Here are 25 wise words from novels about letting go and moving on.
1. “Sometimes the hardest part isn’t letting go but rather learning to start over.”
― Nicole Sobon, Program 13
2. “Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.”
― Stephen King, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption: A Story from Different Seasons
3. “If you didn’t love him, this never would have happened. But you did. And accepting that love and everything that followed it is part of letting it go.”
― Sarah Dessen, Dreamland
4. “There are moments when I wish I could roll back the clock and take all the sadness away, but I have a feeling that if i did, the joy would be gone as well. So I take the memories as they come, accepting them all, letting them guide me whenever I can.”
― Nicholas Sparks, Dear John
5. “It’s important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go. Otherwise you are left with words you should have said but never did, and your heart is heavy with remorse.”
― Yann Martel, Life of Pi
6. “There ain’t no way you can hold onto something that wants to go, you understand? You can only love what you got while you got it.”
― Kate DiCamillo, Because of Winn-Dixie
7. “The truth was, he now belonged only to my past, and it was time I begin to accept it, as much as it hurt to do so.”
― Tammara Webber, Easy
8. “She’s not going to let go until she sees for herself that there’s nothing left to hold on to.”
― Susane Colasanti, Take Me There
9. “There’s a difference between wanting to stay and being too afraid to let go.”
― Victoria Schwab, City of Ghosts
10. “Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.”
― Deborah Reber, Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul
11. “Three months ago, if you asked me, I would have told you that if you really loved someone, you’d let them go. But now I look at you, and I dreamed about Maggie, and I see that I’ve been wrong. If you really love someone, Allie, I think you have to take them back.”
― Jodi Picoult, Mercy
12. “Go, even though you love him.
Go, even though he is kind and faithful and dear to you.
Go, even though he’s your best friend and you’re his.
Go, even though you can’t imagine your life without him.
Go, even though he adores you and your leaving will devastate him.
Go, even though your friends will be disappointed or surprised or pissed off or all three.
Go, even though you once said you would stay.
Go, even though you’re afraid of being alone.
Go, even though you’re sure no one will ever love you as well as he does.
Go, even though there is nowhere to go.
Go, even though you don’t know exactly why you can’t stay.
Go, because you want to.
Because wanting to leave is enough.”
― Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
13. “The most beautiful form of mastery is the art of letting go.”
― Claudia Gray, From a Certain Point of View
14. “What have you got to lose? What are you hanging onto? Trust. You have not come this far to turn back now. You are almost there. Have faith.”
― Donna Goddard, Faith
15. “The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”
― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
16. “Still I pictured having you for fifty, sixty more years. I thought I might be ready then to let you go. But it’s you, and I realize now that I won’t be anymore ready to lose you then than I am right now. Which is not at all.”
― Cassandra Clare, City of Fallen Angels
17. “Now it’s easy to see as I watch it all from above. Sometimes the things that are best for us are those we have to let go of.”
― Monica Carolan, Only If You Let Them
18. “Your deceased loved ones don’t want you to stop living life after they’re gone. They want you to be at peace and continue to love life like you did when they were alive. Someone once told me to embrace the memories you had with each other. Remember them and let them heal you. We all know that life’s too short to drown ourselves in our own sorrow. Life can, does, and will go on for you. But you have to make the effort to live it right.”
– Sandi Lynn, She Writes Love
19. “It’s amazing, really, how in one instant a wall can be torn down, or climbed over. Misconceptions can be shattered, illusions dashed, dreams irrevocably ruined. Given the right frame of mind, within a heartbeat, people can begin the business of starting over.”
― Tamara Thiel, Random Musings of a Curious Soul
20. “You don’t have to let that one thing be the thing that defines you.”
― Jojo Moyes, After You
21. “If you can’t work it out together then let each other go freely. You loved her once. She is still that same person. Think of that person you once loved. She is that person whether you are together or not.”
― Donna Goddard, Waldmeer
22. “It struck me then that this was how most things end: seemingly slow and then all at once. As the last trace of him slipped like sand through my fingers, all I could do was smile bleakly, drink my water, and watch him go.”
― Sarah Nicole Smetana, The Midnights
23. “It’s strange how many ways there are to miss someone. You miss the things they did and who they were, but you also miss who you were to them. The way everything you said and did was beautiful or entertaining or important. How much you mattered.”
― Robin Roe, A List of Cages
24. “We are only ever one step and one breath away from changing our life.Keep what you love. Let go of everything else.”
― Mimi Novic, The Silence Between the Sighs
25. “Every morning we get a chance to be different. A chance to change. A chance to be better. Your past is your past. Leave it there. Get on with the future part, honey.”
– Nicole Williams, Lost & Found