Advice from the Skillful Doctor: Letting Go

Question: My fiancée and I broke up about a year ago, but I still feel so angry about it that I’ve been unable to move on and develop any new relationships What can I do to start over? 
Answer:  The end of an important relationshipis always challenging. A period of disappointment and despair is quite natural. But so is our emergence from it. What you need to move forward may require some more time, but in all probability since you are seeking relief, you seem ready to take the next step. The issue, then, is to muster the forces to let go. My recommendation is that you not convince yourself to do this, but cultivate your skill at letting go and let the process unfold more naturally.
To begin, imagine for a moment what it would be like to live to your fullest potential and in harmony with those you love, surrounded by beauty and at peace. Spend some time developing this image and the feelings associated with it. Though you may not see this state lasting too long, keep coming back to this image, get comfortable in that space. Now examine the attachments that are holding you back. Are there some attachments you can shed right now? If so, release them. Every time you have an opportunity, see if there is something else you can let go of. Along the way, keep returning to that image of integrity, peace and harmony. See how much lighter it makes you feel. If you find that something is holding you back, explore its origin. You might pick up a notebook and compose a story of your thoughts and experiences. Play back that story as a movie: find a way for the hero or heroine, you, to heal and return to wholeness. If you are having a hard time letting go, choosing for whatever reason to hold onto pain in one area, come back to it another time.  For now, do what you can and be kind and patient with yourself. 
It may help to know that one of the things we hold onto is the notion that we are something other than perfect. And, we might be better served if we let go of the faulty thought that change is impossible or out of reach. In fact, we do it all the time. What does not change so easily is what our ego holds onto most tightly–its assumed identity. In this instance, even using the word “fiancée” holds you back as it defines you by association with another. Let go of the word. See this as part of your personal growth and evolution, but nothing more.   Give your true self and your inner voice more credit for its independent value. 


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