Are you holding onto those who have left?

I recently sent an old flame of 25 years, a birthday message. She didn’t know who I was. I understood I was no longer in her universe and I was not really surprised. I was a tad disappointed and I realised that in my head for the last 25 years I had still somehow been holding onto her.

A few years ago, I was in a codependent friendship. It seemed neither I nor my friend could exist without the other. When she had a breakdown, and left the country, deleting all her social media and email accounts. I was traumatised. There was a minimal contact after she had left apologising and explaining her state of mind. Still today when I walk past the street where she lived, I think of her.

I find myself having conversations with people in my mind, who I no longer have any contact with. Some of them just friends, some occasional lovers, some deep relationships. I still care about them, wonder how they are and yet even though some of them I have tried to contact, I have found the relationship, the friendship, or whatever you want to call well and truly dead. It has passed.

I have stayed in relationships, that were bad for me. I knew I was afraid that if I left I wouldn’t find anyone to fill the space. What I learned was that in the first case, certainly no one could fill the space in my life if it was occupied by someone. In the second case, it’s not anyone’s job to make me feel good about myself or fill in my spaces. That is my responsibility.

I am struck by how difficult we humans find grief difficult. It could be the grief of someone dying, or someone leaving. It’s not really something we talk about or teach ourselves about. We leave each other to figure it out when it happens. For many of us there is no more painful experience than the loss of someone dear to us.

This very week, I had two different female acquaintances tell me their relationships with their significant other were dead, yet they are still deeply involved, living and arguing and discussing together and I ask myself, with the benefit of my own hindsight, why they continue to hurt themselves so?

So my question today for you is are you moving forward with an open heart and mind? Or are you holding onto something that has died, that can serve you no good and is in the long term destructive.

There are some rituals which you can perform if you wish to let go of the past and move on. I encourage you to contact me and try them out.

Have a good week.


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  1. Interesting. I have been mulling over this very topic for the past week. Thinking of past relationships/friendships that have ‘fallen by the way side’ for one reason or another and wondering if it is my ego that’s holding me from reaching out, or if I need to simply let go of ‘mulling’ and ‘move on to new adventures’ as it were.

    Someone recently suggested that holding space for, or taking a few minutes to consider the situation can work as a means of moving stuck energy around a past relationship/friendship. I took a few minutes to do that – wrote a mock note, sent it off in my mind. It worked very well, actually. I’m feeling balanced again.

    Meanwhile, Spirit shared a great encouraging word likening this desire to rekindle conversation with those we have not connected with in a long while to ones attempts to fit the wrong piece into a puzzle – over and over and over. lol Kind of like bumping ones head against the wall. Not really all that useful over time.

    Intriguing that you’re thoughts have been similar to mine, from across the world.

    I trust you are well,
    Catherine ~

  2. Thank you for your article Colm. It is appropriate in its timing as I am going through a family/friend purge. Learning to take responsibility for my own life/thoghts/actions. Releasing what no longer serves me and finally saying Yes to myself.

  3. thank you Leslie, I know it’s not easy. Taking responsibility for oneself is absolutely a path to freedom. Congratulations. Please share your tips on how you managing to let go.

  4. Thank you for this beautiful message, I hope my next post will enlighten a little.

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