Turning the page isn’t easy. Often times we get stuck on the same page, the story that brought us so many moments of joy and love. Staying on the same page is the hope and longing that maybe they will come back, maybe things will turn out differently, maybe they will change their minds. The truth is, by continuing to stay there we miss out on the stories around us that have the potential to be as life changing as the ones we experienced. Sometimes God brings people into our lives and just like that, similar to a wind pushing them from behind, God briskly takes them away. All we can do is trust, and have faith that God is opening a new chapter in our life that is even more beautiful.
I wrote that recently after a heartbreak and one of the most difficult things in life is losing someone you truly love.
If there’s a kind of heartbreak that has been universally felt by countless people across all cultures in the world, it is the heartbreak of a breakup. There’s nothing quite like the pain of the knowledge that the one you love is no longer yours. As impossible as it may seem, there’s nothing you can truly do but come to terms with the breakup, let go of the situation, and focus on healing, so that you can move on and become a stronger person through it all.
The process is not completely dependent on you, however. It can be easy to accept all the responsibility for your healing so that you have an excuse to wallow in self-pity for however long you want.
But the truth is that God is the only one who can fill the void you feel after a breakup. He is the one who repairs our souls, and we are just the vessels He uses to make that happen. Heather Lindsey advises, “Let not make any more excuses of ‘easier said than done.’ Let’s instead say, God—I trust you.”
Letting Go…We must do all we can to help facilitate our healing, while still relying wholly on God.
Here are five ways that, according to Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen, can help us to do just that:
1. Understand that the breakup may be the best thing for you.
Grief can often cloud our judgment so much that we can’t see the bigger picture unfolding in our lives. After all, how could something as terrible and emotionally draining as this possibly play a part in God’s plan for our lives? God has been using pain to yield glory since the beginning of time, and He continues to do so in our lives today.
Despair teaches us to hope. Suffering teaches us to rejoice. When we realize that our situations shape us in ways we cannot see, it becomes easier to accept the hurt now, if only to grow later.
2. Accept that you did the best you could in your relationship.
After a breakup, it can be tempting to pin the blame on the likeliest victim, even if it’s yourself. But this reaction solves nothing; it only stirs up all kinds of negativity and regrets that need to be resolved if you are ever to move on. The end of a relationship is not your fault; it was part of an uncontrollable series of events that, believe it or not, God is using to build you up in faith. The sooner you reach acceptance, the better.
3. Decide what needs to change in your life.
If we become self-absorbed in depression, we can become stagnant in our walk with Christ and in our lives in general. We may not even mean to; it is simply the natural effect of a life-altering event. It is more than okay to break down, to think about what happened, to feel, for lack of a better term, sad. But eventually, when you are ready to heal, you have to make a change. You have to shift your attention from the breakup to something much more enjoyable and fulfilling to engage in.
4. Accept your lack of control.
The most frustrating part to come to terms with is, without a doubt, the fact that all of this is happening, and you cannot control it. No matter how many texts you send, how many tears you shed, how many times you try to bargain with God, the damage has already been done. Even if you do manage to beg your love back, your heart cannot be as it was before. You can’t change what has already happened, and you cannot change someone else’s mind. Instead of trying, focus on things that you can change, like your own outlook on life and dependence on God.
5. Get spiritually refreshed.
Of course, the one thing that remains constant in every trial is the steadfast love of Jesus Christ. He is the remedy for every single aftershock of this massive earthquake called a breakup. He has experienced every struggle you can name; loneliness, frustration, sadness, betrayal, and even death. He knows that despite the trouble of this world, true joy can be found in following Him.
If you feel dead inside, chances are that you need to be spiritually refreshed. If you haven’t been going to church, why not get back in the habit? Read the Word, and pray constantly.
My Personal Experience:
When I moved out to California I did so for my ex-girlfriend. I loved her a lot, I had plans to marry her and I did my very best to make our relationship work but in the end it wasn’t enough. When she broke up with me for another guy, I was devastated.
I had no friends or support because all of my friends were basically her friends. I was honestly all alone. So what did I do?
Besides going through a storm of thoughts (What’s wrong with me? What did I do? What could I have done differently?) and emotions (sadness, fear, anger), I turned to the only one who I had, God. Over the next 6 months I decided to dedicate myself to the most important relationship we’ll ever know, our relationship with God.
As I look back now, I realize that it was during that time period that I have never felt closer to God. Despite the pain that would come and go and then come right back again, I also was filled with an unmistakeable peace and joy knowing that I wasn’t alone through this and that I could trust that God had a plan for me.
The truth is, sometimes relationships don’t work no matter how hard we try because God simply wants us to be closer to Him. Its not easy, its painful, its terrifying to let go but I can assure you that when you truly experience God’s peace in your life, when you take that first step or when your down on your knees and have nothing left to give, that is when God rescues us.
Freedom is found only in surrender. Jeanne Doyon puts it this way:
With that step of faith, he will reveal his power in us and through us to handle whatever comes our way.
What has your experiences been like with a break up? Has it helped you move closer to God?
Father in Heaven, I give you all the praise and glory that is due to Your name. You are great and I thank You for the many blessings and marvelous works You have done. Great and Mighty are You My Lord.
I cast all my burden unto You, Father, because You care for me. You grant me the desires of my heart. As I surrender my all to You, help me to always remember that I can let go and let God.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Teach Me Not To Worry
Teach me, Almighty God, to not worry about the things that are beyond my control. I know that You have already put those things into perspective for me because You are a God of hope and peace.
Envelop me, O Jesus, with Your loving arms. Show me Your mercy, for I belong to You, in Your Kingdom.
Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Letting Go and Letting God
Thank You, Holy Spirit, for giving me the opportunity everyday to learn a little more of how to let go and let God.
I trust in You, my Creator, to look over all things on my behalf. Thank You that I can call upon You wherever I am and whenever I am in need.
You are amazing! Thank You that I live in a place where I am free to worship. I can call upon You when I do not know what to say, if only to call on my Lord of Lords, Jesus!
1 Peter 5:7 – Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
Matthew 11:28 – Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
I am a child of God
Thank You for Your guidance and grace, which is always steadfast and true. I surrender all to you.
I declare that I am a Redeemed Child of the Most High God and in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, I pray, So Be It…Amen and Amen!
Read also: PRAYER: LETTING GO and Prayer: Let Go of Unforgiveness
Psalm 52:8 – I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.
Luke 1:37 – For nothing is impossible with God.
2 Corinthians 4:18 -So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Letting go is scary. Letting go means letting go of control. No one wants to be out of control. But you can’t control everything. You can’t control outcomes. You have to let it go.
Letting go means trusting God. The outcome is in God’s hands. God knows every situation and what is on every person’s heart. The sooner you let go and let God handle a challenge or problems, the sooner you will feel lighter.
My friend Jill Farmer is the author of There’s Not Enough Time and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves. She talks about to-do lists and having a God’s to-do list. I love that! When we let go, we turn our struggle and worries over to God. We put that on his to-do list. (Side note: My to-do list for God is getting longer and longer!)
Holding onto past hurts, past mistakes, anxious and fearful thoughts, etc. clutters your mind and spirit. You can become a prisoner of your own thoughts.
Romans 12:2 urges us to, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
2 Corinthians 3:17 tells us that, “The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”
You can’t experience freedom if anxious, obsessive, fearful thoughts clutter your mind. Letting go and letting God’s loving Spirit fill your heart and mind will set you free.
Here is a prayer for letting go. If you want to receive a copy of this prayer along with a free copy of the the Letting Go Guided Meditation Prayer MP3 from the Let it Go CD, click on the button below. I’ll also send you the Three Steps to Letting Go.
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A Prayer for Letting Go
In this moment, I let go of all thoughts and concerns.
When I let go, I am able to receive.
When my hands are formed into tight fists, I cannot open my hands to receive anything.
When I hang onto tight control,
When I close off my heart and my spirit,
I cannot receive your blessings for me.
I let go to receive your blessings.
Letting go in this moment, I receive your loving presence around me and within me.
Help me to let go when I am feeling overwhelmed, so that I may receive your peace.
Help me to let go when I feel fear so that in fear’s place I may receive love and courage.
I let go of problems and challenges in order to receive your guidance and clarity.
I let go and trust you.
I will not fall.
You will catch me.
I let go and trust in the still, small voice inside of me.
Help me not to struggle but to surrender my struggle to you.
I gladly receive this gift of letting go and letting you lead me and guide me.
(I speak from a lifetime of experience in letting go. Read my letting go story.)
Receive encouragement everyday with my book, God Notes – Daily Doses of Divine Encouragement. Let go of those anxious thoughts and be still with healing words.
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Are you a relationship person? I am and have always tried to prioritize my personal connections with others.
In fact, I’d say having high quality, intimate, authentic, emotionally mature, and healthy relationships are my top life value, and I devote lots of energy and quality time to the people I care about.
It took me a long time to even think about how to let go of a relationship because I was so focused on nurturing my friends and family, even to my own detriment.
When conflicts happen, I’m often the first person to reach out and attempt to heal the relationship problem. I’m quick to forgive, and I hope I’m quick to ask for forgiveness when I’ve messed up.
That’s why for me, letting go of someone is particularly difficult. In fact, up until a few years ago, I couldn’t imagine myself making the decision to release a relationship altogether.
My mantra has always been . . .
“We can work it out.” And sometimes for me, “working it out” meant acquiescing, stuffing my true feelings, or tolerating things that deep inside I didn’t want to tolerate.
How to Let Go of a Relationship
Then one day I could no longer do that. Well, it wasn’t just one day — it happened over a few years. I got to the point in my self-awareness or reached some internal shift, where I knew I had to let go of some relationships.
The pain of dissonance, differences, and responding inauthentically outweighed my desire to keep “working it out.”
Letting go of a relationship is painful — even if it is draining you, holding you back, blinding you to your true self, or worse yet, toxic or abusive.
We invest a lot in our friendships, our marriages, our business partners, and our family members.
And most often it is one of these close relationships, a person or people with whom we’ve been intimately and deeply involved for many years, that cause us the most pain and turmoil.
At some point in one of your relationships, you will reach the point where the pain and difficulty outweigh the positives — where the consequences of letting go seem less daunting than the reality of staying put.
The best way to say goodbye to someone you care about but can no longer be around differs depending on the type of relationship — and the fallout that might occur from ending it.
Related: How To Get Over Someone You Love
Saying “goodbye” to your spouse or a toxic family member will be much harder and more involved than letting go of a friend.
Here are some general rules of thumb on how to let go of someone you love:
- Never just “ghost” someone and drop out of his or her life without a word. An in-person conversation is usually the best way to go. A call or hand-written letter can suffice — but never a text.
- Try to have the conversation when you are calm and clear-headed about your decision and can articulate your feelings without rancor.
- State why you need to end the relationship without unkindness or blame. Offer examples if you need too. Focus more on your own feelings and needs rather than blaming the other person.
- Listen to the other person’s response and feelings without anger or defense. He or she will likely be hurt and angry, so prepare yourself in advance for these emotions.
- If the conversation becomes too angry or emotional, you can end it or suggest a follow-up conversation or call once things have calmed down. If you are ending a long-term love relationship, you will likely have many of these follow-up conversations before you completely let go.
- If you are determined it’s time to drop the relationship, try to avoid the other person’s attempt to re-engage you or guilt you into remaining in the relationship. It’s hard to let go, so a clean break gives you the space you need to process your decision.
- Communicate with any other people who will be affected by your decision. You don’t need to throw the other person under the bus, but you can state that for your own mental health and happiness, you need to break from this person. (Communicating with children about a divorce will require more intense and detailed conversations based on the ages of the children. It’s advisable to seek the support of a trained counselor to help you.)
Knowing how to end the relationship is one thing, but one of the most difficult stages of the process is knowing when it’s time to cut the cord. Let’s go over some of the best ways to know for sure.
Letting Go of Someone You Love: 10 Ways to Know When To Let Go:
The decision threshold is different for every individual. And certainly, the type of relationship can set the threshold.
It is harder to let go of a marriage relationship that involves children than it is, say, a business partnership or friendship.
Related: 7 Signs Of Emotional Blackmail And How To Stop It
However, there are some universal themes of discord in any relationship that lead to the realization it’s time to say goodbye.
Here are some of these themes:
1. When you see verbal, emotional, or physical abuse.
Whether it’s a spouse, a parent, or a friend, if someone is abusing you in some way — through physical actions, psychological games, or consistently cruel words — it’s time to let them go.
In many cases of abuse, the emotional abuser has whittled away at the self-esteem and confidence of the abused, making it much more difficult for the verbally abused person to leave.
Especially in a marital context, these situations are very complex and usually require the intervention and support of a trained counselor to help extricate the abused person.
But unless they leave the relationship, the abused person will continue to be fearful, full of self-doubt, and constantly anxious and stressed.
And as long as you remain in an abusive relationship, the abuser will continue his or her bad behavior.
2. When you experience consistent dishonesty, disloyalty, or deceit.
Most close relationships can survive the occasional incident of lying or dishonest behavior. Even some marriages can survive a one-time affair with counseling and healing.
Related: 21 Heartbreaking Signs Of An Emotional Affair
But consistent, repetitive instances of dishonesty or disloyalty suggest the person involved has an issue of character and integrity that cannot be overcome.
If you’ve addressed this issue many times over the years, and the behavior continues, you will not be true to yourself and your own integrity to remain connected to this person.
No matter how many positive qualities they may have, consistent deceit will chip away at your respect for them and for yourself.
4. When you recognize divergent core values.
If you and your loved one have wildly differing core values on your most important life principles, you simply will not have a peaceful and mutually supportive relationship.
Some less intimate relationships (like a friendship) can handle this, especially if each person is respectful of the other’s values and life decisions around those values.
But for those relationships where the two people impact each other on a daily basis, finding a middle ground for making decisions, choosing a lifestyle, raising children, managing money, making business decisions, etc., can be impossible.
It requires one or both people to compromise in areas where they simply can’t or shouldn’t compromise.
Related: 85 Quotes On Letting Go Of A Relationship
4. When you see general toxicity.
There are some relationships where you and the other person simply clash. You are like oil and water. There’s something about the other person that brings out the worst in you and vice versa.
Often this happens with extended family members, siblings, or friendships that have never been quite right, but you’ve hung on because you feel bad about letting go.
There’s a general air of toxicity about the relationship that hangs around despite your best efforts to “make it work.”
For your own peace of mind, it’s best to step back from a toxic relationship and admit it simply wasn’t meant to be.
5. When they are consistently irresponsible.
If you’re in a business relationship, marriage, or partnership with someone who’s consistently irresponsible, it will eventually undermine your love and respect for this person.
If his or her irresponsible actions relate to finances, life obligations, or raising children together, you will be directly impacted in detrimental ways.
No matter how much you care for this person, eventually you can no longer tolerate their unwillingness or inability to step up to the plate and maturely handle their responsibilities.
You simply can’t allow one person to undermine the other fundamental parts of your life.
6. Refusal to communicate, address problems, or invest.
There are some people in relationships unwilling to communicate, address difficulties, or actively work on the relationship.
They allow it to languish, or worse, actively resist any attempt you might make to work on improving the relationship.
They find it too painful or complicated to communicate openly, or they simply haven’t learned the skills of healthy communication.
Or perhaps they aren’t invested enough in the connection to make an effort. Regardless of the reason, when there’s only one person making an effort, it’s not really a relationship.
Related: 10 Communication Skills You Absolutely Must Know
7. When you are in a one-sided relationship.
A relationship isn’t really a relationship when you are the only person putting forth the effort.
If you find yourself always initiating time together without any reciprocation, or you regularly acquiesce to the other person’s wants and needs, it’s time to find someone else in your life who offers you more.
Often kind and giving people attract those who are selfish and demanding. It may take a while to realize that the relationship is one-sided and that you are scrambling to maintain it while the other person does as he or she pleases.
You will never feel validated, supported, or valued in this kind of relationship.
8. When you see emotional neediness.
You may have a friend or family member who is emotionally needy, not just on occasion, but in nearly every encounter you have with him or her.
This person doesn’t just bend your ear. He or she unloads on you and expects you to be his or her personal therapist. Except no matter how much you listen, how many ideas you share, how much good advice you offer, it’s never enough.
The relationship seems entirely based on your ability to be the sounding board and pain absorber for the other person.
When you try to share your own problems or discuss something that’s bothering you, somehow the conversation always winds up about the other person.
9. Unrealistic or demanding expectations.
There may be someone in your life who has expectations of you and your time that you can’t honor.
Perhaps he or she wants you to behave, talk, and dress in a certain way. Maybe they have expectations about how you should raise your children, how you keep your home, or what your political or religious views should be.
Some people have expectations that you spend more time with them than you want to, or they expect you to be available for certain holidays or events.
If you find yourself always compromising your own desires because you don’t want to rock the boat or make the other person mad or upset, it may be time to let this person go.
10. When you experience general bad feelings.
Do you notice that every time you’re around a certain person, you just feel bad? Maybe you feel bad about yourself, and he or she negatively impacts your self-esteem or confidence.
Or you feel uncomfortable, bored, down, frustrated, or any other negative emotion. You may not know why you feel the way you do, but you more often feel bad than good around this person.
Related: 10 Ugly Signs Of A One-Sided Relationship
A relationship should be primarily uplifting, not diminishing. If this isn’t the case for you, then it’s time to move on from this person.
If you see yourself and one of your relationships in any of these themes, it might be time to consider letting it go.
Is It Time To Let Go Of Someone You Love? It Is If You See These 10 Signs Click To Tweet
Letting go of someone you love is painful and sometimes very complicated, but in the end, you must ask yourself if the positives outweigh the negatives; if the connection is lifting you up or dragging you down; if you feel better with or without this person. Ultimately, the most important relationship you must save is the one you have with yourself.
How have you known it was time to let go of a relationship? What realizations or self-awareness did you embrace in order to make the difficult decision?
Did you find any value from this post on how to let someone go?
I hope you’ll use these ideas on letting go to help you move on with your life.
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