By: Kate Krassowski, Regular Contributor
“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” –C.S Lewis
Letting go is one of the hardest lessons to learn. And then most of us have to re-learn the same lesson the next time we have to move on from something or someone. It’s a cycle and it’s a challenge every time. Whatever it is in your life, you might not be ready to let go yet, but one day holding on will be too much of a burden. For some, it’s letting go of a loved one or a job, or even letting go of anger or resentment from something in their past. The theme of moving on is so common throughout our lives that we forget it’s something we have to do in order to heal.
Right now I’m on the better end of the cycle, but for me it’s been years of battling with my own heart over a guy that I allowed to control my choices. I was too attached to leave him behind, which is mostly my fault. To be honest, I don’t even think he knew how much he took from me, how much time I wasted wanting him. I was embarrassingly fixated on having a Nicholas Sparks version of happily ever after. Moreover, I tricked myself into thinking that was the thing that would make me happiest. It’s taken years to move on from what now seems like an unnecessary, self-inflicted broken heart, but in those moments of my life I allowed that relationship (or hope for that relationship) to take over my ability to see the road ahead. Letting go was never an option, until I learned that I was never meant to hold on.
By nature, I’m not one who gives up easily even if all the road signs are screaming at me to take another route. I dwell and I hold on so tightly that I probably end up making a fool out of myself. In this case, I lived in the “what ifs” and “could have beens” when I should never have ventured there in the first place. Thankfully there are moments in our lives where can see ourselves from a distance and realize that it’s okay for the weight that we’ve been carrying to fall away. I think we get used to the heartache always being there and at a certain point we‘re attached to it like we don’t know who we’d be without it.
In my case, I was rejected repeatedly and humiliated and left with a broken heart that only I would be able to repair one day. I couldn’t seek refuge in the love of someone else or in my success. I’m responsible for taking my hand off that monkey bar and pushing myself forward. That guy wasn’t going to come back and put me back together or even come back to love me for that matter. And the man that ended up being the love of my life wasn’t interested in mending the broken heart that someone else left behind, nor did he deserve to feel that he had to.
My hope is that I never forget this feeling, this freedom, and this ability to be able to honestly say that I moved on. We all know what it feels like to try to piece our hearts back together and although I feel silly for being so recklessly in love with someone who never had the intention to love me back, it really wasn’t silly at all. In each painful experience there is a lesson and a growth that happens. It teaches us things we didn’t know about ourselves and allows our bravery to shine through. The monkey bars were always the most intimidating of all the things on the playground, but they also allowed for the greatest feeling of accomplishment once you conquered them. Retrospect is a beautiful thing sometimes; we can look back and see that it really wasn’t that discouraging. All we had to do to move forward was let go.
What do you need to do to let go of something or someone weighing you down? Tell us about it here!
She moved to Los Angeles from Cleveland, OH after graduating with a B.A in Film Production from BGSU. She is passionate about speaking out against how women are viewed in the media and being part of changing it.