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How to Let Go Of Something That No Longer Serves You

A reader writes:

I’m feeling stuck, emotionally drained from an almost 5 year on and off relationship. I don’t know how to move on because for some reason I can’t let go no matter how hard I try. We love each other but can’t seem to make it work. Past hurt and disappointment leave me unable to fully forgive yet I can’t move on. What do I do? I’m 33 years old, divorced with no children, and was hoping this person was the answer. Now, I’m just scared I’m not going to find someone to have a family with or feel truly loved. Where do I go? What do I do? I’m successful but lacking the committed and secure relationship that I crave.

You know that feeling when you put your hand on a hot stove and it burns, but we keep doing it anyway?

We walk by the stove, and we think, I don’t know what else to do, so I’ll just put my hand there.

And we keep hurting ourselves not knowing how to get out of the loop. We still place it on the stove and think, That hurts!

And then we put it on the stove again and think, Yep, it still hurts.

One day we walk by the stove and think, I know it’s going to hurt but just because that’s what I’m used to doing, I’m going to put it there once more.

And then one day, we walk by the stove and think, Nope, I don’t want to do that anymore.

Realizing that we don’t want to put our hand on the stove IS the first crucial step.

But breaking patterns isn’t easy and since we’re human, it’s unreasonable to think our habits can change overnight.

That’s why it takes us a few times (sometimes more than we care to admit) where we continue to burn our hand until we just come to a place of being sick of it.

What seems to take us longer to understand is the confusion we feel around the pain.

Even though our heart tells us we would be better off if we made more self-loving choices, the mind makes us think the other.

Isn’t our mind funny?

It grasps onto something that causes us pain, because that’s what it has become accustomed to. It figures, a hot stove is better than nothing.

It doesn’t believe there could be less pain if we went another direction. In fact, it protects us because it believes there will be MORE of it.

The truth is there’s ALWAYS a less painful option. And that option, if made from a self-loving place, WILL bring better returns.

But how do you let go?

Take the hand that’s on the hot stove and place it on your heart.

Nothing outside of us can make us feel loved, safe, cared for, and connected. Nothing outside of us will absolve our fear. Only our heart’s love for our self and health can stop us from causing self-harm.

Loving ourselves means that — with time — we can come to trust that we can care for and fulfill our own needs. We can make new choices to help us discover step-by-step how to decrease our suffering.

THEN something awesome happens.

Every time we walk by the stove, we get more ready — ready to have what we want more fully.

We become stronger to share our life with someone and build a family not as a completion, but as an ADDITION to us.

The love and joy we create within will magnetize love and joy outside of us once we have our own heart FIRST. Because it’s then we know how we went through the fire and learned how not to get burned.

Any and all self-love actions you take will speed up the process of creating what you want.

Keep practicing. And one day, you won’t even notice the stove anymore.

Wishing you much love and happiness!

P.s. If you have any questions about your own life please feel free to e-mail me. We can all learn from each other. 

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Lynn Newman