One of the best ways to get closure, psychologically and spiritually, is to perform some kind of sacred ritual. There’s just something about rituals that brings about a sense of healing. For me, they’ve always held some kind of amazing, transformative power I could never quite articulate the meaning of but always felt.
So if you’re ready to let go of the past and move on, I’d like to offer you a way to do a “Releasing Ceremony.”
The following exercise is adapted from a forgiveness ceremony created by Katherine Woodward-Thomas (one of my absolute favorite fellow relationship coaches). I did this exercise years ago when I was a having a difficult time letting go of a past relationship. Many of my clients have also expressed their gratitude at how helpful this simple, yet profound, activity has been for them as well. I think you’ll be pleased with the results.
*The things that your partners and exes could not provide for you become an opportunity to provide love, kindness, and generosity to yourself. As you release what you did not receive in the past, remember that you are making room in the present to give yourself these things.
Sit in a quiet, peaceful place. Then read the following script, really feeling in your body and mind that you are letting go of the past and embracing your newfound responsibility to yourself:
I, __________, release and forgive ____________________ for failing to __________________. I give up the negative emotions and thoughts related to this relationship. I give up failing to ____________ myself. I promise to do my absolute best to begin _________________ myself from now on and I claim ________________ as mine fully and completely.
Now, take at least one action today that provides for yourself that which was missing in your past relationship. If your ex didn’t appreciate you, do something today to honor and appreciate yourself. If your ex wouldn’t validate your feelings, find a way to validate your emotions. If you constantly yearned for your ex to bring your flowers, or let you just do your own thing, today is the day to do these things for yourself.