All Articles Tagged "letting go"
In the hallway at my friend’s wedding reception, I saw my relationship with Kevin for what it really was, an impossible hot mess. But why was I holding on so tight? Because I knew I had to let go of something I thought I wanted. Knowing when to let go is one of the most important lessons you could learn in a relationship. It keeps you from giving your heart away too easily and shows you how to move on.
I walked out of the party and saw Kevin wiping his forehead and looking up into the underside of the stairs. He looked like he wanted to scream, but so many happy people were in and out of the party, so he paced. He pivoted his step and locked eyes with me. I thought he would smile and reach out his hand for me. He frowned and walked towards the wall. I didn’t have any fun during the wedding.
I remember feeling like I just wanted to be done with him, but I refused to let go. I looked at him. His lips parted, “I’m not good enough for you.”
I screwed up my entire face, ready to protest it, but in the back of my mind, I thought, “Damn right, you’re not.”
Kevin watched my contorted mouth and said, “Let me say this.” He put his hand on his mouth, lingered and dropped his hand, “Everything I do isn’t good enough. I danced when I said I wouldn’t, but somehow it wasn’t enough for you. I tell you that alcohol bothers me and you can’t wait to get some. A no, my no is not good enough for you…” And he went on and on about the things that I did that make him crazy. And those things made me awful. I had a list for him too, but that was not a battle I wanted to engage in. I listened, for 15 minutes.
He ended with an ultimatum. If weed is going to be a part of my life, he wouldn’t be. I made a face, wondering how he even got there in the first place.
Kevin saw my face and said, “I guess you made your choice.” He walked down the stairs, “I’m gone.” I didn’t have the energy to chase him.
“Fine Kevin,” I turned my back and walked back into the wedding, determined to have a good time. But by the time I made it to Lauren, I started tearing up. I wanted to tell her to come with me to the bar, but I tearfully blurted out, “He’s gone!”
Lauren grabbed me on the shoulder, asking if Kevin left and I cried, “Yes!” Lauren lead me out of the same door Kevin left from. She sat me down on the stairs where he and I had that last venomous argument. I sobbed, “He’s gone! I just don’t know how to be right for him. I feel like I’m always on eggshells with him. And that’s just not me.” I thought I would be relieved when Kevin finally walked away, but I felt like someone punched me in the gut.
“I’m not gone,” I heard Kevin’s deep voice ascend the steps before he did.
The butterflies in my stomach jumped. I felt like I was in a chick flick and this it the big romantic gesture that would make me come back to him. Kevin locked eyes with me. “I don’t think I could ever leave. I love you Danielle. I know I don’t like a lot of the things you do, but I love you. “
We talked with Lauren as our mediator for another hour. We yelled, I cried and Lauren helped us find our middle ground. Lauren’s boyfriend was away on a gig, so in a wedding filled with couples, she laughs when we talk about this night and said, “Honestly, it was like watching a movie. I loved it.”
Kevin and I left that wedding together, both determined to make us work. We promised more effective communication. That just meant more arguments. More of Kevin’s weird behavior that I tried to step around.
Like, he’d call me on at least four different nights/mornings, depending on what time you get up. Two am, 3 am, 4 am — my phone lit up with Kevin’s name. My anxiety wouldn’t let me pick up. Each time I didn’t pick up the call, Kevin would call back at least seven times. He’d leave at least two voice mails, both saying he came to see me and I was not available to him.
In the wee hours of the morning, I’d sit up in bed, watching the calls and messages flood my phone in full anxiety mode. Kevin was scaring me. I couldn’t sleep. As I dozed off from exhaustion, I’d imagine him tip-toeing through my apartment. Another call. My heart would race, thinking Kevin was downstairs, staring up at my windows, waiting for a sign that I’m in the apartment.
Why was this man calling me at all hours of the morning?
I never got a chance to address those calls. I couldn’t keep fighting with Kevin. The weather, how many ounces in a pound, everything. So one day, I effectively communicated with Kevin, “I can’t sell you a dream anymore. I’m not me in this relationship. I am stepping over eggshells, not even on them, so that I don’t trigger an argument. I miss me.”
At the end of my communication, Kevin says three words, “Enjoy your addiction.” It was like he begged to be fought with, like something inside of him needed it to live.
I felt like a Beyonce song. “Thank God he blew it. Thank God I dodged a bullet.” Kevin’s attitude was unpredictable, combative and just not a good time. I held on to Kevin because he was a departure from the men who didn’t talk. He was charming when those other men were oafish. I thought Kevin was me finally getting the gentleman I deserved.
I know now that none of that is true. Kevin gave me a chance to evaluate who I am in relationships and I didn’t like it. I lose myself, thinking it’s going to help me keep a man. What I have now figured out is that I have to be me. And me is good enough to keep a man–the right man.
What has you shackled to your past? Is it a situation you didn’t handle well? Something you wish you could take back? Regardless of your answer, it’s important to try and move on since your life isn’t a scene out of Back to the Future, and you can’t change what happened yesterday. Here are some tips on ways you can release yourself from guilt over past transgressions.
At some point you might need to let go.
It’s been some time since this feeling has “invaded” my thoughts. You might remember me discussing earlier in the year the importance of taking a step back in order to move forward. All of us come to a crossroads in our lives when we have to decide whether or not to stay the course, or adjust our sails.
One thing I’ve learned in my 30 years on this earth is it’s okay to have multiple passions. Kudos to those people who know exactly what they want to do. My husband and father-in-law are examples. They wanted to be engineers all their lives. I on the other hand had no clue and dabbled in many things until I felt like one stuck.
For as long as I can remember, I have been all about decorating and all things interiors. I love the idea of adding personal touches to a home and making it yours through accessories and style. This has been my world for over a decade as I worked with clients building custom homes that eventually led me to start my own company. Since then, things have evolved to home-related reads and tips on my decorating site.
This satisfied a passion inside me for many years that led to some pretty good press and contacts in the industry. There are times I can remember having Carrie Bradshaw moments as I traveled throughout New York City heading from event to event. It was a really great experience that made for wonderful stories.
Well, times have since changed.
I got married, had my first child (currently expecting my second) and moved halfway across the country. All of these life events didn’t mean I needed to give up my dream, but something inside of me started to change–along with my focus on what’s important. I found myself becoming less and less passionate about the very thing that once gave me so much happiness. Did this mean my love for design has completely dissolved? No. I do however feel myself being pulled in a new direction.
There are many topics and causes that pull on my heart. Whether it’s the need to volunteer or highlight tips that can make someone’s life better, I love to help. Don’t get me wrong, decorating is cool and all, but to me, it doesn’t benefit the greater good. This in no way means that those operating in creative sectors don’t have value. Much of their work does in fact make folks feel great and has the ability to transform the everyday into the extraordinary. I personally want something more, something that reaches multiple categories and not just design.
For the longest time it feels like I have bottled up this feeling and kept it on the back burner. Over time it has become harder and harder to concentrate as the whisper I once heard is getting louder by the day. I can no longer ignore it and am dedicating time to figure out the next chapter in my life.
Have you ever felt like a dream you once had is no longer a relevant vision?
After so much time of putting in blood, sweat and tears to make something work, it can be a really hard decision to let go. If you feel it’s the best option for your life, don’t feel like a failure. Letting go has led so many people to greatness they had no idea existed. It’s very easy to hold on to things we know and make us comfortable, but the real leap of faith comes when we feel a tug in a new direction. No one says you need to go cold turkey and just quit, especially without a plan. All I can say is not to rob yourself of the chance to explore it. You never want to look back on your life and wonder what if.
Life is a book made of different chapters and edits.
I’d like to think that I have a healthy habit of not getting too attached to people or things. While listening to a T.D. Jakes sermon the other day, I chuckled when he said that parting isn’t such sweet sorrow for some men: “He has no problem saying goodbye. He can forget you and forget that your mother ever had you.” Although his words may sound harsh, this way of thinking can save us several unnecessary heartbreaks, stop us from staying in unfulfilling jobs and prevent us from entertaining meaningless friendships any further. I strongly believe there is power in saying goodbye, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.
Close family, friends who are like sisters and business ventures that I have personally birthed are the exceptions to saying goodbye. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t attached to my parents and other loved ones. I cherish relationships with my sister-friends and often look to them in my lowest moments. But anything and anyone else is one step from being cut off if need be.
Dating occurrences have proven to be the biggest ‘good in goodbye’ lessons that I have learned. Many times we get attached to who we thought a person was as opposed to who they really are, preventing us from moving on. I will be the first to admit that at one time I was one of these women, and my naivete often came back to bite me in the butt. If I had let go after a man revealed who he really was, I wouldn’t have been in bad predicaments months later. It’s really as simple as the late Dr. Maya Angelou said: “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.”
My life is much too busy to investigate someone’s character despite what they have shown me. If my gut feeling tells me they are no good for me, I don’t waste my time. Who cares if we have had a few good dates or thought-provoking conversations?
If a job is no longer fulfilling, I have no problem re-evaluating it and stepping away if need be. It doesn’t matter if I have awesome co-workers or a phenomenal boss. If it no longer serves a positive purpose in my life, it’s time to say goodbye.
We’ve all heard that people or things are put in our lives for a reason and a season, but most of us don’t fully embrace this concept. Basically, if the relationship was good in the summer but it’s putting you in a state of depression in the winter, that person’s season has come to an end in your life; let them go or stand the chance of hindering your growth and blocking blessings. If your job is causing you more stress than satisfaction and you are in a position to leave, then you should. Who cares if you have spent a decade there?
I admit that it’s not easy. Besides feeling some level of loyalty to a person or place, we also get comfortable and we are fearful of what’s on the other side of goodbye.
No matter how good a person was or a situation has been to you, it’s always important to evaluate how this person or thing is affecting you in the present. Saying goodbye and eliminating things or people out of your life is not only good for growth, it’s necessary. Now, let the elimination process begin ladies!
Long after the love is gone, the rejection letter is in the trash, or the friend’s number is deleted from your phone, the lingering stench of regret and remorse linger. It’s suffocating.
When things don’t go according to our plans and we miss out on something or lose someone, a tension is created between what cannot be changed and our potential for moving forward. It’s the ugly grey zone between spilled milk and a brand new jug. Most of us would rather stare at the spilled milk than carry the burden of starting again.
Letting go is a difficult, but necessary, work on the soul and mind.
You must first name and claim that whatever or whoever is no longer with you is gone.
It’s not lingering in the waiting area for you to find it. It’s not tucked under a rock calling your name. It is gone. It is over. It is finished. Even if the memories are still haunting you at night and even if you rehearse it a thousand times, your healing won’t begin until you recognize that this chapter is over. Instead of convincing yourself that there is something you could have done that would send you back in time and reverse what’s already taken place, stop and recognize the space you are in now. If it hurts, let it hurt. If it makes you angry, be angry. But only stay that way for a little while. Eventually you must move from there to a point of being able to say, “This is done.”
Acknowledging it is done and gone, whatever “it” is, is only the first step. There are some emotions attached to whatever has left you. To let go you must heal. Guilt, shame, resentment, hurt, anger, disappointment are likely whispering to you at night as you hold tight to memories. There will come a point where you can remember without the emotional assault but for now you’ll have to process through all those emotional daggers. Write it down, seek counsel from a friend or a professional, pray, meditate, work out or whatever else you need to do to heal, not just escape or numb the pain. Many times we can’t let go because our emotions, not just the person or the situation, are holding us hostage. Find your peace in spite of the circumstance and then you can move forward.
Now you must try to hope again for the future.
Letting go is hard because we think that what is behind us, what left us, is the final answer. We believe that what left has no possibility of returning again. That was the love of your life but he/she is gone now. That was the job of your dreams and it’s over. But if you keep living long enough, you’ll get to the other side of someday and find that love, jobs, friendships and more always come back to you in a new way. You don’t have to keep looking back regretting what’s gone because you never know what’s coming down the road, even when it looks like nothing is happening. Life has a funny way of restoring our losses just like Spring after a long winter.
Remember, always, that you are worth it.
Nothing that left you is tied to your destiny (word to TD Jakes) so it’s up to you to remember that you are worth peace, you are worth a future, and you are worth moving forward. Save your sanity and stop trying to put the spilled milk back in the glass. You may have relapses but it’s important that you remember to keep getting up and fighting everyday to move on. It’s not as hard as you make it out to be. Do whatever you need to do so that you stop giving yourself excuses to dwell and become stagnant.
As Toni Morrison says, “You wanna fly, you got to give up the sh*t that weighs you down.”
Freedom from your past looks good on you. You should wear it more often and learn the beautiful art of letting go.
Dee Rene is the creator of Laugh.Cry.Cuss. (http://laughcrycuss.com) @deerene_ @laughcrycuss
It’s funny how many times women come to me and say, “David, I’m so frustrated dating. I just don’t think I can date anymore.”
I’ll ask them the reasons why, and a lot of the time they’ll come up with, “It’s my ex. I can’t stop thinking about him.”
All they remember is the good times together. They only remember the happy times, not the reasons why the relationship ended.
I call it “Romanticizing The Ex Syndrome.”
It’s very typical of women who have been single for some time after a breakup.
You only think about how good your ex was to you at times. You remember what a wonderful man he was in so many ways. This is fine to a degree. It’s beautiful to look at your ex positively. And it’s important to consider all the lessons they taught you, but it’s vital you realize why you’re not with them anymore. Those are the lessons you really need to embrace and pay attention to.
We tend to romanticize the ex when we’re going through a rough patch of dating. It’s what I call the cry of a lonely girl. You date someone new but it doesn’t work out, so you start to think about your ex. You have a period where you don’t meet any quality men, and before you know it, you’re remembering all the good times you had in your last relationship.
Don’t let yourself get carried away with those thoughts. You’re just going through a dry spell. You HAVE to get over your ex before you can move on.
So why do these thoughts of past love fly through our minds?
Most the time it’s because moving forward scares us. It’s a scary proposition moving on from old partners. Moving on means we have to open up our hearts again, and that means a chance of getting hurt.
But, you have to get over your ex once and for all. It’s the only way you’re going to get on with your life, and open up to new love. So I want you to think about this today…
How often do you think of your ex?
When do you most think of them?
How does it make you feel?
Read more at YourTango.com
Life can feel like a revolving door of friendships the more you learn yourself and walk towards your goals, people come in and out. Occasionally, this is an exciting time as new amazing people come in and occasionally it’s a frustrating time when you start asking yourself, who really is my friend?
Approaching 30 has taught me quite a few lessons on friendships and being a friend. I’m sure I’ll learn many more approaching 50, but for now I’ve gathered a few key conclusions.
Everybody is not your friend
Everyone who smiles with you, laughs with you, eats at your table or even calls when you are sick is not your friend. Some folks fake the funk very well. Understanding that everyone is not your friend was key to understanding friendships. And most importantly, it is OKAY for everyone not to be your friend. You can have cordial acquaintances around you that do friendly things without pulling them into your circle and bestowing friendship expectations. It will blow up in your face every time.
Very rarely can someone be your “everything” friend
Categorizing friendships is the second best thing you can do for yourself beyond your friendship screening process. I have close friends that I can all call for a good night out, but not all that I can call for prayer or to really counsel me through an issue. For example, when I’m going through tough times I need a sounding board and some great pep talks. One of my close friends is terrible at pep talks. Does that make her any less of a friend? No, but I’ve learned to not go to her when I need certain feedback because we’ll only both end up frustrated. Not every friend can be your “everything” friend and that’s okay too.
Sometimes, it’s you.
In friendships especially, we like to magnify what the other person is doing while minimizing and excusing our own actions. Do people not hang out with you as much anymore? Why might that be? True, they could be a gaggle of nonsense but perhaps you aren’t being a good friend. It was the toughest lesson on friendships – sometimes you are the bad friend. Possibly your friends help you see the truth and help you make changes, or they leave for you to figure it out. Either way, BEING a good friend is just as important as your friends being good to you.
Nobody likes to throw out friendships, it’s like losing a favorite pair of shoes. We assume because someone is with us, around us, and even sometimes helping us, that we should continue to be their friend. Trust your instincts and listen to patterns. If you wouldn’t tolerate certain behaviors and treatment from a romantic partnership, why tolerate it in a friendship? If you don’t feel like you can grow and are growing in the same direction, never be afraid to let go. Carrying dead weight with you is only going to make you tired. Friendships end. And that is okay.
Have you learned other important lessons about friendships? Share in the comments below!
Dee Rene is the writer and creator of Laugh.Cry.Cuss., a faith based blog that finds valuable lessons in pop culture and every day life. She is based in NYC. You can follow her or the blog on twitter @deerene_lcc @laughcrycuss or visit the site at http://laughcrycuss.com.
When a bitter breakup has brought you to your emotional knees, it’s hard to imagine that you’ll ever love again. But like the saying goes, time heals all wounds – and if you open up your heart again, it’s possible true love can find you. I’m not suggesting that you jump right back into dating before your tears have dried and your hurt has healed; it’s actually wise to take some time to reflect and reconnect with yourself after a breakup. But once you’ve let some time go by, you may start to wonder if you’re up for the challenge of dating again. Not sure if you’re ready yet? Here are some signs you may be ready to give love another try.
If there was one thing I used to resent myself for, it was the way that I would fight tooth and nail to hold together a relationship that was clearly over. I mean, I would be so emotionally worn-out by the time I finally accepted that the relationship was coming to an end. Not even because of the nature of the break up, but because of how hard I would fight to hold everything together. I never slowed down long enough to even ask myself if there was anything left in the relationship worth saving. All I knew was that I was about to lose something, and I don’t like losing things. I would be like an insane person, sitting at a table with a pile of broken glass from a shattered mirror in front of me. With my fingers all cut up and bleeding, I’d attempt to glue the slivers of glass that once formed the mirror back together. Of course, in the end, I’d never achieve the goal of putting the mirror (relationship) back together fully, at least not permanently anyway, because in many cases, once it’s broken, it’s broken.
One day, it dawned on me that once a season (or relationship) is over, there’s not much you can do to bring it back and sometimes attempting to do anything and everything to piece it back together only makes things more painful and strained. As I reflect on past relationships, it amazes me how much emotional energy could have been saved and pain that could’ve been avoided if I just accepted the fact that the relationship had simply run its course and it was time to move on. I also eventually realized that we sometimes aren’t even actually fighting for the person themselves, but for what being with them represents and against what not being with them symbolizes. We commonly associate break-ups with failure because to some of us, it means admitting that we were wrong–wrong about a person we trusted. It means admitting that while we thought this person was the one, we somehow miscalculated something, somewhere along the way.
Cutting your losses and moving on doesn’t mean that you didn’t love or care about the person because you’re being realistic about the fact that it’s over. It just means you love yourself enough not to constantly subject yourself to the pain of forcing something that’s finished. Everywhere you turn, we’re being told that love is worth fighting for and while I do believe this is true, there are some instances when fighting against a break-up is only prolonging the inevitable, especially when the other party makes it clear that they have no interest in salvaging what’s left of the relationship.
Breaking up doesn’t always require crying, begging, pleading, struggling or even getting indignant. You don’t have to always do something to spite the person just because they hurt you. You don’t have to seek revenge. You don’t have to struggle to make that person stay with you, because the truth of the matter is that when a person desires to end a relationship, they’re gone long before they actually leave anyway. Sometimes breaking up means being mature enough to understand that the love is gone and and it’s best for your growth as a person and happiness if you move forward. Sometimes it means being lady enough to depart from where you’re no longer desired, but recognizing that somewhere down the road you’ll meet someone who will. Sometimes it means leaving with your dignity in tact. Sometimes breaking up simply means taking a deep breath and letting go.
Follow Jazmine on Twitter @jazminedenise
All photos are courtesy of Shutterstock
The vast majority of my friends are in their mid twenties to early thirties and their lives are littered with questions. Questions of whether they are on the right path, whether they will ever find true love, whether the love they have found will last forever, whether it is possible to find both contentment and financial security in jobs that they have chosen, whether they will ever find the courage to leave jobs that they hate to pursue what they love, whether they will be good partners and good parents, whether they will have continued health so that they are able to raise their children, whether they are fulfilling their life’s purpose, and whether it is wise to wonder about anything that swirls around in their minds at all.
The questions we ask at 20 are much different than the questions we ask at 30, but we all seem to be consumed by questions about our lives and if we’re doing things right. The funny thing is if we just keep on living, life has a way of providing the answers to the questions that we all ask at one time or another. Zora Neale Hurston, who I have great respect and adoration for, eloquently pens in her 1937 Their Eyes Were Watching God that “there are years that ask questions and years that answer.” There is great profundity in her words.
The questions that individuals have about their lives, and life in general, in their twenties are often debilitating. You can get lost for hours in a tsunami of thought obsessing over life, and love, and spirituality, and purpose. Yet it seems that when you veer closer to 30 than to 20, that although the questions do not stop, they do become less frantic and frenzied. The decade of life that exists between one milestone of an age to another provides insight that was not foreseen in years past. The older we become, the more clarity we receive.
If I could give my younger self any advice, I would look her square in the eyes and submit the popular colloquialism “you gotta chill.” I submit that same advice to you. Whether you be 20, 30 or beyond, the years will answer the questions that burn in your heart. Don’t waste precious years that you can never retrieve stuck on questions about the past, present or future. Instead, get busy crafting and creating the reality you want for yourself today. If there is something that exists in your life that you are unhappy about or uncomfortable with, the power exists in you to change it. Do all of the things that you want to do. Live your life to fullest and without a single regret. Fill your existence with the experiences and discoveries that you’ve always wanted to have. This life of yours is the only one that you’ll have and you should live it in a fashion that when your sun sets people will say of you what Hurston said of her iconic character Janie, “She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see.”
Sheena Bryant is a writer and blogger in Chicago. Follow her on twitter at @song_of_herself.