One of the things I’ve learned after loss has been that eventually, you must move on. And while most people continue to live in this denial, I am choosing not to. Why? Because it is unhealthy to linger in a time and place in the past for too long. When you do, it not only keeps you in a place of constant pain, but it also hinders from moving forward in your future. It keeps you from discovering bigger things, better people, opportunities that were once unknown. But we are all so afraid to dive into that. Because the past is a place of comfort. It is where we feel home. But I think the reason why we hold onto it so tightly sometimes is because there is always something unresolved – and whether that is closure or some particular issue – we become so afraid of solving it or closing the chapter on that part of our lives because we know that once we do, that’s it. We can never get that part of our lives back again, although it has already come and gone anyway.
I was missing my dog today. Quite frankly, I haven’t thought of her in a month or two, mostly because I have been afraid to confront my feelings of grief and have been in denial of her passing. But today, out of nowhere – much like when the pain of loss chooses to hit you – I began to cry over her. I began to miss her so deeply and I felt this hollow void begin to form inside my heart. I missed the love she used to give to me when she would wag her tail as I’d come home every night after work. She was always happy. Happy to see me. Never asking for more than my love in return. But that is not the point of this blog post. Sure, it’s fine to miss someone or something that we’ve lost. We’re not ever supposed to forget them and they will always have a special place in our hearts. But what happened after I began to miss her is where I begin to feel stuck.
I began to look closer into the pictures. The background. They were from a few years ago. I noticed some of them were located at my old apartment. Some of them contained the hands or legs of my former boyfriend. I noticed the times they were taken – what holidays or what events in my life were happening at the time. Soon after I noticed myself mourning, not only the loss of my pup but the loss of my former life. Questioning as to where it all went wrong. Which path was it that lead me to where I now rest today.
Sure, I began to feel that slow aching of what once was. I began to feel the sadness, the emptiness rush over me again. But then before I became too deep, I caught myself and realized that while it’s ok to remember the past once in a while, it is not ok to stay there and wallow. It is not ok to linger and turn over the events in my mind over and over again. It is not ok to keep questioning whether what I did was right or wrong or what decisions I should’ve or could’ve made better. It is not ok to sit there and look at all the broken pieces of what once was my life and wrack my brain trying to think of ways to put it all back together.
Sometimes, we have to choose to walk away.
To understand that while the past will always be a part of our history, it does not also have to be a weight that we continue to carry into our future. Because what happens when we do carry that weight, is that it begins to slow us down into creating the future we were destined to have filled with the many opportunities that still wait for us. When we are too busy holding onto our past our hands become full and will not be able to grasp anything in the future.
So many people I know still hold on to the past. They still carry their weights like prisoners carry their chains around their feet. Oh if only they knew how free they would be if they were to simply cut their chains off! How they could run or fly into their futures and create new life beyond all the pain and suffering that they had been enduring for so long.
But yet we do not let go easily as humans. We like to hold on because we feel as though if we were to let go, we would appear as weak for doing so. Or that if we were to let go, it would mean that it never happened. Or that if we were to let go, it would mean that none of what had happened had any meaning in our lives. We are afraid of loss. Who wouldn’t be though? Who ever wants to lose anything? But it is inevitably and unfortunately a part of life that we must all experience over and over again. But when we can learn to cope with loss, to learn to turn that loss over into something stronger and greater, that is when we can truly make something great of our lives. And in the end, that is what life is all about. A bigger picture. A greater purpose.
We were not made to suffer or to feel empty or alone or unloved. We were made to move on and fill ourselves with light. But the only way to make room for that light is to open up our empty spaces and allow that light to fill us once more.
I read another story today about a woman who had gotten her heart broken so deeply by a man she thought she loved. She thought that she would never find another love like that again and was completely broken from it. And yet one day, she decided that maybe the only way to let love in again was to allow it to seep through her shattered body. To let love fill in the cracks that made her so broken. She also realized that the only way she was able to let in a truer form of love was to be broken in the first place, otherwise she would not have had any room for it at all.
We are all broken in some way. We have all lost in some way that has made us broken. But it doesn’t mean that we have to continue to live in that brokenness. We do not have to continue to close ourselves off to the future because we are too busy trying to make sense of what happened in the past. It is ok to let go. It is ok to move on. To make closure. To forgive. To make amends. To do whatever is needed so that we can finally release the weights we carry around our ankles that weight us down and keep us from moving forward.
The Self Love Daily Challenge:
Allow yourself to let go by doing whatever that needs to be done in order to finally heal and move on. Write a letter to the past, tell it that you no longer need to carry it with you, and then let it go.
Keep moving forward my friends. Keep letting the light in.
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