was not me. I was a shell made out of what he thought he wantrd . now I have a chance to find what I was truelly meant for and find someone who can be my friend and my partner.

  • Great article Lakshmi! It reminds me that with any great relationship it really takes two people who are willing to commit. invest and co-create the greatness in one another.

  • Shaurya K ShaAr

    Hello everyone!new to this site,greatly influenced by ur blog lakshmi..
    One thing i’m longing to ask is that what if someone loves u and u no longer love the other one and u just want to be free..
    The only reason I am not able to quit is because the other person is manipulatng me emotionally..i feel how could i break someone’s heart..

  • Surya

    Relationship is just like a business to some extent, when some one desires to make up his career in business, then he has to take care of many things, he should look for a best location, best product, he would had done well study in that sector and many more things to be taken care of. So when it comes for love also we should not make it in hurry, we should not be open hearted to every proposal, and due to this attitude only we suffer. As for example, when a guy of introvert nature, gets attracted to a angle kind of gal, whose every thoughts are related to lime light. Then in the starting every thing will be okay, as guy will think to give all the freedom, but after sometime, this guy will start disliking the same gal, of her extrovert nature, and in this situation, it is neither the fault of boy and nor its of girl.
    The girl was by nature broad minded, extrovert, fun loving, so she will be like the same, and the same is with boy also, and this relation will surely not work in the long run and end up in the turmoil.
    So if this guy would had waited for the girl, who would be by nature to some what same to the nature of boy then, she would also love the same things which the boy likes. And this relation would had worked. We should not start making castle in air, from the very moment we meet anyone, we should give time to understand him. her. then only decide that, whether it will work or not..

  • jen

    Thank you for this. I think I needed this. I have friends who are great but there are few who you’re just living in a different level from, you know? You’re not at the same level – and I mean in way that both of you somehow just don’t resonate with each other. I think when you feel this way, like something is missing for whatever reason it may be – it’s probably time to move on and let go of those friends. This doesn’t mean they are good or bad people, it just means that you guys don’t mesh well like you use to. It might be time for change and that’s okay.

  • jen

    thank you for this 🙂

  • LaTrice Dowe

    There were times in my life when I had to cut people off, due to disrespect, negativity and boundaries. I want to surround myself with those that are supportive, and wouldn’t mind me sharing my accomplishments and life changing moments with them. If they’re going to continue to keep looking at me as the bad person, I don’t see the point on keeping them around.

    My ex-best friend from high school was the type of person that didn’t know how to use common sense, as well as her brain. She wrote this horrible and cruel letter to me, saying that I was an embarrassment to her, and that she didn’t want to be my best friend anymore. I knew I hadn’t said or done anything for her to treat me like garbage. I was so hurt, humiliated and angry that I almost got into a physical altercation with her, and several people had to intervene. As soon as I was finished speaking to a counselor, I confronted her. I was demanding answers, wanting to know what was her problem with me, and why she was mistreating me. She couldn’t give the answers that I needed, so I ended the friendship. I realized that I didn’t have anything to be ashamed of, and it was obvious that she didn’t know what friendship means. I’m not sure if my ex-best friend understands it today, but frankly, I don’t care.

    I accepted the fact that we can NEVER be friends again, and I’m okay with it. We’re two different people that came from different worlds. I haven’t forgiven her for what she did to me, and I will continue to hold the grudge against her. Although the incident happened fifteen years ago, the scars will last a lifetime.

  • CalGirl

    Very well written and very true! Thank you 🙂

  • Guest

    I so much had this kind of One Way Romance… Got hung up on him, only met him 1 time; then only phone..i really enjoyed talks with him. But as you said only for his convenience,, i felt the tension also; like a prophetic vision..
    Visions of having Sex w/this man..too dumb to listen to friends saying He gets all he needs when he Needs..
    Feeling very STUPID NOW, but will break mentality of he; maybe good person ,but –
    Toxic relationship never entered my thought process….
    Afraid to maybe think i didnt have a chance..Wrong !! I started with writing letters and destroying them…changing every thought …working hard on it.
    Need to know i am WORTH A HELL OF ALOT.
    Thank you for help Tiny Buddha…..

  • IBikeNYC

    I wonder how you’re doing now!

    I’m working on walking away from a 20-year-long toxic relationship, myself. I know it’s tough, but I look forward to being in your shoes very soon.

  • Anthony Esquibel

    How is that going for you? I am divorced about 3 years now and have finally open myself to another relationship. It was perfect at first, but now things are not the same. Some of it is me, some her. I am giving her some space in the hopes that it will strengthen our relationship.
    How have you handled your break up?
    Thanks 🙂

  • IBikeNYC

    Thank you so much for asking, but I’m still saving my pennies, nickels, and dimes.

    I give you a lot of credit for being in a new relationship and for your awareness that things are not the same.

  • Sally Torres

    Thank you so much for writing this. It is exactly what I needed as affirmation that I am exactly where I need to be. Learning to love and care for myself has not happened all at once. It has been an ongoing learning process as each lesson comes with a deeper realization of where it is that I still not healed. This month has been difficult. My abusive ex husband died and aside from being taken back by the intense grief I felt, I lost my daughter in the interim. Her father was unrepentant and even lied about the abuse. She somehow always felt she had to “earn” his acceptance and love, perhaps even now that he is gone. Since his death, I have been diagnosed with cancer and my daughter has chosen to be distant still. The most difficult thing for me, thus far, in my journey has been to learn to detach with love from my own daughter but, even more so, to love myself despite her treatment of me. Perhaps one day I will be grateful for these lessons but at the moment, they are quite upsetting. Thanks so much for making me realize that even though I may feel like I am in the dark, I actually am in the light. ~Peace, Love and Light~

  • Juliano

    I lived 8 years of toxic relationship with a person who always had me under her microscope, ready to roll over my feelings and achievements in order to try and make me feel disqualified as a human being. She said once she had just 2 priorities in her life: our son and her family. Obviously not including me in her top ten. After one of our recurrent arguments she left my house, and I have to confess felt relieved. But now looks like my life still does not find the way to put myself back into the most effective track to start all over on my own. Sad, anxious, trying to move on. Its costly, emotionally speaking, trying to still accept there is no way of turning my head back into the miserable life I wasted by her side.

  • Alexandra

    I’ve been in this relationship with this guy for 4 years now when we met it was like fate he was my “notebook” story we have been through a lot but it wasn’t long till the complications started I put my all into the relationship 4 years and I’m still in love with him but I know he’s not in love with me he started out just calling me names and belittling me then one night due to making friends I was laying on the couch and he dragged me off of it by the hood of my sweater because he thought I was cheating on him thing is …..I never would then we got into a huge fight and he burned everything that belonged to me and my 2 year old son at the time he just wouldn’t stop so I left for a while thinking if he seen that I wasn’t gonna deal with it he would change and realize that I loved him and he didn’t have to act like that or treat me like that and he had only changed to the fact he doesn’t touch me or call me names but now he won’t sleep next to me or touch me or be intimate with me and the only thing he did is get mad about everything and neglect me and my needs I know I need to let him go but I’m having a really hard time doing so because of the love that I have for him

  • May Jane C. Larenz

    Indeed, every step creates a story to tell. And the step I just took right now led me to finding a path that would let me create a new story of faith. I’ve been surfing for like months now since the day someone jilted me. Normally, I felt so devastated for just like the others, I had already looked forward to having us ended up together. I thought it was the most unfortunate experience I had but as I came across this article which made me wonder because I’ve never felt so enlighted as I am right now provided that I had read countless of articles already, I realized that it’s indeed the best thing ever happened to me. I should have realized then the transition God wants me to have in my life. I should have realized that He letting things unfold in accordance to His will. And I want to thank the ones who wrote this article for like an angel, you’ve opened my eyes to the goodness of Our Almighty Father. Yes indeed, letting go is never and will never be an easy thing but as you said that when the pain of holding on is greater than letting go then it surely is time to take a big leap in my life. I guess, enough courage will do for me to end up taking back the real me I lost in the process of loving the wrong one too much. 🙂

  • East

    Great comment &awesome awesome awesomeness that’s a true blessings my dear to realize that our heavenly Father knows what we need when he reveals it Wednesday must take the necessary steps to newness may God continue to bless you and guide you with his infinite wisdom. Peace&blessings

  • Annetta

    Oh I’ve been in a very similar position as you. Unfortunately, holding grudges only hurts you. Forgiving them does not mean you have to be friends or even talk to them ever again but it is for you. Holding a grudge means they still have a hold on you or have a place in your life. Make peace and let it all go because they are not worth your energy. Learn from the experience and move on. Yes, it’s easier said than done but you know you’d be better off.

  • Erika Pearl

    Congratulations on all the brave work you have accomplished so far. I am in the beginning stages of releasing toxic people but hope to feel the way you do someday. Thank you.:)