Small Life, Slow Life: Five Cool Rituals to Help You Let Go.

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Guess what? It’s time.

Have you ever noticed that when it comes to letting something go, we get all agitated and resistant? It’s like when people talk about having a gratitude practice or meditating — science has shown over and over that these practices absolutely increase happiness, and yet we’re totally resistant to them and get borderline annoyed by even talking about them.

Well, that’s stupid, and I need you to hear me when I say that it’s time to get over yourself and let some things go.

The following rituals are inconvenient. They require you to work. You’re going to have to sit down, take deep breaths, feel your pain, cry, and otherwise be uncomfortable. And you know what? It’s all totally worth it, and so are you. You are worth taking five to twenty minutes to do these things so that you can start to feel happier. Trust me.

Good? Okay, good.

So you know how I’m always saying in the comments of these posts that you just have to let it go to get it back. But you can’t BS your way through letting go, you actually have to really do it. And that’s the trick: if you’re strategizing about letting something go in the hopes that you’ll get it back, it won’t work. A boomerang works when you really throw it out there, not when you try to throw it to yourself.

I’ve tried a lot of exercises to let things go, whether releasing an ex-love or trying to let a situation that was causing me suffering dissipate. I’ve learned a few things that I’m excited to share with you, because this shit really works!

First, make sure you’re entering these rituals with the REAL intention of letting go. You’ll know you’re ready if you’re sick of yourself and your suffering/drama/story. When a sad thought comes up and you actually roll your eyes at yourself because you’re so tired of replaying the same mental loop, that’s a good time to try this stuff.

If you still have a huge interest in re-telling your story, convincing people that you’re right or that you’ve been victimized, then it is not yet the time for these. They will not work. You have to get to the point where you’re really ready to release some of your grip on the emotions that are keeping you suffering.

You can totally do this. I believe in you!

Ritual 1: Tell your story three times, and then ban yourself from telling it anymore.

This is a Navajo Forgiveness Ritual that I just think is so incredible. A little history: the wounded person would sit in the center of a circle, tell his or her story three times — in full detail. So all of the yucky parts, all of the sad parts, the whole windup, the crashing blow. The people in the circle listened without speaking and sent the speaker their deepest compassion. After the third time the story was told, the listeners would turn their backs on the speaker. Meaning, enough is enough — after three full times telling the story, you’ve re-lived it enough. Time to let go. (Here is a really cool link on this ritual if you want to read more!)

Why this works: Re-telling the story over and over can actually harm you by keeping you presently wrapped up in past pain. That being said, it IS important to tell your story to get it out of your system. Once you’ve been truly heard by your friends and loved ones, it’s time to stop telling the story. Ask a dear friend to listen to you tell your story three times and tell him/her that the intention is that after the third time you tell the story, you will choose to never tell it again. Make sure you pour allllllll of the details into your story, every detail from beginning to end, all the ways you were hurt…make it really juicy. Get it all out. And when you’re done, you’re done. This exercise is incredibly powerful.

Ritual 2: Burn that sh!t.

I’ve done this one several times and it’s especially helpful after breakups. Take an item that belonged to the person who hurt you — it can be anything (a shirt, a card written to you, or anything that’s flammable) and place it somewhere that it will not set fire to other things (safety first)! Hold the item in your hands for a long time and speak to the person who has hurt you with everything you’ve wanted to say but couldn’t. You can choose to say you’re releasing yourself from all the pain in your situation (and detail specifically what you are letting go of); you can say you’re forgiving this person for what was done to you and releasing all ties…whatever feels right to you. Then get your lighter and set that thing on fire, baby. Make sure you watch it burn until it’s done. This is SO healing and I’ve done it several times!

Why this works: Seeing something physically exist and then disappear is a pretty cool metaphor for the feelings you’re having — this is a great way to show yourself that your feelings of anger/hurt/loss CAN fade away. Also, there’s something really satisfying about watching something burn, especially if it’s something that belonged to the person who hurt you. WARNING: Well, I have two warnings. One is that you are old enough to know to be CAREFUL when burning something, because fire is dangerous, so don’t be an idiot. Have a fire extinguisher, water, or something to smother a flame with nearby if you’re doing this, and DUH, don’t do it on a windy day. The second warning is that sometimes this ritual can cause the person you’re thinking of to feel that something is up, I don’t know why. I burned C’s cards he’d given me, and after months of not hearing from him, he texted me THAT day. Often people can feel when you’re letting go of them, so don’t be surprised if they drop in on you after you’ve done this. (And don’t let that be a motive for doing it either, you weirdo!)

Ritual 3: Throwing stones.

Ever heard of a gratitude stone? Well, this is the opposite. Pick a stone up at the beginning of a week and carry it around with you for seven days. Every time you feel depressed, anxious, worried, or angry, place the stone in your hand and visualize transferring the feelings to the stone. See the depression and anxiety swirling in your body, through your arm, into your hand and leaving your fingers as it transfers into the stone. Practice this as many times as necessary and for as long each time as you need to. (I recommend at least one minute each time.) After seven days, go to the nearest body of water or hike somewhere far up. Place the stone in your hand and say, “This stone has taken my heavy burden from me. I now release my burden so that I may feel light and free again.” Then throw it. See your heavy feelings going with the stone, and choose to really believe that you’ve released the heaviest part of your burden. The remainder of your healing time will be considerably easier.

Why this works: People have long believed that rocks and stones can be charged with feelings. Utilizing visualization to place your pain outside of yourself and then transferring that pain physically away from you isn’t just symbolic, guys. Taking seven days to experience your pain fully when it’s overtaking you and then allowing yourself to release it is totally effective.

Ritual 4: Cut the cord.

I’ve read about this exercise in several books and successfully completed it, and it’s another visualization technique. At night, dim the lights in your room, sit on the floor or on the bed comfortably and close your eyes. If you don’t have a quiet space of your own, you can also do this in nature or your car! Breathe quietly for several minutes and once you’re very calm, bring someone who has hurt you into your mind’s eye. Immediately notice that how you’re feeling will change. Perhaps you’ll feel anxiety, or sadness, or anger when the person who hurt you shows up in your mind — that’s all okay. You’re energetically tied to this person because of the time and emotional wound you’ve shared. Envision this energetic connection as a cord tied to both of you. Some people see a rope, while others see a wire or thread tied tightly around each of you, connecting you together. Once you see your cord, speak to the person you’re tied to. You can say something like, “You really hurt me by _______________. Because of that, I am severing the connection between us.” Really take your time during this part and say everything you need to say. (HINT: It can be really powerful if you choose to forgive the person before you cut this cord. You may not be ready to, but I encourage you to repeat this exercise several times for as long as you need to until you are.) When you’re done speaking, visualize cutting the cord between you in your mind. When letting go of C, I imagined taking these giant, gleaming scissors and snipping the red cord that bound us. I could really feel my energy shift when I did this and I repeated the exercise any time I felt like I was bound to him again. You can use whatever imagery you want to sever your cord. I highly recommend you do this!

Why this works: Just because someone isn’t physically in your presence doesn’t mean you’re not still interacting…whether only in your mind, or energetically. If you’re curious about this, I highly recommend reading anything by Lynne McTaggart or checking out how physicists theorize that quantum entanglement can affect human beings. Seeing yourself cutting the ties that bind you can really allow you to take back your power.

Ritual 5: Sage.

So I’d heard about burning sage, but never actually tried it until recently. My energy was all blocked and yucky over something I was experiencing at work, and when I met with my girlfriends one night to do our yearly ritual of making vision boards, my friend Marianne said, “Ugh, your energy is all weird,” AND SHE LITERALLY PULLED SAGE OUT OF HER BAG AND BURNED IT ALL AROUND ME. (I wish I was making this up.) She’d recently burned sage to release — you guessed it — an ex who wouldn’t leave her be. The cool thing about sage is that it’s cheap and you can dip it in water when you’re done burning it and save it for when you need it again. You can use sage to clear any icky ju-ju out of your home or workplace, or you can swirl it around your body to clean up any bad feelings. As you’re burning it, you can say a mantra like, “I’m only allowing in love and light,” or, “I’m clearing out old energy to make room for what’s new.” WARNING: After sage burns, it kind of smells like, um, well, you’ve been smoking something, so if you live with other people, make sure you tell them you’re planning on burning sage and that you’re not smoking something herbal. 😉

Why this works: If you’re feeling lack of closure or like you’re stuck in a fog of bad vibes, burning sage can give you the push you need to let the bad feelings go and usher better feelings in.

Want more?

So those are five rituals that I recommend for letting things go, but this is by no means an exhaustive list. There are so many things you can do to help yourself let something go! Here are some of my favorites:

— Exercise daily and really see yourself gaining strength over your pain. I recommend this for ANYONE who has experienced any kind of deep wound. Transforming physically absolutely facilitates transforming emotionally.
— Write an unsent letter to the person who hurt you and say every.single.thing you wish you could have said. Read it aloud and then, you guessed it: BURN IT! (Never send it. OMG seriously, never send it. Even if it’s Pulitzer-worthy and the best thing ever written…do not ever send it!)
— Set a timer on your phone for five minutes and allow your pain to completely engulf you. Really see it descending out of storm clouds and completely taking you over. When the five minutes are done, open the door and see your pain leaving. Often we resist fully feeling our pain, which is why it lingers for so long. Allowing it to have full control for just five minutes will enable you to release it much more quickly.
— Give yourself one more week to talk about the situation. On the seventh day, let your loved ones know that you will no longer be speaking about what happened or saying the name(s) of anyone who hurt you. Get any last complaints/story-telling/feelings out by midnight. Ask them to hold you accountable. You will be surprised by how helpful it is to simply have the intention of letting something go.
— Meditate daily. Everyone resists this one, but it so helps. Try to get through 21 days of doing it with the intention of being healed every time you do so. Five minutes is enough, and try to work up to twenty. Meditating was so instrumental during my breakup with C.
— Close your eyes and have the conversation you wish you could have had with the person who did hurt you. Ask him/her why it happened the way that it did, and truly listen for the answers. This is SO effective and has been very helpful for me in the past. When you complete this exercise, see yourself hugging the person and apologizing for your part in what happened (because whether you want to admit it or not…you absolutely had a part in what happened). Really feel the hug and then wish the person well.
— This one comes from my #girlcrush Susanne Conrad — in your mind, go back in time to the moment of the hurt and allow THIS you to give the PAST you what was needed. What did that past you, who was being wounded so deeply, truly need? Was it a hug, or reassurance that it would be alright? Was it someone to advocate for you? Was it someone strong to usher people out of the room so you could be alone? Whatever it was that you needed then, envision this PRESENT you giving it to yourself. SO.FREAKING.POWERFUL!
— Change your language from “I need to let it go” or “I’m having trouble letting go” to simply, “I’m letting it go.” I just did this with my situation that had me bummed out. I felt better in twenty-four hours. I cannot emphasize ENOUGH the importance of the language you use. It is EVERYTHING.
— Delete anyone who has hurt you from your phone, Facebook, Instagram and anywhere else. It is so crucial when you’ve been hurt to take your power back and to eliminate any unexpected run-ins, whether physically or digitally, with that person. Don’t worry about what they’ll think of it — they know why you’re deleting them! If forgiveness occurs later, you can always re-add. Trust me!

Do you have any helpful rituals for letting things go that you’d like to share? Comment below and let me know — I’d love to hear them!

I wish you speed and healing in your quest to let it go. You can do it, I promise!

Photo credit: shutterstock

Photo credit: shutterstock

45 thoughts on “Small Life, Slow Life: Five Cool Rituals to Help You Let Go.

  1. Hi!
    I love reading your posts because it feels like I am talking to an older, more experienced me.
    Though my ex and I are talking again, I find myself really wrapped up in trying to speed things along and know that I need to let go of that attempt at control. Impatience is taking over so in order to let it go I am focusing on its opposite: gratitude! I’m currently working on a list of my ‘Top 100 Favourite Things About The Breakup’. It’s amazing to write out all the amazing things that a break up allows to come into your life… things that you can only really recognize in hindsight.
    I’m also going to give Susanne Conrad’s tool a go. I think it will be SO powerful!
    Thank you!! xx

    • What a sweet comment! I love your Top 100 Things list. I read The Power by Rhonda Byrne during my breakup and it contains many gratitude rituals within it, all of which are super effective! These days I would repeat the breakup all over again because the lessons it taught me are some of the most important things I’ve learned in my life.
      Keep being diligent and practicing gratitude and everything will transform right before your eyes. ❤️

  2. Dear Jen,

    I’ve tried meditation a few times, but it doesn”t seem to stick.
    Do you have any tips for how you do it? I just focus on my breath
    or repeat a word/sentence. But lately my mind is too ‘occupied’ so I can’t
    get it clear even with meditation.

    Thank you, have a nice night


    • Hi Laure! When I started meditating years ago, I listened to the guided ones from The Chopra Center. And know that having an occupied mind is very normal and as you extend your practice, it gets easier and easier to find moments of stillness. You just gotta keep at it. Even 10 minutes a day helps.

  3. Hi,
    I’ve reached my ‘snap’ and am finally at a place where I am realizing that my ex didn’t value me the way I deserved (he couldn’t see my worth and left when things were hard) and because of that I am attempting to let go. I believe in the LOA and have used it successfully in my life so I am stuck on to how to let go while not attracting more negativity into my life.
    My reasons for letting go are that he didn’t value me — so by focusing on the negative aspects of him and his inability to value me makes it easier to move on. BUT, I don’t want to attract more of that into my life.
    How did you balance it? Did you let yourself be mad at C and focus on the negatives because it made letting go easier?

    • Well…I would start by asking you, why do you think he didn’t value you? And it has nothing to do with how he treated you.

      If YOU didn’t value you, he sure as heck wasn’t going to value you.

      So instead of focusing on “He didn’t value me” as a way to push the pain away, focus instead on, “My work now consists of learning to value myself. Once I know I am valuable, others will treat me as though I am valuable.”

      So don’t even focus on him. Think of him as little as possible and only, only, only think of you.

      When C and I broke up, it was because I’d been thinking for a year and a half, “He’s never going to marry me.” So you know what? He didn’t.

      Once we were apart for some time, I began to realize that he had been a FOOL not to want to marry me. And you know what? When I realized that, he did too.


      Good luck!

  4. unbelieveable!

    I read your advices today and did the first step. telling the story 3 times and wishing my love the best and telling that I let her go and I burnt the letter that I have written to her with all the pains in it. I cried like a baby and after five minutes I was reliefed from all the pains that have tortured me all these three months.
    after half an hour my best friend sent me a lovely song that he made today and it was really nice emotional song helping me much more to relief all those pains.
    after another half an hour a girl that I already met at the university sent me a text for the first time after about two weeks 🙂
    I honestly gave up that she contacts me but she did.
    I wished my ex the best and said that I want her the best and I forgive her because all the bad things she has done to me.
    I wish I had found your blog much earlier but it is never too late.
    god bless you and your husbend and the love that exist between you two.


    • Hi Kolbeh!

      This makes me so happy to read!
      These rituals are very powerful and it brings me so much happiness to know they brought you some peace.
      Forgiveness is the most powerful tool of all and these rituals help you get there.
      You’re very brave to face your pain! This is the scariest part — facing your pain, learning to forgive, and letting go.
      I wish you all the peace and joy the world can bring you. ❤️
      So much love,

      • I had some question if you don’t mind to ask
        1- how long were you in relationship before breakup and how did it happen
        the breakup I mean
        2- the theory of letting go… where that comes from ?

        • Hey Kolbeh,

          We were together for a year and a half when we broke up. But that wasn’t the first time we’d been together. We’d known each other since high school and had several mis-starts that ended in breakups before that last time where it was really serious. I’ve written a lot about the breakup in comments to other people so if you’re more curious, you can read through those on some of the other posts — I think I’ve detailed every single thing about the breakup from start to finish. 🙂

          Letting go is the process of ending something so that it, or something entirely new, has a chance to begin again. The old relationship has to die so that a completely new one can begin. If you’re still holding on to an ex, they can feel it and they stay away. But if you’ve let go and moved on, you can meet on equal terms and begin again. I found this to be true on accident. I finally let go of C because it hurt me too much to keep holding on. Not even a week later, he came back. I thought about my past breakups (sadly, there have been a lot of bad breakups in my past) and I realized the same exact thing had happened every time. Whenever one person let go, the other person felt it. It almost always guaranteed at least a conversation where forgiveness could take place.

          But I don’t believe in letting go just as a tactic to get someone to come back. Letting go is a necessary process that is very hard for us, but it brings about peace, closure and forgiveness — something our world needs much more of. As I got older, I started to see references to letting go everywhere. It’s in books about breakups and grief…it’s even in the book The Secret (“Ask for what you want, let go of attachment to the outcome or how it will happen, and it will be yours.”)

          Rainer Maria Rilke is my favorite poet, and he beautifully said, “We need, in love, to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily; we do not need to learn it.”

      • how do you really mean by MOVING ON ?!
        cause I really thought a lot about my ex gf and sometimes they were really painful
        but now after all I learnt from you, the whole pain is gone and I just sometimes miss her and thats all and as I told you I met a new girl and I am going to date her tomorrow!
        being in a relationship is not really my priority at the time but I am just giving it a try with new 😀
        and by the way thanks for your nice wishes ❤

        • Moving on means exactly what you’re doing. Wishing them the best, understanding why you’re not together and being willing to try opening up to someone else. Missing them is okay. Thinking of them with good thoughts is okay. Being unable to stop thinking about them or refusing dates with other people is not okay. Make sense? 🙂

      • yeah I totally understood the meaning 😀

        but I still dont understand the situation that I was in but I accepted it !
        she said she likes me a lot but not in love with me :/
        and that was the whole statement she did to dump me 🙂
        oh there was the remained memories of her ex too, she was still really dealing with them.
        and the last time we met and as I asked her to give it another chance,
        she said : go live your life ! in a cold white face (any Ideas?)
        … about a week I could not forget the image of her face in my mind.
        I am really happy that I am over with the thoughts and 100 times thanks to you.


        • She 99% felt like she had all the power in your relationship which made her stop feeling attracted to you. Women often say that we want to be your everything, but that isn’t true. Once the infatuation fades, we won’t respect you if you’re too dependent on us. We want you to be masculine, to have your own life, to show us that you love us but not that you NEED us. We want you to generally have the upper hand. If we have the upper hand, we don’t like it. Whenever a woman says, “I’m just not in love with you,” she usually means, “You let me have too much power in our relationship.”

          “Go live your life” means “please move on.” She wants you to have some respect for yourself and to forget about her. At that point, nothing you could have said would have changed her mind. She made a decision about you and there was no going back.

      • Hi jen,

        you really named the exact point and made me to think alot again last night.

        social life of my ex and I was totally different.
        I am a student dealing hard with my life and she was a manager at her own company. so it means financialy we were in two big different levels.
        the important think is that she was really emotionally and physically sick and I did all I could to relief her pains and showing her the healthy daily life and instead of having appreciation she gave me the breakup!
        I did not have any expectations toward what I done for her, but she acted in many different ways that I could not understand in which position I am in her life. so then I was in really unhealthy position too and could not avoid it and I was weak after a while too.
        she was always the one who contacted first and asked to join her at home
        even when I treid to make distance as she wished for it !
        I always asked to do something togather and she minded that she is busy and has to do alots of works.
        we did not even try a really daily life. she was working I was working and studying and the last month togather she was most of the time in bed and I had to cure her like a nurse and it took all my energy.
        I know you think this was a sick relationship,and why did I stay?!!
        I was in Love with her, I was blind ! I made too many false hopes I think.
        I liked her alot and could not see how deconstructive she was to herself because of her past and her ex and was not seeing me as her present or future and was not even trying to explore my personality, she was deeply drowned in her past and it tortured me a lot.
        and now she has her power back and I am the sick one dealing with pressure behind him!
        It was unfair… and it broke my heart.
        but above all what I shared with you , I did forgive her after the ritual and I was reliefed … I felt free! and cried alot because of the good feelings after this freedom .
        I learned a lot from this person and what we had togather and last time we said goodbye I told her all these and I said how thankful I am although this did not work and I think she did not believe me :/
        I think I have a 0% chance to rekindle with this person.I am not even sure if she ever loved me or was just playing it because of her loneliness and needs just to be with a person who cares in her lonely times!!!!!
        but it is never too late.I am starting again and although I am still in love with her but I finally have the situation in control and wish to meet her one day in a healthy balanced positions.

        I would be really happy to hear from you if you have anything about it in mind!

        with love to you and C


        • I think for now you must continue moving forward like you are, because even in explaining how your relationship was to me, you were drawn back into it just now and felt those sad and powerless feelings. Don’t do that to yourself. If talking to someone about it is going to restart the pain, it’s irresponsible of you. Don’t talk about it if it’s going to harm you, only if it’s going to help you.

          I think you need to continue to work on forgiving her because there is still pain in your heart. (Very normal. I had to do the rituals to let go of C several times.)

          She passed her sickness and her pain onto you and before you can rekindle things with her or truly start with someone new, you must heal yourself of that sickness.

          It’s a hard lesson to learn that we can meet the weak person’s level in the relationship and become sick and lose our love. You must learn for next time that she does not get healthier by you becoming sick. You must always protect yourself first regardless of what she wanted.

      • Hello Jennifer,
        it is me again :/
        I really need some advice from you.
        I still sometimes go really deep in a phase that I miss my ex and feel how terrible about myself and all what went down.
        I need to know which practices and excercies did really help you after doing all these rituales that you mentioned above.
        for example I know that reviewing the story makes me more hurt and corrupt.I dont want my ex back… I want freedom, I want a clear mind and soul and that is it. :/
        I dont want to do the first ritual anymore but are there any excercise that it really helped after ?!!
        I would be really appreciated to have some of your advices. I can feel your pure spirituality through all what you have written and I am sure any advice from you can help me at its best.

        love and cheers

        • Hi Kolbeh,

          You need to keep repeating the “cut the cord” exercise. You’re still very fused to your ex.

          But more than that, you need to believe that you can be happy again, without her.

          There is a part of this situation that you’re refusing to accept. I don’t know what it is; only you know. But whatever it is, it’s causing you pain.

          It could be that you wish you could’ve done something different in your relationship with her, and you think that had you done that different thing, you wouldn’t have broken up. But that’s not really true, because she was already sick and broken, and no matter who you could’ve been for her, it would have ended the same way.

          There’s something you’re still holding onto. There’s something you’re clinging to that is causing you pain. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s the belief that once she feels better, she’ll call you. I don’t know — but whatever it is, you have to let it go.

          Sometimes hope is the most painful thing. It keeps us from moving on.

          Abandon your hope about her. Stop wishing you could’ve done something different. And look forward and realize that she’s not in your life, so there’s no need to feel more pain about her. She’s gone, you’re still alive, and it’s time to move forward. There’s nothing you can do about what happened back there with her. It’s done. Complete. Over.


    • Jen,

      you are right. I do sometimes wish I could I have done something different
      but I know that if I were someone else it could not be a good help too. cause as you said she was a heart broken girl dealing hardly with her past!
      it might help to be a little longer with her but at last was with the same result : “Breakup”
      I think the main reason is that I still wish if she would be healed and would call me again :/
      I will do what you told me, I see that you are totally right about my situation.
      sometimes I wish I could find your website much earlier.
      god bless you


      • You found it exactly when you were supposed to. Pain only arises when there’s something we’re resisting about reality. Pain lives in fantasy. Healing comes from accepting what is. I only know this stuff because I went through it too — all of the horrible pain, and then the healing too!

      • Hello Jennifer,

        I write you again to tell you that because all of your helps, I am doing much much better right now and I am really thankful about it.

        I don’t know in which post you mentioned “sending love technique”

        what is that? I googled it and got not really good text or videos about it.
        what do we really do with doing it and which methode did you take?!
        I am now really much interested in spiritual techniques!

        with love

        • Hi Kolbeh,

          It’s just reaching a meditative state and sending the person in your mind love, healing, and forgiveness. It can be very effective at easing the pain between the two of you. Make sure you’re doing it from a detached emotional state, however. If you still want your ex back or are feeling sad, it won’t usually work.

  5. Hiya Jen!

    I’m becoming a regular on here! I reread your stuff all the time and bounce from post to post when I need a lift.

    I have been doing all of these rituals to let go and have really really enjoy them (and LOVE the small of sage… surprisingly. I have a sage and sweetgrass stick and it smells divine.) Another thing I have been doing is having regular epsom salt baths, they are so good for highly sensitive people like me who need a little help in grounding and releasing the emotions of others. And have recently picked up a salt lamp to detox my room and also light pink candles and do all sorts of little things that reaffirm my love of self. Haha — I have been going all out and it feels WONDERFUL.

    Tomorrow I am going on a date! I resisted the idea at first because I don’t know if I am actually attracted to the guy. I am attracted to some of his qualities, but the sexual, want to jump his bones, kind of feeling is not there (yet). He is sweet and such a gentleman and after I hummed and hawwed for a while and made up a bunch of excuses why I couldn’t see him (lies!) sent a very cute text about how he knew I was busy but that he would just really love to see me. So, I said yes.

    I’m nervous because ‘first dates’ can be so awkward, especially after you’ve been use to someone for so long. I’m worried that his mannerisms will feel foreign and I’ll miss my ex. How did you prepare for yours after the breakup?

    • His mannerisms WILL feel foreign and you will miss your ex. So just be prepared for that! Know that it could be slightly awkward and that’ll take some of the stress off. 🙂 My first date post breakup was terrible! There was a wedding going on at the patio next door to the restaurant and I thought I was gonna cry the whole time. And then guess what? Our second date was amazing and I had written off that we had zero chemistry, but he kissed me for real on the second date and discovered that we DID have chemistry. So you never know! First dates are usually weird and you could end up with a great second date, you never know!

      I love that you’re doing the rituals and I love love love Epsom salt and salt crystals and the pink candles! I should do a part 2 to that post. I had a love altar in my room based on feng shui and had red and pink candles on it. Loved it.

      You won’t always be a regular here. You will heal and move on and not need this blog anymore. And I will miss you, but at the same time, I will be so happy for you. Because I don’t have to read all the stuff I read when I was broken-hearted anymore. But it helped so much while I was going through it!

      Let me know how your date goes! ❤️❤️❤️

      • My date was awesome! Of course I missed my ex but I challenged myself to instead think of the things I truly liked about the new guy and there are a lot 🙂 I don’t like the awkward tension of newness but I know that will pass just as it has with every other person I have dated.
        Also — synchronicity or coincidence — during the date we sat down at an outdoor bench and across the way (in the building next door) was my ex, looking out at us. I haven’t seen my ex in months and I was a little caught off guard… but then went back to enjoying myself and telling my date about energy healing and feng shui (haha).
        It’s strange the universe would put us in the same place at the same time in the huge city that I live in but the universe works in mysterious ways and it is just so not my concern to try and figure it out.
        Sending you love Jen! xo

        • Wow that is unbelievably weird that he was there and my gut tells me it DEFINITELY wasn’t a coincidence. Exes always get a weird sense of intuition when their partners are moving on and I have no doubt that he was guided to the place where he would see you tonight. Hmm, definitely so so interesting and I look forward to how this is going to play out! The plot is definitely thickening 🙂

          It’s all for you — there is tons of love you can receive and tap into. Life is a buffet and you are so lovable. So glad you enjoyed your date and continue to enjoy this unfolding stage of your life. Savor it!

      • Hi Jen — your gut was right! Today my ex has started contacting me about the silliest things… It feels like he is just trying to make conversation. The thing is, I had such an amazing night with the new guy last night and I cannot believe how much I have in common with him and how open and vulnerable he was with me. With that said, I have a soft spot for my ex and I was happy to receive his text.
        I’m going to sit in meditation and really feel this out. The LOA is real. And being willing to let go and taking responsibility for your happiness is the only way forward.

  6. Hi Jen.

    Beautiful post. I’m gonna sit and burn that sage tomorrow with the new guy I’m seeing. Haha. On a serious note, I closed the door on my ex – I couldn’t help but feel that he knew something of what was going on in my life through my profile pictures and common friends on fb even though I unfriended him – I felt the need to get over him completely, the need to eliminate the sense of being watched and I went ahead and blocked him on fb and any other possible social media. He was shocked 3 months ago when I had unfriended him (which was Weeks before he came up to me and apologized) and had written to me with an apology about how he’s ashamed of how he behaved with me and that he’s sorry. I forgave him and decided that closing the door on him is good for me. I don’t know if I even want him back.

    Thanks for helping me know that I need to reclaim my power

    • I’d unblock him. He doesn’t sound like a bad guy at all…just someone who got into a difficult situation that got really complicated. You also made it difficult for him to reach out to you by boxing his stuff and sending it back. It might take longer than you think for him to say something because you made it REALLY clear that it was over. I think he may have just needed some compassion. I don’t think you wasted the years. It sounds like you really loved each other. Hoping time heals the wounds for you!

      • Jen,

        Im so thankful for your blog. It has been very healing for me. You are amazing, really. I’m sorry to ask you to do this, but will you please delete my comment from your blog that posted in Let It Go? I’m afraid that it contains too much personal information and his stalking ex wife will run across it. You have no idea how weird and obsessive she can be. I think my post contains too much personally identifying info.

        Again, I’m very sorry to bother you with this, but it would make me feel better/safer. Thank you!

        Merry Christmas!


        Sent from my iPhone


  7. Jen,
    Before, I always thought letting go meant forgetting the sadness and being happy all the time. No one really ever told me that even when you have let go, it is still going to hurt sometimes. However, it’s a different kind of hurt than when you were still holding on. I always used to tell my close friends that I wasn’t over my ex when they would ask me about it because sometimes, it still hurts to think of him. However, the difference between then and now is that I’m no longer wanting him to come back, I’m no longer playing the horrible memories of what happened over and over again in my head and finally, I’m longer punishing myself for being weak and not good enough. When I do think of him, I’m sad for a little while, but then I move on from the sadness and I don’t let it consume me. Also, I used to worry that I wasn’t letting go “fast enough.” Remember, there’s no timeline on when you need to heal. For you, Jen, it took a good 4 months and for me, it took almost 9. Also, I don’t think that letting go is a one and done deal. For me, letting go is an ongoing process. Just like I chose to let go, I choose, everyday, to keep letting go and to take care of myself.

    For anyone reading this, please know that letting go doesn’t mean that you’ll never be sad about the person/situation. For me, letting go means being able to move on from the sadness when you do feel it. It’s important to let yourself feel your emotions, but it’s equally as important to not let them consume you. When you let you, it’s probably going to still hurt sometimes and that’s perfectly ok. Take the time to heal and really make an effort to focus on yourself. It’s going to be ok. I promise 🙂

  8. How do you let go when you feel responsible for the relationship ending (and partner placed a lot of blame on your shoulders)? Is it possible to let go if you feel like you “blew it” with the love of your life?

  9. I know this whole blog is already an oasis of resources.

    I’ve worked really hard over the past six months to take care of myself and to heal. I want to work on being the best version of myself for my own happiness and for the sake of my next relationship. 98% of the time I am doing well. I bumped into pictures of my ex on social media through a mutual friend. My anxiety sort of skyrocketed. I think in the back of my mind, I am hopeful that I will be contacted and receive an apology. I’m struggling to let this last little bit go.

    After knowing one another for ten years, I hate the idea of our “story” ending the way it did. He overlapped our relationship with his next relationship. It’s really hard to know he is with this girl now.

    Do you have any advice or words of wisdom or comfort to help me through this difficult moment? Do I keep living as I am and trust time to continue to do it’s work?

    • What if you wrote out your own ending to this story?

      Write about the protagonist (you), and what happens to her in the five years AFTER the breakup.

      Describe the hell she goes through in the six months post breakup, doing all she can to take care of herself with the knowledge that her ex left for his new flame. And then write about all the ways she overcame that.

      Our brains don’t know the difference between something we’re imagining and something we’re actually experiencing. Try imagining the person you’ll be when you’re over it. Take a walk in her shoes. What’s she up to? What friends does she spend time with? Does she go to the farmer’s market on Saturday mornings, does she have girls night with friends, does she spend every Sunday reading a book in a coffee shop? Create her from scratch and then step into her life.

    • Thank you for this.

      I was having a difficult day, and when I end up feeling like that, I think to myself, “why am I still not over this?” Then I got through it and felt better again. And I realized that I felt even better than I had before the bad day. Time and effort are continuing to heal me.

      With your recommendation, I have spent time thinking about where I’ll be. I wrote a vignette imagining what my life may look like in five years. I will probably use this exercise and write everything out as you suggested. Life has just been so hectic — wonderful, but hectic– lots to do at work, a move, and a vacation. Not small or slow, but I’ll get there!

      Truly, I’m grateful for the past six months. The ways that I’ve grown and the things that I have learned have helped me enjoy life better, and I think I’m much better prepared for love the next time it comes around. I’ve learned to think positively and envision what I want, which leads me to make the choices and build the habits that make those visions a reality.

      “Things evolve into other things. Emotions do the same. Forever. Your best ally in all of these shifting seas is your faith in the fact that you are exactly where you are supposed to be.” – Sara Bareilles

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