Oh, so you put profound quotes as captions on all your pictures. Soooo brooding and deep. I’ve been hurt. You’ve been hurt. We have all suffered emotional pain. But are you still sulky and surly while rehashing it in your own mind over and over and…? I know. Someone did something wrong to you, maybe very wrong. But now you are nursing that wound and reliving that sore and sorrow, sabotaging any hope for your inner peace or happiness.

Let’s be brutally honest, sweet friends. You’re holding on tightly to that grudge now. Is it really necessary to review every sordid detail in your head of how awful he was, or how inconsiderately she behaved? Sure, you blame them. Maybe you even confronted them lovingly and shared your feelings. But perhaps they denied their wrongdoing. Good grief. Now you’re really fuming, with no resolution in sight. You have bite marks on your tongue from all the things you never said. But guess what? No amount of obsessing, worrying, or seething ever solved a problem or healed a relationship. So what can you do?

If you love a friend, let them go. If they come back with coffee, it was meant to be. But all joking aside, never underestimate the power of venting and sharing your pain, anger, or frustrations with a trusted friend. Explain your anger instead of just expressing it, and you may even surprise yourself with some solutions. Your loved one or an objective person can remind you that your pain does not have to become your identity.

When hurtful thoughts come back from the past, tell yourself gently: “That was then. This is now. Bring your focus back to the present. And yes, when it comes to ending relationships, your mind and heart will definitely be singing two different songs. Whom to listen to? If that person or thing is not really serving you on your journey in life, it may be time to let go. Some people can stay in your heart, but not in your life.

Fighting endless battles in your own head? The real battle begins when your mind starts thinking doughnuts and deadlifts at the same time. But truthfully, those negative thoughts come on like a tidal wave. Don’t resist them this time. Try agreeing with them. You heard me. Simply say to yourself: “Yes, that’s right. I can’t make up my mind about that right now.” “Yes, you’re right; I do feel jealous of people a lot of the time.” By accepting what you feel and think instead of arguing with yourself in your head, those thoughts won’t be able to get a grip on you or control you. Now you can gently seek the solution.

I understand. Letting go of the past means we must confront an unknown future, and yes, that can be scary. But if what is familiar and known right now is negative, we must find the courage to embrace what lies ahead, my friends. If you find yourself dwelling on how others “should” behave, or what shouldn’t have happened to you, remember that we have all sorts of expectations in this life. And speaking of “should,” there should be sympathy cards for having to go back to work after a vacation. Heh.

Try to be kind to yourself and visualize all your wounds and worries melting away. Don’t tell yourself that you simply “can’t let go.” Remind yourself that for some reason you won’t. Who or what is holding you back? If it’s a toxic person who hurt you, please do not glorify the past. It’s easy to be nostalgic, remembering the good and funny times. Switch your thoughts to the healthy reasons you need to leave or avoid this person. It may hurt to let go, but at times it hurts more to hold on. So which is it? We always have keepsakes and memories from the past. It’s the guilt, anger, disappointment, and regret that we need to release.

Things may seem confusing at times, but the only mystery in life is why the kamikaze pilots wore helmets. But seriously, sweet friends, life truly is a series of a thousand tiny miracles. How many of them do you notice?

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at facebook.com/pages/Safe-Haven-Healing.