post written by: Marc Chernoff

8 Effective Ways to Let Go and Move On


8 Effective Ways to Let Go and Move On

“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”
―Ann Landers

You are changing.  The universe around you is changing.  Just because something was right for you in the past doesn’t mean it still is.  This could be a relationship, a job, a home, a habit, etc.

It happens to you slowly as you grow.  You discover more about who you are and what you want out of life, and then you realize there are deliberate changes you need to make to keep up with the changes happening around you and within you.

The lifestyle you’ve been living no longer fits.  The specific people and routines you’ve known forever no longer align with your values.  So you cherish all the memories, but find yourself letting go and moving on.

If you’re currently dealing with this process you may feel a bit awkward, and that’s OK.  This feeling is normal.  I’ve been right there with you on more occasions than I can count.

Reasons to Let Go and Move On

  1. Someone’s negativity is rubbing off on you. – You are the average of the people you spend the most time with.  In other words, who you spend your time with has a great impact on the person you are and the person you become.  If you are around cynical and negative people all the time, you will become cynical and negative.
  2. You have grown apart from someone. – Sad but true, no matter what you do or how much you explain yourself, some people will gradually evolve away from your core values.  As time goes on they will prove over and over again that they are committed to misunderstanding you and clashing with your needs.
  3. You are truly unhappy with your current circumstances. – It’s always better to be struggling at something you love than succeeding diligently at something you despise.  (Read Quitter.)
  4. Your goals and needs have changed. – What was right for you then is not necessarily right for you now.  Sometimes the hardest part isn’t letting go but rather realizing that you have changed, and then learning to start over with your new truth.
  5. Fear is holding you back. – Part of letting go and moving on is facing the fears and disappointments of the past that are binding your spirit.
  6. You catch yourself living in the past. – If all you do is attempt to relive something that has already happened, you’re missing out.  The mental space you create by letting go of things that are already behind you gives you the ability to fill the space with something fresh and fun.
  7. An old grudge is still hurting you. – Holding on to the weight of anger, resentment and hatred will not only hold you back, but also block your present blessings and opportunities.  You’ve just got to drop some things to move forward.
  8. You aren’t learning anything new.Living is learning.  All positive change is the end result of learning.  If you aren’t learning, you’re simply dying slowly.

One Small Example of Letting Go

We had been friends since grade school when I finally told one of my childhood friends, “Enough is enough!”  Although we had basically grown up together, we were now on different planets when it came to our goals and dreams.  He believed there was one right way to do things – go to college, get a degree, get a job, and dedicate every waking moment of your life to it.  I had other plans.

Although I did get my degree and a job after college, in our free time Angel and I started writing articles on the blog you’re reading now.  As the blog’s reach grew, my friend discredited our success.  Whenever I shared one of our small success stories, he would say something negative like, “Whatever.  It’s just a blog.  I have one too.”

When Angel quit her job to work on the blog full-time, my friend basically told me we’d fail.  “That’s ridiculous!  Angel had a good job,” he said.  “You’re just playing with fire in this economy if you ask me.”  To which I replied, “I’m not asking you.”

That was the beginning of the end of our story as friends.  Years later, our relationship is now a mere shadow of what it was and my life is honestly far brighter for it.  Letting my friend go wasn’t easy, but it was necessary for my own well-being and growth.

Ways to Let Go and Move On

Holding on is like believing that there’s only a past; letting go and moving on is knowing in your heart that there’s a bright future ahead.  Let’s take a look at eight ways to design the latter.

  1. Accept the truth and be thankful. – To let go is to be thankful for the experiences that made you laugh, made you cry, and helped you learn and grow.  It’s the acceptance of everything you have, everything you once had, and the possibilities that lie ahead.  It’s all about finding the strength to embrace life’s changes, to trust your intuition, to learn as you go, to realize that every experience has value, and to continue taking positive steps forward.  (This process is something Angel and I discuss in the Adversity chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
  2. Distance yourself for a while. – Sometimes you need to take several steps back in order to gain clarity on a situation.  The best way to do this is to simply take a break and explore something else for a while.  Why?  So you can return to where you started and see things with a new set of eyes.  And the people there may see you differently too.  Returning where you started is entirely different than never leaving.
  3. Focus only on what can be changed. – Realize that not everything in life is meant to be modified or perfectly understood.  Live, let go, learn what you can and don’t waste energy worrying about the things you can’t change.  Focus exclusively on what you can change, and if you can’t change something you don’t like, change the way you think about it.  Review your options and then re-frame what you don’t like into a starting point for achieving something better.
  4. Claim ownership and full control of your life. – No one else is responsible for you.  You are in full control of your life so long as you claim it and own it.  Through the grapevine, you may have learned that you should blame your parents, your teachers, your mentors, the education system, the government, etc., but never to blame yourself.  Right?  It’s never, ever your fault… WRONG!  It’s always your fault, because if you want to change, if you want to let go and move on with your life, you’re the only person who can make it happen.
  5. Focus inward. – It’s important to make a difference in the world.  Yes, it’s important to help people, but you have to start with yourself.  If you’re looking outside yourself to find where you fit in or how you can create an impact, stop and look inside yourself instead.  Review who you already are, the lifestyle you’re currently living, and what makes you feel alive.  Then nurture these things and make positive adjustments until your current life can no longer contain them, forcing you to grow and move beyond your current circumstances.
  6. Change the people around you. – Some people come into your life just to strengthen you, so you can move on without them.  They are supposed to be part of your memory, not your destiny.  The bottom line is that when you have to start compromising your happiness and your potential for the people around you, it’s time to change the people around you.  It’s time to join local meet-ups, attend conferences, network online, and find a more supportive tribe.
  7. Take a chance. – When life sets you up with a challenge, there’s a reason for it; it’s meant to test your courage and willingness to make a change and take a chance on something new.  There’s no point in denying that things are different now, or being fearful of the next step.  The challenge will not wait even if you hesitate.  Life only moves in one direction – forward.  This challenge is your chance to let go of the old and make way for the new.  Your destiny awaits your decision.  (Read The Untethered Soul.)
  8. Focus on today. – You can decide right now that negative experiences from your past will not predict your future.  Figure out what the next positive step is, no matter how small or difficult, and take it.  Ultimately, the only thing you can ever really do is to keep moving forward.  Take that leap without hesitation, without looking back.  Simply forget the past, look straight ahead and forge toward the future.

The floor is yours…

What are you holding on to that’s holding you back?  What’s the first step you need to take to let it go?  Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below.

Photo by: Hartwig HKD

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152 Comments

  • Thank you. This resonated so much with me. My heart goes out to you guys. Thank you for sharing your hearts.

    The reason I read this was because I have been in a year long relationship with the love of my life (so I think). We’ve been on and off for 5 years now, but we’ve always been the best of friends. We moved in and have been together ever since. Perfect relationship, friendship, understanding, love, intimacy, communication could have been better though. Caught off guard, not being my best, not holding my standards very high, I let myself down. I let him down. I broke his heart because I was lost. I was looking for someone to find me, but in return I just found hurt, guilt, and loneliness. I don’t know where these next few months will take me, but I am prepared to withstand whatever happens. If we’re meant to be or not. We will see. Right now I’m hoping we can still make it work somehow. I’m ready to start being me again. On my own.

  • “You aren’t learning anything new.”

    This little statement stuck out to me. Even though I’m in school this has been the driving force behind my aspirations and inspirations as a student and as an individual.

    If I’m not constantly engaged, that’s it for me. I look forward to approaching new things head on and make all the mistakes. It’s kind of sad when the learning curve plateaus. But to reignite the fire, as Michael Jordan did, he tried something new and came back to his passion.

    In I way, I want to be like Mike.

    Cheers!

  • I’ve been this relstionship since dec..31 and its april. He cheated on me once and I still hang on. We live in two different provinces. I work one week on and one week off on my off week I go stay with him at his home because I basically want to move in with him.this is too complicated I know what have to do. Your blog has help. Thanks keep doing what your doing you do help people.

  • My relationship is currently in shambles and my wife does not place the same value in it as I do. She has not grown or changed much over the years and instead has made a decision to hold on to the trauma of her past. I am an upbeat person by nature but have found myself slipping into the toxic mindset she has chosen. It is a horrible place to be to decide a marriage is not and will not work, but it’s the decision that needs to be made. I will not be able to change her and she will not give me what I need and that’s all there is to it.

    Time to let go…

  • Too many people want to blame someone else, instead of accepting responsibility for their own actions. I struggle with this too and I’m working on letting this habit go.

  • Thank you.
    I needed to read this right now…
    xo
    (I am so glad Angel quit her job! You both give me hope on those down days…)

  • Yes, this is really what I needed to read. You just inspired me to write my next post. Thanks for the great words. :)

    Also, i agree we are the only one who should have full control over ourselves. If we allow others that power, it will ruin a lot of things.

  • I need to let go of my need to always please everyone around me. Sometimes I spend so much time on others, I have zero time to myself. I’ve only recently realized this. I know it’s time to let go of my ways and take better care of my own needs.

    Thank you for making things clearer.

  • Some good points, but I somewhat disagree. I think there is far too much pressure being put on us nowadays to just drop friendships and move to on. Committed friendships, etc. help balance us, and people don’t always deserve to be dropped like a salty bag of fries. With that said, I do understand shortening the time spent with a negative personality and redirecting a friendship. My hunch is, you may have a few flaws too… I used to completely agree with this theory, but I’m starting to see it being abused as an easy way out. I guess what I’m trying to say is that this advice needs to be used in the proper context.

    Either way, your article makes a lot of positive points. I did enjoy reading it… just know I watched my mom grow in a friendship of 30 years and boy did they have cycles. In the end, they are in their seventies and one moved 2500 miles to be nearer to her friend at the end of their lives. Who could ask for more? I can certainly tell you there were times one thought the other was being very negative…

  • I have been reading your blog for a couple of months now and I need to thank you for the wonderful work you both are doing. Most of us do not have the ability to be articulate, empathetic and truthful about our experiences or feelings. Your blog is all of that! Every time you share something it is like you are writing it just for me :) Thank you very much and God bless.

  • Thanks for another down to earth post.
    Honestly what is holding me back right now is shame. But a shame that on a rational level isn’t mine to bare. Actively working everyday to release it from the depth of my being.

  • For all the guidance you’ve given me these last few years… just, simply — thank you.

  • Thank you, I needed to remember that I am valuable. I have been stuck mentally with believing that I was wrong in wanting more. In fact, I deserve every beautiful thing that I desire or wish to do. I was stuck believing that another person’s anger, pride and wishes to control me was the only reality possible. Thank you for reminding me that I create my reality.

  • Well, this post relates to me so much. I met a person 9 months back who was ideal in every other way except the fact that he’s married and has two kids. He loves me so much and takes care of me like a princess. But my family is not accepting his proposal. I know, i wouldn’t be able to convince my family. And that i need to walk away, but this is getting harder and harder each day. Letting go might be difficult when relationship is toxic but it’s even more difficult when the other person considers you his life.

  • Very very true, inspiring, positive, helpful. I can just go on appreciating…
    Thanks for being there…
    -Arti

  • “Some people come into your life just to strengthen you, so you can move on without them. They are supposed to be part of your memory, not your destiny.”
    That really resonated with me. I am going through a transition period. I am confused, asking God for answers. Bless you for the perfect timing of this article. Your newest fan, Jackie

  • Thank You… the timing of this post for me was almost God gifted. Each day I feel more content and together when I read your blogs…

  • I like this and I like your blog. Thanks for your effort to help us all become as healthy and happy as possible. I have one little piece of feedback. I find that the phrase “move on” is over used and when you’re having a super hard time, and you are told from lots of sources, “move on, move on” it actually becomes annoying and not helpful. Sometimes we cannot tell pain when to stop. Sometimes we have to go through the pain and sit in and get through it when it’s time… sometimes when one is in the midst of it, it’s just not helpful to keep telling that person to move on.

    I’d rather see the title of your post be simply, “effective ways to let go” and leave off the “move on” part. I sent it to my sister, thinking it would be helpful for her right now, but I cringed a bit in sending it to her because of the title. I didn’t want her to think that I was one more person telling her to “move on” as in “get over it” when there is genuine reason for the suffering. I just feel like the words “move on” can sound like there’s a lack of compassion.

  • This is a good post, one that is timely. I am sure there are many people who are fearful of letting go and moving on. But once you do it, you’ll feel liberated. :)

    I resonated with Point 1: Someone’s negativity is rubbing off on you and Point 2: You have grown apart from someone.

    One of the reasons why I chose to move out of state in 2007 was to remove myself from the negativity that surrounded me. I couldn’t take it anymore, and it was getting old. I did grow apart from people and continue to grow apart. Unfortunately, I had a few bumps along the way and had to move back home. But it’s all good because it’s helping me to move forward, again. I’ve gotten clearer about what I want for my life and make no apologies for it.

    I realized I needed to make to let go, again, made the decision to hire a business and marketing coach, someone who can provide guidance and support for my business. I am confident that I will be moving on in no time. My bags are already packed. But who am I kidding — I never really unpacked in the first place. My intention was to move up and out ASAP. :)

  • Very nice article.

  • How do you deal with someone whom you let go of, but they can’t let go of you?

    I ended a friendship because I wanted more than a friendship. I was falling in love with him. He doesnt want to be more than friends and we’ve been friends for over 4 years now. I’m looking for a long term relationship, yet I was feeling stuck and felt the need to let go in order to find the love that I’m looking for.

    Thank you for this post!

  • I left a marriage of 28 years. I left a lifestyle that I love, ranching. I don’t know what the future holds for me; I do know that I am blessed to be able to start over. It has not been easy. I have found out who my real friends are. I am sad for the friendships that have ended. I am now realizing that these people were false friends.

    It takes courage to do what I did. It is not easy; however it is necessary. Give yourself permission to make yourself a priority. Live is a verb!

  • Great stuff as always!

  • What’s holding me back? I think the memories of the happy life I had before my husband died. I find myself longing for that time again, and thinking of it way too much. I’m learning so much from this blog about myself, my relationships with family, and the need to “let go” of my memories. I honestly don’t know where I’d be if I had not discovered this blog. Thank you so much.

  • This really resonated with me - letting go is never easy, nor is it easy to make the decision to let go. The points made here help to see things more objectively without emotions getting in the way.

    Years ago, I had to let someone go - a close family member - and it was in no way easy.

    One commenter made a good point about how someone could read this and think that you are just dropping relationships as soon as someone rubs you the wrong way. It is good to have people in your life who challenge you - who make you think about the life decisions one makes. Its good to be ’sand-papered’ sometimes - it refines us, as long as that person is being respectful and you know they are genuinely concerned for you. In my case, where this person was abusive made everything completely different. I think when someone is being abusive or is being so negative that it affects you to the point that you become an empty shell void of life - then yeah, walking away and or letting go is very necessary. Great post!

  • I agree with Deborah. Nonetheless, the term ‘letting go’ shouldn’t be confused on forgetting (or worse despising/dumping) the person, thing, situation etc. Instead ones’ focus should be on how to move on with life based on the lessons learned from the person, thing etc. and that includes a great leap of moving on amidst their absence in your life.

  • My Dad is someone who is toxic, but I cannot move away from him because I live with him. I am 27 and still living in his house. I used to wish I could marry fast so I wouldn’t have to live in the same house as him. Instead, I chose not to be involved in anything that will make me feel negative. I’ve learned to accept him the way he is and also learn how to not let this negativity impact me. With practice, ignoring his negativity has helped over the years to the point where I am a much happier person now. :)

  • Forward march!

  • Relevant post with my life right now. I have been moving slowly with changes in my life. I have only just realized its primarily because I have held too tightly to a vision of what I thought my life was going to become…

    So moving forward- I have to let go to make real progress. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  • Perfect timing, as always. I’ve had sleepless nights trying to figure out whether to drop a friend of 40 years. It was one sided, and I grew tired of giving. I gave 100%, he gave 1%. I’ve decided, after reading this, that when our paths cross, I will be friendly and polite, but I will no longer put any extra effort into it. I hope to sleep now…

  • I agree with the comment from Anita M L, “Most of us do not have the ability to be articulate, empathetic and truthful about our experiences or feelings. Your blog is all of that! Every time you share something it is like you are writing it just for me.” Reading your blog has been inspirational and heart-warming experience for me.

    I am on the crossroads of my career; I had 12 years in research then another 12 years in administration. What will be my next career move? I don’t have a definite answer to this question yet but I am searching. Live, let go, learn what I can change for a bright future, it is these actions that keep me going every day. Thank you so much for assisting and sustaining me on this turning point of my life. :-)

  • Great post and conversation here in the comments. This is where I go to find the the inspiration for living fully. I realize that part of letting go is letting go of the “what ifs” and “what could have beens”. Because they are the ‘parents’ of what holds me back. If I stay with the truth of the matter, once it is uncovered, then I can get a hold of the situation and actually do something about it. Finding a way to let go is sometimes difficult. It’s like that jagged little pill, trial by fire, it will make you stronger. What helps the most is to think about the future possibilities… letting go is not an ending, but a beginning.

  • Heard an inspiring spin yesterday on the Serenity Prayer…”courage to change the things I must…” - resonates for me because while some changes are easy, the life-affirming, must-have changes really do take courage. Like saying “enough” to a friend or family member.

  • There is a BIG difference between dumping someone just because they rub you the wrong way and truly letting go of a toxic relationship. I know. I was in an abusive relationship for 8 years, initially emotionally/mentally and then it became physical. I got out and it was very hard. Several years later I met the man who has become my husband (16 years now). Yes he annoys, irritates and makes me angry sometimes but I don’t dump him because of that. He is a human being who has a very good heart. For that reason (and others) I have learned to give and take and change and compromise. That’s what I took from this post.

  • Hey, thank you for the very inspirational post. I have recently been going through lots of changes, as most of the people I had around me were not. This gives me a more positive view on the situation.

  • Hi Marc & Angel,

    I have been a silent admirer of your blog for a year now. You have no idea about how much your posts have supported me during my major life transition. Thanks for being there.
    This post really hit home with me and I decided to share my story.

    I got divorced this February. Getting out of a traumatic abusive relationship has set me free. Today, I feel lighter, happier and more confident.
    Yet, I frequently battle with #6 ‘Some people are supposed to be part of your memory, not your destiny’.
    It’s a long journey…for now I am happy being WIP.
    Love you guys

  • I should let go of my past hurts, I know…

  • Great post and comments. I am coming around to the “let go and move on” understanding in my life, mostly directed inward. I have forgotten that twice in my life I have packed up my things and moved 800+ miles away just to start over. It worked wonders, the two biggest failures turned victories in my life ever. DO a trial run, take off for the weekend and tell no one. See what happens.

    Letting go is not about toxicity, or guilt, or shame, or regret, or promises, or anything else except this: the fear that what happens next will be worse than the bad I have now.

    This cycle of your life is over, nothing else can be gained here. You completed it, no matter what the lessons were or were not. The past, present and future are not relevant…until you make them so. So make your future MORE relevant, and do a little in the present. Set one goal today. Just one. As for a S.M.A.R.T. goal, do not limit yourself. When I told me very best friends of my Top Secret Goal in life, they were not even surprised. I got more support on the Longshot than I did on all the short term ones combined. How do I know this is critical? Find a statue or monument raised for thosed who thought incrementally, toiled for mediocrity, and died quietly. Pack a lunch when you go looking. All the heroes started out just like us.

  • This is one of your best pieces that you’ve written. I thought it was really well developed and structured perfectly. The content really hit home for me and enlightened me on ways to come out of the dark place I had been in.

    I always thought holding on no matter what was the most important thing. You have since showed me my thinking was incorrect.

    Thank you for every thought and story to help change and guide me to a better place in life!

  • This blog has been a Godsend for me over the past 8 months or so. I wish I had the strength to implement the advice I’ve read and hope to do so SOON. If not, I will wither up like an old crone. I have been in an on & off relationship with a married man for the past 10+ years. In the beginning, he was the love if my life. I was also married until I got divorced in 2009. Thankfully. My ex-husband found a girlfriend and I was ecstatic. I was always too afraid to leave him because I had hurt him, he didn’t have money to move out on his own, etc. That’s a whole other story of how I don’t know how to live life independently and to do the things I need to do for myself.

    I have been stuck in “unhappiness limbo” for as long as I can remember. I think my 10+ year relationship may be finally over but I still mourn him. He was toxic for me and me for him. He has been very manipulative & controlling while making it all look like he was doing those things out if love for me. He has been sick with a rare cancer since August 2012 and I stuck by his side with all I could give. I never prayed as hard for anyone in my life. Meanwhile I could not be part of his everyday care. I was the person no one was allowed to know about. He’s told me for years that he & his wife live parallel lives but meanwhile she was the one in the hospital every day with him before, during & after his stem cell transplant. And she’s the one taking care if him at home. He laments he is alone all the time and has no comfort. He is lonely without me. I have come across a number of lies he’s told me, in black & white, and a week or so I called him out on one. He turned the tables once again to make everything wrong in his life sound like they were my fault. He wrote in a text he cannot survive loving me & my choices (being a drummer in a bagpipe band where I have never done anything to betray him). He told me goodbye, that he will love me forever but not to write back to him via text because he will not read my messages. In past, I would have ended up writing or calling him at some point because I missed him so much. After finding out about the lies, I tell myself now I CANNOT each out to him.

    I am praying so hard and asking God every day to lead me in the right direction. I have a number of medical issues related to diabetes and very low self esteem. I always want to be a people pleaser. I know I need to start taking care if myself and to fix my own flaws. I have to stop looking for someone to “save” me and give me the good life I fantasize about. I need to become responsible for my own destiny. I need a full time job after being downsized 3 years ago & need to believe I am worthy enough to offer a company the skills u used to be so proud of. I would appreciate any & all prayers. Thank you for this blog & all the amazing wisdom imparted through it. God bless you all.

  • A brilliant article and so true ! I think most people are unsure and doubt themselves when they need to change things, especially if it means leaving behind a friend or a job etc. But sometimes it has to be done if not you will never change the circumstances. I am a creature of habit and it drives me nuts at times, I like to be in control and if I’m not I wobble a bit !but when I have come away from my comfort zone I think to myself that felt okay and I need to do it more often, but it’s not long before I slip back to normal again.

    But I admire your courage in concentrating on writing these great articles, and as a budding writer myself I want to do the same. So any help on this would be much appreciated? Anyway keep it up.

  • Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
    This post has clarified a lot of points and I am more able to handle the big challenge thats ahead of me, letting the people living in my house go and renting it out for decent money so I make some much needed extra income, I have been battling this decision because I didnt want to displease these people and was scared of their anger, this post allowed me to see that I need to let go of what harms me and take care of me first.
    Beautifully written, thank you!

  • Your daily inspirational messages are treasured.
    They have helped me to come to terms with the little time I have left.
    Every day I learn something new and see wonderful changes in nature through my camera lens.
    Thank you.

  • Precious post…

    Personally letting go is tough. I have gotten good at noticing when I am hanging onto to something I shouldn’t. From businesses, relationships and everything in between.

    For me cold turkey has worked best and unattaching myself emotionally from the subject at hand.

  • I remember reading somewhere: “We are the ones we have been waiting for.” And as much as it pains us all, we are the only ones that can “save” ourselves. I too have come a long way and am always thankful for encouraging guidance, hence WHY I enjoy this awesome blog. And what I have learned going through my trials and tribulations is that my programming broke down, the way things should be or shouldn’t be, the cookie cutter life we are told to strive for does not always fit. Everyone needs to find their own way to happiness and it is not always a straight line from point A to point B. Thank you Marc and Angel for putting these positive words and vibes out there… happiness is simple :-)

  • I’m 38 and have a friend who we literally played in the playpen together. We are still friends to this day, although not as close as we used to be. She is also my son’s aunt. Anyway, she’s toxic. Never has anything nice to say about anyone, everything makes her angry, every word that comes out of her mouth is a swear word. She depresses me whenever we are together. Then I go home angry angry at the world and it takes me a couple days to get back to my normal self.

    I have been fighting depression since age 14, I have gotten over my anger issues with a lot of hard work and dedication, I’m still trying to change my life in a more positive way, but she makes this very difficult.
    I have tried to not let her bring my world down, I have tried to change the subject to a more positive one, but she finds fault in everything. She can’t see the brighter side of anything. Even when I point something out, she makes a negative comment.

    I need to get away from her, we have been best friends for 38 yrs, I just don’t know how too. She wants to be able to see her nephew, but I can’t deal with her crabbiness all the time. She’s just do darn MISERABLE!!!

  • Bob, God bless you, if you want to talk and are on Facebook please look me up under Ania Jasiejko, perhaps I can help you.
    Sending you Love and Light.

  • I really needed this lesson. I have compromised my self worth for 5 years now because I have been hanging on to a “relationship”. I use the word relationship loosely. While we had a brief romantic relationship, we now have a two a day email and occasional Skype connection.

    I have been clinging to the hope that one day he will wake up to see how strong my feelings are for him. There was a time when this odd situation helped me as I didn’t have anyone else in my life… Now, that doesn’t seem to matter as much as knowing how dysfunctional this situation is. It is holding me back from finding someone who does want to be in my life.

    Your lesson reinforces this… It is most definitely time to move on!!

  • Truly enjoy reading all of your posts, very positive and uplifting. Much needed in our world today. I am not sure people understand the value and importance of knowing that there are “no guarantees” in this life. This is the only one we have and we can choose to spend it in toxic relationships, environments, etc. or not. It is exhausting to be in a relationship with a “negative” person. I was married to one for 20 + years and left 5 years ago…still recovering from the toll it took on my spirit and well being. So..let’s see.. I left a marriage, and then shortly after lost my job, unemployment ran out, and so from many accounts I should be the most negative, angry, pessimistic person on the planet. Yet I am living a life I love with an abundance of Blessings. Thank you so much for you words of wisdom for a hurting, lost and confused planet of people…

  • Thank you for this timely blog. As usual you manage to inspire, encourage tough decisions and lead us into areas of frightening emotions.

    I am at a crossroads in my life. I love my wife who is kind and loving, but I have to decide if our core belief systems, needs and goals are too different and will ultimately not let us coexist. There are no rights or wrongs, sometimes thinking differently on so many issues is tough to reconcile, and emotionally destructive in long run. When to let go, when to resign oneself and then know that resentment is coming alongside… your blog is thought provoking.

  • @Deborah: Great input and very much appreciated. Every relationship is unique and should be addressed accordingly. I love the story about your mom; I have a similar one regarding my grandmother and her friend. Makes me smile. =)

    @Anita M.L.: Thank you!

    @B: And for your continued love and support… thank you!

    @Chandi: Great advice, and priceless feedback. By no means do we think letting go is easily done. You said it – it takes a great deal of strength and courage.

    @Amandah: “I am sure there are many people who are fearful of letting go and moving on. But once you do it, you’ll feel liberated.” I love this positive reinforcement.

    @Jackie: It sounds like you did the right thing. =)

    @Margie: Congratulations! Cheers to a happier, healthier life.

    @Heather: You are stronger than you think. You don’t have to forget your memories but you have to be open to creating new ones. =)

    @Sham: Wise insight. Some people are set in their ways and in some situations are unable to let go. Understanding where they’re coming from, knowing what to ignore, and partaking in activities that make you both happy are great ways to ease the situation.

    @Jing: Thank you so much. One thought provoking quote that really resonated with me when making a major decision was: “When you have two good options, always go with the one that scares you the most, because that’s the one that’s going to help you grow.” =)

    @Annie: I love the inspiring spin.

    @Suzie: Exactly what we meant. =)

    @Shelly: Look at your making PROGRESS. One foot in front of the other - congratulations!

    @David Rapp: Beautifully said. Thank you for the value added additions, as always.

    @KDT: You are a very strong woman and can do anything you put your mind to. Put yourself first! Make yourself happy, and radiate your happiness outward.

    @Kevin Halls: Feel free to e-mail us directly at (angel at marcandangel.com) for any specific questions.

    @pj: What you talk about is what most people have the hardest time coming to grips with. We are the only ones who can ‘save’ ourselves. It’s a choice. Thank you for the reinforcement.

    @Carrie: For the sake of your own sanity it sounds like a change is needed.

    @Shirl: You are an inspiration! =)

    @All: It’s certainly no surprise that letting go is not easy, but in situations where it is necessary it is the only path that makes us stronger and happier in the long run. If you need support and encouragement I encourage you to read all the comments above. Honestly, in a world where we sometimes feel alone, these comments are a great reminder that when we are united we can get through almost anything. =) We are all in this together.

    Thank you all for continuing to share your personal stories and insights with us and each other. We read every one of them, sometimes twice, and they inspire us.

  • This is such a good read! I am in a 10 year relationship that I am no longer happy with. Over the years things have changed and priorities have kept us apart. Although we spend almost everyday together I feel that her heart is no longer with me. This post has helped me realize a lot of things… Thank you so much

  • Thank you once again Marc and Angel. After toiling over this second half of my life (I’m 46), I’ve decided to let go of my house, pack up and relocate from my Midwestern roots. Letting go and moving on from a dead end job, my adult children, toxic friendships and a toxic unromantic relationship. WOW I feel so liberated just writing this.

    To KDT, I’ve been in a similar situation for about two years and I had to be a big girl and walk away. My advice to you is to PLEASE let it go. As Marc and Angel would say, “Let go of something that was never really there.” They also say, It was just an illusion that was never really there.” God Bless you sweetie.

  • I have recently decided to end a relationship that for almost 50 years has been a hurtful and painful one. It was a very difficult decision and took years to make. I think that no matter who is in your life, it has to be mostly positive. Relationships need to help a person be happy.

  • Great post! May God continue to bless you.

  • You have been a true inspiration, and its a good thing you let go of your cynical friend earlier in life. Thanks a bunch for being a blessing.

    sincerely,
    ibukun

  • Great post. I can relate best to #3. I need to keep reminding myself that not all things can be changed and not worry so much about those. I need to focus more on the ones that can change.

  • I always find wonderful words of wisdom here on your blog. Today this line of yours really hit me: “Holding on is like believing that there’s only a past; letting go and moving on is knowing in your heart that there’s a bright future ahead.”

    I don’t want to act like there is only a past any longer! Thank you for always inspiring me!

  • I love the way you and Angel always seem to know exactly what I need to hear. I appreciate your personal stories and insights for a better life.

    Recently I used, accept the truth and be thankful. A business relationship I had for 14 years ended abruptly, I felt betrayed, it really hurt. When I finally accepted it for what it was, I was able to be thankful for the experience and move on. I actually felt lighter and physically healthier when I did this.

  • It’s been 4 months since my 7 year relationship has been broken. I could not understand and I was devastated. I was caught off guard. Two months later, he has someone new. Last week, I just got promoted and I’m not completely happy. My hardwork reminded me the reason for the break up, i suppose. I guess sometimes we lose some people when we reach our goals. I may not understand why he left me but I guess this is God’s plan. This write up also helped me realized that despite of my new position, Iim not learning anything new. I guess, I might also need to let go and move on. Thanks for sharing.

  • This resonated so much. That realisation of having outgrown old friendships, loves, thought patterns and emotional patterns is a painful one. Sometimes it feels like staying with the old is safer vs. encountering that emptiness before building up new life again. and it is too easy to fall into a toxic mindset.

    Thank you for speaking up in a positive way.

  • “Let go or be dragged.”

  • So many of us are stuck in the past and can’t move on because we are so hurt and have suffered such loss. We need to be validated and when that doesn’t happen we hold on to the hurt with anger and not being able to forgive.

    What we can’t see is that while we are focused on the past the days are going buy faster and faster till one day you wake up and you’re a much older person still stuck in the past.

    I lost twenty-five good years and so many opportunities along the way. Years & opportunities that I can’t get back. I went from forty to sixty-five and its all a blur because I was stuck in the past.

    What I learned is that my future is in front of me, not behind me and all that matters is right NOW.

  • I really needed this right now. I’ve had to distance myself from someone I love because he wasn’t understanding what I needed. I’m giving him the time to grow for himself and trying to trust that this is for the better, no matter what happens. I feel like being there for him through the bad wasn’t enough to get him to see something greater. Even though he might realize it, things have not consistently changed. And I was repeatedly hurting myself by not wanting to give up. And maybe in a way that was enabling him to be comfortable with me always there and taking me for granted. I hope this will be a new beginning for both of us and only time will tell us what is meant to be.

  • I was so encouraged by what you posted. I lost my job a little over four years have and have two little boys - five and seven. The humiliation I had to go thru is something I cant describe in words. When I started reading your posts I can simply say that I have changed.

  • Nice post, really good tips to move on from an heart-rendering semester. Thanks

  • I was just dumped after a long long relationship. I stood by her through everything. She struggled with addiction and a lifetime of abuse but when I needed understanding and support she floated out of my life again. Always in and out of my life. I am looking for the strength this time to keep her out for good.

  • I had recently ended my relationship with my boyfriend for almost 5 years.. its really tough for me to accept it and I know that there’s still more tears to come especially when you get to remember the happy times. But i really hope I can just move on from this… so for a start, thanks for this.

  • Thank you so much for sharing this today. I needed a good reminder of why I let certain people fall by the wayside of my life. Now I feel certain I did the right thing!

  • Thank you for believing in yourself and continuing to spread positivity and inspirations to the world. You are helping a lot of people including me. Your words brighten my days and changing me bit by bit into a positive person. I always re-post your posts on my Facebook timeline and hoping it would inspire and bring positivity into my friends’ life. Keep up with the good.

  • Kristene Ruddle
    May 26th, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Thank you for this post. A friend shared it on Facebook and it is just what I need at this time in my life. I am stepping back from my interactions with my grown sons, both have addictions and do not need help to change. I realize that my focus is on looking back and it is too painful. I need and want to change my involvement with them. Fear of never having relationships with them has held me back from changing. It is extremely painful, but I am doing it one day, one step at a time.

  • Micheline Worl
    May 26th, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    This is in no way “just a blog.”

    You guys have something special here. Very, very , inspiring. Thank you for all of your dedication and hard work.

  • To my surprise, one week after being taken out for Chinese food on Valentine’s Day, being given a beautiful dozen red roses, chocolates and a touch card, I was told by my best friend that he needed a break. Hurt, I countered with “Fine! Your competition is half your age and twice as pretty,” since he is 61 and I’m 45. I regret lashing out and I regret even more ignoring the signals that in the end, he just wasn’t into me. If a guy calls you once a week for a five minute conversation, he isn’t into you. If he doesn’t seek out your company but merely accepts your invites occasionally to get together, he isn’t into you. If there is no intimacy, be it through conversation, sharing thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams and if there is no physical intimacy, touching, hugging, kissing, then there is nothing left. How two people who used to have fun together, a few years of good fishing on the waters of Lake of the Woods, walks in the dead of winter and the blazing heat of summer can grow unknown to each other is easy to understand. The effort and desire to keep the friendship alive has died with him and I am left with beautiful memories and the hope to one day learn how to let go of my dear friend and move on.

  • Just what I need right now, with an old friendship breaking apart…I´m willing to let go, and work on it every day, but it´s not easy, having known this female friend for over 30 years.

    I noticed changes throughout the years - mostly not letting me in, when something important happened to her. The distance grew, contact became more and more rare, but I kept hanging on, because I always liked the thought of having a close friend from childhood days.

    A silly incident in February led to an argument, and we haven´t had contact since. I believe it is over now, she did not answer my last e-mails. I´m slowly coming to the point where I can say “That´s fine, I can let go”. New people will be in my life eventually, and I can cherish those friends who are still around even more - thank you for reminding me of that!

  • Thank you for this beautiful read - its truly inspiring! Your article contains words of encouragement which I need in this difficult time of my life.

  • I’m fifty six, needing to get out on my own. I’ve been in an eighteen years relationship. I’ve never been on my own, except short periods. I enjoy traveling. Thinking about taking my two small dogs, selling this place and traveling. Sounds like fun. I am so frightened. I don’t have many friends. I am disabled, with back and sciatic nerve damage in left leg.

    Anyone have any suggestions or ideas they can share, that might help me to go?

  • Thank you.

  • Have had anxiety and depression for 30 years. Never left home and frequently unemployed because of medication.vParents getting old.vFreaked out and about getting job and own place after 6 years UE. Tried CBT handbook with little success - meditation etc. Any comments, anyone?

  • My old boyfriend and I were meant to be together. We struggled against my overpowering mother for 7 years until he could no longer take her pressure and hate. My mom created a Romeo & Juliet situation with us by forbidding our union for so many years, so long ago. I am now happily married with 5 kids to a wonderful man, but I am stuck in my past, mad at myself for allowing her to take away my love, my life.
    How do I forgive myself for being so indecisive for so long and hurting and losing my soulmate, and changing the course of his life too?

  • Funny how I can across this today; I’ve been dealing w/ this topic for about a year now. Life changes are sometimes the best, but they can also bring unexpected changes that don’t feel so good. Makes me depressed.

  • I’ve been going through the motions of being the other woman to a man who was in love with me and I with him. We had a previous relationship as well. I had to find it within myself to give myself the love and respect I deserve. So I have to let him go. Wasn’t too sure as to how to do so. Felt like my world was ending, and the pain unbearable. This post really helped me, and helped my realize that I am on my way towards letting go and moving forward. I feel a bit of relief knowing I’m not the only going through this. Letting go is a part of life. You live and you learn.

  • Thank you for this very inspiring blog!

    I’m 23 years old & have been struggling with partying and drinking & drugs since I was 17. For 6 years that’s all I knew how to do. I quit college, moved from here to there, tried many drugs, & slept with all types of men. I was basically carefree and lost. Void. This week I took the time to be still. Block out the world & renewed my mind. I prayed & meditated for hours a day… I was astonished at what God showed me about my life.. my past.. and what my future could look like if I just change. I was scared & hopeful. Stuck. Knowing that his way was the right way, but all I knew was the wrong way!! Reading your blog gave me a lot of positive & encouraging words. Thank you so much. I’m continuing with my new path && excited about the future. - Sarah

  • This was something that I needed to read. I’ve been involved in an on-but mostly off relationship with a man who is a single father and has a demanding job for almost 3 years. All I ask of him was for him & I to spend time together (i.e. movies, dinners, short trips, etc.) and he comes up with every excuse in the book NOT to (i.e. kids prior sport commitments, job-related issues, unable to go because of something one of his children has to do, etc.) and after reading this, it just hit me hard that he is never going to change and since he is a single father, his commitment plate is very full.

    Too full for me right now.

    Its time for me to let go and be with someone who genuinely wants to spend time with me and make me apart of their lives.

    Thank you Marc & Angel for truly shining a light to a very dark situation.

    From your newest fan indeed!
    Keep posting! I love reading these!

  • Thanks. This inspiring post was of great help to me.

  • Thank you very much for the post and inspiring words. I came across this as I was just trying to search for some inner light.

    I quit from my previous job in a great company because my job scope was not in the area of my interest and competence, and my boss was suppressing my growth opportunities and made things really difficult for me. I had a tough time as I am truly unhappy everyday. I stuck on to that job for the sake of the brand name and for the good of my resume.

    Now, I got a new job, though in a small company but I am appreciative and grateful. However, at times, I tend to think about some good parts of my past experience. I tried sharing my thoughts with my husband but he thinks I am being negative and unappreciative (which in my intention, only sharing and communicating of thoughts). Finally, we always ended up in quarrels. He thinks I am low confident and low self esteem and started comparing me with other girls, wanting me to be more like them.

    Now, with misunderstanding and communication breakdowns, no matter how I tried to explain. That does not work. I am feeling as though I am no more the confident person he used to be attracted to. Quite hurting to be compared with and told to be more like others..when my only intention is to share a thought. I just hope to return the impression he once loved about me..

  • I have had much trouble trying to let go of someone i love who has moved on and met someone new that she is now in love with. It hurts like heck and i keep holding on to anger, resentment and attraction toward her. I know I need to let go so i can enjoy today and have hope for the future.

    This has really helped.

  • wow… great article … thank you for waking me up !

  • Growth Beyond Years
    August 6th, 2013 at 11:47 am

    This article is absolutely wonderful. I have been with my husband for a little over 5 years now and I can see that we have grown apart. We have a three year old and I am trying to work on the marriage primarily for the sake of our daughter. The interesting thing is…I am not in love with my husband and I was never in love with him. Now I feel stuck in a marriage that I don’t want. I am trying to please my family and ensure my daughter has a stable and happy home, but we are truly living separate lives. We are actually co-parenting while living under the same roof. I would really love to move on with my life, but on the same side I am willing to sacrifice for my child. It is really a sad situation and I truly blame myself for not listening to God.

    Such is life…

  • Growth beyond years, such a sad blog especially as you are hanging on for your child.

    I am with the love of my life of 13 years and married for 5. Met just after school and truly believed marriage was for life. We have a 4 years girl and were very happy. Unfortunately it seems since our child, my wife has lost those feelings for me am has asked for a divorce. She is not interested in staying for the child but needs to continue on her journey. There was no reason and she said she just needs a change.

    As much as I’m hurt and gutted by all this, I know i have to focus 100% on my little one.

    Great article.

  • Great article. It’s exactly what I needed.

  • I recently went for a job interview and knew from the second I walked through the door that it wasn’t right for me.

    My gut feeling was proved correct when the interviewer said to me . . .

    “I see from your CV that you have a strong interest in personal development and learning new skills. When do you think you will be finished with doing that?”

    WTF? Honestly, I almost fell off the chair! I’ll stop learning and growing when I’m dead.

  • Thank you for this. This is now bookmarked in my browser.

    I’ve been down for a week now because I found out my boyfriend cheated on me AGAIN, for the 5th time. I know I’ve given him all the chances in the world when he cheated on me for four times in the past 6 years and I tried my very best to forget what he did. But again, he never learned his lesson. Obviously I couldn’t afford losing him, but I think I am losing my self in the process instead. What should I do? He promised that he would not do it again but I think it is part of what he is already. :( I want to move on, leave him and teach him a lesson but I am having a hard time as I’m really used to having him around.

    I’ll read this article over and over again until I find the answer to my questions.

    Thanks again.

  • Ana,

    The first thing is to really decide -seriously- to move on. Beleive me, once he find you seriously moving on, he will change -if he there is 0.1% hope- or he will give up as well and move on in his cheating life with someone else, but from time to time he will try to explore the possibility of moving back with you -fixation effect-, at that time you have to be strong enough to repulse him. I beleive you deserve better respected treatment, and you should tell your self always - I deserve it- .. my best regards

  • Thank you so much for this article! It’s what I exactly need for my current situation.

  • Thank you for this wonderful post. I came across this blog for a reason. It’s a perfect timing. I believe that everything happens for a reason, people come into our lives to teach us something. I am currently in the process of letting go. It is hard because part of me is still trying to hold on. But I know I’ll get there.

  • Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Reading your words always hits me in the heart, like they were written just for me. Thank you!

  • This is a great post, wish I had stumbled upon this during my trying times.

    Something I would like to share: Remember that any good or bad experience you have gone through will make you the stronger person you are at present.”

    Turn yourself into a survivor instead of a victim. I’ve gone through a very traumatic experience since I was 14 years old, and I used to feel bad and treat myself as a victim. Not until I met my current therapist (not ashamed, we all need one…trust me they help), who has given me the solid advice of treating one’s self as a survivor.

    It helps a lot to remind yourself “I am a survivor. That was back then, and I survived it. I am stringer now. I am smarter now. And I will heal.”

    Love yourself, and put yourself first, everything else will follow.

  • ANA,

    You wrote that he has cheated on you 5 times. What you are going through is hard, and I understand that it’s even harder to let go…

    BUT YOU HAVE TO PUT VALUE IN YOURSELF! Realize that this man you are with will promise and beg and convince you as hard as he can to get back to you. You might not see it, but he is abusing you emotionally and psychiatrically. If his cheating has happened once, and after being caught he still did it again, why put yourself in more heart ache and psychological trauma?

    You’re enabling him power over a strong woman.

  • Sometimes broken things need to be fixed not discarded.

    My parents are still together after more than 50 years. They could have given up on each other many times over. They are in love and care for each other deeply.

    Sometimes sticking through the hard times, fixing the problem and taking ownership of your own flaws is the right path to take.

  • When do you fix something, and when do you throw something away? Life is sometimes so confusing.

    I thought I had it clear in my gut what’s working and what isn’t, but now it’s not so clear anymore. As much as I appreciate the wisdom in these blog posts I’m still a lost sheep as of now. );

  • I still miss her, the sense of attachment perhaps or simply the amount of effort I put in, or how I open my heart to her. It’s such waste as I wanted to give her everything I could give in terms of financial or emotion. I even told myself “she is the one I want to grow old with’. But she moved on after 3 months totally no longer have any feelings towards me… guess its time I move on too get a better job, better friends, and better companion in life. I used to love u. it takes two hands to clap.

  • Thank You

    May you and your site continually be blessed.

  • I have been with someone for almost 3 years now. At first I admit I didn’t expect us to go this far. Now we broke up. But this isn’t the first time, not even the fifth. We split so many times that I lost count (those small ones). We usually get back together and patch things up. But we did have big fights those that last for months. Still we managed to settle it. Now I feel this is the last time. I want to stick with my decision of ending it. I always come running back or just accept him without thinking since I fear he would love another or I would not find someone else. But this relationship has hurt us too much to continue. We’re in the start of our careers and I would not like our relationship to affect this.

    Thank you for making this article. A lot of your points really struck me and I hope I can do this. I know it won’t be easy but its worth the try.

  • Hey Nicole, im in the same situation, except for the 3 year part, it’s only been a couple of months for me… But i don’t think it matters the amount of time, this girl and i keep arguing, split up for a bit, try to tell ourselves (myself anyways) I don’t want her anymore because she keeps being negative, very unsupportive and playing mind games as if I’m her form of entertainment. Shes been acting like her mind-game self lately, something is wrong.. ive tried every angle to find out what. it seems like she just wanted some space. So I left her alone since she was ignoring me anyways… since I didn’t talk to her today she put her fb status is single now and deleted me. As this type of behavior has happened before.. ill ask her why she did all that.. she will say “oh well because you stopped talking to me”. But I stopped talking to her because she didn’t want to talk. She keeps playing these games!! I’m sick of it.

    From past experience from growing up I’ve seen my dad get back with whatever current girlfriend/wife he is with, breaking up and getting back together constantly over a period of 20 years now between 3 different woman. DO I WANT TO BE LIKE THAT? Heck no! Its hard to let go, it burns inside my heart like a volcano while falling down an endless black hole to letting her go, but I have to do it, She doesn’t care to recognize I’m open to communication to fixing things, she just wants to be miserable and use any chance she gets to get me jumping to her feet seeking her approval and acceptance once again. She seems like shes insecure but she hides it well and does this over and over to boost herself up.

    Ive showed my love for her always. I deserve better than the 5% happiness she gives me compared to the 95% misery - the 5% makes me want to run back for a brief moment of happiness again.. followed by her doing the same thing over and over. I don’t want to be like my dad, I want to be secure and know what I deserve and be confident in the decisions I make. I wont second guess myself.. I don’t need to.. because if she was going to stop, after seeing me cry and all the other negative feelings I went through.. she would have. Time to move on. I feel God will reward me and replace her accordingly because of the inner strength I found to move on.

  • Thank you so much!! I went thru a terrible divorce latched onto the first person that promises me the world, just to move me 8 hours from my family drain me financially and leave me. All by my choice because I believed in him. I was left with a mess and to raise my boys from my marriage by myself. I allowed myself to become a mistress to my boss. We eventually got caught, something I’m very ashamed of. I have no friends or family here and I latched onto my boss. He’s much older doesn’t want to be involved with my kids and I’m still just the pretty sex toy.

    I know I have to make a change. I’m scared I don’t know where to go or what to do. I keep waiting for god to open an opportunity for me and its like my life is on stand by. It’s depressing, I use to be so full if life always up for anything. My life feels like its still spinning out of control. BUt I’m gaining strength and I’m going to do my best to live by these rules.

  • Really inspirational read. Thanks.

  • I need to move on from my past. I find myself continuously being upset about all the ways it didn’t see it going or working out. I fear that if I don’t start to actively move forward, leaving everything behind that I will become closed and that I’ll never allow myself the freedom I once had.

    Never knew letting go would be so difficult..

  • You couldn’t be more right. It’s like these words were meant just for me.

  • A Girl Out There...
    September 11th, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Thank you for your post. I need to find the strength and to take a chance on myself. I know that being alone doesn’t necessarily mean forever, but I’m 29 and have been with my bf for 4 years now and I’m scared of never finding a love as deep as this one again. I love him and am in love with him, but I don’t like him. He’s selfish, moody and deceitful. I deserve better, I know this, but believing better is out there for me sometimes isn’t enough for me to take the chance. I feel as though everything that has happened in our relationship has damaged my confidence. I hope that you will consider writing a follow up post on “finding the confidence to move on” as this post has given me a glimmer of hope.

  • That was very interesting to read. I find myself still stuck on my past. My boyfriend of 2 1/2 cheated on me with my best friend 8 months ago. They kept it a secret for awhile, I broke up with him and was so upset with her. After a couple of months a gave in an forgave them both. Its been several times I still find myself sitting there trying to see a picture of how and when. I have told my self over and over that I can not prevent anything from happening again. If It will happen again, there’s nothing I can do to stop it, so I need to stop researching. I would of never thought in a million years he would of cheated on me. I just can not let it go no matter how hard I try.

  • I learned a corollary to the above from my coach, mentor and hypnotist, world record holder, Olympic weight lifting champion and Pittsburgh Steeler strength coach Louis Riecke. Coach worked with me for thirty years to produce my best performance while in competition on a racquetball court: “When you make a mistake, learn from it then forget it.” Coach also worked with Terry Bradshaw during the Steeler ten-year run of supremacy in the ’70s on the exact same truism.

  • I think this was a really good article, now if I can only apply things to my life. I have been with my girl friend on and off for 16 years and we have 2 kids together. I never grew up in a house with my mother and father and I always wanted to provide that for my kids. The fact that I wanted my kids to have a two parent home I held on to the relationship for as long as I could. We clearly grew in different directions and life just took its course on our relationship.

    One of the funny things I think about is that when we started dating we had beepers, and now we have instagram. lol. But I have met someone new who fulfills my every need, however I feel stuck on the love I shared with my ex. My friends tell me everything was fine until I spotted her with another man, seeing her smile and look happy with someone else really crushed my insides because one of the major reasons we broke up we because I felt she wasn’t loving and she didn’t express love to me, along with the arguing in front the kids. But to wrap it all up, she has moved on and so have I, I really want to let go of this love and move on with my life. Well good luck to me and I think Iam going to re read this artical

  • Totally helpful!

    I like the statement, “What was right for you then is not necessarily right for you now.” Also, to claim ownership and full control of your life.

    I have been contemplating lately and is feeling unhappy where I am right now. There had been an incident last year that has been whispering to me now to do something else….or that I should be somewhere else.

    There is fear of leaving my comfort zone like leaving my job for almost 8 years now, doing a different routine, not knowing how the world would accept your changes, or maybe a fear that the world can be cruel again at you in the future and not being able to go back.

    Past incidents in our life should not be hindrances but the memories should remain as stepping stones toward one’s realization of the purpose of his/her existence. In my case, it became an eye-opener. The death of my beloved elder brother in the hands of negligent people changed me and my perspective in life. Since then, I am feeling the urge of doing something else but I became immoveable too until now. Mind VS Actions. I want to move forward and generate results.

    So help me God…

    Thanks for this motivating post!

  • I am currently having a problem letting go. Mine has been a 30+ year friendship/relationship. I ended the friendship in April but have never truly let go and before reading this article, I wasn’t sure how to. This has helped and I know the I have the strength to move on.

  • I really enjoyed reading your blog. I have been divorced for 3 yrs now and I still hold on to the past, and it is time to let go and forgive. I need to focus in what is important and let go.

  • Thank you for this.

  • Thank you Marc and Angel…….I have been tormenting myself for 3 yrs now. I couldn’t get over my ex leaving me and our son….its been really tough because we work in the same venue. I know you would be thinking maybe change your job girl…but this company is so good for me and my son they have helped loads through the yrs. I have for yrs had to watch him move on start a new life while I painfully sat at the side. I got so angry and bitter I was a single parent of a small 3yr old and he was having holidays and just moved on and away from us.

    I have been reading your blogs for a while now and it has totally changed me, my outlook… I have learned to move forward with my head high and I see such a fantastic future for my son and me. I could go on and on. Thank you :)

  • Thanks for this insightful blog…I have been living my life in deep pain because my husband cheated on me a year ago. Reading your blog I am certain that I want to move on with my life.

  • Thanks a lot for posting this. Bless you.

  • Thank you for your article, it made total sense. Now a question I have is how do you or what do you do when the negativity and the back stabbing is non ending and it comes from your family? How do you break that vicious cycle? It has been going on forever and these people will not change.

  • So many people talk sense here. I agree with Heather, as well as many others. I was married for 36 years and it’s so hard to forget the past. I don’t want to forget the past, because in my case it was wonderful, but I also know I need to move to the present.

    In my case there was sickness and there was a lack of intimacy for over 15 years. I never strayed, and put my wants and needs aside, while I became caretaker. Our love grew stronger each day. I miss the fact that I will not be able to grow old with him. He passed in 2011.

    Many couples today have a fight and are ready to call it quits. True love is something that so many couples stuggle with. I have posted before that it is a give and take situation, almost daily.

    I need to get my groove back. I read all of these posts, and I agree with most. I know that what people write are true, but I don’t know how to apply to my life. I am just so lonely. I know small baby steps that Marc mentioned is the best way, but it seems like for every 1 small step I take forward, I take 2 backward. I guess the best I can do, is to try to keep moving forward, 1 small step at a time.

  • Thank you for putting into words what I have felt so strongly about many times but have not had the words to express. I have moved on many times but still struggle with moving on in my career…simply out of fear and self-doubt.

  • Thank you for lifting me up…I am in such a hopeless situation, partly due to my stubbornness and refusing to let go…your words acted like a balm to my wounded soul….

  • This article was great it brought up some nice insight and vital information I need to hear. I have stumbled across this site a couple of time and have always enjoyed it. I want to thank you for your hard work and positive messages.

    I have been having problems with letting go and realizing that I’m not who I once was. I find that people always view me in the light they last remember me in, and instead of letting that image go I try to hold on and relive it. I can say that some of the tips here I have tried and they have truly helped me let go. I look forward to more articles - thanks.

  • Thank you so much for this article. I have been in a “relationship” with this guy for a year and a half. Well, we were actually friends with benefits. I thought it would work out between the two of us but it didn’t. He told me that he is dating someone already and it crushed my world because I was hoping and praying every single day that he will like me too. Apparently, we were just both “benefiting” from the relationship.

    I am still in pain of letting go of the hope of my “what if’s” and “what might have been,” but I guess everything happens for a reason. If a door is closed, a bigger window is now open.

  • Each of us needs to take control of and responsibility for our own decisions. You cannot change a person but, at times, you can help them to grow. A book I read that helped me is The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. My perception of how love is communicated (can be through physical touch, affirming words, acts of service, gifts or quality time) is different from those around me. Knowing how I perceive love and how those around me are showing me their love has helped me to be more understanding. Sometimes those who are negative are trying to show their love but doing it in a fear based negative pattern. Been there, done that.

    Love your neighbor as yourself. To me, this means before I could truly, unselfishly love anyone else I needed to love, honor, respect and forgive myself. As I changed, I attracted those type of people into my life, and you will too. I set boundaries as to what I will now accept. Thankfully I am not the same person I was when I was younger and can feel truly happy for others peoples successes instead of feeling diminished or threatened by it. I have been blessed that my husband of 28 years and my friends of a lifetime have given me the room to grow and change. It doesn’t mean it has always been easy but it has been worth it.

    I want to add encouragement to all of you for having the courage to make changes in your life. It is much easier to sit back and wish for someone to rescue us than to realize it is up to us, and only us, to make decisions we need in our lives.

  • I was looking for hope to move on in my life after losing my husband last June. I now find myself alone with my 13 year old child at the age of 50 and missing my husband so much. It hurts, but I need to find strength to move on with my daily life, for my son. It is easy to read your words, and a lot more difficult to carry them out, but I am trying, and I appreciate the advice.

  • I am sending this article to all my friends. These tips are amazing for all those people that are stuck in their lives. Sometimes we all hit an invisible wall that stops us from improving. And this post is just the perfect guide on how to deal with it.

  • I just ended my relationship for more than 2 years last night. He is kind of man that is so fickle minded in his decisions. He gave me false hope of marriage. It so hard because he is my first bf and first love. I am 24 years old and so afraid to be left alone. But, I need to let go of him. He is not the right man for me. For 2 years in a relationship, I never met his parents, his friends, his colleagues. To me, this means he is not really proud of me. He is looking for “better” girl. It’s not me that he wants.

    I want to love myself. Tears me apart. Crying the whole night and at the CR at work… Yet, it is the BEST thing to do. I can’t settle to someone who doesn’t want ME. :(

    Thank u for this wonderful article. Great help.

  • Thank you so much. This has been really helpful. I was in an a relationship on and off for about 4 and1/2 years. It was awesome at first and there was so much love between us. Things started to go bad when he drank and listened to his fraternity brothers about how our relationship should be. I put up with it for a little while and then I decided enough was enough. I broke up with him and then he decided he wanted to change. The thing is I took him for granted after that point because I felt I had the “right” because he treated me so badly before. The truth is that you don’t change unless you really want to. I am still living with the guilt that I have been trying to let go of for the past year. It’s time.

  • I looked at the other comments and it’s crazy how we all go through something so similar in our lives…as I was here at home doing some research about something else, my mind was somewhere else feeling sad anxious and angry at myself for always remembering something so old that can only cause me pain and hate towards my bf.

    So i just Googled how to let go of the past blahblah…and I found this and in my mind, I was just like “this is the last time trying to read something that is not gonna help me because i already know what it says” but i was wrong…

    Thank you for this, for caring about other people. Thank you so much.

  • Living in the past has been a struggle for me. I often think about past events and try to recreate them with the ending that I prefer, as opposed to accepting the past, learning from it and moving on from it. I appreciate the advice of #1: “…Accept the truth and be thankful. – To let go is to be thankful for the experiences that made you laugh, made you cry, and helped you learn and grow…” I have struggled with being thankful, especially for a painful experience. I am now learning to be able to look back on a painful experience and to learn the lessons for it, while being thankful for getting through it. I still struggle with being thankful for what I perceive are negative experiences. However, I find that you can learn from any and all experiences. Thanks.

  • I was in an abusive marriage (add 3 kids) for 12 years, went through the whole intense divorce thing(after he made another woman pregnant while I was pregnant with my 3rd - having endured verbal, physical, mental abuse primarily as a result of his addictions…it happens) Then my first love came back into my life and wow! I was blown away , I wanted to lose myself in him but I still resisted him and he me because of our past hurts…

    We grew close together in some ways (these past 4 years) and have been “healing” together but I moved away from him (literally) because I didn’t “feel ready” - I realised I needed to sort out various aspects of myself and life, to heal and recover, in order to be in a place where I was emotionally and physically available to him (or any man)in a healthy way.

    We have stayed in contact, sometimes almost daily but I have come to realise this is actually not healthy - it’s been like riding on a merry go round. Until we deal with our own issues apart, we don’t ever have a hope of “making a relationship work”together. It wouldn’t work, not the way things are at the moment.

    Although we are “connected” in an almost “soul” sense, we are not ACTUALLY in a REAL relationship.We are pretending to be the best of “friends” , flirting, encouraging and affirming, which is awesome if it could stay that way …but my heart has got attached… I am not ready in REALITY for more and neither is he, now we have to face the pain of letting go of the illusion, the fantasy.

    We are both very imaginative, creative people but we HAVE to face REALITY and if we can’t or are not READY to bring our “relationship” into the realm of what is REAL then it is very dysfunctional, frustrating and toxic to us both us.

    I have now said as much and decided to “distance myself for awhile” to get some perspective on my life. It is so painful, at times I just want to fall back into the fantasy but I know, for BOTH our sakes I have to be strong and “go through the fire”. In time, perhaps we can be friends and maybe it will even develop into something really beautiful - but I can assure you, that will not be through text messages! (How easy it is to hide behind the safety of neatly typed little words!)

    Emotions will subside…in time. Emotional habits will be broken…in time. Life will flow back in and the balance of the universe (well our little one’s) will be restored but for now, it HURTS dammit! - That’s okay though. I want to do things the RIGHT way for once. I want to trust in God to direct us both and I want to learn the serenity of acceptance, the courage of change and the wisdom of waiting and letting go…

    I wish you all peace of mind in your various struggles and trials. Keep the faith, keep believing and remember circumstances can change, you can change, where there is life - there is hope for a better tomorrow!

  • This article reached out to me. I am in a current situation with a friend that lives life to the fullest, will make mistakes and learn as she goes. That is the best attitude to have, but I am the friend that is afraid to take risks because I am afraid of failure and it’s effecting our friendship. I don’t want to see her fail and it frustrates me, I guess I try to hard to help resolve the problems as soon as they arise, but she doesn’t like when I get involved in her problems. I make an effort to try to stay out of them and only give input when she wants it, and she keeps bringing her problems out in the open and it will stress me out. I feel the step about distancing yourself for a while, but how do I do that without cutting her out of my life? She however, has been a good friend to me. Sometimes failure is the only way to learn, I guess I just have to let go, leave it at the door and just be the best person I can be.

  • I needed to be reminded of this: “The mental space you create by letting go of things that are already behind you gives you the ability to fill the space with something fresh and fun.”

    After battling through years of addiction and untreated bipolar disorder I went on an excruciating mission to get over it all. After for years of therapy and a stint in rehab, I fell in love with someone who loved me more deeply than anyone has ever loved me in my life. He too had battled the same demons. We were kindred spirits.

    We grew to love each other slowly over time,and then spent two intense months in a romantic relationship. But he was married with children and for his children’s sake we could never be together officially. So I had to end it.

    I know he came into my life to teach me that I was loveable. I know that this will be a positive love to remember regardless of the fact it couldn’t last. I know that I need to let go of it. But I can’t right now. I’m clinging on to future hopes of him leaving his wife and being with me, even though I know it wont happen. Even thought I know that if it did happen, I’d be wracked with guilt about the children.

    I know I need to see it for what it is and open myself up to the new love opportunities that I deserve. I’m trying. Thank you.

  • I have had a tough year. I had a falling out with my oldest friend in February, I decided to go off antidepressants after maybe 10 years in late March, my husband started a job where he is home for barely one hour in the evenings at the end of April, my mother had an amputation and then passed away in July, my son started JK in September and I have only one child, my sisters have been on the attack over the will since November. I don’t even know where to start about needing to let go and move on. Everything is to blame. Everything needs changing and I don’t know which thing to choose or move on from. I believe at times that I am coming through this and then I crash. I have blamed my friend, my sisters, my husband, his parents…I don’t know where to begin…. So inevitably I most certainly end up blaming myself…yup. I have a really low score on the self compassion scale….Not sure why I’m typing this..I practice mindfulness and meditation….Maybe the process is slow and if I hadn’t done all the work I might have been institutionalized…Kind of wouldn’t mind the break…

  • This article made me realize that there is no such thing as “I know”… there are still a lot of things to know and a lot of space to move, to change… Thanks for reminding me. I thought I was okay, never realizing that my life right now is pulling me down… negativity all around. Knowing how to move on is easy, but moving on is sure dar hard, but reading your article gives me the idea of how to really do it. Really love to share my experience but I think there is no need to dwell on the past, right? I will just take your advice and use it as a guide to improve “ME”… thank you for this…

  • Great post - reminds me of my past break up relationships. Not only does it apply to friendship but to other relationships as well.

    The pain will be the same no matter what kind of relationships we are in. It is the pain that would make us hold on to the past and the only way to get over it is to feel the pain and go thru it.

  • THANK YOU. That’s all that can be said after reading.

  • THANK YOU. That’s all that can be said after reading.

  • I really enjoyed reading this. I looked up letting go on Google, not because of a relationship, though I have been there, but because of the past.
    Not hyper dramatic, but over a year ago I was single and flirted with a recently single male friend. Nothing ever happened and we communicated by email, but as I say flirted - I think we were both flattered… Anyways… His ex hacked his computer and started calling me and sending emails. I felt more scared than anything, as he said she was acting crazy, then bang they sorted it out and I’m the bad one! I changed my number etc but still got threatening messages. I have felt guilt for flirting that hurt her, bitterness at being judged and attacked, and jealousy at their reunion. I guess we all have things to let go of. The past is the past and I’m trying to forgive myself and them for the mistakes made, because seriously the resentment Just eats at you!!

  • I so needed this today. You have really inspired me. Thank you so much.

  • What am I holding on to that’s holding me back? 4 months ago I said I do to the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and 4 1/2 hours later he dropped dead. 4 months later the tears have slowed down and I have tried to let go to move forward but I can’t seem to move my feet. What’s the first step you need to take to let it go? I really don’t know.

  • This article has literally opened my eyes. I had a terrible past with depression, hurt people I loved and got hurt by a lot of people that I thought loved me. I was able to over come the depression and fix the relationships that had broke to a point where we are civil and able to be around each other but I have never known why I don’t want anything to do with them anymore. Some are family and some were friends. This article made me open my eyes in knowing that sometimes people grow apart and learn that we need positive people and because of all the negative that happened, building those solid friendships are no longer possible. I feel more free and happy when I am with others I just needed to know why I felt this way. I thought it was my depression coming back but its my mind and body telling me its time to “move on”.

  • I have been in a relationship for a year next month and I’m lost. I feel like there’s no love any more like we have lost each other. We look at things differently. A few months ago we were perfect. But then we lost our house and our baby and had to move in with his aunt. It has caused a lot of stress and hurt. Now I don’t know what to do. If I stay I will be in misery but if I go I will be miserable also! We don’t touch no more or really talk. What do I do ? Let go?????

  • I’m so glad I stumbled across this today. Reading the article was just as powerful as reading all the comments! Thank you to everyone for sharing part of your life. I truly have gained perspective. I’m blessed in life, and my focus on always wanting to be better & do better is making me focus on the negative (things I want to & am trying to improve). I need to approach things differently. I cant stand negative people & am realizing that on my quest for greatness I can tend to be that person. Thats a crappy realization, let me tell you! The bottom line is that I am incredibly blessed & need to be thankful for my life & look forward to what the future holds.

  • I’ve been stuck in limbo for a a long time now, the absence of a positive change, and the absence of learning or really doing much of anything. I should be in grade eleven or twelve right now, but I’ve been very tardy and rebellious. Mainly because of laziness that I blame on everyone but myself. I’m a very sensitive, headstrong person that takes most everything personally; people’s opinions, people’s actions and statements- even if it has nothing to do with me, and even if people are trying to help.

    I never saw it that way. I need to move on, learn how to let things go gracefully without being bitter and angry over what I can’t change. I’m so bad for holding grudges, when it’s much more graceful and kind to just forgive and forget. Not wholly for their sake, but also for mine.

    I’m hoping that I can get back to school this September and work on myself. I’m so horrible in the will-power department, and excuse-making is a second language at this point. I somehow just expect everything to fall into place and work out on its own if it’s meant to, and I guess that’s not how things work, no matter how much I’ve tried to deny it over the years.

    I’m a sixteen year old shut-in with no social life and a future that isn’t very bright, should I continue the way I’m going. I don’t want to be one of those people. I think I need to start writing this article down, because the points may be written kindly and factually, they pack the punch you need. If this was something I could read every morning for motivation, I think I might be on the right track to changing how things are for me. And I truly hope that I don’t fall back into the pit of self-pity and ‘I hate my life but I can’t change it because it’s everyone’s fault but mine.’

    So here’s hoping, and trying, and grinding forward despite the back of my mind telling me it would be much more comfortable to just go back to being a hermit while my mother and stepfather do all the heavy lifting, letting people do all the had work for me. I don’t want to be that person.

  • Thank you very much for this article. I’m definitely going to bookmark it to refer back to everyday.

    I’m in a tough situation going through my parents’ divorce with them (I’m an only child.) I always feel that they made a mistake telling me all the details of their issues. But I can just learn from it and help them move forward. It’s just hard for me to see my family break up when we all used to be so close.

    But just like the articles says “Focus only on what can be changed.” That’s exactly what I’m going to do.

    I wish everyone the best with all of their struggles.

  • This article is brilliant, but letting go is tough. I had been engaged with a guy and then he got married , we were on and off on talking but now suddenly we have interacted a lot and I have come to know that there were some reasons that he got married. Now he has shown interest in me, and as I am getting closer to him it’s hurting me. So finally I told him that we should not talk. But this has torn me apart as the idea of not being in touch with him leads me to depression. How do I let this feeling go in spite of knowing that there is no future? I’m struggling with this.

  • How do you know if the person in your life is a there as a challenge for you to overcome or someone you need to let go of and move on?

  • Hello!
    Just thank you………for all that you write. You create hope and offer inspiration for this amazing and blessed journey called life.
    Blessings

  • Thank you for this article. I’m having problems with a woman who is supposed to be my boyfriend’s best friend, but she seems to just live to make my life painful. I have a hard time letting go. This article has inspired me to take hold of my own life and get the help I need so I can let go and move on.

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