“There comes a time in your life when you have to choose to turn the page, write another book or simply close it.” ~ Shannon L. Alder
I wish I could tell you that relationships are easy.
They are not. Of course, in every relationship there needs to be comfort, safety, and stability to a large extent because it’s only then that you get the courage to stick it out and trust that your loved ones will always stand by you; however, it’s not the case all the time.
All relationships in our lives demand time, effort, and investment on all levels. That’s how they become qualitative, meaningful, and the bond between people grows. As humans, we derive a whole lot of energy from our relationships. Our friends, family, and partners hold profound significance and occupy important spaces in our lives. Deep down, no matter how tough life gets or the ups and downs we find ourselves in, we want our people by our side.
Perhaps, that’s why we spend so much of our time and energy trying to make them work. What would life be without them, right?
While there are so many facets that we need to understand and adjust about our relationships, one thing that we all struggle with the most is the acceptance of the fact that a relationship is not the way we would like it to be or perhaps that it’s not working at all.
It is not just difficult but also heartbreaking to come to terms with the fact that things can’t be the same anymore, no matter how much we still feel for the person or want them to be a part of our life.
Regardless of the role a person plays in your life, sometimes some relationships aren’t meant to be.
This acceptance doesn’t come easy. When you’ve given so much of yourself to a person and a relationship, you can’t just switch off automatically. It’s a painful situation to be in.
However, we must find it in ourselves to come to terms with this reality and move forward.
Sometimes, it takes years for us to embrace this reality and there are times when the acceptance doesn’t come at all or maybe staying in denial is far more comforting than staring reality in the eye and feeling the pain.
But sooner or later, reality does catch up. No matter how much we try to run away from it, we will keep finding ourselves at this crucial junction where we have to see things for what they are. We have to accept that some relationships in our lives won’t work out irrespective of how much we try.
“Moving on isn’t about not loving someone and forgetting about them. It’s about having the strength to say I still love you but you’re not worth the pain.” ~ Anonymous
Once that reality sets in, it’s all about allowing yourself to feel the pain because there’s no other way out. It will hurt—a lot and for quite some time. The acceptance of the failure of a relationship to be a certain way brings up a tsunami of emotions. It marks the death of our hopes, dreams, and wishes and closes all the doors of possibilities with a particular person and fills us with a deep sense of grief that is extremely difficult to navigate.
It also brings up deeper fears such as being alone and the anxiety of living with a void. At times, it also makes us question our own identity and worth in the larger scheme of things.
“Letting go means to come to a realisation that some people are a part of your history and not your destiny.” ~ Steve Maraboli
Nothing ever remains the same when a relationship doesn’t pan out the way we want it to. It’s painful to accept that a parent, sibling, or partner can’t be the person we want them to be. Yet, at times, this is all that we need to accept.
Then, what do we do?
>> You give yourself time to wrap your head around it and let your emotions flow. You let the waves of grief come and go.
>> You process everything about the relationship so that you can give yourself the closure that you need.
>> You reevaluate and adjust your expectations to fit the person and situation.
>> You prioritize self-care because you’ll need it more than ever at this point.
>> You look at the bigger picture and see where the current fits in and how.
>> You slowly start shifting your focus and energy from the relationship to other areas of your life to fill up your tank again.
Eventually, you teach yourself to fill the void in ways that heal the wounds.
Yes, some relationships are such that you will find someone to occupy that role and space in your life. However, others are irreplaceable. And so, you simply learn to become friends with that void.
Sometimes, that’s what moving on is about. You don’t find someone else to fill a void. You simply learn to live with it because some people and equations don’t have a substitute and find ways to carry on.
It’s tough, but at times, that’s all that you can do.
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life; it goes on.” ~ Robert Frost