No paragraph of text is going to make our odyssey through the stages of grief drastically easier. However, a sprinkling of objectivity can allow us to contextualize our loss, and catch a glimmer of a rosy new future beyond our current emotional quagmire.
My over-arching objective is not to make promises I can’t keep, and thus I am merely offering three different perspectives on how to cope with letting go.
1. Outlasting trauma
A large portion of post-breakup pain is not reasonable, in the sense that we cannot objectively out-distance pain with logic. One seldom mentioned facet of breakup pain is that it is partly subconscious and beyond our ability to simply “snap out of”. In short, it is natural.
The subconscious tribunal of our mind does not understand our material world, it only knows that a comfort-zone has been crushed, and is demanding it back. Over-analyzing, hoping, and simulating (it is common to dream our of exs intensely after a particularly difficult breakup) are all signs your brain is trying to restore that which was lost. Making it very difficult to accept a future without our past.
Thankfully for us, the brain will eventually adopt and embrace a new routine whether we want to or not. While this does not mean that we will simply stop thinking about our exs, the passing of trauma is usually enough of a window to begin letting go both consciously and subconsciously.
While time can passively heal wounds and allow our subconscious mind to embrace the reality of our predicament, there are a great many things you can do to catalyze the process of healing. The best way to move forward would be to usher in new comfort zones. Focusing on fresh, new aspects of your life and allowing them to mold into a new routine. Keep moving and put your life first.
[alert-note]Be wary of running headlong into a rebound relationship, which in many cases is not a fresh new romantic dawn, but your subconscious mind’s way of attempting to bring the past back to life.[/alert-note]
2. The beginning always starts at the end
To deny ourselves failure and loss, is to deny ourselves the chance for growth and change. No partner is an all-emitting beacon of emotional completion. While there are things you stand to lose, there is also an unending spectrum of things that you stand to gain. As weathered a cliché as it is, now is the time to count your blessings, and not focus exclusively on what you have lost.
If we accept, at least objectively, that every ending is also a beginning (and not merely a full-stop), we ease the pain by turning our backs to the past and keeping the future firmly in our existential cross-hairs.
Of course, accepting something objectively is not the same as doing so subjectively (as previously discussed). If only it were that easy! What we can realistically do is to keep it in mind and keep going.
3. Not all is lost
Additional pain can be catalyzed, not solely by the lack of our partner in crime, but by the demoralizing and draining sensation of having “given our all” for nothing. That the entire experience — the blood, sweat and tears — were for nothing.
Not all is lost, however. Only once an experience has come full circle are we able to fully weigh its lessons;
- We further crystallized what we want and don’t want in a romantic relationship.
- We learned about our own failings and shortcomings.
- We learned about what we did right and were appreciated for.
- We are able to weigh the extent of our dependence and individuality once the routine has been demolished. Are we fully adrift? Do we have a social safety net to appeal to?
- We are able to re-adjust and scrutinize our priorities in a way that better fits our needs and wants.
As traumatic as letting go is, the lessons we learn once acceptance begins to appear progressively more palatable are imperative in cementing a stronger, more vibrant future our of choosing. Without the perspective of loss, we wouldn’t be able to appreciate what the future has in store for us quite as keenly.
Images courtesy of Sira Anamwong, / FreeDigitalPhotos.net