Posted on January 23, 2011 by Two Becomes One
We all hear, time and again, how important it is to live in the now. Of course, anyone who has ever been seriously hurt can tell you that letting go of the past is a lot easier said than done. Who we are, at a very fundamental level, is developed through our experiences. How then, are we supposed to simply release what makes us who we are?
First, before we go any further, let’s clear up one common misunderstanding. Letting go of the past does not mean forgetting about it. This one misperception is what prevents many people from completely healing. They think that since they can’t forget about the hurt of past disappointments, rejections, and betrayals that they cannot ever hope to move on. So they end up stuck in their pain because they lose sight of the fact that they don’t have to be.
When we move on with our lives we do not forget the negative experiences of the past. Far from it. Pain, emotional and physical, is a part of life. Not only do those experiences shape us, but they provide us with the tools to avoid future injuries. However, for those tools to work, you have to first pick them up. You can’t do that while still clinging to the past.
When we refuse to relinquish the past, we relive our hurts over and over. Because of that we can never heal. We cannot grow and learn to reduce future pains because the original hurt is always there, always fresh.
So, no, letting go of the past does not mean forgetting it. It means letting go of the pain, not the experience itself. If you can do this, then you can take away at least some good from your traumatic experience.
Some of the most grievous injuries occur in our romantic relationships. We let others into our hearts, share our lives with them, trust them completely. When that trust is compromised it can be devastating. It can severely limit our ability to trust again. However, trusting again is exactly what we must learn to do if we hope to have love in our lives.
There is no easy way to go about this. Letting go of hurt is not a one-time event. You don’t say, “ok, I’m ready to move on,” and magically you’re through it. On the contrary, letting go is an ongoing, conscious decision.
When you decide to begin dating again, you have to constantly remind yourself of your commitment to let go of the past. You also have to be very mindful of how you let the past relationships color your view of the new. You cannot build a healthy relationship on suspicion and guarded emotions.
Letting down the walls is not as easy as it once was. Never again will you blindly accept that someone is trustworthy “just because”. Nor should you. Faith is blind, trust is not.
You should, however, remain open to allowing someone the chance to demonstrate their trustworthiness – not by testing them, but by letting them stand the test of time – so that you can once again feel the joy that comes from a healthy, meaningful relationship.
If you have decided to date again you have already taken the first step. Continue to make that decision every day. Before you know it, your decision to love, to trust, and to heal will begin to seem more natural until, one day, you find that you no longer need to remind yourself. Once again, love will come easily and naturally.
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|Filed Under: Relationships|