We’ve heard the saying before – if you love something set it free – but not a lot of us can cope with doing it. So here’s how you can manage the pain.
We all have to sacrifice something in our lives. We have to give up something at some point, even if we love it. The phrase, “if you love something, set it free,” is usually heard when referring to a person that you’re in love with.
The reality of letting someone else go in order for them to find happiness goes against pretty much every instinct we have as humans. We tend to hold on to the things that grant us happiness and love because we don’t want to be miserable.
Putting someone else’s happiness above your own
Being able to look in the mirror and tell yourself that setting someone free is the right thing to do, no matter how much it hurts you, is not an easy thing to do. But sometimes, it is necessary in order for them to find happiness.
This is something that not a lot of people are capable of doing. It’s difficult to put someone else’s happiness above our own because we’ve always been taught to hold on to those that make us happy. But in order for someone else to find true happiness, sometimes this is a reality you have to live with.
If you love something set it free: 10 ways to cope with doing this
Although it will be hard, and you’ll go through periods of time when you wish you wouldn’t have let them go, it will get easier. You won’t always feel the hurt that sets in when you initially let them go.
The truth is that after some time, you’ll learn to be happy with your decision. Until that day, however, you’ll probably feel like absolute crap. This is how you can deal with those emotions and come out feeling better about making the right choice. [Read: If you love someone, you need to learn to let them go]
#1 Remember why you did it. People get so caught up in regretting their decision, and how miserable they feel about it, that they often forget why they made that choice in the first place. They beat themselves up. However, given the chance to do things over again, they actually wouldn’t change a thing.
Remembering why you set them free can help you come to terms with how much it sucks, and you’ll remember that you did it for a good reason. Never forget your reason for setting them free.
#2 Know that it was the right decision. Ultimately, you have to realize that the choice you made was the right one. If you truly loved them, and want them to find happiness *and know it couldn’t be with you*, then you had to set them free.
For example, if you’re with someone who wants to travel the world and find adventure, but you’re completely afraid of flying or going anywhere new – that’s not going to work. In order for them to live a happy life, you have to let them go so they can be who they really are. [Read: How to break up with someone you love and not hurt them]
#3 Find joy in their happiness. It’s so easy to get caught up in the pain that you’re feeling from letting go of something you truly love. But you can find joy in knowing that because of you, they are truly happy *or will be*.
If you remember that you’re the reason they’re finding so much happiness in life, you’ll find great joy yourself in that simple fact. You’ll be able to draw from their happiness in knowing that they wouldn’t be feeling that way if it wasn’t for you.
#4 Keep busy with your own life. The best way to handle this kind of situation is to just be busy. Don’t sit at home alone and wallow in your own self-pity. Get out there and have a life of your own.
Go to the movies, visit with friends, and get involved with new people and activities. Distancing yourself from any situation that may leave you feeling lonely and regretful will do wonders in helping you deal with this. [Read: How to move on from a breakup with a smile]
#5 Give yourself time to get over it. Most people get frustrated and even more upset about the fact that they can’t get over the pain right away. Don’t think like this. You have to realize that if you loved them, it will take a lot of time to move on.
You have to give yourself a certain amount of time to deal with it and go through the grieving process before you can start to feel better.
#6 Keep tabs on their accomplishments. You may think that it seems counterproductive to keep tabs on the person that you let go in order for them to be able to find their own happiness, but it’s actually very gratifying.
If you love them and had to set them free for their own good, seeing their successes can often help you feel justified in your decision. It will give you peace of mind knowing that you made the right choice. [Read: How to fall in love again]
#7 Don’t dwell on what could have been. Another thing that a lot of people do after setting something they love free to is dwell on what could have happened. They think so much about what “what ifs” that they don’t let themselves move on.
Don’t think about the future you could have had, focus on the future that you can make for yourself – and that they would want you to have. That mindset can help you handle the reality of letting someone go that you really love.
#8 Find something – or someone – to occupy your mind. There are so many ways you can distract yourself from how you’re feeling, and finding something new or someone new is one of the best.
If you get out there and try a new hobby or meet someone that excites you, your mind will be occupied, and you won’t even think about them anymore. If you find something that thrills you, and you’ll be able to deal with this a lot easier. [Read: Lessons you can learn from your own breakups]
#9 Get support from friends or family. If you’re having a really difficult time, talking about how you feel with close friends or family can help you feel a lot better. They can give you insight, and even talk about a time when they had to go through the same thing.
#10 Accept your decision and move forward with your life. The best way to handle the reality that comes with the phrase, “if you love something, set it free,” is to accept it as true.
This is something that can give your mind peace. If you choose to accept it and accept the fate that comes along with it, you’ll be able to handle it with grace and understanding. Things get difficult for those who fight their own choice and put themselves down about it. [Read: How to get over a broken heart]
The cold, hard truth that comes with the phrase, “if you love something set it free,” is that it’s a really difficult thing to do. However, if you do let them go and they come back to you, you know it’s meant to be.
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Bella is a lifestyle writer, cheese enthusiast (Wisconsin native over here) and fantasy adventure author-in-progress who enjoys all things love, dog, p...