Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Saying Goodbye to Hopes and Dreams

Marriage certificate, 1907We never wanted the relationship to end. We saw the two of us growing old together and sharing retirement. What we are feeling is the loss of our dreams.

We all have dreams when we commit our lives to our partner. When it doesn't work out the way we thought it might we have to face the loss of our partner, but also the loss of all the hopes and dreams we had for the relationship. Sometimes that is the hardest part. We may come to feel indifferent toward the person who hurt us so badly over time as we heal. But the loss of our hopes and dreams can feel as bad or worse than the loss of our partner.

We can help ourselves heal by creating new hopes and dreams for our lives and letting go of the old ones. The more detailed our new hopes and dreams are and the more committed we are to them the better we will feel. We take the time to write them down and put them up in a place where we can see them everyday. Maybe on the bathroom mirror in crayon, or on the front of the fridge with a magnet. Anyplace will do.

It can also help to write a letter to our Higher Power detailing why we feel so badly and how much the loss of our hopes and dreams has hurt. We delineate in as much detail as possible what those hopes and dreams were, then take the letter, shred it, and put in into our special "God Box".

Our "God Box" is the place where we let go of old hurts. It sounds corny, but the act of doing the exercise makes this part of self care work. We take a box, dress it up to suit our fancy and make certain it has a cover that fits. We can use a fancy vase, an old tobacco jar or anything we like. Just pick something that has meaning to us.

We take our shredded letter and place it gently in the box. We ask our Higher Power to take the burden of our loss from us, give thanks in gratefulness that it is done and replace the cover. Then we let it go.

We practice this tool as often as we need. We can use our "God Box" to let go of anything or anyone we feel we are trying to control or are having trouble just leaving behind. We can use it for hope and renewal whenever we feel we are at the end of our rope. We use it to learn to let go. In doing so we give ourselves the gift of peace.
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