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How to let go and move on

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How to let go and move on
November 09, 2018 Anniversary Wishes 3 comments

When it comes to relationships, moving on is pretty damn difficult, but letting go for good can be even harder. So how do you it, and what's the difference.

A lot of the problems people have come from unresolved pain and struggles. As more and more people hold on to grudges, hurts, and baggage from the past, we continue to create horribly abusive relationships. There’s nothing worse than judging others around you by the things that happened to you in your past.

Holding on to painful history has a way of blinding you to all the possibilities around you. This is why we have written these quotes about letting go. You might find this therapeutic even, because in these 34 quotes are wise thoughts that would help you accept change and grow.

Here’s a list of 34 Letting Go quotes:

#1: It’s time to let go when they stop looking at you, they stop seeing you and you just know they stopped caring.

#2: There’s nothing left for you in that space, so let go and move on.

#3: The way to let go is to embrace the memories and then turn to the future at the same time.

#4: The past is all that has kept you tied to unfulfilled promises and desires, so you might need to find new desires for the old ones to fade.

#5: It’s good to fight to keep them around because of the time and the love you shared but there’s a lot more loving in letting people go.

#6: For everything that has a beginning there’s always an ending, so when you see the finish line, don’t hold on stubbornly to the race. Simply let go.

#7: A breakup is not the end of the road, and the only way to heal from this is to let go of all those memories that keep your cheeks wet with tears.

#8: Don’t linger when you need to run.

#9: Letting go is the last stage of the heartbreak, and at this stage it stops being so tough to watch all the times you shared fading into the past.

#10: The best way to know how strong you have become after losing the best thing in your life is to see how well you are letting go of all the hurt and the pain.

#11: Not all things are meant to last forever and you always have known this so handle these moments gracefully by letting go without a struggle or drama.

#12: There’s always a time to be strong and to make every move to patch things up, but there’s also a time when you realize that the best way to love them is by letting them go.

#13: If you keep holding on to the things you lost, you might never find the things you need so you must be willing to let go even when it hurts you so much.

#14: Living in fear would keep you stuck, thinking the past could have been better and blinding you to the beautiful future ahead of you.

#15: The days grow long when love becomes a thing of the past and the person you once professed so much love for becomes a stranger. Still you must let them go and fix yourself.

#16: Dreams are the first to fade, as you begin to let go of all you shared. They will become a memory of a future you wished you had but there’s a new future lying just ahead.

#17: You don’t have to let go of who you were because the love ended, you simply have to let go of who you were not, because the future just opened up to unlimited possibilities.

#18: The beginning of your healing comes when you let out all the bitterness and pain, when you choose your peace over everything else and let them go.

#19: Most of us are too afraid to try new things because we are holding on to memories that have become nothing but ghosts of a life we once had. Courage comes from letting go and moving on.

#20: It’s like stepping out of the boat into the water with no floats. You suddenly feel all sorts of new feelings and notice new desire when you choose to let go of the past.

#21: Taking that leap from familiar ground is the one and most important step you need to make for growth to happen and it marks the beginning of something new so let go of the past.

#22: There’s no work in living in pain and regrets which you inflict on yourself. The real work is in choosing to move on, to say goodbye to the memories and letting go.

#23: Refuse to be distracted by the past when the future calls for your presence. It’s time to wake up into the new person and let go of the old.

#24: Ignite yourself, remain in motion and refuse to stay static or locked down in the past. Letting go always fuels motion and progress.

#25: Your greatest enemy at this point would be your fantasies about ideal circumstances, when you think there’s some happily ever after coming and refuse to let go.

#26: While love was perfect, it felt like an unending blend of hearts and affection but then it ends and suddenly demands that you let go of everything that made you feel beautiful.

#27: The attachment you feel to the past is perfectly normal, history is a powerful force that creates bonds that are not easily broken but times change and letting go is just a part of being human.

#28: No one is stronger than heartbreaks.

#29: You never expected the future to suddenly take on such a sad look so don’t be in a hurry to let go of all that seems familiar.

#30: You had a routine until they stopped loving you and now you feel like a foreigner in your own life.

#31: This pain will remain until you finally allow yourself to let them go.

#32: The lingering thoughts of the past are there to make you weak and you alone can stop this from ruining your whole existence by letting go and releasing the pain.

#33: Like the wind, you cannot hold on to memories because they’ll slip through your fingers. Just let go.

#34: Find your peace, walk away from all that reminds you to be static and unchanging, grow!

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The only way to move forward is to leave the past behind. Brian Tracy explains how to let go and move on by forgiving four specific people.

How to let go

how to let go and move on

When it comes to relationships, moving on is pretty damn difficult, but letting go for good can be even harder. So how do you it, and what’s the difference between the two? Here are some pointers to help you figure out where your head and heart are at and what you can do about it:

Dating someone new.

Moving on means you figure that the only way to get over someone old is to get under someone new. You can refer to that as a rebound. Letting go means you’ve opened yourself up to someone new with no lingering feelings for your former flame. You’re finally free to love without limitations.

Mending the mistakes.

Moving on means accepting what happened, but still wishing that you could change it. You’re trying to remember all the bad in the relationship but for some reason the good overclouds it. Letting go means finally living without regret. You’ve fully recognized and accepted what was wrong with your relationship. You’re older, wiser, and finally feel like the mistakes taught you something.

Getting over the past. 

Moving on means you’re still pushing through it. You still feel hurt and anger when you’re reminded of your relationship. It’s a transition, and you’re still figuring out the process. Letting go means you’ve transitioned into your new life. The past is in the past and you’re finally over what happened. You’re not reminded of your breakup everyday, but on occasion if you are, the anger is gone.


Moving on means you haven’t reached this stage of moving forward just yet. You want to forgive only so that you forget, but the hurt and the anger is still there. Letting go means you’ve let go of your anger and forgiven him and yourself for the mistakes that you made. You may never fully forget them, but you’re not bitter.

Relationship stance. 

Moving on means you question whether relationships are really worth all of the pain. Should you even bother dating again? You may even convince yourself you’d be better off alone. Letting go means you don’t care about making your ex jealous. Your heart is ready for someone new. You realize that not all relationships are the same and the next one could be different, even if you remain a little cautious.

Keeping tabs on your ex. 

Moving on means you change his name in your phone to some sort of insult as a reminder not to text or call even when you’re drunk AF. You’re in a struggle of not wanting to see his posts because it hurts and needing to see it, because you can’t stand not knowing. Letting go means you have deleted, unfollowed, and maybe even blocked. He’s not in your life anymore so you don’t really care what’s going on with him.

Seeing your ex with someone new. 

Moving on means you feel angry and jealous. You’re probably hoping that she breaks his heart just like he broke yours. You’re stuck in a constant comparison of what she has that you don’t. Letting go means that when you hear about your ex’s new relationship it’s almost a shrug off the shoulder. He’s moving on and so have you. You know you’re better off apart, anyway.

Girl talk. 

Moving on means your girls know that you are ready to pack up your feelings and move on with your life, but the conversation is still very present. You talk about your ex and even still share your hurt and frustration on a regular basis. Letting go means your ex is no longer a topic of discussion. You don’t share and they don’t really ask, because there’s no need. Sure, he may come up from time to time, but only if you run into him or his gossip hits the grapevine.


Moving on means you return his stuff and throw out your personal reminders because you don’t want to remember him everywhere you look. It’s just too painful. Letting go means that every now and then, something triggers a memory, but you don’t feel pain anymore. It’s just something that once was; now it isn’t, and that’s OK.

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Kelsey Dykstra Kelsey Dykstra is a freelance writer based in Huntington Beach, CA. She has been blogging for over four years and writing her whole life. Originally from Michigan, this warm weather seeker relocated to the OC just last summer. She enjoys writing her own fictional pieces, reading a variety of young adult novels, binging on Netflix, and of course soaking up the sun.

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Letting Go Quotes: 89 Quotes about Letting Go and Moving On

how to let go and move on

Letting Go Quotes

Quotes tagged as "letting-go" Showing 1-30 of 952
“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”
― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

“If you want to forget something or someone, never hate it, or never hate him/her. Everything and everyone that you hate is engraved upon your heart; if you want to let go of something, if you want to forget, you cannot hate.”
― C. JoyBell C.

“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that's all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.”
― Stephen King, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption: A Story from Different Seasons

“Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.”
― Steve Maraboli

“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.”
― C. JoyBell C.

“Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward. If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
“If people refuse to look at you in a new light and they can only see you for what you were, only see you for the mistakes you've made, if they don't realize that you are not your mistakes, then they have to go.”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

“Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.”
― Steve Maraboli

“We can't be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don't have something better.”
― C. JoyBell C.

“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don't.”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

“There is no such thing as a "broken family." Family is family, and is not determined by marriage certificates, divorce papers, and adoption documents. Families are made in the heart. The only time family becomes null is when those ties in the heart are cut. If you cut those ties, those people are not your family. If you make those ties, those people are your family. And if you hate those ties, those people will still be your family because whatever you hate will always be with you.”
― C. JoyBell C.

“Time doesn’t heal emotional pain, you need to learn how to let go.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”
― Ann Landers

“A star falls from the sky and into your hands. Then it seeps through your veins and swims inside your blood and becomes every part of you. And then you have to put it back into the sky. And it's the most painful thing you'll ever have to do and that you've ever done. But what's yours is yours. Whether it’s up in the sky or here in your hands. And one day, it'll fall from the sky and hit you in the head real hard and that time, you won't have to put it back in the sky again.”
― C. JoyBell C.

“Once you realize you deserve a bright future, letting go of your dark past is the best choice you will ever make.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

“If you spend your time hoping someone will suffer the consequences for what they did to your heart, then you're allowing them to hurt you a second time in your mind.”
― Shannon L. Alder

“If you truly want to be respected by people you love, you must prove to them that you can survive without them.”
― Michael Bassey Johnson, The Infinity Sign

“There are times in life when people must know when not to let go. Balloons are designed to teach small children this.”
― Terry Pratchett

“Renew, release, let go. Yesterday’s gone. There’s nothing you can do to bring it back. You can’t “should’ve” done something. You can only DO something. Renew yourself. Release that attachment. Today is a new day!”
― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

“Sometimes it takes a heartbreak to shake us awake & help us see we are worth so much more than we're settling for.”
― Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

“Every woman that finally figured out her worth, has picked up her suitcases of pride and boarded a flight to freedom, which landed in the valley of change.”
― Shannon L. Alder

In order to move into and accept the new situation with grace, we must let go of the old one.Here are the tips on how to move on peacefully.

Learning to Let Go of Past Hurts: 5 Ways to Move On

how to let go and move on

“The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom you have in your heart.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Nine years ago my heart was in a million little pieces that formed the basis for a million regrets.

I had my first serious relationship in college, when all my insecurities came to a head. My ex-boyfriend had to juggle multiple roles, from therapist to cheerleader to babysitter.

The whole relationship revolved around holding me up. I realized this soon after it ended—that I’d spent three years expecting someone else to love me when I didn’t love myself. The guilt and shame kept me single for almost a decade.

I dated, but it was always casual. I’d start getting close to someone and then find a way to sabotage it.

Long after I let go of the man, feelings about the relationship held me back. I was afraid of being vulnerable. I was afraid of being hurt. But mostly I was afraid of hurting someone else again and having to live with that.

If you’ve been holding onto an old relationship, now is the perfect time to let go. Here’s how you can start moving on.

1. Practice releasing regrets.

When a relationship ends, it’s tempting to dwell on what you did wrong or what you could have done differently. This might seem productive—like you can somehow change things by rehashing it. You can’t. All dwelling does is cause you to suffer.

When you start revisiting the past in your head, pull yourself into the moment. Focus on the good things in your current situation: the friends who are there for you and the lessons you’ve learned that will help you with future relationships.

It might help to tell your friends to only let you vent for ten minutes at a time. That way you’re free to express your feelings, but not drown in them.

2. Work on forgiving yourself.

You might think you made the biggest mistake of your life and if only you didn’t do it, you wouldn’t be in pain right now. Don’t go down that road—there’s nothing good down there!

Instead, keep reminding yourself that you are human. You’re entitled to make mistakes; everyone does. And you will learn from them and use those lessons to improve your life.

Also, keep in mind: if you want to feel love again in the future, the first step is to prepare yourself to give and receive it. You can only do that if you feel love toward yourself. And that means forgiving yourself.

3. Don’t think about any time as lost.

If I looked at that unhealthy relationship or the following decade as time lost, I’d underestimate all the amazing things I did in that time. True, I was single throughout my twenties, but that made it easier to travel and devote myself to different passions.

If you’ve been clinging to the past for a while and now feel you’ve missed out, shift the focus to everything you’ve gained. Maybe you’ve built great friendships or made great progress in your career.

When you focus on the positive, it’s easier to move on because you’ll feel empowered and not victimized (by your ex, by yourself, or by time.) Whatever happened in the past, it prepared you for now—and now is full of opportunities for growth, peace, and happiness.

4. Remember the bad as well as the good.

Brain scientists suggest nearly 20 percent of us suffer from “complicated grief,” a persistent sense of longing for someone we lost with romanticized memories of the relationship. Scientists also suggest this is a biological occurrence—that the longing can have an addictive quality to it, actually rooted in our brain chemistry.

As a result, we tend to remember everything with reverie, as if it was all sunshine and roses. If your ex broke up with you, it may be even more tempting to imagine she or he was perfect and you weren’t.  In all reality, you both have strengths and weaknesses and you both made mistakes.

Remember them now. As I mentioned in the post 40 Ways to Let Go and Feel Less Pain, it’s easier to let go of a human than a hero.

5. Reconnect with who you are outside a relationship.

Unless you hop from relationship to relationship, odds are you lived a fulfilling single life before you got into this one. You were strong, satisfied, and happy, at least on the whole.

Remember that person now. Reconnect with any people or interests that may have received less attention while you were attached.

The strong, happy, passionate person you were attracted your ex. That person will get you through this loss and attract someone equally amazing in the future when the time is right. Not a sad, depressed, guilt-ridden person clutching to what once was. If you can’t remember who you are, get to know yourself now. What do you love about life?

6. Create separation.

Hope can be a terrible thing if it keeps you stuck in the past. It’s not easy to end all contact when you feel attached to someone. Breaking off the friendship might feel like ruining your chances at knowing love again.

It’s helped me to change my hopes to broader terms. So instead of wanting a specific person to re-enter your life, want love and happiness, whatever that may look like.

You will know love again. You won’t spend the rest of your life alone. In one way or another, you will meet all kinds of people and create all kinds of possibilities for relationships—if you forgive yourself, let go, and open yourself up, that is.

7. Let yourself feel.

Losing a relationship can feel like a mini-death, complete with a grieving process.

First, you’re shocked and in denial. You don’t believe it’s over and you hold out hope. Next, you feel hurt and guilty. You should have done things differently. If you did you wouldn’t be in this pain.

Then, you feel angry and maybe even start bargaining. It would be different if you gave it a second go. You wouldn’t be so insecure, defensive, or demanding. Then you might feel depressed and lonely as it hits you how much you’ve lost.

Eventually, you start accepting what happened and shift your focus from the past to the future.

You have to go through the feelings as they come, but you can help yourself get through them faster. For example, if you’re dwelling in guilt, make forgiving yourself a daily practice. Read books on it, meditate about it, or write about it in a journal.

8. Remember the benefits of moving on.

When you let go, you give yourself peace.

Everything about holding on is torturous. You regret, you feel ashamed and guilty, you rehash, you obsess—it’s all an exercise in suffering. The only way to feel peace is to quiet the thoughts that threaten it.

Letting go opens you up to new possibilities.

When you’re holding onto something, you’re less open to giving and receiving anything else.

If you had your arms wrapped around a huge bucket of water, you wouldn’t be able to give anything other than that bucket, or grab anything else that came your way. You might even struggle breathing because you’re clutching something so all-encompassing with so much effort.

You have to give to receive. Give love to get love, share joy to feel joy. It’s only possible if you’re open and receptive.

9. Recognize and replace fearful thoughts.

When you’re holding onto a relationship, it’s usually more about attachment than love. Love wants for the other person’s happiness. Fear wants to hold onto whatever appears to make you happy so you don’t have to feel the alternative.

You might not recognize these types of fearful thoughts because they become habitual. Some examples include: I’ll never feel loved again. I’ll always feel lonely. I am completely powerless.

Replace those thoughts with: All pain passes eventually. It will be easier if I help them pass by being mindful. I can’t always control what happens to me, but I can control how I respond to it.

10. Embrace impermanence.

Nothing in life lasts forever. Every experience and relationship eventually runs its course.

The best way to embrace impermanence is to translate it into action. Treat each day as a life unto itself. Appreciate the people in front of you as if it were their last day on earth. Find little things to gain in every moment instead of dwelling on what you lost.

When I feel like clinging to experiences and people, I remind myself the unknown can be a curse or an adventure. It’s up to me whether or not I’m strong and positive enough to see it as the latter.

It took me eight years to work through my feelings about relationships and letting go; but I am happy to report I am fifteen months into a healthy relationship, standing firmly on my own two feet. In fact, last night he flew from California to Boston, where I’ve been visiting for the last two weeks, to spend time with me and my family.

I don’t regret the time when I was single, but I know now I could have hurt less and created even more possibilities for myself if I put more effort into completely letting go. I hope you’ll make that choice.

Woman on the beach image via Shutterstock

Update: As you can see from the comment section, I have received many requests for advice, and I have done my best to offer guidance and support. However, I feel a responsibility to express that this post presents my own personal experiences and lessons. I am not an expert on relationships, and I hold no formal training in psychology or counseling. If you are in a physically or emotionally abusive or otherwise unhealthy relationship, I highly recommend you consult a qualified professional.

Update #2: Due to the high volume of requests for advice, on this and other posts, I may not be able to respond to your comment. However, you are more than welcome to share your experiences! Other readers may be able to offer their insights. Alternatively, you may want to join the Tiny Buddha forums to seek guidance and support from the community.

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Learn how to let go and move on with the help of these 5 powerful steps.

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