How To ‘Part Ways’: The Subtle Art Of Letting Go

Letting go of someone or something is the one skill humans aren’t adeptly trained at. And ironically it’s the one thing life tries to teach us. Whether it’s the death of a pet or losing a best friend, parting ways is never easy. We have compiled a guide for you to fall back upon the next time you want to part ways with someone or have parted ways with.

What exactly is ‘parting ways’?

Parting ways is a generic term that can wing under its branch a breakup, abandonment, death of a loved one, being ghosted or simply falling apart with someone. It is one of the most painful processes one has to live through and is a constant in the journey of life

Many make the ill-fated assumption of thinking it gets better with time but each one is unique from the other. We are stuck in a constant loop of self-pity, overthinking and even anger and frustration. If not coped with appropriately, it can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms like drinking, which may harm us in the long run. Most people think that the best way to move on is denial and refuse to acknowledge the pain of the situation in general. You are asked to simply not give a fuck and move on. But we are here to motivate you to give ‘a fuck’.

Accept the reality

Here we go back to the basics of the alphabet and ask you to start with A, by accepting the reality. Yes, they’re gone. Yes, you didn’t anticipate it and you believe you deserve better. Though all of these may be true, it’s important to push yourself to live in the present and acknowledge the feelings as they come to you. Though confusing, your mind and body are motivated to live in the present and deal with the situation head-on.

Focus on healing 

You are your priority. You can stop thinking of the other person and shift the centre of focus to yourself. It could be long hours of crying, journaling, or long baths. Whatever steps you take or activities you do, ensure that you feel better and it helps heal yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. You may experience difficult days but hang in there and give it some time.

Letting go

Understanding it’s not your fault 

In cases where a person chooses to leave you, self-doubt and pity will plague your mind and force you into a dark place where your self-esteem might take a hit. At such times, it’s important to teach yourself to believe in yourself and understand that it isn’t your fault. It may seem like you did everything in your power to drive them away, that you weren’t good enough or that you could have pushed yourself a little more. But trust the universe when it says that those who are meant to be will stick by you through thick and thin. So if someone chose to leave it’s simply their loss. 

Control the passive aggression

Obviously, no one is perfect and everyone makes multiple mistakes and “that’s why we have erasers at the ends of pencils” (yes Fleabag reference). Their mistakes can however cause you to be passive-aggressive to them by dropping them continuous messages, being overly clingy, and passing off-handed comments about them even if they can’t hear you. You begin feeling helpless and the frustration that stems from it manifests itself in controlled bouts of aggression. Controlling this passivity is gaining control over your emotions which is crucial.

Letting go

Know your support system

Whether it’s your plant, pet rock or best friend, find your group to rely on. Talking about it helps more than you expect, you can see yourself progress from anger to acceptance while you deal with the nine stages of grief and discover yourself again. In case you’re unable to find your support system, seek professional help as they are trained to help. As this is a period of vulnerability make sure you place your trust only in the right people.

Is it foolproof?

While this plan is not foolproof, it is a guideline that will help you move on. That said, minor tweaks are encouraged to suit your situation. 

What if something else works for me?

That’s perfectly okay! This guide is directed to those who are currently feeling helpless and looking for a direction. If you have devised your own coping mechanism, nothing like it.

Does it really get better? 

A commonly repeated answer, but “yes, it does get better”. It’s not just time that heals but your growth which allows you to view the situation from a different perspective and decide how much you let the past affect you. There may be days when you wake up and miss them terribly, and you want nothing more than a hug from them. But this too shall pass. The grief and pain will abate with time. The world is filled with people who have all dealt with a similar kind of pain. Keep your heart open to the help you may receive from others and don’t forget that it’s okay to give ‘a fuck’.

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