Sometimes a relationship ends and you never think of it again. Other relationships (both romantic and platonic) will stay with you your whole life. It’s normal for a profound relationship to occasionally cross your mind no matter how much time has passed. But when the past prevents you from enjoying the present, it needs to be addressed.
I was asked by a viewer to tackle this topic. I wouldn’t call myself an expert, but I have struggled with this issue and learned a few things in the process! Here are my top tips, (punctuated with tarot cards, of course).
The Lovers :: Intend to let go of the stress, not the relationship.
Think about what letting go means to you. To me, it means easing up. Releasing tension. Finding relief from repetitive, draining thoughts. Feeling gratitude and peace. Finding the grace to accept endings. Letting go does not mean forgetting or denying the lessons and beauty.
Unless the relationship was purely toxic, you don’t need to obliterate the entire experience in order to let go. The Lovers card shows a soul-level connection. You were shaped by this dynamic. Your learned, you grew!
When a relationship ends, let go of the stress but keep the silver lining.
Two of Swords :: Unscramble your thoughts and feelings.
Our first instinct is to try not to think about discomfort. The figure on this card holds the swords in front of her like a shield, and wears a blindfold. She is actively refusing to face her thoughts. This is a temporary fix, but if you don’t face your issue directly it will eventually wreak havoc.
I’m a big proponent of getting your thoughts and emotions out in an orderly fashion. Preferably, this means grabbing a pen (or opening a Word document) and writing. If writing really doesn’t resonate with you, talk to yourself.
Don’t censor. The point isn’t to write something elegant. The point is to let whatever comes up come up. Nothing is too petty, silly or irrelevant. Don’t judge yourself. Often just getting this muck into words will help you let go. Let it flow and get it ALL out. Do this as often as necessary.
Eight of Wands: Write an unsent letter.
In the picture on this card, the wands are in perpetual motion. They look as though they are heading somewhere, but they haven’t yet landed. You know that feeling when your stomach drops on a roller coaster? That’s how you feel when you don’t have closure to a relationship. This step will help you land the plane.
Write a letter that you will never send. Write as though you are speaking directly to the person from your past. Tell them what they meant to you, how they changed you. If necessary, tell them how they angered you, how they wronged you, how you wished things would have been different. Tell them about your intention to let go. Be honest and dig within yourself to get to your true feelings.
Remember, this isn’t a letter you will actually send. It is a symbolic act of release. It will help bring your psyche a sense of closure. The sensation of being ‘up in the air’ will start to resolve.
If your agony is fresh, you might need to write multiple unsent letters. I’ve had breakups so difficult that I needed to write day after day after day. Time helps, but soul-level connections transcend the clock. It’s normal if you find yourself writing an unsent letter to someone you knew years ago.
Death: Perform a closing ritual.
With the Lovers, we acknowledged that meaningful relationships will have a life-long effect. With Death, we acknowledge that in order for us to integrate the positive aspects, we need to let negativity die. Performing a ritual can help you find this final closure.
You can go any direction you want with this. You can get down with something elaborate, or keep it simple. Using an affirmation is a basic method. Say something like “I choose to release pain and stress. I choose to let go of all negativity and embrace transformation.” Repeat daily. This helps your brain switch gears and get on board with new thought patterns.
If you’re up for something bolder, the symbolism of fire is powerful. But don’t burn your house down! A sheet of paper is as crazy as I’d get. Burn the unsent letters from the previous step. Mindset is of the utmost importance here. Set an intention for the burning. You aren’t doing this to be hostile or to harbor ill will. You are doing this from a true desire for release, a true willingness to embrace endings.
Letting go of past relationships is an gnarly topic, and your path is yours alone. If you’d like personal, one-on-one guidance in this area, a tarot reading can give us the chance to explore your unique situation. I’d be happy to offer you guidance through a private reading.
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