The majority of us have clothes in our closet that we no longer wear. In fact, some of us may not have worn the clothes in years.  It could be for a variety of reasons. 1)  We may not want to admit it but over the years we have found that our clothes just don’t fit us the same. In some cases, the clothes may be too little for us.  Or as I like to say—my clothes seem to have shrunken over the years, but I will get back into them soon J.   2) The clothes may no longer be fashionable. That outfit was very popular years ago, but it’s outdated now, and it may not be appropriate for our evolution over the years. Yet, we hold on to them because we have convinced ourselves that the style will inevitably be fashionable again.  3) We may have switched jobs and those clothes just don’t complement our new position or role. There’s a noticeable disconnect.   While we have no desire to go back to our previous job or the clothes, we just can’t seem to let them go.  In all three  instances, we know that we have not worn the clothes in a long time and we really don’t have a desire to wear the clothes anymore. So the question is—what is the value of keeping the clothes? Potential answers may be “well I paid a lot for these clothes” or “this is my favorite outfit” or “it makes me feel good.” These are all valid responses but again—what is the value of keeping the clothes?   

This question directly aligns to how we approach life. It speaks to who and what we allow and accept.  There may be some people that no longer serve you. For whatever reason, you may have grown apart. You may feel like you are not getting anything out of the relationship.  You may feel that these individuals take your kindness for weakness. It may be a toxic relationship. So the question is—what is the value of keeping the relationship?  Some of the same responses provided earlier may apply here but I will ask again—what is the value of keeping the relationship?  Releasing a person who doesn’t lift you up can be heartbreaking because you still love them—your feelings have not changed. There is nothing wrong with wishing someone well when you know their purpose in your life has ended.

Here are a few tips that have helped me release unhealthy that may be useful to you.

  • Express your feelings either to the person directly or in a letter – share what it is about the relationship that is draining you.  The letter can be as long as you want.  It helps to write your thoughts on paper.  If you prefer to meet or talk to the person about your feelings—it’s still helpful to write it down on paper prior to speaking to them. 
  • Describe the types of relationships that uplift you – what are the characteristics of relationships that uplift you?  Write them down so you can visually see the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy relationship. 
  • Fill the empty void—now you have the perfect opportunity to spend time doing something that you love doing so start now. 
  • Take the time you need—It’s always difficult to let go of relationships. You will miss the person. You will miss the activities you did together.  You will miss being in their presence even if it did not always feel good.
  • Cry—you are grieving the “loss” of a relationship so it’s okay to cry.      

Have you ever been in an unhealthy relationship?   If so, what steps did you take to release the relationship?