Coping with life involves learning how to close the doors on the past. It is important, but difficult to do when you lose one you love through breakup or death. Think about closing a door. If you slam it shut in anger, it will likely bounce open on you. If you lean against it, or nudge it, it will move, but won’t close or stay closed. Closing it involves applying firm, gentle consistent pressure until it is shut firm.
First, you need to accept the past as something which has happened, and which cannot be reversed. Second, to shift into a neutral gear emotionally regarding the past. Third, to become involved with life in the present. Accepting that the past is the past is difficult, but is achievable and necessary. You don’t deny what happened or try to blot it out. You accept what occurred unhappy or joyful, as now being a part of your unique personal history.
Decide to deal with the past as an objective event, something that once was, but is no longer. You can decide to become calm and objective about the past. You do not need to be stuck in a rut over it. You still experience anger and sadness over what has happened. Those feelings may be intense and lengthy. But by accepting those emotions as real to you as you experience them, and knowing they are part of your moving from the past into the present, you find it easier to let them run their course, rather than fighting them. When you experience hurt or loss, it’s normal to experience anger or sadness. Recognise your feelings as they occur. When they run their course, you are the one who decides how much to re-run them or finally let them go.
Thirdly, you become actively involved in living in the present and making a new life for yourself. This means opening your eyes to situations and people around you, and being willing to risk and respond. Two important aspects of living in the present are taking care of yourself and paying attention to the lives, concerns and needs of others. Doors of past pain, anger or grief, that you thought you had closed, may open up for you again, especially when you are tired, under stress or dealing with new problems in life. Some doors in a house must be closed firmly several times before the latch catches. It’s the same with your doors of past feelings. Choosing to close your doors of the past is important. As long as you leave them wide open, you are in bondage to the past. Choosing to close them, and to move on with living life today, is helpful, both for yourself and for others around you. How and when you close those doors is for you alone to decide. You must close your own doors. Nobody else can do it for you. But know that when you close a door, trust that God will remove the door and present you with new doors of hope and opportunity. You cannot experience the fullness of closure if you’re still open to embracing the pain. You cannot close the door if you’re still standing in the doorway, walk through, shut it and move on. We need closure on so many things. Sometimes it’s work related, friendships or mental breakdowns.
Coming off my book #TheLoveManual, let’s speak in context of a relationship breakdown. So, your latest love relationship has broken down, you are left on your own and you feel like there is a big gap in your life now. Everything seems a disappointment and it feels ever so hard to move on. You might feel angry, resentful, or sad. You know at a logical level that it’s not you, it is not your fault, but sometimes, somewhere deep down inside, you are beginning to wonder, why is this happening to you? You feel stuck and want to get out of this situation.
Relationship Break Ups are one of the most difficult periods in our adult life. They can leave us feeling unwanted, unloved and feeling as though we are a failure. This can be a time of great uncertainty and overwhelming change. Amongst the issues that you might be dealing with right now could include: loss, loneliness, fear, resentment, guilt, judgement and blame. You might be feeling overwhelmed, unable to cope, depressed, demotivated, or drained by your current situation, not in control of your emotions and your life or that you wasted years of your life. When your life is in turmoil you will naturally feel confused for a while, but then you can choose to move on and it gets easier when you realize that you have a rock in God who never fails in healing the broken heart. Once you decide that you have had enough of heartache and misery and you are just fed up with the situation in your life, then you are ready and able to move forward. Maybe you might not feel ready to move on, but I want you to ask yourself what you have to gain from holding on, and be totally honest with yourself.
Then ask what you could gain instead from letting go of the past and the pain. Carefully weigh up your answers, all the pros and cons. Moving on and letting go requires patience and support. Within the right setting, you can achieve closure by a process of releasing your past emotional attachments and letting go. Forgiveness is essential, especially forgiving whomever hurt you. Leave the forgiveness of self to God. Once we are rooted in Him we soon realise that His forgiveness is sufficient. By holding on to anger and resentment you are only ultimately hurting yourself. Once you make the decision to put down the emotional baggage you have been carrying around from the past relationship, you give yourself permission to move on and create a new rewarding and fulfilling life for yourself. If you carry bricks from your past relationship or experience into the present, you’ll build the same house. A new phase of your life begins now. You can re-model your life, your family, and your relationship with the world. Here is your chance to not just move on, but move on up, be more, do more, have more. More what? You decide! That is the beauty of walking on a new path. You are a trailblazer. It may not seem like it right now, but you have the power and the potential to re-create your ideal life, the kind of life you know you deserve deep down but have slowly disregarded. What you decide to do next will have an impact on what happens to you for the rest of your life. Make God your number one priority and He will lift you up. Choose closure and break-through now.
This is not how your story ends.