The working title for my next official letter is “The Art of Saying Goodbye.” My plan is to share this letter with you next Sunday. I promise it will be worth the wait.
Until then, I want to share a short message with you. It involves a conversation I had with a friend this week. Our conversation was enlightening for both of us. It is about moving on, which is a topic we all can relate to. I hope you enjoy it.
I was sitting in my office this week when my phone buzzed. I got a message from an old friend who wanted some advice. She knew I had an advice column and she was wondering if I had insight on a situation she was going through. I said,
“Of course. What do you need help with?”
She was hurt and she wanted to know the best way to move on. She had recently broken up with someone and she was regretting having ever gotten into the relationship in the first place. She asked me,
“How do you move on without wanting to erase the past?”
As I sat in my chair, I started to think. I looked out my office window and I started to reminiscence about my own past. There are certainly moments I also regret — things I wish I could take back. However, I have learned that wanting to change the past does us no good. What has happened has happened. There is no going back nor should we want to. Our past shapes us. It turns us into wiser and stronger people than we were before. Our only ‘real’ choice is to move forward as best we can. Our only ‘real’ choice is to make something beautiful with what is left.
After thinking about her question, I responded and said,
“I am not sure there is a best way to move on. The best path is different for each of us. However, in my own life, I have found a lot of strength in remembering that there is a lesson behind everything.
Maybe this relationship was meant to teach you something about yourself. Maybe it was meant to teach you what you want and do not want. Maybe your heart needed to break so you could learn this lesson.
When I was in college, I went through a bad break-up too. I thought everything was great until one day I got a phone call and everything changed. I remember sitting in my dorm room afterwards with an empty feeling in my heart. When my roommate came home, he noticed something was wrong. I told him what had happened. He then put his hand on my shoulder and told me something his older brother had told him. He told me, ‘The next one is almost always better.’ For some reason, those words struck a chord with me and I have held them close to my heart ever since.
Sometimes things fall apart so better things can be born. Maybe — at this very moment — someone is writing something new in the ashes of your life.
Moving on is never easy. It might even be the hardest thing we ever do. However, no matter what happens, we must never forget that the sun will rise again. It always does.”
I wanted to share this story with you because I think a lot of us can relate to it, whether or not we are going through a break-up. The same principles apply in all aspects of our lives.
Sometimes we will make mistakes. Sometimes things will fall apart in ways we never expected. Sometimes we will lose people we thought would be ours forever. The pain might be too much right now, but eventually, our hearts will open again. They always do.
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