Letting Go: Why You Need to Forgive and Move On

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The end of a romantic relationship is painful even when you know it is for the best. When you are the person left behind it can life shattering. Many men and women become clinically depressed after a break-up. There have even been studies that show the physical changes that take place in the heart even when it is only broken metaphorically (and it certainly doesn’t feel like a metaphor).

It can take a long time to process a painful break-up and move on. There is no set schedule–everyone is different. However, if you believe you are hanging on to past hurt or resentments, and can’t let go, then you need to make some changes. Living in the past will truly keep you from finding happiness in the now and even in the future.

If the break-up was made in anger then the negative feelings will only hurt you. Your ex has likely moved on and is unaffected by your feelings. Holding on to the pain can make you physically ill and emotionally unwell. The fact of the matter is that you will not be able to attract good things into your life until you discard the negative emotions and leave the pain behind.

We have learnt many great techniques from studying some of the masters in healing and relationships and Reflect On This would like to share them with you. These techniques will allow you to move through the pain and consciously let your ex out of your life. The physical and emotional benefits are well worth giving a try.

Cutting the Cord

When you are in a serious relationship you become deeply connected to the other person. Have you ever noticed that you are still connected energetically even after a breakup? Arielle Ford is a relationship expert who teaches courses and workshops to men and women who want to start over. She is also the author of The Soulmate Secret. In the book, Ford explains how energetic connections tie you to another person:

Many energy workers believe we leave energetic hooks in people with whom we’ve been intimate. These can be positive hooks – such as the bond formed during a romantic kiss – or they can be negative hooks, such as the emotional wounds that are left following a breakup or a big blowout of a fight. These energetic hooks are electromagnetic connections between people through which thoughts, emotions, and energy continue to flow back and forth.

Ford then guides the reader through a visualization exercise to cut the cord connecting him or her to a former lover. It takes about 30 minutes and is a pro-active way to move the healing process along.

Clearing Negative Energy

Keeping things in your home that carry energy from your ex will only keep you tied to the past, even if it is subconsciously. You need to remove these triggers to create an environment of peace. For example, toss cards and letters from your ex. Get rid of the sheets you slept on together and replace them with fresh sheets that represent a new beginning. Can you think of other things that should be tossed after a breakup? (Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.)

Another respected healer is Denise Linn – the internationally renowned author of Sacred Space: Clearing and Enhancing the Energy of Your Home. She is an advocate of clutter clearing and teaches techniques from her Native American roots along with feng shui practices that remove energy that can hold you back. Even though it can be difficult to get rid of things that remind you of your ex, it is an important part of the healing process.

Physical Release

It’s not uncommon to have unresolved issues with an ex, to feel as if you never had a chance to speak from your heart. Trapped emotional pain in the body is often manifested as illness. That’s why there is so much discussion of the importance of closure at the end of a relationship. Unfortunately it’s not always possible to get closure. For example, we know a man whose partner of three years broke up with him via email. She completely cut him out of her life with little explanation beyond it “wasn’t working out.” They were supposed to be married within a matter of months.

As you can imagine this man held on to a lot of emotional pain from this experience. He tried to contact his former partner repeatedly but she would not discuss it. It was as if they had never been together. He tried the following exercise after hearing Dr. Christiane Northrup discuss it on her Hay House radio show “Flourish.” Some of these techniques may be strange for some, but for many they have proven to be a wonderful and soothing release of negative energy. Consider trying them…

  • Stand with a pillow in front of an empty chair, pretending that your ex is sitting there.
  • Tell him or her everything you never had a chance to say. Let your emotions come to the surface, no matter how painful.
  • As your emotions become strong, hit the pillow against the chair, while yelling out loud.
  • Continue for no more than 10 minutes as the experience can become intense.
  • Take a bath in Epsom salts which will help remove the negative energy and cleanse your energy fields.

This exercise can bring immediate relief. However, it may not be within every person’s comfort zone. Another way to release pain and feel like you are “being heard” is to write an actual letter to your ex with pen and paper. You won’t send the letter. The release comes from simply expressing yourself. Share everything you have wanted to say – don’t edit yourself at all. Then rip it up or burn it. Just don’t send it!

Can you think of another way to express your feelings to your ex without actually doing it? Please share your thoughts with everyone below.

Saying Goodbye

Empath Summer McStravick created a program called Flowdreaming, outlined in her book Creative Flowdreaming. She found it difficult to clear her mind when meditating and discovered the Flowdreaming process worked very well. Instead of clearing your mind like during meditation, you use your imagination to actively create what it is you want in your life.

One of McStravick’s Flowdreams is about saying goodbye to an ex. She guides you through the process of visualizing closure in a positive way. You are able to honor the mutual connection you shared with your ex and acknowledge that it will always be there on some level, though not in the way it once was. It gives you the opportunity to express forgiveness and get an emotional release at the same time.

A painful breakup is a grieving process very similar to what is felt after a death. Depending on where you are in the process, moving on may seem impossible. It’s important that you know you are not alone. While it is incredibly painful, know that you will get to the other side. Sometimes when grieving gets in the way of your normal routine for too long it is necessary to give the process a little nudge. What techniques have you found helpful for forgiving and releasing an ex so that you could move on? Once again, we would love to hear your thoughts below…

  • Siti

    Thanks for sharing this, however what if moving on involves your future career? Now currently, I find it hard to move on because not only I have to settle with my emotion of losing the guy but also the job which I like as we work together in the same office. Is there any solution to this?

    • http://www.ReflectOnThis.com Reflect Team

      Thank you for your comment Siti.

      This can truly be a sticky situation. There are several options though, none of which are simple (in most cases). You could try to have a frank and honest conversation with your ex about the situation and maybe come up with some guidelines that both of you will follow. If that is just not possible, or if they (or you) are not willing to have such a conversation, maybe you could ask to work a different shift, or different hours, or maybe in another department. It really depends, but that might be an option. Also realize that the other person may be having similar feelings to you; they may seek to leave the job before you have to (which would be an absolute last resort, and an option that you probably won’t have to take).

      The point is, don’t lose hope—there are options. Just breathe, take your time, and try to take a few steps in a positive and new direction.

      One last thing, never make rash and quick decisions. Take your time to heal for a bit. Then see where things lie in a few weeks from now.

      Hope that helps!

  • Siti


    Thank you for your reply really appreciate it a lot. I noted some of your guideline and in fact I have already ask the HR whether I could be ask for transfer however sad to said I can’t because I have to work there for 2 years. I tried to heal however it just can’t heal cause I ended up showing my emotion and temper. I know its not good for myself but I just can’t control my emotion since this is my first time I been in love plus our relationship is complicated, not those simple lover relationship so that add up to my anger and frustration. I do have the thought to leave but I like my job, colleague and the working environment there so what should I do?

    • http://www.ReflectOnThis.com Reflect Team

      There are so many factors to consider here, and it is definitely beyond the scope of a “comments” section to go into all of those angles. But suffice it to say, you need more time. Don’t rush things. Having a job that you love and a place where you fit it is not easy to come by. Don’t throw it all away because of a soured relationship. Maybe you should try to have a frank and honest discussion with your ex about these emotions that you are having. See what he thinks about it. Maybe it will help. If that is not possible, or if you feel it will only make things worse, then try reading some of the books that were suggested in this post (and you should do that anyways). We wish you the best! Stay strong and hang in there!