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Why Letting Go Of A Relationship Isn’t As Simple As It Seems

Letting go….

How simple a lesson and how incredibly difficult to master, isn’t it?

But have you ever wondered why?

Why is letting go so difficult to do? Why is letting go of a person, letting go of a relationship, letting go of love – letting go of anything so very difficult?

Because these two simple words have been morphed to mean something that isn’t even closely related to the real implications of ‘letting go.’

old soul

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In contemporary use and the context of relationships, ‘letting go’ has become synonymous with not caring, being passive, asserting that ‘it’s all good’ or worse, saying ‘whatever’ with the cool, detached verve of a person who is happy to masquerade about as ‘too lazy’ to put in the effort, as ‘opting for the higher road for their pride’ – as giving up.

But letting go isn’t not caring. Letting go isn’t passive. Letting go isn’t merely saying, “It’s all good” or “whatever.” Letting go isn’t lazy. Letting go isn’t giving up. Letting go isn’t the easy way out. Letting go isn’t always fun. Letting go is the most courageous thing you can do.

Letting go is wise.

Letting go enables life, energy, love, and learning to flow freely. Letting go takes practice.

And how does one accomplish this process of letting go of a relationship, letting go of love – letting go completely to be able to manifest new love and life?

Suggested read: Learning to fall in love with breakups

By learning to let go of:

1. Denial

couple disagreement

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The first thing to let go of is denial. Denial leads nowhere. The time it takes to move on depends entirely on one’s willingness to accept the reality. The more you resist what is happening, the more painful it will be. Dwelling in the past or escaping the fetters is a personal choice. The sooner an acceptance sinks in, the quicker you’d be able to pick up, pack up, and move on.

2. Fear

sad woman (3)

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Far too many neglect and ignore what their heart truly wants and is deserving of, because they are scared of what will be and terrified of leaving the comfort of the agonizing discomfort they have made their peace with – lest the fearful demons of uncertainty take away this too! Having heard far too many lovely, strong, complicated, and self-sufficient ladies make excuses for rationalizing their ‘choice’ of staying, I just want to say that the choice only feeds the fear. You will still fear all that may happen when the relationship ends. You will fear being single. You will dread dating again. But the only choice you have is to let go. If you were trapped in a burning building and the flames threatened to consume you the very next moment – you’d jump, right? That choice would come from a primal place – the protective urge to save yourself. Do that for the relationship that is keeping you scared too. Let go – of the fear, of the excuses, of the need to cling …

3. Clinging

couple hugging

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Just the opposite of letting go. Do not do it. Tightening your grip around something that is intent on escaping from the palm of your hand like sand, shall only breed anger and frustration. Instead, let go of clinging. Feel the power of softening your grip around the thing you so badly want to clutch onto, open your palms and release what you hold. Let go. Let it be free. If it is meant to be yours, the winds of change shall bring it unto you. Like Buddha said, “You can only lose what you cling to.

4. Extremes

couple disagreement

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We humans have a tendency to move toward either end of the spectrum than treading the balanced path. When we feel hopeless, all we do is either shift to one extreme or another – or keep vacillating in between the ends. We never want to sit down and feel what we feel. This pattern of thriving on extremes is dangerously addictive. One gets accustomed to denying one a confrontation with the very emotions that perturb our being – thereby, leading us to an incomplete recovery, a partial healing. What one needs to do, instead of shifting to denial (one extreme) or complete despair in acceptance (another extreme), is to sit down with it and trace its contours – no matter how smooth or rough – feel the embossed linings or the fading lineations – embrace it, own it, and then let it go. Only by letting go of the inclination to shift to extremes can one walk the middle path of balance – wide open in its possibilities of love and life!

Suggested read: Breakup or makeup – when to let go

5. Anger

couple arguing1

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Heading down the rage road is so easy – one can always choose to play the victim in a ‘hit-and-run’ case where the partner was behind the wheel. The problem, however, is this should not stretch too long. You can allow yourself to feel the rage for a while but you have to learn to eventually let go. Learn to bless him, wish him all the luck and happiness, and move on.

6. Comparison

woman thinking

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If your breakup has been one wherein a third person is involved, judgment, superiority, inferiority, and envy might inevitably arise. Exorcise these demons – and let go of them. Deluding you into believing that there exist things such as an ideal and the idyllic relationship, these will eat away at your self-worth and feed off your ‘fear of self-validation.’ You have to let these poisonous imps go. Letting go of them shall release you from the false belief in ideals and allow you to embrace the reality of YOU – just as you are. Embrace that, coz God made you beautiful just the way you are. And every bit worthy of love.

7. Busy-ness

woman smiling

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Sometimes, people delude themselves into thinking that immersing themselves in activities shall cause the pain of their failed relationship to ebb. Ah, sorry state! I am not saying one should not forge ahead in life with renewed spirit – but one must learn to let go of the busy-ness at least once every day. Set aside everything else for a while and let go – of thoughts, feelings, ideas, memories, plans, physical sensations – simply letting go of whatever arises in the consciousness and returning to the breath, over and over, each time the mind wanders away. It shall be a time to just BE. Like Ajahn Chah said,

“Just go into the room, sit in the center of the room, open the doors and windows, and see who comes to visit. You will witness all kinds of scenes and actors, all kinds of temptations and stories, everything imaginable. Your only job is to stay in your seat. You will see it all arise and pass, and out of this, wisdom and understanding will come.”

So let go … and just be.

8. Excesses

woman blowing bubbles

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Letting go of clutter and excesses is a mixed bag of emotions. Whilst ridding oneself of things that have had sentimental value in the past (and somewhat still do) might enable a purging of sorts, the real cleansing ritual would be to let go of the clutter in the mind and heart – the excesses of thoughts, feelings, and sentiments for the individual that is long gone. As long as you carry those, you think you are in possession of those – but all they do is add weight and weigh you down. Letting go will help you find lightness and BE free!

Suggested read: Is it possible to be friends with your ex?

9. Control


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There is a difference between influencing someone and changing them. While the former is often a possibility, the latter is impossible. And in case of a failed relationship, this realization may have dawned sooner or later. Instead of wanting to control people and their behavior, we can be the compassionate center from which positive influence flows. One can be the change one wants to see. As I often say, ME is the only component you can alter in a WE. So, let go of control and the illusion of it – have faith in being open to the truth – it will take its own course, whatever it be.

10. Illusion and delusion

woman sitting alone

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In our need to cling onto the memory of what had been, we hold on to the past and choose to suffer. In our need to come to terms with it, we often force ourselves to the acceptance end, almost to the point of pretending zilch attachment or concern. Either extreme (as already pointed) is unhealthy. Choosing to be in the past and suffer or be dragged by what you think you have obliterated gives you an illusion of ‘having what you don’t’ or being in control. Stop being trapped in this vicious cycle of illusion and delusion. Let go and accept the present – just as it is.

11. Negativity

girl in the sun

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It is normal to have negativity after a breakup, which manifests itself in the form of irritation, anger, resentment, envy or plain despair. Notice the expectation or emotion that is causing it. Own it and bid adieu. Let go, not with negativity – but with love and compassion.

12. Self-concept

girl contemplating (2)

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We often make the mistake of believing we know exactly who we are. In choosing to reduce ourselves and what we passed through to a collective of psychobabble terms, we make a gross oversimplification. That of reducing our essential HUMAN nature to a few decipherable coordinates that seem to pin it all. Let go of your idea of you. Only then can you become what you might be.

13. Past and its demons

woman outdoors

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In choosing to dwell in the past, we close ourselves (however partially) from the possibility of being fully present in our present. Let go of the past. Breathe – live in the moment you have now – for that’s the only one you can be completely sure of!

14. Certainty

woman writing a letter

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Let go of the need for certainty. Stifle the fear of not knowing what’s next and break free of the fetters of settling for what is (but does not make you happy) because you do not know. Coz not knowing is beautiful.

Suggested read: Lessons only your first breakup will teach you

15. All that’s gone

A wise man once said, “Let come what comes, let go what goes. See what remains.” After all, there’s little you can control there – plus haven’t you learned to let go of control and its illusion too?

16. Letting go

woman smiling

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Last but not the least, let go of letting go. Do not beat yourself up for not being able to. Do not cling on to the urge to let go. Letting go of a relationship that isn’t working is a wise decision – but it isn’t easy. Nor is it a step-by-step, coherent, and cogent procedure to understand and apply. Just like life, letting go isn’t neat or tidy. It is emotional and dramatic and messy. Own all of it. Let go of the letting go. Allow it its own pace and course. Just let it happen.

I never promised that ‘twas easy. Only worth it!

Let go! :)

Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Article Name
Why Letting Go Of A Relationship Is Hard
Letting go of a relationship is not easy. It is messy, hard, and sometimes confusing too. Read how to learn to let go of something that isn't working.
Sejal Parikh

Sejal Parikh

"I'm a hurricane of words but YOU can choose the damage I do to you..."