How to Break up with the Nasty Parts of your Life (a breakup letter to yourself)

“Moving on is easy. It’s staying moved on that’s trickier.” ~Katerina Stoykova Klemer

Do you genuinely like yourself (for the most part, anyway) but have “baggage” you wish would quietly pack up and move out?

Well, have you ever thought about writing yourself a breakup letter? I know. It sounds sort of schizophrenic. But humor me just for a moment.

Many of us have parts of who we are that seem to stalk us like so many paparazzi hoping to catch us with our pants down.

They crowd us, smother us, undermine, condemn and hurt us over and over and over again. And yet, we seem to keep them around year after annoying year.

I propose we write a breakup letter to our self-stalking parts to signal the end of a relationship, that they are no longer invited guests, to go away and leave us alone.

How to Breakup with your Darker Parts

A sample letter …

Dear Self,

I’m writing to let you know that our relationship is no longer tolerable. Yes, that means exactly what it sounds like. I’m breaking up with you.

So pack your bags and leave! But before you go, I want to be sure you know why I’m kicking you out.

1. I’m breaking up with the excuses

I can’t stand them anymore. You have kept me a child in adult clothing for too long. You have limited my options and turned my mistakes into failures, something to hide from, to lie about and fear.

You have damaged my ability to learn and grow from my challenges. So I have to leave you now to grow up and start taking full responsibility for my life. If you refuse to go, I’ll be forced to drop kick you out the back door.

2. I’m breaking up with the grudges and criticism

I will no longer let you bury the past in the present or whine about things that don’t matter. Complaining is impotent. I will no longer allow impotence in my life.

So I’m leaving the past in the past. You will no longer be permitted to be a part of my life. I’m done with you. It’s over. Take the ring, the promises and the photos and get out!

3. I’m breaking up with the dishonesty

I’m sick of the lies and half-truths, the blame and irresponsibility. I don’t want to put up with it anymore. So I’m simply not going to.

You are damaging my integrity and honor and self-respect. You are undermining my relationships and trustworthiness. I’m kicking you out in the cold and don’t care if it’s snowing. Good bye!

4. I’m breaking up with the fear you cower in

You have kept me hiding from myself and anxious about unlikely scenarios, frozen in immobility as I contemplate all you heap on my shoulders. I won’t let you control me anymore. I won’t let you berate me with unlikely possibilities and dark predictions and dim prognostications.

I will no longer let you tie me to the way things have always been. I will no longer allow you to tie my potential to yesterday. No longer will I allow you to shove me into corners, keeping me quiet and safe. And if you try to stay, I’ll ignore you as though you weren’t here anyway. So you might as well go now.

5. I’m breaking up with the rumors you spread in the chambers of my heart

You whisper with venomous intent that the person in the mirror is too fat or too skinny or too dumb or too ugly or too unworthy or incapable or lazy or forgetful or slow and too this and not enough that and all too often other things and all too seldom the right things. So I’m no longer accepting the lies or believing the stories or listening to the put-downs.

It’s over. From this moment forward, I am free of your impositions and misery and dishonor. I’m kicking you out and inviting something much more beautiful into my life instead. I’m inviting peace. I’m inviting happiness.

I’m inviting me.


What are the parts of your life you long to be rid of? What are doing about ridding yourself of them? Perhaps you saw some of your parts reflected in the portrait I painted above.

Can a letter such as this really end life-long habits of thought, entrenched attitudes, emotional scars and spiritual viruses that have bore down deeply into the very system that now affects us? Perhaps not. But every success, both great and small, everywhere and at all times, began with a first step.

This is a first step.

Write the letter.

Your turn …

  • What do you think about writing a breakup letter to your self-defeating parts?
  • What would be in yours?
  • What do you think about the parts I advocate breaking up with in my sample letter?
  • Please share your thoughts in the comments below