Life throws curveballs at us, and not every situation has a clear solution.
We all face moments when things don’t work out, no matter how much effort we put in.
I know this is a tough pill to swallow, but sometimes the best action is to recognize when it’s time to step back and let things be.
So, in this article, we’ll explore 7 common situations where accepting and moving on might be the healthiest choice.
Let’s dive in.
1) Loss of a loved one
Whether through death, distance, or disagreement, sometimes we cannot change the absence of someone we care about.
And I know how hard that is to accept. I walked away from some family members, and I got stuck into a negative cycle of reminiscence and “what if” scenarios.
Until one day it sank in – we may have had a great childhood, but as adults, they’re not healthy to be around.
So I can either sit here and wallow, staying stuck in the past or let it go and move on with life.
That small revelation allowed me to cut the baggage in my mind and accept that we can’t change people or their behavior. But we can control how much we let it affect our lives.
And when it comes to grief?
Take as much time as you need. The healing process is different for everyone and certainly isn’t linear. But don’t dwell. Don’t put your life on hold forever.
It’s a safe bet that your loved one wouldn’t want that for you, so honor them by finding your love for life again.
2) Past mistakes
Do you lie awake at night, your mind racing through every f*ck up you’ve ever made in life?
Yeah, me too.
Past mistakes, whether embarrassing or painful, often stick around to haunt us. But we can’t go back in time and change the past, can we?
So that’s where learning to accept and move on comes in.
I’ve tried to reframe how I view my mistakes. I now see them as lessons to learn from.
And rather than shaming myself or feeling perpetually guilty, I remind myself that everyone makes mistakes in life.
So don’t beat yourself up too much. If you can make amends (let’s say, by way of an apology to someone) do it. It might relieve some of your guilt.
But if you can’t, forgive yourself for being human, make sure you don’t repeat those errors, and move on.
3) End of a relationship
If you’re struggling to let go of a relationship, I really feel for you.
It’s such a horrible situation to be in. Perhaps your partner left you, and you can’t bring yourself to accept that it’s over.
Or maybe you made the decision to leave, but your heart still aches for your ex.
There’s no one solution for this.
Time will give you clarity on the situation, but when it comes to your emotions, it might take a while.
One thing I’ve done when faced with this (my ex and I broke up several times before I finally accepted we weren’t good for each other) is to separate my emotions from the hard facts.
Are they honestly a good match for you?
Are the reasons you broke up valid?
Is there realistically a chance of either of you changing enough to make things work?
If the answer to all of the above is “no”, try to focus on these facts whenever you find yourself itching to text them or pick up the phone.
Eventually, you’ll realize that even if there’s still love, sometimes the best thing to do is accept it’s not the right love for you and move on with life.
4) Missed opportunities
You didn’t have children when you could have.
You passed up on a promotion at work.
You let go of the only person who would have loved you for you.
All of the missed opportunities in life serve to teach us something. Just like with past mistakes, we can learn to make better decisions in life.
Rather than hold on and keep ruminating over it, it’s best to acknowledge it, learn the lesson, and then put it to bed.
Not to mention – when you miss one opportunity, you gain others in its place.
Maybe you never had children, but you’ve probably had a life with less stress, more money, and the opportunity to travel whenever your heart desires it.
Maybe you didn’t get that promotion, but as a result, you got to spend more time with your family.
See where I’m going with this?
Sometimes, accepting and letting go requires a shift in mindset. If you can learn to do this, you’ll find yourself weight-free and living in the present moment, rather than stuck in the past.
5) Physical changes and aging
My mom’s best friend springs to mind for this point. She’s in her mid-50s, but since the age of 40, I can recall her constantly trying out different anti-aging creams and obsessing over her appearance.
On the otherhand, there’s my mom. She uses a basic skin cream and an average face wash. She doesn’t bother with facelifts.
She might dye her hair on occasion, but she’s accepted the persistent greys that force their way through. She made the active decision to embrace her age, and as a result, she glows.
Old age isn’t afforded to everyone, so count yourself lucky that you’re getting to see your body in a new phase of life.
I know there are tons of procedures now that can make you look younger, and I’m not one to judge.
But happiness really does come from within, not how smooth your skin looks or how big your lips are.
Once you let go of the idea that you need to look younger than you are and learn to accept your body for the way it is, life gets so much better.
6) Change in life circumstances
Change is the only constant in life, apart from death.
And while we have no control over either, we can control how we react to life when it sends us a curveball.
But I get it, sometimes it’s hard to adapt.
Rather than resist it though, why not see it as an adventure?
Sure, you just lost your job, you could freak out. Or you could see it as a chance to finally pursue a career in something you love.
The house you’re renting just got sold, so now you’ve got to find another place to live. It’s an inconvenience, and very stressful.
But it’s also a chance to explore a different neighborhood, find a nicer accommodation, and potentially meet some great new neighbors.
Ultimately, digging your heels in and refusing to roll with the flow will only make your life harder.
So instead, learn to accept, let it go, and make the best out of the situation. You’ll feel more relaxed, and you’ll build resilience this way too.
7) Injustices beyond our control
The world is a tricky place. Politics dominate. So does money and power.
Amidst all that is so much suffering and pain. People with less. Animals being abused. The world being destroyed. It’s incredibly painful to just sit by and watch.
Yet, sometimes that’s all we can do. We can donate, offer our time by volunteering, and lobby politicians for change.
But at the end of the day, there’s a much bigger game being played by those at the top.
A game we can’t even scratch the surface of.
And when our efforts become futile, rather than becoming bitter at the world and at ourselves, we must accept it and move on with life, knowing we’ve tried our best.
When I got to this point, I decided to start focusing on local causes where I could actually make a significant difference.
Sure, I might not be making huge waves in the international world, but I am making a difference on a small scale.
And if we all did that, maybe our efforts combined would contribute to a better world.
Hopefully, this article has given you some food for thought and tips on which situations are best left in the past.
If you don’t get to the point of acceptance straight away, don’t worry, changing your mindset takes time and perseverance. You will get there eventually.