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Letting Go Is Not Giving up, It’s Taking the First Step to Taking Back Control

Letting Go Is Not Giving up, It’s Taking the First Step to Taking Back Control

Letting go can sometimes feel a lot like giving up. You may feel that you are betraying the part of yourself that believes you can still make things work. But by dragging out the inevitable until it’s tattered and torn, you are only betraying yourself. That’s why you need to love yourself more, put yourself first, cut your losses, and move on.

Forgetting an ex is exactly like kicking an addiction.

Turning your back on something that you still want can be one of the most emotionally exhausting endeavors that you can hope to endure. And although you feel that you’re amidst a groundbreaking existential crisis, what you are experiencing is actually purely chemical. During a breakup, your brain generates dopamine in excess. Dopamine [1] is what causes you to obsess and over-analyze your circumstances. You’re literally addicted to your ex. But like all addictions, this too can be kicked to the curb.

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Regardless of the good times, it’s time to move forward.

I’m sure your ex was great “if you got to know them.” But you’re a better, stronger person without them and soon all of these bad feelings will be a thing of the past.

The Process of Letting Go

As with any loss, there is a grieving process that you need to go through to get all of the negativity out of your system and avoid a relapse somewhere down the line. Most of us are guilty of reaching out to an ex in a moment of weakness. The healing process is difficult and different for everyone. You may experience these emotions in a different sequence, or revisit some of the steps [2]. The important thing is that you are working through it.

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1. Denial

Perhaps you don’t want to believe that it’s really over. You keep checking your phone to see if their name pops up. Maybe tomorrow they’ll change their tune and things will go right back to normal. Although you know that it’s over, you can’t help but entertain scenarios where it somehow works out. Your entire world is turned on its side, completely unbalanced without your “other half.” During this phase you need to refrain from reaching out. Your attempt to fix things could just be adding insult to injury.

2. Anger

It’s finally starting to set in. This is real. It’s really over. You’re starting to overwhelm yourself with bad memories, all of the times that they did you wrong. You start placing blame, resenting them for ruining something beautiful. Or perhaps you’re angry with yourself. You’re struggling with some underlying guilt that maybe you’re the reason that this had to end. Whether or not you feel justified by your animosity, you can’t hang on to that. Whatever they did to you, whatever you did to them, you need to forgive. Forgive them, forgive yourself. We all make mistakes. And if it goes deeper than a simple mistake, where vindictiveness and a lack of respect come into play, all more reason to move on.

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3. Bargaining

This is a bit of a relapse period- you were bound to have one. This is the phase where you try to get your ex back by any means possible. You may make promises to change, threaten their well-being or reputation, or inform them that they are hurting others by their decision not to be with you. You’ll negotiate huge life changes in order to facilitate the failing relationship. Some people even take it a step farther by getting friends and family involved, or even spiritual mediums like visits with psychics or prayer. Perhaps this could save your relationship- but the chances aren’t likely. Just be sure you’re not sacrificing your self worth in an effort to get them back. You always need to love yourself more.

4. Depression

At this point, you’ve probably completely convinced yourself that you’ll never find love again. All feels lost, and you don’t feel like yourself anymore. Depression takes on many different forms, rearing its ugly head when we’re at our most vulnerable. You may find it hard to get out of bed, or a lack of motivation to do anything at all. You feel alone in a crowded room. You experience a loss of appetite, inability to sleep; or just the opposite, you sleep too much. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re not pathetic for feeling so low. But you need to pick yourself back up. Use baby steps. Practice some self care. Run yourself a nice bubble bath, create a playlist of all of your favorite songs, grab a batch of your favorite ice cream, put on your favorite chick flick that you can blubber to and just veg out. Give yourself this time to ground yourself so that you can spring up once again, as strong and vibrant as ever.

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5. Acceptance

Phew. We made it! I mean, you made it. You’ve avoided all of the trips and traps of falling back into the motions of your inevitably ending relationship. You’ve crashed, you’ve burned, and made some mistakes. But all is well, and you’re still breathing. And every breath you take is yours. Every step you take can lead you in whichever direction you wish. You’re stronger and wiser now, and have a better on grasp on what you’re willing to accept in a relationship from this point on. Take this time to really get to know yourself, and what you want out of life. Realize that you don’t need anyone to complete you; you are already complete. You will find love again, so don’t worry. Fall back in love with yourself. Your radiance will attract suitable partners who will compliment and balance you.

Reference

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Jenn Beach

Traveling vagabond, writer, & plant-based food enthusiast.

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Published on October 30, 2020

11 Essential Philosophy Books That Will Open Your Mind

11 Essential Philosophy Books That Will Open Your Mind

There are numerous ways to build your mindset, but none are as profound as reading philosophy books. Through these books, some of the greatest minds around ask questions and delve deep into thought.

While there isn’t always a clear and distinct answer to the many questions of philosophy, the entire field is a gateway to a higher sense of self. It gets you to think about all manner of things.

Below, we cover some of the essential philosophy books that are best for those who are just starting or looking to expand their mind.

How To Choose a Good Philosophy Book

Before getting to this list, we’ve researched ideal philosophy books to help you expand your mind.

We’ve found that the best philosophy books excel in the following criteria:

  • Complexity – Philosophy isn’t a subject that you can’t dive into immediately and understand everything. The books that we selected are great for people making the first leap.
  • Viewpoint – With philosophy, in particular, the author’s views are more important than in your standard book. We want to ensure the viewpoints and thoughts being discussed still hold up to this day.
  • Open-mindedness – Philosophy is all about asking perplexing questions and unraveling the answer. You might not reach a conclusion in the end, but these books are designed to get you to think.
  • Culture – The last criterion is culture. A lot of these books come from early philosophers from centuries ago or possibly from recent years. These philosophy books should paint a picture of the culture.

1. Meditations

    One that you’ll find on many of these types of lists is Meditations and for good reason. It’s the only document of its kind to ever be made. The book focuses on the private thoughts of the world’s most powerful man who advises himself revolving around making good on his responsibilities and the obligations of his position.

    We know enough about Marcus Aurelius to know that he was trained in stoic philosophy and practiced every night on a series of spirituality exercises. These exercises were designed to make him humble, patient, empathetic, generous, and strong in the face of whatever problem he had to face off. And he faced plenty of problems since he was basically the emperor of roughly a third of the planet.

    All of that is poured into this book, and you are bound to remember a line or more that will be applicable in your life. It’s a philosophy book staple.

    Buy Meditations here.

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    2. Letters From a Stoic

      Similar to Marcus Aurelius, Seneca was another powerful man in Rome. He was a brilliant writer at the time and was the kind of guy to give great advice to his most trusted friends. Fortunately, much of his advice comes in letters, and those letters happen to be in this book. The letters themselves provided advice on dealing with grief, wealth, poverty, success, failure, education, and more.

      While Seneca was a stoic, he has a more practical approach and has borrowed from other schools of thought for his advice. As he said when he was alive, “I don’t care about the author if the line is good.” Similar to Meditations, there are several brilliant lines and advice that are still relevant to this day.

      Buy “Letters From a Stoic” here.

      3. Nicomachean Ethics

        Aristotle was a famous Greek philosopher at the time with profound knowledge. He’s named after a form of logic as well called Aristotelian logic. Through this book, Aristotle writes about the root of all Aristotelian ethics. In other words, this book contains the moral ideas that form a base for pretty much all of western civilization.

        Buy “Nicomachean Ethics” here.

        4. Beyond Good & Evil

          Friedrich Nietzsche played a big role in the philosophical world. He was one of the leading philosophers of the existential movement, and it all came through this particular book. He is a brilliant mind. However, the issue with a lot of his work is that it’s all written in German.

          Fortunately, this book is one of the slightly more accessible ones since it’s translated. Within the book, he breaks down the paradoxes of conventional understandings of morality. By doing this, he sets the stage for a lot of the 20th-century thought process that followed.

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          Buy “Beyond Good & Evil” here.

          5. Meditations on First Philosophy

            In Meditations on First Philosophy, René Descartes breaks his book down into six meditations. The book takes a journalistic style that is structured much like a six-day course of meditation. On day one, he gives instructions on discarding all belief in things that are not guaranteed. After that, he tries to establish what can be known for sure. Similar to Meditations, this is a staple and influential philosophical text that you can pick up.

            Buy “Meditations on First Philosophy” here.

            6. Ethics

              Written by Benedict de Spinoza, this came at a time during the Age of Enlightenment. Enlightenment was a movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries and with that, many schools of thought emerged and were presented through books.

              Out of the many influential philosophy books published back then, Ethics dominated during this period as it discussed the basis of rationalism. Even though we’ve developed further beyond that, Ethics can introduce new ways of thinking from this particular school of thought.

              Buy “Ethics” here.

              7. Critique of Pure Reason

                Immanuel Kant is another great philosopher who brought together two of history’s biggest opposing schools of thought into a single book. Those schools being rational thought and empirical experiential knowledge—knowledge gained through experience.

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                In Critique of Pure Reason, Kant explores human reason and then works to establish its illusions and get down to core constituents. Overall, you can learn more about human behavior and thought processes and thus, open your mind more to how you think and process everything around you.

                Buy “Critique of Pure Reason” here.

                8. On the Genealogy of Morals

                  Another piece of work from Nietzsche that is accessible to us is On the Genealogy of Morals. According to Nietzsche, the purpose of this book is to call attention to his previous writings. That said, it does more than that so you don’t need to worry so much about reading his other books.

                  In this book, he expands on the cryptic aphorisms that he brings up in Beyond Good and Evil and offers a discussion or morality in a work that is more accessible than a lot of his previous work.

                  Buy “On the Genealogy of Morals” here.

                  9. Everything Is F*cked

                    The only book on this list that’s been written in the past few years, this book by Mark Manson aims to explain why we all need hope while also accepting that hope can often lead us to ruin too.

                    While many of the books on this list are all practical, this one is the most realistic one since not even the greatest of philosophical minds could predict things like technology, Twitter, and how our political world has shaped.

                    Manson delivers a profound book that taps into the minds of our ancestral philosophers, such as Plato, Nietzsche, and Tom Waits, and digs deep into various topics and how all of it is connected—religion and politics, our relationship with money, entertainment, and the internet.

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                    Overall, this book serves as a challenge to all of us—a challenge to be more honest with ourselves and connect with the world in a way we’ve never tried before.

                    Buy “Everything Is F*cked” here.

                    10. Reasons and Persons

                      One of the most challenging philosophy books to read on this list, Reasons and Persons will send you on quite the trip. Through a lot of painstaking logic, Derek Parfit shows us some unique perspectives on self-interest, personhood, and whether our actions are good or evil.

                      Considered by many to be an important psychological text around the 20th century, the arguments made about those topics will open your mind to a brand new way of thinking.

                      Buy “Reasons and Persons” here.

                      11. The Republic of Plato

                        Written by Plato himself, this book is the origin of political science and offers a brilliant critique of government. As you would expect, the critique is still important today. If you’re looking to understand the inner thoughts of Plato, this is one of the best books around.

                        Buy “The Republic of Plato” here.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Philosophy books take a while to digest as they provide profound knowledge and leave you with many questions. With many of these philosophy books, you need to take your time with them, and you might have to read through them a few times as well. And with every read, your mind will only expand.

                        More Books to Open Your Mind

                        Featured photo credit: Laura Chouette via unsplash.com

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