Let's Go….. Walk Ahead…. Move On
“Perhaps this is what the stories meant when they called somebody heartsick. Your heart and your stomach and your whole insides felt empty and hollow and aching. -Gabriel García Márquez”
At some point in life, we all have felt this pain. Gut-wrenching, like a sucker punch, a knife twisting in your stomach, that kind of, absolutely heart-shattering pain. We lost people whom we thought would be there as long as our existence in the realm of life. To infidelity, or to misunderstandings, or simply when two people just drift apart, lost in the sands of time and sometimes in the form of the death of a loved one. The feeling of loss is the same. It’s universal. The pain, the devastation are universal. Some feel it more than others, but the feeling is the same.
“So it’s true, when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love." -E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly
I always thought we were taught or heard about falling in love all our lives, how wonderful it was. How amazing it all felt. But no one told us what would happen once it's gone away. No one told us that sometimes the loss would be much more than what we could imagine. No one told us that when we lose someone, a part of ourselves will be lost too, or maybe our entire selves.
And that we would have absolutely no idea about how to find ourselves back. But no one taught us how to stop loving once it started hurting, or how to unlove when it became unhealthy. No one taught us how to find happiness again after such a loss. We found ourselves lost. Lost in a place where we had no idea where to go, how to move ahead, most importantly how to let go and move on.
What we did manage to find was almost cruel, even more, hurtful than the loss itself. The act of forcing and beating our hearts and feelings into submission, to feel absolutely anything but pain. And there’s a strange paradox.
Even though the ache, the pain is the same, ways of coping with it are so different. Some people build impenetrable walls. So much so that they become apathetic. Walls are so thick that even they can’t penetrate them.
Some people feel so much ache that the devastation is difficult to conceal. Some dismiss the feelings, and buried it deep within hearts. And some find reprieve in the puffs of smoke, the bottoms of the liquor bottles, psychedelics, etc.
And yet, most of us lose that battle. No matter how hard we try not to hurt, it creeps back into our minds and hearts out of nowhere, in the form of triggers. And fear. Especially when we are trying to move on, in trying to make new starts, our hearts get gripped by fear. Of rejection, of abandonment, a reminder of our suffering, we find ourselves and our lives stalled at that step. Unable to move ahead.
What if what we were trying to do was perhaps not right? What if that deliberate shutting down of emotions made us prisoners of suffering instead of healing our hearts. What if I told you that time won't heal the wounds if you ignore or refuse to do anything about them?
How are we supposed to move on then?
The answer indeed is time. And patience. And love.
“The emotion that can break your heart is sometimes the very one that heals it... " -Nicholas Sparks, At First Sight (Jeremy Marsh & Lexie Darnell)
But this is not the love you think you would find in another person. We often think that if we fall in love with someone else, it will cure us of our wounds. Probably that is exactly why people jump from one relationship to the next.
Isn't it's unfair? To put the burden of your healing and happiness on the shoulders of the other person? Do you think it's too much to handle? What if they are not even capable of handling such a responsibility? They would crumble down.
The love you seek is within you. When your heart gets broken, your inner child takes the brunt of it. It needs love, it needs patience. It needs unconditional love. A sense of safety. A feeling of belonging. A home. That’s what it takes to heal. And you will never find it in someone else but in your own heart.
“Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny." -Steve Maraboli
So what do we do now? How do we move forward?
1. Allow yourself to feel it. To grieve. Feel it all. The hurt, the anger. The anguish. Everything. You are allowed to feel all that. And if anybody tells you otherwise, don’t listen. Because the shortest way to healing is a long way. Allow yourself to cry. As much as you need. Till your heart starts feeling lighter.
2. Find a support system
Someone you can trust and be vulnerable with, someone who won’t judge you or enforce their beliefs on you against your wishes. If you don’t feel safe with anyone to express your feelings and thoughts, then write it down. Sometimes seeing our thoughts and feelings on paper is as cathartic as crying.
3. Let go of the habit of blaming and shaming
“If you spend your time hoping someone will suffer the consequences for what they did to your heart, then you're allowing them to hurt you a second time in your mind." -Shannon L. Alder
No matter how much you blame someone, it won’t heal you. All it would do is to add resentment, anger, and bitterness. And most importantly, it will become the chain that will hold you back from your freedom and happiness.
Also, don’t shame yourself for wanting to move on. Sometimes we try to hold onto the pain and memories because we think if we truly loved someone, we won’t think of moving on. Don’t subject yourself to that guilt.
“Letting go doesn't mean that you don't care about someone anymore. It's just realizing that the only person you really control over is yourself." -Deborah Reber, Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul
“Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on." -Criss Jami, Salomé: In Every Inch In Every Mile
Forgiveness isn’t easy. Sometimes the other person doesn’t even deserve it. And sometimes we don’t even understand who exactly do we need to forgive? Toward whom is our anger directed. Them for abandoning or rejecting us, betraying us, or Us for not standing up for ourselves, for not seeing the signs, or simply for holding on for too long. We believe that if the other person gives us closure, or asks for forgiveness, it would feel better.
But do we really need the other person giving us closure to validate our feelings? No, because whether they did so or not, we would still be hurt. The forgiveness isn’t as much for them as it is meant for you. To let go of the burden we carry in our hearts, the anger, and resentment that poisons our veins. We don’t deserve to carry it in our hearts. That’s why we need to forgive them, for our own sake.
5. Find a positive outlet for expression
This is for your inner child. To tell them that their feelings are valid and safe to express, without any judgment or repercussions. Make them feel seen. This can be in any form that you find natural to you. Some people write. Some paint. Some dance. Find your own form of expression. Let it all out through your art. This is one of the healthiest and most beautiful ways of expression.
6. Lastly, have patience and hold onto the faith
The journey won’t happen in a day. It won’t be easy. Or linear. Some days will be beautiful; you will find fleeting moments of happiness, some semblance of normalcy. Appreciate yourself for those days. Become your biggest supporter.
Some days would be hard. It would hurt, memories would flood your thoughts. On those days, be kind and compassionate towards yourself. Don’t beat yourself for falling back. Listen to your heart. Give yourself the love you ache for. And please do not force yourself to move on. It will happen on its own, with time, if you make choices every day to show up for yourself, if you create the home that you need and deserve, in your own self.
“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
May you choose wisely, and no matter what you choose, it leads to happiness and fulfillment.
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