I hear it all the time: I've moved on, I'm over it, It's old to me, etc. Have you found yourself saying these words, but not really feeling them? If so, today's post is for you. I've put together a spectrum to help understand what moving on really looks like.
Let's start at the beginning. The awful thing happened (divorce, break-up, job loss, change in parenting plan, etc.)
- You aren't really believing this is happening to you. It feels like a dream. You can't believe this is real and expect at any minute to wake up.
- You try to change it. You start to think that if you do something different, it will change the situation. In divorce situations, people may either try to work things out and get back together with their ex or they'll go the opposite way and start dating so that they're not feeling as lonely as they may be feeling. You feel deep sadness about this entire situation and do everything you can to avoid feeling that way.
- It sinks in and you know it's happening and you're pissed. You cannot believe your ex did this to you and vow to make his/her life awful forever. You're so angry because of the sadness you feel! How dare he/she do this! They will pay.
- After being tired of being angry, feeling tired of feeling sad, you start to see hope. Whether that light is so far in the distance that it's just a tiny dot or whether that light is really starting to shine everywhere, hope is there. You finally have hope that there is something or someone better than this and you're motivated to make it happen.
- Hope fuels the final step towards the end of the spectrum where you accept that this is part of your story, but not the entire story. You accept that you will feel angry or upset from time to time when you think about it, but that those feelings aren't dictating your day-to-day life anymore. You accept that there were lessons learned and, as you do, you step off the spectrum and back into life because you're actually....over it.
That's it. That's the spectrum from when this awful event happened to moving on. Does it look familiar? It should, as it's the stages of grief. Every one of us goes through them and it's not just due to a death in the family. For some people it takes longer than others, but there's no "right" amount of time for you to feel it. Other people remain in this tunnel, going back and forth and back and forth, taking their time to step out of it. Again, there's no "right" way through it. Take your time, it's a process.
Many people believe that they shouldn't feel negative feelings, but that's simply not true. Not only are they are normal part of life, they help make the happy feelings that much better. Accept that you feel them. Let the feelings come. Then move on past them. Give yourself a break, I'm giving you permission to feel them.
I want to hear from you. What does moving on look like to you? Comment below and tell us.