How to Let Go & Move On (without regrets)

by Crystal Belle on November 28, 2011

 

We read many, many times to confront those things we perceive as negative to allow us to move on. I don’t find this simple yet I know it is true. Any suggestions other than to release and let go? –Rose, commenting on “How to Fall in Love with Life

I am so, so grateful Rose asked this question and I’m honored to dive into it more deeply. This is something so many of us struggle with, is it possible there’s a quick solution? Are there a few steps we can follow in every situation to let go and finally be free? In my experience, yes!

I’ve let go of some horrible stuff, so I know that for many of us, “letting go” seems scarier and more full of pain than dealing with the un-comfortableness of the negative thing itself.

  • When we think about “letting go” of the idea that someone has hurt us, we believe we’re opening ourselves up to be hurt again.
  • When we think about “letting go” of an embarrassing situation, we believe we won’t learn from the pain and we might embarrass ourselves again.
  • When we think about “letting go” of a debt someone owes us, we believe we’re giving them a “free pass” to continue to live irresponsibly.
  • When we think about “letting go” of a memory, we believe we’re losing a valuable part of ourselves and our history, and it should be preserved simply because it’s ours.

All of these are even more negative stories (and fears) around the original negative story! As someone who used to think these thoughts all the time, I know how hard it can be to break the cycle and start thinking differently, but it is possible, even easy once you see how incredibly fun and joyful it is to get out of these ruts and start living in love.

Anytime we’re filling our thoughts with these stories and fears, we’re filling our minds with negativity. Instead, we can choose to fill our minds with positive things, things we love.

“The life purpose for each of us is to overcome negativity by choosing love.” –Rhonda Byrne

“Letting go” is simply choosing not to think about the negative. We “hang on” to the negativity and reinforce our feelings about those stories when we remember them and think about them again and again.

We tell ourselves that if we don’t think about something bad that happened, we’re being irresponsible and not learning from it. I thought this at first too. But I’ve found that spending my energy thinking about all the horrible things in the world is the single biggest waste of creative time and energy in my life- and isn’t that as irresponsible as it gets? Not only is it a waste of time, but also it’s creating a life of negativity and unhappiness, instead of a life of love.

 I had to purposefully train my thoughts to think about what I love instead of dwelling on everything negative.

How to train your thoughts to “move on”:

1. Any time you feel pain, stop. This has been my biggest “trigger” in moving towards a more mindful, loving life. Anytime I’m not comfortable or downright hurting, I know I’m going down a negative mental path. If you pay attention, you’ll notice that every time you’re thinking about something negative that someone did, you don’t feel good. Anytime you’re remembering something about the past that didn’t go the way you think it should, you hurt.

Let those painful moments be triggers to you, and get excited because you’re about to feel a whole lot better!

2. Ask yourself, “What is good, loving, and perfect about this situation/person?”

One way to stay alert is to trick your mind by asking questions such as “What can I see that I love?” “How many things can I see that I love?” “What else is there that I love?” “What can I see that thrills me?” “What can I see that excites me?” “What can I see that I’m passionate about?” “Are there more things I can see that I love?” “What can I hear that I love?” When you ask your mind questions, your mind can’t help itself and it gets busy right away to give you the answers. It stops other thoughts immediately so as to come up with the answers to your questions.

The secret is to keep asking your mind questions regularly. The more questions you can ask, the more you will be in control of your mind. Your mind will be working with you and doing what you want it to do, instead of working against you. -Rhonda Byrne, The Power

 Just by asking the question, “What do I love about this situation?” your mind begins to find the answer. By asking, “What is positive about this situation?” and “What can I love about this person?” you’re training your mind to fill with love. And a mind full of love has no room for negativity!

You can see that it’s not a process of “letting go” and “moving on,” which sound like you’re leaving something valuable behind, but it’s a process of finding what you love instead of focusing on what you don’t.

Now that I have this powerful tool, I have to tell you, I ask myself all the time what I love about a situation and what I love about the people I’m around. I notice things about people that I never noticed before. I see so much that is amazing and perfect with the world! Now, my mind is so full of loving, beautiful thoughts that negativity almost never takes hold.

3. If you can’t love that thing right now, think about what you do love. We’re human. Sometimes, we can’t immediately see what’s good or positive about a situation. Don’t sweat it. (In fact, the worse you feel about not being able to find the positive, the more negativity you’re creating.) Know that someday you’ll see the situation differently, and until then, you don’t need to waste your powerfully creative energy on it. Instead, think of what you love. Ask yourself what you love and are grateful for. Find the beauty in the world and don’t stress over what’s not ideal.

The bottom line? To “let go” of negativity, you need to “fill up” on love. When you’re full of love, there’s no space for anything that’s not love.

“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” -Buddha

 

 

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

S November 28, 2011 at 7:10 am

Re: ”You can see that it’s not a process of “letting go” and “moving on,” which sound like you’re leaving something valuable behind, but it’s a process of finding what you love instead of focusing on what you don’t.”

This is where I get stuck usually especially in relation to an ambigous relationship. I never knew if I should be holding on and trying to be more loving towards this person or cut my losses and move on. This is a long distance relationship that has lasted over 3 1/2 years. Something that started in friendship, led to something more (quiet intense actually) and now is ambigous. I love this person sincerely but feel this person is hiding a lot of things from me and not returning my sincerity. It is damn near impossible to stay positive because I don’t know where I stand and what I represent to him (am I a friend or something more?). If I think of what I love, which is what you’re suggesting, then I think of the good conversations we had, the times we teased and laughed with each other and the great physical connection (but that’s the past). I’m just not sure how a situation like this can be resolved and how to apply your above advice.

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Kelly Montes November 28, 2011 at 9:22 am

Belle is also saying that the most important relationship you have is with yourself.
If you are hurting or doubtful about a relationship, you are not
being true to yourself. If you were to read your letter as if it were writen
from someone else what would you tell this person?
Sometimes letting go of a realationship that has lost its direction is the only
way to love yourself.

Reply

Belle November 30, 2011 at 12:49 am

S, thank you so much for your incredible honesty and sharing your story.

You’re causing yourself a lot of pain over this relationship, and you don’t have to. You can love the relationship for what it IS – ambiguous. You can love him as a human being no matter how he treats you. And you can accept the fact that it feels more like a friendship than a relationship, and embrace the joy of that change. As it stands NOW, it sounds like you have a friend who’s been in your life for over three years. That’s beautiful. As it stands NOW, you’re not exchanging anything more than that, to make it more of a romance than a friendship. As it stands NOW, you can either love and accept that, or you can continue to wish it were different. We all have to make that choice with a million different things, and some of them feel harder to “let go” than others. But the reality is, what is here NOW is all we have, memories are just thoughts- they are no longer reality.

I love Kelly’s reply- your only action ever IS to love yourself. Which is why, when you notice that you have pain in your life, you can notice that you’re thinking something that’s causing that pain, and you can decide to stop thinking it. In this situation, you’re thinking that he shouldn’t be ambiguous, that he shouldn’t hide things from you, that things should be like they used to. Does it feel good to think those shoulds?

I want you to be marvelously happy, S, and live the life of your dreams. Only you get to decide what that means.

Love you dearly,
Belle

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Deborah November 28, 2011 at 8:26 am

Your posts about focusing on what you love have really resonated with me. Yesterday I was in a situation that mostly feels negative. When I noticed how I was feeling I remembered to think of what I loved about being there, and immediately thought of the handful of dear friends who we share a meal with each week. The change in my focus was what got me through that morning.

What I really like about this change of focus is that it is NOT one of those “fake it til you make it” kind of things. Tried that – and faking anything does not work for me. But to shift my thoughts to what I love is becoming a life changing experience.

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Belle November 30, 2011 at 12:51 am

This is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing this Deborah. It is true- there is no “fake it” in Love. You are either Loving or you’re not. I am so grateful to hear this has had a profound effect on you. It has truly been transformational in my life.

To love!
Belle

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Kelly Montes November 28, 2011 at 9:50 am

Once again, words that point us in the right direction to living a more loving
compassionate life. I know what I love, recieving Belle´s words of inspiration,
encouragement and loving support.
Thank you, with love,
Kelly

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Belle November 30, 2011 at 12:52 am

Oh Kelly, this brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for the love you’re putting out into the world, thank you for being so true and loving to yourself. You are a wonderful example!
Love you dearly,
Belle

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shannon November 28, 2011 at 10:32 am

Belle, GET OUT OF HERE!!! I can barely keep up with you! You remind me of when Esther Hicks says something like “if you’re going 100 miles and hour (towards joy) and you hit a tree, you’re going to hit it a lot harder than if you’re going 10 miles an hour. But we still want you to go 100 miles an hour.” This just makes me guffaw with laughter to think about. But seriously, I am with you. I am going 100 miles an hour and everyday I just laugh more, sing more, and see the absurd beauty of this amazing moment almost all the time! And when I get caught up in the stinking thinking and my emotions tell me UH OH! YOU’RE FOCUSING ON THE NEGATIVE! Now I am getting increasingly skilled and bringing my focus to LOVE LOVE LOVE and slipping right back in the river of love. And Y-O-U my dear have been a key factor in my success. So…THANK YOU! xoxoxo love love love shannon

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Belle November 30, 2011 at 12:53 am

LOL! You bring so much joy into my life, Shannon, I can’t even tell you! I love the phrase “absurd beauty” – that is perfect! I’ve found that I LOVE rooting out those negative thoughts, it’s like searching for little hidden treasures- when I think a negative thought, it’s an opportunity to transform myself and my thoughts into even MORE love, and who doesn’t love that? What a wild, wonderful, beautiful trip we’re on!
Loving you,
Belle

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Rose Rilling November 28, 2011 at 11:14 am

Belle,
This statement hit me like a brick: “A mind filled with love has no room for negativity”. I will keep that in my mind in any of these situations and know love will prevail. My sincere gratitude for taking your time and thoughts to write about releasing and letting go. It is a gift.
With Love
Rose

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Belle November 30, 2011 at 12:54 am

Thank you, Rose! I know it’s not easy to “just let go and love” when we’ve been attached to a thought for awhile, but it is so transformative when it happens.
Love you,
Belle

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Marcy March 23, 2013 at 6:27 pm

I, too, have struggled with the whole ‘letting go’ and ‘moving on’ concept in regard to my marriage. This will be my second divorce and it has been harder to swallow. Due to financial circumstances, I am kind of stuck here until I/we save enough money for me to move out. I have been holding on to alot of negative feelings as a way of protecting myself, but I have come to realize a couple of things: I can accept and love who he is and still leave because that is best for me; I can choose to be more open to the positives in our situation because that is also best for me and him. Why spend our remaining time fighting? When he does something I don’t like, I don’t need to draw it to his attention and cause friction— I just remind myself that that is why I am leaving. I am putting my energy into finding a job that will allow me to support myself, going back to school and drawing up a reasonable and fair exit plan/divorce settlement for when the time comes. I still have days when I feel incredible sadness, but I know that these emotions are my way of processing what I am letting go of and what I am moving toward.

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Crystal Belle March 29, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Marcy, what a place you’re in right now! My heart goes out to you in this trying time. You are doing such a beautiful job at being present and positive. What strength and grace you have! Thank you for sharing your beautiful journey.

Love,
Crystal Belle

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