We can be confident that we have let go of the person we loved; however, it’s important to be mindful of the insidious sub-conscious that will dupe us into staying in old patterns that we may not realize until they are brought to our awareness.
In the same vein, I don’t believe that we need to be completely over the person of our past in order to welcome in someone new. I know many people who have found their beloved after coming out of a painful breakup through which they were preoccupied for quite some time.
The difference between them and “the past me” is that while they were healing from their pain and grieving over their ex, they had insight into their totality and worth irrespective of any man or woman who came into their life; they had the intention to let go, while at the same time, they weren’t looking for someone new to fill their cup or put a Band-Aid on their wound; They were open to loving again while simultaneously grieving a loss and taking the time needed to cut that deep chord.
When we live in the past, we delude ourselves into thinking that we can have that love again. In truth, the love in its purity never went anywhere and it never will, so we can stop trying to hold on for dear life. Love simply is.
That’s what so powerful about it. The thing we must let go of and cut out is not the underlying love that exists but our entanglement with nostalgia — the memory of our ex and the identity associated with that relationship. That is over. It’s gone. And it’s not coming back.
Nostalgia can often be like a gorgeous dance that can sweep you off your feet in a beautiful memory of the past and leave you feeling grateful for the moments you shared with someone.
However, it’s when we start to over-identify with that memory that, like Brene Brown says, is often edited to our liking, that we are able to lose our sense of reality and miss out on the here and now.
Life cannot give us the things we desire if we are not willing to receive them. And seemingly negligible actions have the capacity to shut us down, close us off, and make us blind to what’s here for us now.
Like I said, we don’t have to be fully healed to find love again, however, ultimately, we must eventually cut that chord if want to be healthy (according to research) and create real space in our lives for our deepest heart’s desire.
And it begins with setting the intention to let go, having awareness and holding ourselves accountable for changing our patterns, whether they are blatantly obvious or deceptively hidden. In order for us to be able to change our patterns and stop ruminating on the past, we must be willing to acknowledge our worth with or without a partner and express gratitude for the endless lessons we learn in the harder moments of life.
So feel the sh*t out of your grief, fully experience your pain, see your worth in the thick of it, express gratitude for the most challenging moments, and then, really, let go because... they're not coming back.