It is not always easy to cut emotional cords with those who aren’t good for us.
Many of us dwell in pondering over whether we should try harder, or whether it is finally time to walk away.
In many ways, severing ties with someone we are in an unhealthy entanglement with can be similar to quitting a harmful addiction. We know there are plenty of reasons to end it, but we come up with a flurry of explanations to try to excuse ourselves for the reasons we don’t.
When we feel an intense emotional bond toward someone, we sometimes try to fool ourselves that we are stronger for holding tightly to a dysfunctional relationship and for repeatedly trying to work things out. We think there is strength in that, but our true strength shines when we find the courage to cut emotional ties with people whose behavior is emotionally, mentally, or physically harming us.
We can tell ourselves we need to “let go” a million times or more, however, those words won’t fully sink in until we genuinely want to let go and totally release ourselves from the connection.
Ironically, the more we work to let go and cut those cords, the more forcefully we seem to hold on, as all of our energy is focused on navigating the ending, rather than our energy being used to find ways to exist peacefully in the present moment while gently planning a pain-free harmonious future.
Letting go is less about attempting to rid ourselves of memories from the past and more about finding comfort and peace in where we are now, even if this current place feels turbulent. It sounds like a contradiction to talk about peace and turbulence at the same time, but it is entirely possible.
The key is to remember that pleasure and pain are part of our journey as human beings, and it is unrealistic to expect to sail through relationships without being emotionally affected. When we reach a place of allowance and acceptance for our emotional responses and the pain we may endure, we soon arrive at a place of peace, as we are surrendering to the natural force of life, in which all emotions play a significant part.
Our emotions are incredible teachers—and when embraced, they turn into brilliant lights that guide us, as well as being vivid warning signals that protect us from danger. We do not need to be afraid of the emotions that pulsate through us, as they exist for our own higher good.
We might also think that by remaining in a toxic relationship, we are learning a variety of much needed soul lessons, but this is just something we convince ourselves to believe, as there are numerous and vital lessons to be learned when we let go of what is no longer serving us.
We will always be presented with lessons, and as long as we are aware and mindful as we pass through life, we will be far less likely to be given the lessons that cause us pain.
To cut contact and emotionally let go of our attachment to someone, it is essential that we release any low vibrational negative emotions that we are subconsciously clinging to. This includes dissipating any anger, resentment, or pain that we have experienced during the relationship and any negative feelings we may be harboring for the other person involved.
Forgiveness and compassion both for ourselves and others, regardless of how badly we have been hurt, tremendously lessens our suffering, and at the same time allows us to clearly see who and what surrounds it. Low-scale emotions cloud our thinking, and it is difficult to think calmly and rationally or make balanced decisions about our future while filled with fury or resentment.
We will struggle to break free from anyone or anything when there is an array of intense emotional debris lingering in our hearts and minds. This is why we must untangle and make sense of our emotions, so we can discover what causes us to feel magnetically pulled to someone we know we should be walking away from.
Meditation is one of the best tools there is to help us better understand our emotions and feelings. It also allows us a way of figuring out why we are attracted to certain people when the bond causes us turmoil and heartache. For those who don’t wish to meditate, something as comforting as sitting in a cozy chair with a warm drink, calming music, and candles burning can help to clear and pacify the mind.
Cutting contact with those we hold strong feelings for can happen in an instant, but the truth is that our feelings won’t usually disappear overnight.
Emotionally beating ourselves up by thinking we can’t let go because we are weak and devoid of willpower will only make us feel worse, and neither is it true. There is nothing wrong with a heart that wants to continue loving, and it is not a sign of fragility if we remain in a pernicious connection.
However, regardless of strength or weakness, it is extremely important to take immense care of our emotional, mental, and physical health and well-being, and to remain consciously aware to what is going on when we are enduring pain and suffering due to someone else’s actions.
Admitting to ourselves that we know there is a problem, and that it is time to release ourselves from it, is the biggest step we can take toward vital self-preservation.
From there, we can take a series of smaller steps that lightly lead the way to obtaining and maintaining inner and outer peace, harmony, and safety.
To get through a breakup of any kind, we will need to have a tremendous amount of patience with our emotions, as there is no set time limit for getting over someone.
Healing occurs in its own time. It may feel soothing one minute, and the next, it can hit us with waves that are so overwhelming they can rock and destabilize our inner core.
This is why we need to be forearmed with a little knowledge of how overbearing our emotions can get when we are detoxing, and also so that we are well prepared in case they do consume us out of the blue. All of this is absolutely okay and perfectly normal—it does not mean that we are not capable of getting over and through the breakup, and neither does it mean that we need to run back to whomever we desire every time we feel the intensity rising.
All we need to do is calmly breathe through all of the pain, frustration, longing, aching, and sadness without paying too much attention to the ferocity of the emotions soaring through us. The more we focus on our painful pulsating emotions, the longer they will linger around.
Breathe, let go, breathe, and release. Repeat and repeat. Chanting affirmations and mantras can also create a positive emotion shifting effect.
The emotions may last for a few moments or many hours, and they may come and go for days, but I assure you, they will eventually lessen and pass. This is simply a withdrawal period, and we are retraining our brain so that we no longer return to thorn-laden pathways. Instead, we will be in the process of creating beautiful, nurturing tracks that lead us away from suffering and toward pure self-love, health, and healing.
We may even return to the person whose energy and behavior is harmful to our own—and again, we should try not to harshly judge or berate ourselves if this does happen. The words we tell ourselves can heal or harm us, so if we can’t think of anything nourishing to pour into our minds, we can instead play some music with gentle lyrics that are loving and kind.
So long as we remain consciously aware of our thoughts, emotions, and actions—and we have faith that we are now aware that self-care is imperative—we will soon, once again, find the awareness required to remove ourselves from those who are harmful, and we will eventually arrive at a permanent place of authentic self-love, happiness, and peace.
The One Buddhist Red Flag to Look out For.
Author: Alex Myles
Image: Flickr/Brieuc Saffré
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina