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I have often wondered why we cling to things in the past.
Perhaps, it’s our fear of the unknown. Perhaps, it’s our overthinking throwing us into a pit of fears and irrational, negative expectations.
Perhaps, it’s our obsession with what is familiar because we taught ourselves to stay safe.
And what is truly the meaning of safe?
I don’t believe forcing ourselves to remain stuck in unhealthy patterns is safe. I don’t believe hanging on to people who are harming us more than helping us grow is safe. I don’t believe refusing to enjoy the little things in life because we are used to sadness is safe. I don’t believe refusing to move forward is safe.
Studies show that we are often attracted to what is familiar to us. If we are used to being in a relationship with a partner whose personality does not match ours in any way, we might look for similar people to date after that person leaves our lives. We might even hold on to that person just because we got used to them.
We might hold on to our corporate job just because it’s giving us stability even though it’s draining our mental and physical health.
We might hold on to our negative perspective of things happening in our lives just because we’re used to this way of thinking. And this will keep us from considering a change of perspective—one that might help us see things in a much better light.
And so what is the purpose of letting go? Why is it so important for us to move on from certain things in our lives?
We have to move on to create positive change.
Sometimes, moving on could mean choosing something new. It means letting go of a friend whose mindset doesn’t match with ours anymore. It means letting go of the lover who made us suffer from unimaginable heartbreak. It means letting go of the job that is draining our energy and mental health.
And, sometimes, moving on means letting ourselves grieve the loss of a person and learning to live with the memory of that person. It means revisiting that memory whenever we want, touching it, then moving forward.
We can’t change things in the past.
No matter what we try to do in the future, things in the past will remain unchanged. Maybe we can fix our schedule to adapt to our additional hours at work. Maybe we can avoid the red flags our partner is displaying. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.
The question is: until when?
I am a fighter. I am the kind of person who refuses to go down on my knees when life gets hard. But I also know when to stop fighting for what’s harming me and try to step out of the constant “surviving” mode to start actually “living.”
We can only start to grow when we let go of the things holding us prisoners.
Loss is a part of life. And loss has the power to teach us a lot of things if we are willing to be open to learning from it. It could be the loss of a lover, a friend, a job, and even a part of ourselves.
Every loss is capable of teaching us a lesson. But it’s important to use that lesson to become better, live better, and work on our happiness.
Letting go is hard.
Moving on is hard.
The familiar is much easier because it’s not the unknown. It’s not total blackness. It doesn’t induce fear.
But, sometimes, when we are insanely trying to float in water, afraid of drowning, we forget that the water is shallow and all we have to do is stand up. We won’t drown, and we won’t tire ourselves out of existence.
Let us assess what is healthy for us. Let us see what is making us miserable.