Letting Go A Journey Towards Acceptance

Letting Go: A Journey Towards Acceptance

In my book “Venturing Forth,” I delved into the story of “Stephan,” (of course, the name has been changed due to privacy), an invisible presence who cast a shadow over my life and marriage for fifteen years. His significance lay not in the relationship we never had, but in the profound impact he had on my emotional landscape. While my book explored the trauma and turmoil caused by his lingering presence, I neglected to share how I eventually found peace and closure.

Letting go of something or someone who has deeply affected us is a universal experience, but how we choose to handle it varies greatly. Some may opt to bury their feelings in a metaphorical drawer, pretending to move on while the pain quietly festers beneath the surface. Others, confront the issue head-on, acknowledging the hurt and actively seeking actively seeking peace to move forward.

When faced with a trauma that lingers for over a decade, the journey to healing is anything but easy. It requires courage, self-awareness, and a willingness to dive into the depths of our emotions. While each person’s path to healing may differ, here are some tips that I’ve found helpful in my own journey:

Step 1: Practice Presence

The first step in my journey towards letting go was learning to be present in the moment. It wasn’t easy. It felt like diving into a sea of emotions I had long ignored. To navigate this stormy inner world, I turned to visualization meditation.

In the quiet of my mind, I faced my feelings head-on. It was like standing in the middle of a thunderstorm, feeling every drop of rain, every gust of wind. But instead of running for cover, I stayed put. I let the waves of sadness, anger, and regret wash over me, acknowledging their presence without judgment.

Yet, along with this newfound awareness came discomfort. Nights became restless as dreams of past events invaded my sleep. I found myself tossing and turning, unable to escape the memories that haunted me. Sleep, once my refuge, now felt like a battleground where my subconscious fought against my efforts to heal.

But in those sleepless nights, I found clarity. Each restless moment was a chance to confront my inner demons, to unravel the tangled threads of my past. Through the darkness, I discovered the light of self-awareness, guiding me towards understanding and acceptance.

Though the journey was rocky, I pressed on. With each passing night, I embraced the discomfort as a sign of progress. And in the quiet moments of the night, amidst the turmoil of my dreams, I found solace in knowing that I was one step closer to freedom from the past.

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Step 2: Identify the Role of the Mind

As I delved deeper into my journey of letting go, I began to recognize the powerful influence of my own thoughts on my emotional state. It became clear to me that much of my suffering stemmed from the stories my mind had woven around Stephan and our unresolved connection.

In hindsight, I realized that I had allowed my mind to construct elaborate narratives filled with “what ifs” and regrets. I questioned why I hadn’t spoken up 15 years ago when I had the chance. Why had I chosen to remain committed to a relationship that no longer served me, rather than being honest with myself about my true feelings?

These thoughts, fueled by wishful thinking and self-doubt, had kept me tethered to the past, preventing me from fully embracing the present. I fixated on the idea that if only I could have another conversation with Stephan, everything would fall into place. But deep down, I knew that clinging to these fantasies only perpetuated my pain and kept me trapped in a cycle of longing and regret.

Understanding the role of my thoughts was a pivotal moment in my journey towards healing. It allowed me to disentangle myself from their grip and see reality more clearly. I began to challenge the validity of my beliefs, questioning the stories I had constructed and the assumptions I had made about myself and my relationship with Stephan.

Through this process of introspection and self-reflection, I gained a newfound sense of clarity and perspective. I realized that I couldn’t change the past or control the actions of others, but I could choose how I responded to my circumstances. By letting go of the need to control or manipulate the outcome, I freed myself from the shackles of my own mind and opened myself up to the possibility of healing and transformation.

Step 3: Acceptance

Acceptance marked a turning point in my journey toward healing. It was not an overnight transformation but rather a gradual shift in perspective that unfolded over time. As I confronted the pain of Stephan’s sudden disappearance, I began to recognize the pattern of abandonment that had triggered my deepest wounds.

In moments of introspection, I found myself asking a simple yet profound question: What advice would I offer to my own daughter if she were in a similar situation? The answer was clear: I would encourage her to let go, to refuse to allow anyone to mistreat her or undermine her worth.

Regarding the notion of needing closure through another conversation with Stephan, I shifted my self-talk to recognize it as wishful thinking. I came to understand that closure resides within us; the power lies within us. It doesn’t necessitate having that conversation. Moreover, I realized that the damage to my marriage wasn’t solely due to Stephan or my ex-exhusband’s actions, but primarily because of how I handled it. I took full responsibility for my consequences and closure.

With this realization, I embraced acceptance as a guiding principle in my healing process. I acknowledged the past for what it was, releasing myself from the burden of regret and resentment. I recognized that I couldn’t change the past or control Stephan’s actions, but I could control how I chose to respond.

By relinquishing the need to seek closure or validation from external sources, I reclaimed my power and agency. I focused instead on nurturing my own well-being and fostering a sense of inner peace. Through acceptance, I found liberation from the chains of my past, opening myself up to the possibility of a brighter future filled with hope and possibility.

Letting Go A Journey Towards Acceptance

Step 4: Letting Go

To truly let go, I shifted my focus away from ruminating on the past and redirected my attention to the present. As my mindset began to shift and I started managing my pain, I found the beauty of the present moment. Engaging with my surroundings mindfully, particularly the healing power of nature, became an integral part of my healing journey. I learned to pay attention to the flowers, to the trees, to the surrounding sounds, and also came to awareness that these are the things fully present in front of me, with only less than 1 cm in distance. They are all in peace!

Being present also meant focusing on building the life I wanted to live, writing the story I wanted to write. It meant cherishing moments with friends and family, and practicing gratitude for all that I had. By shifting my focus to gratitude and embracing the richness of the present, I found myself more deeply connected to the life I was creating and the possibilities that lay ahead.

Within the process of letting go, I reached a profound realization: whatever has transpired, has. What truly matters is what lies before me in the present moment, not dwelling on past regrets or indulging in wishful thinking about the future. I’ve come to a place of acceptance, where I find peace in knowing that whatever life Stephan is living now, it’s his own journey, and I genuinely wish him happiness and fulfillment.

I’ve also reached a place of self-forgiveness, forgiving myself for the choices I made, forgiving Stephan for his sudden disappearance—I trust he had his reasons—and forgiving my ex-husband for his inability to let go of the specter of Stephan—he was in pain as well—, which ultimately damaged our marriage. Letting go of resentment and blame has freed me to embrace the present with open arms, to cultivate gratitude for the blessings in my life, and to move forward with a lighter heart and a renewed sense of purpose.

Step 5: Transforming Pain into Purpose

Rather than allowing my pain to consume me, I channeled it into a force for good. I discovered that by sharing my story and offering support to others grappling with similar experiences, I could find meaning and purpose in my journey. When we learn to handle pain in an appropriate way, it becomes a powerful energy that propels us forward toward positive change. I embraced the belief that challenges happen for us, not to us, and saw my experiences with Stephan as opportunities for growth, transformation, and acceptance.

While thoughts of Stephan may still cross my mind from time to time, I’ve learned to acknowledge them without judgment. I understand that dwelling on these thoughts excessively could interfere with my ability to be fully present in my current life and relationships. I’ve come to accept that feeling a connection to Stephan is natural, given the significance he once held in my life. However, I’ve also reached a point of understanding that I can only control what happens in the present moment, and there’s nothing I can do to change the past.

Instead of dwelling on what I cannot control, I choose to focus on what I can. I see my experiences with Stephan as valuable lessons that have shaped me into the person I am today. I prioritize my well-being and continue to honor the memories and experiences that have contributed to my growth. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my story, both in my book and with others, knowing that it has the potential to inspire and support those who may be going through similar challenges. By embracing my past with compassion and gratitude, I look forward to the journey ahead with optimism and resilience.

Related article: The Art of Letting Go of the Past

In addition to sharing my experiences with Stephan, my book Venturing Forth has uncovered other details about my journey after divorce, including some romantic relationships I had. It wasn’t about the length, but rather the quality of the stories I built. I learned to let go and embrace each of these stories in my own way, finding acceptance in managing my romantic relationships differently but authentically to who I am.

Furthermore, these experiences led me to become a certified life coach. I am here to empower individuals and guide them through transformational experiences. If you’re ready to embark on your own journey of growth and self-discovery, I invite you to book a discovery call with me today. Let’s explore the possibilities together and pave the way for a brighter future filled with purpose, fulfillment, and acceptance.

Recommend Reads

Venturing Forth

is an inspiring memoir by Hsin Chen, chronicling her courageous journey of self-discovery and transformation after divorce. With honesty and vulnerability, she shares her experiences of overcoming past traumas, navigating romantic relationships, and finding her path to empowerment. Through heartfelt storytelling and profound insights, this book offers readers valuable lessons in resilience, healing, and the pursuit of personal growth. Whether you’re facing your own challenges or seeking inspiration to embark on a new chapter in life, “Venturing Forth” is a must-read for anyone on a journey of self-discovery.

Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender

By David R. Hawkins, is a transformative guide to releasing past pain and embracing surrender. Learn practical techniques to let go of negative emotions and old patterns, and discover the art of navigating life’s challenges with grace. Whether seeking healing, emotional freedom, or a more fulfilling life, this book offers valuable tools for finding peace within.

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