For you to move on, you have to first know whether you have moved on or not. Here are 12 signs to tell if you have not moved on:
1 When you think of the person more often than not.
2 When you think about him/her even though you don’t want to.
3 When you keep mentally reliving past memories with him/her, usually the happy/sweet ones.
4 When he/she comes to mind the first instant when you are down and out
5 When you still have question and resignations about the past. You wonder what could have been or why didn’t it turn out a certain way.
6 When you assign blame for the way things turned out, whether it’s to him/her, yourself or the circumtancce.
7 When thought/sight of him/her trigger certain emotional reactions, such as aversion, anxiety, frustration, resignation.
8 When you keep trying to improve yourself because you feel you were not good enough (for him/her).
9 When you have a desire to spite him/her, as a way of making him/her regret for whatever happened.
10 When you often bring up the person in your conversations, even when there is no relation.
11 When you have a desire or urge to contact him/her even though you previously told yourself you didn’t want to.
12 When you find yourself living out the same looping patterns. A very common example would be on-again, off-again relationships with that person. Or a lingering state of relationship that doesn’t get anywhere. Even if you are with other people, if the relationships act out in the same pattern as the past, it reflects you have not moved on. There’s a part of you entrenched in the past which is making the same situation reenact itself, just with a different person.
Moving On Takes Time
The moving on process will take time, probably longer than you might think. I’m talking about being fully cleansed of all lingering hang-ups and scars from the incident, not just moving on on a surface level.
It took me 4 whole years before I was able to fully release myself from M’s shadow and our pseudo relationship. There were many times when I came to a new revelation and thought I had thus moved on, only to realize afterward there was more inner baggage to be cleared. This didn’t mean I wasn’t making progress before; it just meant the emotional wound was deeper than I thought.
In these 1 years, there was a truckload of baggage cleared. To be honest, it really shocked me to know the amount of baggage that was stored inside me all this while, despite actively living consciously. For one, it affirmed the journey of conscious growth never ends – it’s an ongoing one. Two, to have so much baggage created from a relatively short period of time (we first parted ways 4 years of knowing each other) showed a lot of mental baggage is pretty much self-created. It’s compounded by our projections of people, assumptions of situations, expectations of how relationships should be, etc.
If you are still holding on to what could have been, it’s time to release yourself. No more mental torture or mental inhibitions. No more holding yourself back for something that cannot come to pass.
Depending on how deep the emotional impact was, it might take several phases before you can really move on. Think of it as a journey, rather than a binary Yes/No checkpoint. Whatever you do, you will definitely be making progress every step along the way. Be it bitter or sweet, each time you are clearing baggage, bit by bit. Each step is an act of healing in itself.
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