The truth is that you can’t teach yourself how to stop loving someone. But, you can learn ways to cope with the loss of someone you love. Here’s a brief explanation of why it’s hard to let go, plus a few ideas for releasing your grip on the past.
When I wrote 75 Ways to Let Go of Someone You Love, I was dealing with a family estrangement that broke my heart. It still does – my sister decided to stop talking to me eight years ago. I will never learn how to stop loving her, but I have learned how to let her go. The difference is huge! Learning how to stop loving someone is unnatural and goes against our natural drives; learning how to let go of someone you love is about finding freedom and acceptance.
Are you feeling crushed, alone, and sad? Hang on. It will get better, and you WILL be happy again! When you get into a valley and everything is going against you, never give up. Keep moving forward, and remember that you can learn how to stop feeling hurt and stuck in the past. Below are several ideas for coping with the loss of someone you love (but not how to stop loving someone).
What advice have you already received about how to stop loving someone? Before you read my tips, take a moment to think about what you already know. Tell me – I welcome your big and little thoughts in the comments section below.
Why we can’t learn how to stop loving someone
Earlier today I wrote an article about yoga and the grieving process. In my research I learned that when we are attached to people, our identity gets wrapped up in them. I’m attached to my sister, and part of my identity is as a sister. When she decided to cut me out of her life, she had a direct effect on my self-identity.
That’s why we can’t just learn how to stop loving someone: their presence in our lives says something about who we are. If we stopped loving them, we’d have to stop loving part of ourselves – or at least dramatically change how we think about who we are.
Have you ever been able to teach yourself how to stop loving someone from your past? If so, please tell us how you did it. Maybe your strategy will work for me!
Practice letting go
Instead of focusing on how to stop loving someone, learn how to surrender to your life as it is right now.
“Letting go is a behavior we can practice each day, whatever the circumstances in our lives,” writes Melodie Beattie in More Language of Letting Go. “It’s a behavior that benefits relationships we want to work. It’s a helpful behavior in insane relationships, too. It’s a useful tool to use when we really want to bring something or someone into our lives, and in accomplishing our goals.”
Letting go takes the emotional charge and the drama out of things. Letting go of someone we love – even if we’re still in a relationship with them – restores us to a sense of balance, peace, and spiritual power.
Calmly let things be
Surrender. Accept. Stop searching for tips on how to stop loving someone. Instead of focusing on what you lost, try letting it be. Your loved one is gone, the relationship as it was is now over, and there is no going back.
Take my sister, for example. When I think of our estrangement, I tell myself that she is making choices in her life that she needs to make. I can’t control her, but I can change my thoughts about her. I learned how to stop crying about her absence in my my life. I send her a message on Facebook every Christmas, telling her that I am here if she ever wants to reconnect. I send her blessings and love, and I wish her all good things in her life.
I don’t know how to stop loving someone I’ve known all my life…but I do know how to surrender to my life as it is.
My favorite way to practice letting go is in when I’m in traffic!
When I’m stuck in a bad traffic jam, I tend to get angry and frustrated. Instead of feeding those feelings, I practice accepting the traffic for what it is. I look around at all the cars, and realize that these people are feeling as frustrated and angry as me. Or maybe they’re not! Maybe they’re not fighting what is…maybe they’re surrendering to their life as it is right now.
When I surrender, I feel calm. When I turn my attention to God and accept His presence in my life, I feel peace. When I trust that He is working all things together for the good of everyone concerned, I relax. When I receive His love, grace, and freedom, I feel light-hearted and joyful!
Let go. Be still. Take a deep breath, and surrender to your life. Know God loves you, and only wants good things for you.
Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what could be.
A question for you
Is it possible to learn how to stop loving someone? Tell me below. While I can’t offer advice, I do read every comment.
I encourage you to respond to other readers’ comments if you feel led, and to share your experience of emotionally detaching from someone you care about. Writing often brings clarity and insight, and can help you process your feelings.
My next ebook is about blossoming after a breakup. Make sure you sign up below for my weekly email to stay in touch and get new blog posts.