How do I stop thinking about someone? This is a common question. The more we try to forget a particular person or situation sometimes, the more we remember them. Letting go of our memories is hard. But moving on is possible. Understand how through Mulla Nasruddin’s quirky wisdom and what we can do to lighten imprints in our mind.
People go through ups and downs all the time. On the journey of life, we meet a mix of travelers. It is unlikely that we will only meet a certain type or only those we like or dislike. After all, it is not a one-way road. At any time, the traffic flows both in and against our direction. Sometimes some people or events can hurt you so bad that you just want to erase them from your memory. You have even forgiven them, you want to move on but you find yourself unable to do so. Take it easy. It’s only human.
There are generally two possibilities that make you remember anyone: either you love that person or you hate that person. And there are only three reasons that make you want to forget somebody. One, their thought wells up negative emotions in you and throws you off-balance. Two, you still love them deeply but they have moved on. Three, despite your love, they don’t love you back. In any case, it hurts.
If their memory doesn’t trigger any positive or negative emotion in you, there would be no need to forget that person. In fact, if you neither love nor hate the person you are trying to forget, you will forget them automatically. When their memory sparks neither good nor bad in you, it means you have moved on. But what to do when you do want to forget them? Read on.
If you find yourself thinking about that person, hold a mini self-dialog as the first step. Accept that you are missing them and that you are hurt. Talk to yourself. Repeat it a few times and watch your mind releasing the thought of that person. Releasing their memory is crucial if you want to forget them. A while back, I wrote an article on how to take your mind off unwanted thoughts during your meditation. You can read it here. Apply the same principle.
Give yourself time and each time their thought arises, simply and gently focus your mind elsewhere. Promise yourself that anytime you are reminded of them, you will not let that ruin your peace. And the way to protect your peace is to shift your focus. This is the most powerful method I know of.
When the one you love leaves you, it creates a void in your life, a hole in your heart. You keep falling in that pit. You need to fill that gaping hole somehow. It is not easy but it can be done. When their memories come knocking on the doors of your heart, shift your attention. If you can divert your thoughts at that time, gradually the imprints will become lighter, the intensity of their memories will start to diminish.
Two kids found a pouch containing fifteen silver coins. One had spotted it and the other had picked it up. Each claimed ownership of the find. This led to an argument and ultimately they approached the wise Mulla Nasruddin with their quandary.
“Hmmm…so you want me to resolve the matter?”
“Yes, please,” both said in unison.
“Alright, I’ll divide the coins between you two. But tell me, do you want me to do justice like a human or God?”
“Please do as God would.”
He counted the coins and gave twelve to one and three to the other. While they both stood there bewildered, said Mulla plainly, “That’s how He operates.”
Life can be unfair. When trying to forget someone, avoid any intellectual analysis like why it happened to you or how could they do this to you etc.. If you start to dissect, you will only sink in deeper. Any cogitation will only depress you more, it will drag you back to the field of memories — and that’s exactly what we want to avoid here. Trust me on this one. Simply take your mind off.
Both love and hate fetter you. You cannot forget anyone by continuing to love or hate them. If you want to forget them, you must become indifferent towards them. You become indifferent when you rise above the duality of love and hatred. Both love and hate touch our heart, whatever touches our heart leaves an imprint on our mind. It is those imprints that make up our memory store. It is for this reason that Vedic and other spiritual texts preach one to remain even. Being even is a step higher than being indifferent. Because being even is being indifferent with compassion, with empathy.
The greater the number of memories you have with someone, the harder it is to move on. Because memories indicate a commitment of time. The number of memories is directly proportional to the amount of time you invested with the person. How big or how easily an investment can one write off varies from one person to another. You cannot erase a person from your mind by trying to not think about them.
A good question would be: do you need to forget in order to forgive or must you forgive first so you may forget? Well, when you have negative feelings towards someone: you need to forgive so you may forget. Unless you forgive them, you cannot be even, until you are even, you can’t be indifferent, and forgetting is not possible without indifference. Only what is forgivable is forgettable. Mind you, forgiveness and reconciliation are not synonyms; something for another time.
Love yourself. Value yourself. Consequently, you will not miss those who do not love or value you.
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It is a question we have all asked of ourselves at some time or another – how do I stop thinking about someone? Love and loss are two sides of the same coin. Moving on to a peaceful and happy life, however, is very much in our hands. Let’s take a closer look:
How do I stop thinking about someone I have wronged?
Forgiving is often the most noble gesture if you forgive yourself, it unburdens you, makes you light. It is human nature to expect a great deal from oneself, such expectations can prompt us to progress, to act, to be, to have, to do, and so forth. It is much harder to align our own expectations we have from ourselves than others from us.
Take a deep breath. Let it go. Practice forgiveness, start with yourself. Treat yourself with care, with love, with compassion, your life depends on it. Read more here.
How do I stop thinking about someone so that I can find love once again?
It’s impossible to be completely invulnerable in love. When two people are in love, they follow “love”. In that devotion to love, in that vulnerability lies the greatest security. Mind may reject this notion but heart knows. That is why, you get hurt, and yet you don’t stop loving. You are hurt again and yet you love again. This is love, this is life.
Love, in its truest sense, can only be experienced when you don’t hurt back when hurt, when you are mindful of your thoughts, words, and actions. In the same pond where fragrant lotuses attract honeybees and butterflies, a frog, oblivious to the beauty and majesty, sits and croaks non-stop. You can be the lotus, bee, or the frog. Choose carefully, lovingly. Life has little meaning without love. Read more here.
How do I stop thinking about someone so that I can move on?
When you decide to move out of a relationship, life confuses you. Had life been black-and-white, decision making would be a great deal easier. That is not always the case, however. Sometimes relationships can be really confusing.
When two people come together, a new entity is born, it is called a relationship. a relationship is a third person. It is not what you are getting from your partner, but from your relationship. It is mutual ownership. When this repeatedly fails, it’s a sign to move out of a relationship. When you ask yourself, “How do I stop thinking of someone?”, it is a sign to move on. Read more here.
How do I stop thinking about someone who hurt me?
The only way to avoid being hurt in a relationship is total acceptance of the other person, and that, I may add, is extremely rare. If you become indifferent, the relationship won’t be close anymore, and if you stay close, getting hurt is almost certain. You get hurt because you are human and they hurt you because they are human. If their good outstrips their bad, rejoice, and turn inward so you be less vulnerable. If their bad surpasses their good, forgive and move on. So, how do I stop thinking about someone who hurt me, you ask?
Your own will hurt you, for love is not about never getting hurt. Instead, it is about not losing sight of the good in the other person even when they hurt you. If you let go, life continues to flow like a beautiful, blue, clean and placid river. Let it. Read more here.
How do I stop thinking about someone else and learn to be happy on my own?
We are eternally chasing happiness like a hungry dog follows the scent of food. The greatest skill, in my view, is learning to be happy on your own. Contentment is the mother of happiness. But, if you can’t feel contented for any reason then devote yourself to a purpose or a cause that gives you a sense of fulfillment. If you don’t have a purpose then find one. It’ll be worth every effort. Take my word for it.
Above all, happiness is not a blessing, it is a skill. It is not something we are born with, it is something we learn. “How do I stop thinking about someone?” Simple. Are you happy in your own company? This is the skill of happiness. Read more here.
How do I stop thinking about someone I love and act on this feeling instead?
To love is an art and perhaps the most important one, for love is not only the fundamental ingredient of harmony in relationships but also the basis of our very existence. This is the art of love in a nutshell. To love the other person the way he or she likes to be loved is love. this discovery begins by posing a simple question to the other person, “What will make you happy in our relationship?” Or, “What can I do to show you that you mean to me, that I love you and care about you?”
This will make the other person think about and synthesize their expectations from you. This is the simple principle of long-lasting relationships: to love them the way they want to be loved and not how you think they should be loved. Read more here.
How do I stop thinking about someone constantly so that I enjoy my own space?
When asked about love, I hear it all the time that love is to be able to be yourself, to be able to express freely, and so on. Isn’t that freedom? The feeling of love, in other words, is the privilege to exercise your freedom in the company of the one you want in your life. This is the highest kind of freedom and is only possible if the person you love is also allowed the same. How do I stop thinking about someone and be comfortable in my own space? Look for ways to be grateful. By yourself or with someone, take responsibility for your happiness. Read more here
For my own peace of mind, how do I stop thinking about someone?
There’s little you can do if you love someone but they don’t love you (back). The other person may change, they may even come around but he or she will not love you the way you love them. when the other person is not invested in you, there’s practically nothing you can do to make them love you. It doesn’t mean harmony can’t be revived in relationships, but, when the damage is too great or if the other person is not willing to work on it, there’s little hope.
The first relationship you have is with yourself. Respect and value it. Don’t torture yourself. When you find yourself thinking, “How do I stop thinking about someone?”, do something worthwhile with your thoughts, with your time, with your life. Peace of mind is not a blessing but a commitment, a choice. Choose carefully. If you are committed to being happy, no one can stop you. Read more here.