5 Reasons to Move On

01/01/2018 10:00 am ET
Karen Naumann

Have you ever felt like you know someone or something is bad for you but you still can’t let go or forget?

Have you ever loved somebody so much that it physically hurt? Do you know the feeling of physical pain after you heard something about a person you loved, a feeling like somebody just punched you in your stomach and it makes you want to throw up?

If you have experienced at least one of those scenarios then, congratulations, you have been in love. The concept of love is quite simple but so powerful. It can heal illnesses, or make you the happiest and friendliest person in the world; however, it can also tear you apart and make you feel miserable. A break up can be just as traumatic as a serious accident or even death of a friend or family member, so taking care of yourself is crucial.

The good news is that your mind is an incredibly powerful part of you that only you have control over. Thus, no matter what heartaches, struggles, or challenges you face, it’s all about how you look at and deal with them. Just a positive outlook and attitude is a big help, often even a life saver.

We all know that there are some people that just get under our skin and stay there. However, it is up to you to decide if they deserve to rule your future thoughts and actions. Remember, they can stay in your heart, but that doesn’t mean they need to stay in your life, and that’s when the concept of moving on becomes so vital.

Here are five reasons why it’s better to move on:

1. It allows you to free yourself

Imagine yourself wearing tons of layers of clothes that are very heavy and dragging you down. Each layer represents an experience from your past that you still haven’t faced and confronted, therefore they are internalized and holding yourself back from a better future. It’s like you put just another layer on your shoulders that prevents you from being able to see, hear, and feel the real “weather” and beauty out there called your life.

Letting go and taking off most of those clothes will set you free and allow you to rise to your greatest potential, as well as to pursue your dreams step by step, layer by layer.

2. It allows you to stop being masochistic and sets the stage for change

Look at patterns in your past relationships with others and your behavior towards them. Do you feel like everyone in your life has hurt you or let you down at one point or another so you don’t see any reason why you should even try and let someone in again? Frankly, I just disclosed my own “old-self” thinking. Yes, it helped me tremendously to save myself from new disappointments, but it also made me lonely, and prevented me from the wonderful experience of making mistakes, growing from it, and actually living my life.

We as human beings tend to over-generalize situations and experiences, projecting one negative experience with (for example) one man to all men. It’s such a self-limiting and, excuse me, ignorant way of having a justification to stay in your situation and play the role of the victim, which punishes no one more than yourself.

So, break out of your pattern, surprise yourself, try again, and embrace change as a chance to start a new life as a new, improved self.

3. It allows you to heal

Imagine a Band Aid in front of you. What is the first word that comes to mind? Pain and wound, or heal and care? Now continue to use your imagination. Let’s say this Band Aid is needed for you to heal. Do you put a Band Aid on an injury before you washed and cleaned it out? Probably not. It is just the same with the process of moving on. In order to heal emotional pain, you need to face and deal with the painful experience just like allowing yourself to grieve after a loss of a loved one.

Unless you have let yourself feel the pain, confronted your “ghost”, and grieved – instead of avoiding and repressing the trauma you’ve been through – you won’t be able to fully heal and move on. Remember that “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

4. It allows you to grow

As Pema Chodron put it:

“Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.”

Remind yourself that your past experiences are what made you the person you are today. Your past was important because it taught you lessons that no one could ever teach you. Try to see people and experiences of your past as teachers that allow you to understand yourself even better than before. Moving on will “force” you to do two things: re-think your old thinking patterns (self-reflection), and change your behavior accordingly.

For example, if somebody deceived you, imagine this as a way of knowing that you deserve better and that you won’t allow someone to treat you like this again. It sounds so simple and easy, but this realization and standing up for yourself actually requires time and patience, as well as a lot of strength and focus, and will put you through some “growing pains.”

5. It allows you to be present

Don’t get caught up in your role of the victim. Yes, maybe you’ve been mistreated, have been through a lot of heartache, been left out, ignored or whatever it was that hurt you immensely. Now be truly honest and ask yourself: How is staying in this pain helping you? Does it get you anywhere? Do you feel better or any improvement in your life in that way? Your answer is probably no. It most likely prevents you from being happy again.

Oh I know, forgiveness is huge, forgiveness is hard. However, forgiveness also helps you to heal and be free again, which also allows you to live in the present moment. And believe me, the here and now is much more rewarding and exciting than the past. So, don’t give others the power to punish you by their mistakes.

As Buddha said:

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

Life is too precious. Take heart and move on.

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