Teaspoon of HappyLetting GoSarah May Bates

To let go and move on: It can be a terrifying proposition. It signals that something is over, far away, past. It’s confirmation of a truth that we may not want to acknowledge, though it exists whether we acknowledge it or not. We all process things at a different pace, and sometimes we’re not ready to do that for a very long time. Loss and pain are a part of life, things that we must move through so that we can continue to live. At times it can feel impossible or unbearable, but eventually everything will pass, and we will heal.

Sometimes we hold onto wounds, or worse, refuse to heal at all. We can’t or won’t let go of something and we forget that it’s there until one day an unexpected event forces us to confront it. By holding tight to something, it’s as if we feel we will honor the weight and meaning of it. Because it was so major, so big, so deep, we can’t move on from it, ever, or else it would degrade or dishonor that memory somehow. What can happen when you hold tight to a wound is that it keeps you there, attached by a long, long tether, never letting you fully process it or heal from it so that you can become clear, happy and present in your life today. We also in the process replace that memory, whatever it is, with a warped time capsule. An imprint of that experience frozen in time that is only representative of this fear of letting go at this one time and place in our lives. Eventually it drags on your person like a broken down car at the bottom of a river – other experiences get snagged on it, our growth is slowed by it and eventually it becomes obscured as part of who we are, lodged deeper and deeper in the mud. Though it is not a reflection of all of our experiences, it colors new experiences moving forward.

Sometimes we hold tight to anger or pain we feel toward another person or thing. I used to believe that some things were so terrible that they could not and should not be forgiven. What I didn’t realize was that the reason to forgive or let go of something is not for them but for you. So that you can be free of the pain that something causes you: the anger, the hurt, the fear. If you decide you want to let go of something that pains you from your past, you can do it. It’s not easy or fast or painless, but to choose that goal is by far a much better one that will give you more happiness and peace in your life long term. One day, you will be free of it. You will conquer it, stronger. Don’t allow the past to destroy the future. What matters is what you do with your experiences, not that you’ve had them at all.

If you’re not ready to deal with an old wound, you’re not. Don’t try and rush yourself, and definitely don’t try to rush someone else. We all have safety features in our brains that protect us from things that we’re unable to handle. Sometimes they’re there for a reason: we’re just not ready. If you are afraid to let go of something, to move on or to confront, that’s okay. You will when you’re ready. Don’t feel rushed. But know that when you let go of something, you grow closer to who you are again. You gain a vantage point that is unfettered by fear and pain. You understand yourself. You remember yourself. You get your pure self back again, whole.

If you are afraid to let go of someone or heal from a loss, know that it will be okay. You are not letting go of them. You are letting go of your fear of letting go of them. If you can allow yourself to accept and process, what can happen is that person returns to your senses in vivid form. You can access memories of them once again in a much more immediate way, you can recall their person and their soul. You might think of something they would say and laugh, or hear their voice in your head. You will hear a song and think that they loved that song. They will live all around you. And it will be them, not a version of them created by the pain you feel.

Experiencing sadness or pain is one of the most difficult things to do in life. It can feel never-ending, crippling, terrifying, overwhelming. It is never easy. But it will end. You will heal. Even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time, one day you will again be happy. You will be stronger, deeper, and peaceful. Your life will continue on and you will move past this point. Never abandon your future to dwell in your past. As we gain understanding, life reveals so much unexpected beauty. I believe our experiences, no matter how difficult, can unlock so much within us. We just have to move forward.

My love to you all, xox Sarah

Featured image Copyright All rights reserved by Nosfist

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  1. This is so beautiful. I often come to HelloGiggles to fix my writer’s block and I stumbled upon this. It is so inspirational and your writing is seamless. <3

  2. I just recently had my heart broken by the guy I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. There is nothing like reading an article like this and knowing that you are not alone :) When I am having a difficult day, I will look at this article and remember that things will get better! Thank you Sarah xx

    • Awe Zoe, I am so sorry to hear that but so glad you said that. I’ve walked those shoes myself and girl, I think you’ll end up walking somewhere better. xoxo

  3. Very beautiful article, and a great one to read. It’s so hard when you’re in the middle of something to think that you’re the only one going through hardships, and yet, here are so many people who are going through something. Little things that remind you to keep your head up and things will get better :]

    • So true! It’s always those types of things that no one really discusses, because it’s personal or painful. But so helpful to know we are never alone. :)

  4. Thanks for a good read. xoxo

  5. you healed and moved on……but you changed…towards yourself…. and towards others around you…..

    P.S. – a very good article.

  6. :)

  7. One more thing. Love is humankind’s most compelling emotion. It can lift us to incredible heights or damn us to an eternal abyss. It defies logic and clouds common sense. Still, we must succumb to it’s potential and refuse to fear it for fearing love paralyses passion. Thus, it’s essential that we embrace love with all of the optimism possible while remaining confident that when it’s time to decide, our love itself, steers us into the right direction

  8. This is what I really need now.
    Thank you so much, Sarah :)

  9. ur an amazing writer sarah- this was probably one of my top notch hellogiggles articles :))) really touching and inspiring – thank u so much-

  10. I want to write back to everyone but for now I just wanted to post that all of your comments have made me cry. In a very good way. Thank you xoxoxoxo

  11. this probably has to be one of the most important pieces to my heart that you have written and something I am struggling with right now. thank you for giving me a bit of an extra push full of hope that it all will turn around soon xoxo.

  12. I cried at the first glance of the first sentence. The article is really touching and helpful to me.

  13. thank you very much sarah! perfect timing.

  14. What a beautiful piece <3 It made me feel that everything will be fine, i just have to give it time and the right frame of mind. Thankxxxx

  15. This really could have made me cry, but it has made me feel calm. I’m going to keep it, and I’ll read it again, because I need some of the things you said as little reminders, I know i will – thank you!

    • That is a huge compliment Marsha! Thank you so much. I am so glad you’ve said that because I was a bit worried I was just gonna bum everyone out.. anyhoo thank you. xoxo

  16. Thank you so much Sarah. I’m in the process of letting go of the guy who broke my heart. (Very dimestore teen novel, I know, I know.) I just want to say thanks for the much needed words of comfort. It’s just what I needed to help me move on and get unstuck from what I call “the sticky licorice spot on the Candy Land board of life.” I drew a green card – time to move foreward and win the game. :)

    • LOL i love that – I want to use Candyland more often in my rhetoric. I loved that game… Good luck girl, you sound like you’re on your way. Thank you for your comment xoxo

  17. LETTING GO SOMEONE YOU LOVE ISN’T THAT EASY . EVERYBODY IS DIFFERENT. SOME PEOPLE CAN WALK AWAY WITHOUT BEING HURT AND SOME PEOPLE CAN’T .

  18. Very good and thought provoking Sarah! u guys (hellogiggles team) kick so much AZZZZ!!!!

  19. Continuing to fight the good fight or ending the struggle is often one of the most profound decisions we have to make. It usually encompasses emotion, relinquishing investment and the conclusion of a dream that may have been instrumental to ones’ overall metal state. If we are premature in our decision making then we face regret. There is never as easy answer as to when and it’s vitally important that once the decision is made to never look back. That’s the best way to precipitate looking forward again.

  20. Wow…just, Wow. Such truths. Thank you!