You’ve experienced loss and feel the guilt of a hundred choices gone wrong. You know it's time to move on, but how? Moving on is often easier said than done, as it will require you to take a deep look inside yourself and reevaluate expectations placed upon your own sense of worth. Wherever you find yourself now, it’s important to remember who you are and the strength you can draw on within yourself to create the future you want to have.
The most difficult part of moving on could very well be the process of releasing yourself of attachments to a former situation or relationship. This can be particularly difficult if it was a long-term, meaningful relationship. But no matter the circumstances, understand that it is ok to feel angry, sad, heartbroken, hurt, and scared about the changes you’re making. It would be impossible not to have these feelings, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Instead, take the time that you need to process everything and slowly allow yourself to heal and rebuild the confidence needed to move forward.
Sometimes we rely on relationships to prop up shaky self-esteem, but this only serves as a temporary fix. To fully move on, you must learn to be in a healthy relationship with yourself. Learning to love and accept yourself for who you are can be a daunting task, as it is an ongoing journey that has many challenges.
It can be helpful, when sorting through your thoughts, to put them all down on paper. Writing can be a helpful tool, and by writing down your thoughts it can make them less abstract, easier to define and make tangible progress on. It may also help to process the enormous amount of change that has happened in such a short period. You could start with something simple like expressing gratitude for each challenging moment or looking ahead to identify new goals and steps to help you to make progress.
Next, create a strategy with smaller, achievable milestones that you can check off on a regular basis. As you accomplish these goals, whether it's learning a new skill, taking care of yourself physically, or joining a new club, these successes will build your confidence and reinforce a feeling of accomplishment. Recognizing and celebrating each step as you achieve it is an important part of rebuilding your faith in your capabilities to make a positive impact on your life.
Staying true to yourself is paramount. We can lose sight of the things that made us unique and special after a traumatic experience. Don’t forget the things that are unique to you, and the qualities that others admire in you -- they are still there, they were just buried under a layer of pain that took away from their shine. So take a deep breath and dive back into the world around you. Check in with loved ones and reconnect with old friends, you may even discover some things you wish to continue exploring down the line.
Moving on after a loss is a process of rediscovery, but one that can ultimately lead to personal growth and expansion of possibilities for a brighter future. With time and patience, and a dedication to self-compassion, you will have the strength and peace needed to make more meaningful choices that will satisfy your life and put you on the path towards finding joy and contentment again.
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