A Liberated Woman’s Experiences: Moving On After A Toxic Relationship

By: Bernice Maune
Main Photo: Luke Ow – Unsplash

It wasn’t an easy decision to make to really move on into the present. It took a different type of prayer, a different perspective and a commitment to abandon the debt.

For over a year, I was stuck in a cycle of frustration, resentment and anger. I wallowed in bitterness and threw pity parties to discuss how so and so hurt me, and how I’d like to see karma happen to them.

These were recurring moments and themes in my life. I do think it is part of the healing process to go through this cycle, but it can become limiting when it becomes all you think about.

I had reached a point, where it was becoming an obsession to think and mull over the pain and the wrongs.

I took pleasure in discussing and imagining the downfall of those who had hurt me.

It was a dangerous dance of healing and opening the wound over and over again. Wounds, especially when healed are meant to be left alone.

The day I realised that it had to stop was when I found myself no longer in the present. I saw myself stuck between worlds of regret, regression and resentment.

I struggled to do that. Instead I would pick at my emotional wounds, replay the memory of being devastated by my break up, wonder what I had done to deserve that and get vexed at my ex for having moved on so fast.

This sequence was a familiar one which I enacted on my own or in conversation with close friends.

The day I realised that it had to stop was when I found myself no longer in the present. I saw myself stuck between worlds of regret, regression and resentment.

I was blocking my journey to complete healing by taking myself back to what had happened.

I then realised that I had new experiences to look forward to; an exciting path that included meeting new people, traveling and studying in a new country but this was obscured by moments of dwelling on past hurt and pain.

It wasn’t an easy decision to make to really move on and be in the present. It took a different type of prayer, a different perspective and a commitment to abandon the debt.

It had to begin with forgiveness, a commitment to let go of the past and to stop reliving what went wrong.

To begin the process of moving on, I asked God to forgive me for struggling to forgive others. I named everyone who I had a hard time forgiving by name and asked God to release them from my heart.

Sometimes when you hold on to a toxic experience, it can weigh you down. Journaling has been a way for me to chronicle what happened and in a sense capture that moment and then let it go.

I asked God for forgiveness for my role in hurting and causing pain to others. This was very important because it required self-reflection, for me to also take accountability.

Forgiveness is a daily task, so I would make it a point to pray and release memories from the past which have been hindering my growth. Each time I remember something hurtful, I say a short prayer, submit it to God and release it.

This has been very helpful in dealing with memories that are damaging and toxic to the mind. Writing down everything that happened has been cathartic.

Sometimes when you hold on to a toxic experience, it can weigh you down. Journaling has been a way for me to chronicle what happened and in a sense to capture that moment and then let it go.

The point is not to pick it up again and dwell but rather to acknowledge it and move on.

The self-care and love has been a daily part of my routine and has enabled me to remain in the present and be grateful for what I have in the here and now.

In the process of moving on and making new memories, I was able let go of the old. I’ve done this by immersing myself into church based activities, hiking, cooking, taking myself out to the movies, a drive to the beach and having a regular massage routine at my favourite Chinese and Thai spas.

The self-care and love has been a daily part of my routine and has enabled me to remain in the present and be grateful for what I have in the here and now.

It’s also been a way to become whole again. Self-love is me owning myself, my space and saying: ‘I love every part of you and I will dedicate myself to caring for you in the best way I know how’.

I am reading Iyanla Vanzant’s book on Forgiveness. I am taking my time with this book because I do not want to rush it. It has a step by step process on forgiveness and it’s important that I fully take in her advice.

What I have realised through this journey of moving on is that forgiveness is a daily process. Every day, I choose to forgive and I will keep doing so, as I forge ahead and dedicate myself to letting go of what no longer serves or builds me.

Who is Bernice?
Bernice Maune is a South African freelance writer, currently based in France. She is a life enthusiast, Masters student who laughs at awkward moments.

Follow her escapades at Bernice_Fire on Instagram.
 

 

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