Letting Go: Accepting the Past, Being Open to the Future

Letting Go: Accepting the Past, Being Open to the Future
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 26 October, 2022

Letting go is never easy. It requires courage and absolute conviction that in doing so, we will be rid of that relationship, friendship, or situation that holds us back. Letting go is something necessary for balance and happiness.

Knowing how to recognize the need for closing a door requires maturityNevertheless, taking the step from recognition to actually carrying out that decision is an extremely difficult one, weighed down with sadness and grief that must be overcome.

Letting go means, in most cases, having to “rebuild.” It means we have to reconsider ourselves and who we are. Sometimes it means we have to start all over again.

We must also keep in mind that many people aren’t able to accept and confront the end of a cycle, or the end of a stage of life, in the correct way.

There are those who think that ending a relationship means their life is over. After that good-bye and that separation, there is nothing left. They think that letting go is an act of destiny and that with that act, the curtain falls on their emotional life.

We should always be careful with these defeatist kinds of thoughts and attitudes. After an ending, there may be a space between, but there will come another beginning, and new paths and opportunities that will lead us to the happiness we truly desire.

Today, we invite you to reflect upon this idea.

Keys to letting go with maturity and wisdom

At the beginning of this article, we mentioned how important courage and conviction are. Now, the act of letting go means integrating many more dimensions and utilizing personal strategies that are worth knowing.

woman pulling back night sky curtain letting go

1. Other people are not your future; you are your own maker

It is possible that there are times in which you think that a particular person appeared in your life because of fate; because it was woven into your destiny with subtle and invisible threads.

In love, you should keep your feet on the ground, your heart attentive, and your wings of personal growth wide open. Romantic relationships are not nourished by magic, but rather by day to day well-being, by compromise, and by hope.

Destiny is made in the “here and now”, and if in this very moment you don’t feel happy or hopeful, you must avoid being the eternal prisoner of suffering. Your destiny, and your inner voice, are showing you a different path to take: that of your personal well-being. 

2. Letting go means making your own needs clear

Don’t be afraid of saying loud and clear that you also have needs. Demanding respect and needing to be heard, loved, and cared for are not selfish things.

Sometimes, when things are not going well, instead of being aware of our emotional discomfort, we continue to cling to certain things: 

  • To fear: fear that something will happen if you do or say something. Fear of being alone, fear of being wrong, fear of change…
  • To procrastination: often, we think that it is better to just “wait a little longer“, because it is possible that things will change, that a strained relationship or situation will get better, that soon the other person will realize that you are having issues… However, time passes and none of that happens. Nothing changes. 

Don’t be afraid of acknowledging your own emptiness. Don’t be afraid to say out loud what it is you need to be happy. There is no pride or selfishness behind that, but rather true courage and emotional maturity. 

Needs are part of our self-esteem. They are part of our personal growth and our personal well-being.

If you don’t perceive yourself as a happy and fulfilled person, don’t further destroy your integrity; react. Close this stage of your life… Let it go. 

girl walking with hot air balloons letting go

3. Others are not the ones to tell you something is over; no one has the right to close your doors for you

It is often said that we will always hold in our hearts the memory of that perfect friendship that it no longer, or that love that caused us so much pain; we will always hold on to those relationships that changed us so much inside.

It is possible. However, none of those past events should mark end points in our day to day life. 

You aren’t going to deny yourself new relationships just because someone failed you in the past. You aren’t going to let your heart turn to ice or throw it down into the dark pit of despair just because someone hurt you.

Concentrate on the here and now. Nobody holds the tiller of your destiny, nor the right to end a chapter in the book of your life. Letting go means creating a space for new things to come in. New things, and better things.

Never give up when it is apparent that a chapter of life needs to be ended. The key is to accept that there are things that simply cannot be… and to act. 

Always take care of your heartbecause that is where truth of your feelings lives. Those feelings are what you need to take care of with maturity, balance, and wisdom… and lots of courage. 

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.