Hi, I just came from a traumatic break up with my partner of 8 years. Six months on, I still live with lingering feelings of regrets and should-haves and could-haves. Anything can trigger the memories and emotions....a song, a movie scene, a place, even a word or thought.
How does one let go? Or should I just accept this as part of the grieving process.
Notice that they come by themselves. They are not feelings that you have any real control over. When they come they come, when they go they go. They may feel extremely personal, but notice that at the foundation, there isn’t a person who is deciding to feel regret or to go over past stories etc. - they just happen by themselves.
How to let go? Do you want to? Who would you be without these feelings and stories? There is nothing wrong with them, no condemnation of anything is needed - and this can help - neither condemning nor justifying the experience. Then the judgement and resistance relaxes, and healing can take place by itself.
You can let these feelings be, yes, whether to call it part of the grieving process or not is up to you. You don’t have to call it anything. Just because these experiences can come and go, does not mean you have to act as if you know what they are for or why they are happening.
It is quite normal for all of these experiences and stories to happen, there is nothing wrong in it. Sometimes they can seem to be staying unnecessarily long if we believe that this pain will resolve a situation - maybe believing that going over what you could have or should have done will alter the past and fix what seemed to go wrong. Or believing that feeling upset may bring harmony back to the relationship. If this feels true for you at all, you can see the futility of it - revisiting the past in an attempt to change it, and yet always believing that the past is a certain way, and is unchangeable.
Some may say that you can actually change your memories from the painful ones you have, and change them to more healing or lighter ones. But I feel a much easier and liberating approach is to see how the revisitation of pain from the past, is a futile effort, which happens of its own accord, and yet feels as if it is under the control of a person, who has no real existence at all.
If any of that was confusing, you can just forget about it or comment below if you wish. Hope that helped somehow.
The bottom line is: don’t argue with your experience. If you try to control the experiences, you will likely feel tied up in them. Give up the self-control.
Thanks for your question, I wish you all the best,
Comments for How To Let Go Of Grief And Regrets?
(from previous website)
Dec 29, 2014
Hi Adam, thanks for the reply! I think part of why I am self controlling is also that I began suffering from anxiety for months ago, due in part to getting into a new relationship too soon after my break up. It started a vicious cycle where I vacillated between calling it off to continue with my grieving of the previous, or staying on because there were genuine feelings but I also didn't want to be alone. The more I stayed in the relationship the more anxious I got, until anxiety became an isolated problem. It's now a disorder where I wake up in anxiety, have a lingering feeling of anxiety all day, and struggle with intrusive thoughts. The more anxious I got, the more I clung on to the relationship for fear of being alone with my anxiety. Right now I just don't know what to do with myself. I want the anxiety disorder to go away so I can make a clear decision about my relationship, but I know it doesn't work that way.