We've all heard some of the rules floating around. When your relationship ends, the time you get to heal is equivalent to half the length of the relationship. If it is another type of loss, it is said to be a year -- just enough time to go through all the major events and holidays you used to share with that person. We treat 'moving on' and 'letting go' like they are simple actions. We just let go. It is that easy, no?
No. Not that simple. We, as a society, like to put things in tidy little boxes and time frames. We do this especially, it seems, when things are difficult. If we can make it tidy, we can make it easier. But the thing is, it isn't in our nature to let go. We fight for what we love.
No one lets go instantly. We do it over and over. You let someone go when you hear their favourite song on the radio and are able to keep driving. You let them go when you throw out that soap that smells like them. You let them go on your anniversary. You let them go on the anniversary of the day you lost them. You let them go on their birthday. You let them go when you meet someone new.
Sometimes you have to let someone go thousands of times and there is nothing wrong with that. You are human. This person mattered to you, it only makes sense that letting them go would hurt.
Moving on isn't about speeding forward in your life and never looking back. It is not about escaping the scene. It is about going at an even speed. You have not failed if you get somewhere great and feel like something is missing. You are free to mourn while
you grow. Bad things don't disappear instantly and good things don't arise without something being left behind. Things will balance out. It might take time, but they will.
We are works in progress but we hate to think so. We want everything to happen right away. Now! Falling in love, or out of it, letting go, leaving the past where it belongs while moving on to what's next. We want it with a snap of our fingers. It is the in between that makes us uncomfortable. Those days when we know we are moving forward but go home and cry ourselves to sleep because we want to share everything with that one person we no longer have. We know we are getting better, but feel like we have nothing to show for it. Two steps forward, one step back. But that's the way it should be. That's how we keep ourselves in check.
Be patient. Where you've been and where you are going will not be clear overnight. Let that in between space motivate you, not devastate. It is more than okay to not be 'there' yet. It is okay to be unsure about your forward movement. We hardly ever talk about how moving on can feel like we're fighting ourselves every step of the way. We need to talk about how growth hurts. It is both painful and unspeakably beautiful.
Growth and letting go are so tightly knit that we seldom see them properly. We see one or the other. But they exist together. If you think you are taking too long, give yourself a break. Who makes these rules? Don't beat yourself up because you think you should be in a different place. Take a moment and really look. Don't think about where you have yet to arrive, think about how far you've already come.
h/t: Thought Catalog