Oftentimes, when a relationship ends, the hurt remains.
We might become cynical or pessimistic. We find difficulty in trusting others again and expect too little from people around us.
Our emotional scars sink deep in our subconscious mind. Thus, we project our past relationships onto our current one (or potential future one). Not only do we project the pain from past relationships, but we may also compare the beauty from previous relationships to the one we’re in today.
Entering a new relationship with heavy emotional baggage is challenging. We break this vicious cycle only when we realize the damage it leaves behind. When we’re ready to let go of the past, we take to heart the necessary steps to release it.
Here’s how to begin the process:
Your perception is your choice. It has always been in our own power to choose how to view a particular situation. What story do we tell ourselves after a breakup? Do we believe it’s essential for our personal growth? We choose to either hang on to the pain or to let it go. It’s also our choice to let go of the past or to keep it alive in our minds.
Every person is different. When we leave a painful relationship, we tend to think that everybody will behave in the same way. We indirectly let the people in our present pay for the mistakes of those from the past. As difficult as it may sound, we shouldn’t project someone’s traits on somebody else. Before drawing an assumption about someone, we must let them show their character to us first.
Every experience is also different. Although our experiences might be similar to a certain extent, they could never match entirely. It’s imperative to understand that our past relationships don’t depict our future ones—they only carve the path for them. We should allow ourselves to be open to the new experiences, rather than worrying about whether they will turn out good or bad. Every experience holds a lesson that we shouldn’t disregard.
Don’t block the new relationship’s potential. When we project a past relationship onto a new one, we sabotage the good possibilities that could arise. Instead of appreciating the present for what it holds, we allow the past to take over. Since not every person is the same, the new relationship might bring something entirely different than what we’ve experienced before.
Give yourself time to heal. Entering a new relationship before healing from a previous one usually causes trouble, since the emotional baggage we carry with us comes to the surface. Give yourself months (or even years, if required) to completely heal and grasp what went awry in the past.
We learn from pain. Pain is necessary for our growth—especially when it comes to destructive relationships. When we go through a painful relationship, the pain usually stays with us. However, we must honor the lessons that come along with toxic relationships. When we’ve found ourselves with the wrong person, we should be careful to avoid repetitive patterns. Do not keep seeking out people with the same issues or flaws. The wrong person for us should open our eyes to what the right person, who we deserve to be with, looks like.
Everything is interdependent. Our life events are chained together. I’m a firm believer that every relationship leads to another. We shouldn’t hold on to the ones that have fallen away—instead, we should allow the new ones to happen. Flow with the chain of your life—don’t block it.
Forgiveness is essential. I can’t stress enough the importance of forgiving people who have hurt us. When we forgive, we move on. Holding on to a grudge only hurts us and keeps our future relationships at bay.
Be brave. It takes courage to decide to put the past behind us and jump into the field of uncertainty. We rarely do this, because we often have the urge to identify with a particular story. Well, we shouldn’t be attached to one story. We must always be ready to write a new one—with the understanding that this story might end too. Be brave in letting go of the past, and jump into the present moment.
Author: Elyane Youssef
Image: film still
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy editor: Catherine Monkman
Social editor: Waylon Lewis