All of the advice about moving on from breakups and divorces is wrong. It’s so frustrating because all it does is keep you stuck in the past.
So many people say cliched things like things will get better, it’s all happening for the best or time will heal all wounds.
Most people just sit there and do nothing! They just wait for time to pass. Or worse, they go on and live their normal life. Start dating again and live their best life.
So they go back to their regularly scheduled life and try to live it as normal as possible only to find that it’s hard. Meeting someone and moving on with their life is challenging if you’re still stuck in the past.
You can try it but you won’t be showing up fully. You won’t show up with an open heart. You’ll be showing up with one foot in the past and one foot in the present.
Making peace with the past
The one thing that people miss in the letting go process is making peace with the past. I love Eckhart Tolle and all the wisdom teachers out there who are beating the drum of present moment living.
Yes, ideally, if you stopped thinking about the past and lived in the present, then you wouldn’t be pulled back by you past. You wouldn’t feel the heavy emotional weight and baggage of the past. You wouldn’t ruminate on the past.
Except if you’re like me, you’re human! I simply couldn’t bring myself to the present moment when I had so many thoughts and memories of my ex. I wanted to continue the life that we had planned together. I wanted to pursue the dreams. All the memories and dreams we had, I didn’t want to let go of.
My mind couldn’t stop re-thinking, re-playing and re-living all the past memories of my relationship. The past is a powerful drug that is hard to let go. Your mind is addicted to what you once had because of the certainty, the pleasure and the comfort of past times.
A middle way to letting go
Unlike what the wisdom teachers tell us, I don’t believe you simply can live in the present moment. You have to do some work on making peace with the past.
I’m also not a fan of traditional psychology and therapy when it comes to dealing with the past in relationships. Psychologists bring up a whole other can of worms. When I started visiting one, I went all the way back to my childhood and family history. She started opening up all kinds of boxes I had no interest in opening.
It blew my whole life open and I went into a tailspin with my life feeling completely out of control. I’m ultimately grateful for this experience but I wish I could have just worked on letting go of my ex.
Today, when I work with people, I take the middle way. I help them make peace with the past by using the tools of forgiveness, creating a healing ritual and working on closure of past events. I also help them tell a new and more empowering story about that past relationship.
I detail the process in my free ebook, 7 healing rituals. Sign up to the newsletter and you’ll automatically get this guide.
The root of what’s keeping you stuck
If you’re enlightened, you’re probably not reading this blog and you’re doing just fine living in the present moment.
If you’re human, then you likely need to make peace with the past in order to live in the present moment. The past holds keys as to what’s keeping you stuck. You have to carefully examine the relationship and the story you’re telling yourself and dig out the elements of your past that are keeping you stuck there.
If it’s been years and you don’t know what to do, please consider looking at the past to see what’s still causing you grief, what’s still unresolved and what you need to make peace with.
To let go completely:
- Inquire what in the past is unresolved and keeping you stuck
- Bring it to light and commit to exploring and understanding it
- Work on healing that one root block that’s keeping you stuck in the past.
If you haven’t done this or hadn’t planned to, please consider hiring a coach to help you figure out what’s keeping you stuck and then help you move forward and actively let go.
It was only when I went into the past and examined the problems in my relationship with my ex, I began to notice the open wounds that required care and healing.
I did the care and healing in the present so that I could repair the damages of the past. You can’t fix things by going back to the past but you can fix them here and now.
Examine and understand the past but do the healing and letting go work in the present. You can live in the present moment but actively work on healing the painful past moments of your life. If you don’t go back and discover what needs to be healed, it will be challenging to live in the present moment.
To live fully in the present, make peace with the past.
If you need coaching to figure out what’s keeping you stuck in the past, please consider a root ritual coaching session here or reply to this email.