Amelia Gillis, LMHC
Closed Doors Don't Swing Open
Holding on to something that is no longer serving us can be detrimental to our present. However, Letting go can be the hardest thing that one can do. Whether we are holding on to the memories of a relationship, an offense from a friend, or even a negative emotion from an experience that we ruminate about, we all tend to keep the door partially open.
However, true closed doors don't swing open.
Why do we have a hard time letting go?
Holding on to a memory can be be comforting or even less painful. It's easy to run back to the place of familiarity because we are used to a relationship or we are afraid of accepting the reality of the experience. Open doors allows for us the
opportunity to run back to the experience. We relive the emotions, the sensations, the smells. However, once you close a door, you're no longer controlled by the door or what's on the other side. Are you ready to let go of what's no longer serving you?
Don't become invested in the Outcome
Expectations have a way of keeping us stuck. Sometimes the hardest part of grieving an outcome is grieving the expectation we had regarding the outcome. It's important to understand that you're no longer in control of the outcome. When you let go of trying to control the outcome, you'll feel better in the long run. Understand that everyone won't meet your expectations simply because they didn't know how, they didn't have the capacity/ability to do so, or they just didn't understand it.
The Grieving Process
There is more to grief than mourning death. Other losses require the grieving process. Grief is appropriate for something that once meant so much to you. The grief process is a chain of events and feelings. every person passes through these stages in the process, shock and denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and resolution and acceptance.When grieving, focus on the areas of the experience, failed expectation, or emotion that weighs the most. It is important to grieve the details of the experience. The final stage includes adding forgiveness. Acceptance and resolution goes hand in hand, with forgiveness. the three, in a sense, can't be separated. Forgiveness is a key aspect in grieving the loss. It allows for a clean slate, it cleans out the reservoir of anger and resentment. Forgiveness is for you and not the other person.
Focus on Yourself
It is important to tune in to your feelings and consider where you are and what you want. If holding on to the situation, emotion, or experience doesn't line up with what you want. Then, it's time to take inventory. It is important to protect yourself from any further damage by acknowledging and accepting how you feel. Grief is appropriate for something that once meant so much to you. Accept that it happen and how the experience made you feel. Avoid emotional dishonesty. Yes, cry, get it all out. Laugh, if that's helpful. Focus on what you need during your process.
Build your support system.
Share what you're facing with a close friend. Express to them what you need in regards to support during this process. Remember those who love and care about you want to be supportive and you need that support.
Disconnect yourself from reminders of your past if necessary. Remove pictures, letters, memories that aren't helpful. Even if you can't disconnect completely, you can disconnect emotionally. That includes setting strict boundaries and limits. Vocalize those boundaries and stick with them.
Remember closed doors don't and shouldn't swing open. Let go of what is no longer serving you in 2019.