Burning the Past

#TheStruggleIsRealDirt of the Day

It’s no secret that I had a tumultuous relationship not that long ago. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been “over it” for at least 6 months. Really over it. It ended the beginning of last August. But it wasn’t really over then. For weeks, even a few months after, he came back around – via text, email, phone calls. Luckily, those weeks without contact gave me enough time to reflect and make a decision. A final decision – that I wasn’t going to let him come back into my life, like I had many times before. That I deserved better. It wasn’t easy. I still loved him, when I made this decision. I still had high hopes for his potential in life, but I no longer wanted to be involved in the ride. It was one hell of a rollercoaster, after all. One that made you nauseous more than thrilled, if you catch my drift.

I found myself with a bag full of wood scraps from my Dad’s shop, a shoebox full of memories (photos, cards, letters), and a close friend about to move out of town who had stumbled across old photos from a toxic relationship of her own in her packing of years’ worth of belongings. I suggested a “burning party.” I invited my female neighbors.

Let me also mention that the week prior I had the pleasure of meeting the girl he dated after me. She came up to me on karaoke night, said she knew me and I knew her. Long story short, she finally revealed to me who she was and said she had just one question for me. He’d told her he was in the military, in the war, had killed numerous men, and had PTSD, which was supposed to explain why his life (and he) was such a mess. Of course, there wasn’t an ounce of truth to this. I actually laughed about it. If he was telling stories like this to her in a 6 week relationship, how many lies had I been fed, and believed in 2 ½ years? It only validated my decision to be done with him for good, once again. (I also found humorous the fact that she resembled me – just a shorter, more petite version, and her name rhymed with mine).

A friend found an article about “burning as a releasing ritual.” I read an excerpt from the article before we began any burning. One of the suggestions from the author was to verbally say out loud “I release you. I am done.” This became a favorite phrase throughout the night. It also warned not to do so with haste, in the heat of the moment, in anger or from bitterness. I’d say, more than a year later, this was not a rash decision, on my part. I keep things to remember. To remind myself of what I’ve been through, recognize it as REAL, and learn from the experience. The idea that my little shoebox full of memorabilia could be construed as me “hanging onto” him or “not being over” him was sickening. I decided it was time to let it all go.

I want to make clear that this was not malicious. Never did I say that I wished any harm or ill toward him. Never did I call him a “piece of shit” or anything like this. It was simply an act of letting go. Accepting my part in the whole mess. I stuck with him longer than I should’ve, after all. I took him back repeatedly, when it would’ve been best for me to cut ties, take time to reflect, move on.

The last part of the story is that, unexpectedly, the next day, I got an email saying that he had sent me a message via some Android app for social networking, chatting, dating. Upon further research, it may not have been an actual message at all. The site was extremely sketchy, creates profiles for people without their consent, sends “messages” without their consent, etc. But what are the odds? I’ll admit, I was incredibly curious, at first. I figured he didn’t have anything kind to say, though, and chose not to pursue it any further (as I had to enter personal info to “read my message” – name, location, gender, etc) and he didn’t deserve all that effort from me to read something that was surely meant to harm me, hurt me, and bring me down. So, I let that go, too.

All in all, the night was meant to be good fun, laughing at ourselves, our mistakes, our hiccups in life and love. Reflecting on how far we’ve come, and what we’ll never return back to. I met neighbors I’d never really spoken to, bonded with old friends, and got to burn some shit. I told one friend, “Look lady, this isn’t my first fire.” Although this may seem like a dark way to “let go of the past,” I hope you all find some way to release and let go of all that has burdened you and held you back from being the best YOU that you can be.
burning the past


Each day, I'm one step closer to becoming the best-version-of-myself. I'm learning to fight for what's best for me, expect to get back the love I put out, and fall in love with myself first. 2013 is going to be my year - turning 30 is just the beginning.


  1. Amy says:

    Thanks for this – really needed it today

    • Kara says:

      You’re quite welcome! I may be having more “release parties” soon. Seems like a good idea to share, feel your emotions, & include an action with the letting go process. I hope this helps you!

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