Releasing Those From Our Past

Sometimes, it becomes necessary for us to release someone from our past. In some situations, we can completely cut ties with them, and therefore release them literally. Other cases do not allow us to dismiss them physically from our lives, usually due to family ties of some kind. Regardless of how we must physically interact with them, whether they are active and present in our day to day lives or not, the emotional bonds are by far much harder to break.

But, that is the most important step we must take and overcome. We must be able to say with confidence, “You no longer have say in how I feel. You have no influence on my emotions. I will not be controlled by you.”

Breakups are perhaps one of the hardest situations to deal with. Romantic relationships are exceedingly hard to release because we invest so many of our emotions, actions, and reactions into them. When you have felt deep love for someone for any amount of time, it feels like an impossible task to let them go. Friendships that have been a part of our lives for a long time can be very much the same. Letting go is never easy. But, you must.

If you cannot find a way to release a relationship, every time you think about that person, interact with that person, or learn something new about that person, it will only lead to negative feelings, whether those feelings be jealousy, anger, resentment, longing for something you can no longer have, or so on. I have had this experience even in friendships. I had a “best” friend who “stabbed me in the back” repeatedly. Every boy I liked all through high school, she would invariably flirt with and draw attention away from me. Often, they would end up dating her, and my own honor code dictated that I would never consider dating someone who dated my best friend.

After she told me we were no longer friends, I had a lot of trouble releasing her. I could not understand why she did not want to be my friend. I felt I had never done anything wrong to her. Why did I deserve this sort of treatment?

I would watch her Facebook page. She would post new pictures of her on expensive vacations, with her new fiance. Then came pictures of her extravagant wedding. I grew to despise her after time. I felt so jealous every time she posted something new. I felt excluded. Unimportant. Forgotten.

I was letting her have control over me when she did not deserve even my most base form of attention. I needed to release her.

It took me time, a lot of thinking, and a conversation with her to really release her.  The time component cannot be rushed. It will take a different amount for everyone to release these unhealthy people from their emotional self. I had to critically and logically think about my attachment to her. Why was I attached to her? Why did I want her to like me? Was our relationship healthy? Did it benefit me? I came to find that the answers to these questions did not look favorably upon her. Finally, I needed to have a talk with her. I told her my feelings, without expectation of it resolving anything with her. With my feelings out on the table, I felt an instant relief and found myself at once able to let her go and move on from our friendship. Getting to speak my mind was a powerful experience. It did not matter if she agreed or disagreed with me. What was important was that I laid it all out on the table, and ultimately took away her power.

Whether the person you need to release is physically present, or merely a nagging thought in the back of your mind, it is important to take away their power by giving yourself time to heal, analyzing your attachment to person, and expressing your feelings. If you can’t talk to them in person (or long distance), but you still feel they have power over you, try writing your thoughts out. This might be a method, if for example, you had an abuser of some kind that you would not want to communicate with for any reason, but still want to express your feelings about.

Whatever it takes, you must release people from your past that cause you to have negative feelings, whether those feelings are about them, yourself, or life in general. Someone that breeds negativity has no place around you. You must heal yourself. Find whatever way you need to release their control over you – but do it in a positive, transformative way. Do not hurt them or yourself, as ultimately that does nothing but cause more negative energy to consume you and your life.

Remember – we all make our OWN choices. We do not chose something strictly for someone else, nor can anyone else force our hand in something. No matter how much you may say that you chose to do something purely for another person, and indeed, they may inspire your choice, we only make choices WE are capable of making. You would not do something if you could not do it. It is as simple as that. Your actions are your own doing. No one else can make you do anything. We make our own choices.

You need to release this person because they are hurting you and breeding negativity. They continue to make the sort of choices that are painful to you. It is not your fault. That person is making their own choices. But, they are making them for themselves and not for you. You need to make choices that are not only right for you, but that are positive for your surroundings and other people. Sometimes people we need to cut ourselves off from are not strong enough to do it for themselves. We must do it not only for them, but for ourselves, because it will help breed positivity rather than continue the cycle of negativity (a topic I will address more later).

Releasing those from our past is far from an easy task, but it is an absolutely necessary one if we are to grow. Find support. Find yourself. Talk it out in your mind. Take your time. And when you’re ready, put it in words, whether audible or written. Give yourself a voice. Do not allow others’ choices, actions, and words to determine how you feel and act. Do not give anyone other than yourself ownership over you.

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