What to Do When It’s Hard to Let Go.

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ramos alejandro

Relationships. Probably out of the scope of my normal remit, but I’ll share the tale nonetheless.

I had a beautiful experience with someone across the end of last year and early this year and, admittedly, I was finding it hard to let go.

Even after dating others, I constantly went back to thoughts of this person.

I mean, who wouldn’t? After seven years of friendship, we had taken the plunge and crossed the line. On every level it seemed that we were compatible.

We had long, lingering conversations about life and the directions we were headed. We agreed on most things—from the Thai dishes we should order to the strategy for our respective businesses. When we didn’t agree, we listened, really listened, to one another’s side, because we gave a damn. We could laugh and be silly together. The love-making was intense. We were passionate.

We had absolutely everything going for us, except this one tiny thing: his heart was still breaking from his divorce.

Now, no one has to tell me. I’ve done the analysis. I know this was not a good risk. (And that’s probably another story for another article.) But it was a risk nonetheless. And I fell. Hard.

We ended it over a patchy phone call one evening. He was traveling for work, and the line wasn’t great. To not have that personal connection and one last embrace, one last kiss, was agonising to me. And I had more I wanted to say. More I wanted to get from his side.

Four months later, my heart and mind still hadn’t given up.

I desperately wanted that good old-fashioned notion of closure, and I really wasn’t quite sure how to get it.

So, what do we do in those situations? How is it that we can accept a conclusion on something that “should” have left us long ago?

If we have access to the person, we can be vulnerable (this will be much to all our girlfriends’ dismay, by the way). As women, the mantra, “do not give him the satisfaction” is often bandied about. But is it “satisfying” him, or is it releasing ourselves?

I did something completely out of character for me. I asked for help.

I asked for help from the person in question. If you knew me, you’d know that I was “tough.” But recently, I’ve realised that’s not such an awesome trait to have. Being truthful about how “stuck” I was and admitting defeat opened the doors to a conversation, which brought me such peace.

Bizarrely, the act of sending the email itself was 95 percent of the journey. Being that open, that honest, and laying my little heart out there to say, “I need your help, because I’m suffering,” provided a release, as there was nowhere else to go after that. There was nothing else to hide behind. I was raw.

Laying our souls bare can be freeing, I’ve discovered.

(Disclaimer: Asking for help does not mean repeated floggings or ear lashings, begging any which way we can find the person. It’s a one time, honest request.)

But what if we can’t ask for help or we don’t have access to the person (or worse still, they deny us the opportunity, which is entirely possible)?

Cut the chords. There’s a visualisation technique known as “cutting the chords” that can prove to be deeply healing. I’ve done this in the past, and it has, incredibly, diffused the emotion.

Here’s a quick run down of the process I went through:

I allowed myself to sit still, be quiet and call in calm. (Taking a few deep breaths enables this beautifully.)

I closed my eyes and took time to imagine I was standing across from my ex-lover.

I imagined that there was a cord connected from my heart to his heart.

I said all the things I’d been longing to say.

I waited to see if there was a response. There was. I allowed that. Without judgment.

Then I said, “I love you, and I forgive you.”

Then I imagined he was saying the same to me; he loved me and forgave me. (Because there’s always something to forgive. It’s never a one-way street.)

I then imagined that I was able to cut the chord connecting us both and say whilst cutting, “I love you and I release you.”

Try it and see. (This works for all relationships, regardless of their nature.)

Finally, we need to nurture ourselves. We’re human; they’re human. We have two feet, and we all f*ck up on occasion.

Maybe my experience coupled with my background qualifies me to make these suggestions.

Maybe it doesn’t.

Take what serves, and leave the rest.

With love.


Author: Lynda Bayada

Editor: Toby Israel

Image: ramos alejandro/Flickr


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Lynda Bayada

Lynda Bayada was just a girl who decided to go for it. Giving up her corporate career and all the creature comforts that went with it, she decided to take a leap into the unknown of running a business, not knowing if she’d fail or fly. Turns out, she’s done both. Now she helps others navigate the path to a soulful transition from work to fulfillment, rendering the challenges surmountable and the dizzying heights of joy scalable, one step at a time. You soon find that the only thing that’s really holding you back is… you.

Snoop on her here. Like her here. Tweet her here. And follow her here.

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anonymous Feb 25, 2016 12:04am

Great article, thanks for sharing your experience. I fell in love with a man while in Turkey. Have been communicating now for a year with much uncertainty, as well as procrastinating from him. Know it’s time to let go, so your experience of how you let how was very valuable.

    anonymous Feb 25, 2016 1:03pm

    Thank you Susan and you’re welcome. Distance can be so tough. It sounds like you’ve come to the resolution that letting go is for the best. Sending love whilst you step into that. Glad this article can be of help.

anonymous Feb 22, 2016 5:19pm

Hi – this is a really lovely post & I think you're very insightful 🙂
But I'm going to put it out there… are you talking about music here?
Because I think the word you've intended is actually "cords" – as in, ropes, ties that bind.

A "chord" is a set of musical notes.

Again, I'm not writing this with any agenda other than to point this out & (I think) it comes from a place of admiration for your writing.

    anonymous Feb 23, 2016 12:26am

    Annie, you raise an interesting question. We do say “cutting the cord” when we speak of severing or releasing the ties that bind us in a shared life and moving on independently.

    I think of this cord as a communion and a shared experience in which aspects of our individual ways of being become intertwined and influence one another (for better and for worse). Breaking the psychological and emotional cord is often painful and disorienting, maybe even frightening.

    But maybe music offers a gentler metaphor for this process. Psychological and emotional connections aren’t material, so what are they? Maybe they’re more akin to harmonized sets of musical notes, which themselves are vibrations at specific frequencies. (What are we made of, anyway?)

    Maybe “cutting the cord” is really dissolving a chord…. Maybe we can love one another and still, when it’s time, move apart gently and beautifully, carrying one another’s notes within us.

    anonymous Feb 23, 2016 3:32pm

    Thank you Annie! And thank you for this thought provoking question. As Drake says below, this is meant to be speaking of severing the ties that bind us emotionally. (In metaphysical terms they are actually called 'threads'.) Interestingly, 'chord' spelled with the 'h' can mean an 'emotion' or 'feeling', as in 'struck a chord'. But, when spelt 'cord', it is a string or rope that can be bound or fastened. I guess it can be both! In essence, it means the invisible ties that bind us so perhaps your spelling is best and I'll certainly keep that in mind for next time. Thank you.

anonymous Feb 22, 2016 12:00pm

This is beautiful. I’ve been sitting here asking what’s going on with me, why I feel stuck, looking for some kind of clarity. Reading this, I feel a little sick inside, a little scared. It’s pointing me to something I’ve still partly hidden, something I may need to release to start living again but feel scared to release. Whew.

So it’s having a profound effect, however that plays out. More important, it’s just really beautiful, full of tenderness and light.

    anonymous Feb 23, 2016 3:24pm

    Thank you dear Drake. Yes, oftentimes when we're stirred inside it's the beginning of something being let go. Whew is right. Sit with it. I'm sure what's waiting on the other side will be rich and rewarding. Sending love.

anonymous Feb 18, 2016 2:16am

Love it, Lynda! ☺

anonymous Feb 17, 2016 5:32pm

You’re most welcome Elisabeth. I’m glad it helped.

anonymous Feb 6, 2016 12:10pm

Thank you. This is perfectly timed for me.