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“Hope can be terribly destructive when you are heartbroken.”
I heard this eye-opening quote while watching Guy Winch’s TedX video on how to fix a broken heart.
Winch scientifically lays out the facts on how our brain tricks us into going down memory lane and reliving the painful moments again and again in a loop.
Eventually, this convinces us that whatever went wrong in the relationship was our mistake. Hence, throughout the session, Winch stresses that letting go and moving on is a fight to look forward in our lives and not backward.
Yes, hope is destructive because it makes us go over scenarios that will probably never happen in real life. Hope, when we’re heartbroken, shifts our perspective from being a realist to a false dreamer. It deprives us of the ability to enjoy life and live in the present moment.
At the end of the day, hope leaves our bodies emotionally drained and exhausted. Exhausted to the extent that sometimes the daily functions that seem perfectly normal for other people feel like a mammoth task for the heartbroken.
The bigger question here is why we still want to live in the hope that one day we will be with the same person who, maybe out of the blue, shut the door to their life on our face, the same person who crippled us emotionally and deprived us of the strength to love again.
We need to remember that change is the law of nature. In reality, we miss a person who does not exist anymore in real life, and we need to let go of that person. We need to let go of their identity, which exists only in our mind, and accept that our chapter with them is closed for good.
Once we finally decide to let go, the same hope which was leading us down the rabbit hole of destruction can be used as a tool to move forward in life. This hope becomes the light at the end of a dark tunnel, and once we cross through it, it injects us with a wave of inner peace and, suddenly, everything seems full of life.
Yes, letting go does leave a big void in our hearts. And at the start of our journey, it can feel like a fight: a fight to control the urge to contact them again, a fight to let go of all the memories—good or bad—that we shared with them.
But in the end, this journey of healing and letting go is worth it. It is proof that we have come so far and how all this time, we had the strength and resilience we needed inside us.
I always like to think of letting go as a step-by-step journey, a marathon with no time limit. And all the things that we do to let go are like a meditation, a process of introspection that adds up slowly to help us grow as a person.