The Best Healing Is Letting Go

I have never been particularly good at letting go.

I remember it all, especially those things that ache. In fact, I recall those wounds the most. Call it a negativity bias, mental illness, a cry for help, or all of the above, the point is that I hold on to things far longer than I probably should.

I treat forgetting as a betrayal. I cling to memories, no matter how painful, as if those hazy, crystallized images are a lifeline. I white-knuckle relationships long past their expiration dates, and I hold on to mistakes as if gripping their edges will save me from making them again.

I replay last words in my head over and over again. I refer to my past the way an engineer refers to her blueprints. I can’t rebuild if I don’t know where I’ve been, right? I can’t dodge hurt if I don’t see it coming, right?

But I’m coming to realize that living in this way isn’t preventing the aching. If anything, holding on and on and on to the past is only prolonging the hurt and keeping me from the present and creating a better future.

But mostly, hanging on is keeping me from the healing I deserve.

However, I’m finally beginning to realize that the best healing is sometimes just letting some things go. The best healing is moving forward despite the fact I didn’t handle something perfectly or that someone else couldn’t love me back. The best healing is accepting that I won’t always receive the apology I deserve or be able to give the one I have dancing on the tip of my tongue.

The best healing is letting go, and then continuing to live despite all of the wreckage, despite the fray, and despite the heartbreak. Because the alternative isn’t working. I might as well try and trust the free fall and see what happens.

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