Dear Shanita

Authored by certified transformational life coach Shanita Liu, the “Dear Shanita” advice column fields your questions and struggles related to self-care and offers compassionate, keep-it-real advice so that you can ditch your depleted state and move into excellence.

Have a question for Shanita? Write in to possibly have your question answered in a future column.


Dear Shanita,

It took me 26 years to finally love myself and de-clutter those around me who didn’t love me at all. However, I let someone back in — a guy I loved and pined over. I wanted nothing but him, even though it was a one-sided love.

Every time I knew he was bad for me, I just blocked him on my phone. This time, when he came back, the tables turned and he blocked me. I feel relieved that I no longer have to deal with someone who never reciprocated my affections and my care for him, but how do I fully let go of something that never was? How do I stop thinking about him and truly MOVE ON?

– Phoebe

[Read Related: ‘Dear Shanita’: Brown Girl Magazine’s Self-Care Advice Column]

Dear Phoebe,

CONGRATULATIONS ON LOVING YOURSELF — THAT IS AMAZING! It doesn’t matter how long it took, what matters is that you’re there now, loving yourself. Mmm mmm mmm!

Since we’re sailing on the self-love boat, you already know that it’s not loving for you to hold on to “something that never was,” yet his energy is latching onto your sails. What’s that about? Maybe it was something after all…isn’t that why this is bothering you?

Besides feeling “relief” after this guy blocked you, did you feel anything else? I sense there’s more…If someone I cared about put me on the block, I’d either feel really pissed off, sad, disappointed, frustrated, heartbroken or all of the above. If there’s more underneath, that’s totally fine, but YOU MUST FIRST BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF. If you don’t acknowledge the other feelings, then you can’t completely let go.

[Read Related: Dear Shanita Answers ‘Putting me First’: When you Should hit the Brakes]

So, here’s what I suggest:

Start by taking five minutes to notice those other emotions. Once you name them, try out this statement (and feel free to modify and repeat to your liking):

I’m letting go of you [insert emotion here] because you’re not loving, and I love myself too much to let you drag me down. Be gone forever! Buh-bye.

Once you bid farewell to those emotions, then you must mourn…yes, like when someone dies. Mourning the loss of someone and the memories you shared together, unfortunately, doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. However, when all those emotions creep in, grab the emotions with both hands and throw them to the wind. Literally — throw it, girl!

Then, turn all that internal “affection and care” back to yourself (and your boat, we don’t want it to sink). I guarantee that doing this over and over will eventually power you forward into the sea of exciting opportunities ahead.

– Shanita

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