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Learning to Love Yourself
with Habiba Jessica Zaman, NCC, LPC

Shouldn’t Hold On, But Can’t Let Go

Ever wonder why a person who is not healthy or good for your mental health, is still the person you cannot seem to let go?

You are a person of sound mind and seemingly justified in your rational decision-making skills and yet when it comes to this one person, it seems as though all logic dissipates and you are a version of yourself that you cannot comprehend or recognize.

Is it that person that is ultimately worth more than yourself?

Do me a favor and blurt out the first 5 things that were “wrong” or less than perfect in this relationship or in your interactions with this person …

Was that difficult? Perhaps it was difficult not to accept the challenges you faced in how you were treated or how your needs were not met. Did you find yourself justifying what happened to make it okay?

Perhaps it was simple to list out all the ways it was not a good fit based on what is important to you and what you need out of those you devote your time and energy to.

No matter which of these categories you fall into, the question still remains: Why are you still holding on to this person? What is it about them that makes them so important that it is etched into your psyche?

What do they represent?

Often times, it is not the person themselves that we grow attached to, rather it is the way this person made you feel.

It could be that your scars matched theirs, or that they accepted you with your shadows.  Possibly, it was that you felt emotionally safe in their presence as you have not with others before. Could it be that you were allowed to show a truer version of yourself to this person without consequence? Or simply that you felt the freedom to work towards reaching a higher potential with their support. Perhaps, the experiences shared were ones you never knew existed before this person came around.

We create and shape our world view based on the experiences that we have. Your worldview is how you perceive the world and place a value judgement on the “should’s” of life. It is an interconnected puzzle system of values that feeds into your belief of how the world works or should work.

Our values are also shaped based on the early childhood experiences whether these were principles that were modeled for you and held as sacred or experiences that were lacking while you were growing up.

Take protection as a value for example. If you were brought up by those who were true advocates and fought for the well-being of other individuals and vehemently defended the safety of those around them, it is likely that you would hold that as your value as well. On the flip side of that same coin, if you were one who was not protected and did not have anyone to rely on to come to your aid in a prominent experience, you could also have a strong value to protect and defend others, as you would have wished that someone would have for you.

Both of these examples of what became a value and the reason behind it, colors the lens of how you perceive the world “should” be.

If you are a person who did not have the feeling that someone had your back no matter what, when you encounter a person who is loyal and protective of you, it leaves an imprint on your heart that isn’t so easily wiped away.

So, think back on this person that you are having a hard time letting go. What is it about them, these values they represented, that captured your heart? Who did this person remind you of? What is it about this person that you fear you will never be able to find again? Which experiences with this person are you grieving?

Those are the reasons they still have a grasp on your heart, mind, and soul. It is not always the person they are, but rather all these ideals that they encapsulated.

Shouldn’t Hold On, But Can’t Let Go

Habiba Jessica Zaman, NCC, LPC

Habiba Jessica Zaman LPC, has a master’s degree in professional counseling specializing in trauma, and is the therapist and owner of North Star of Georgia Counseling. With fifteen years of work experience in the counseling field including counseling, advocacy, guidance, and education, she believes that as awareness of one’s fears, perception, desires, and strengths increase, one can make successful life changes. Self-awareness by becoming more honest with oneself, can initiate the authenticity that often results in healing, transformation, and living a fuller life. Habiba has created the I.D ME Quiz (which is designed to evaluate your general level of identity and determine whether you need to work on your self-image. Self-Awareness is an integral part of personal happiness, fulfilling relationships and achievement. Take this quiz to find out your true sense of self. She has thirteen publications that started with a children’s book titled, But I am Just Playing published in 2012, followed by Beautifully Bare, Undeniably You, award-winning Dear Time, Amazon best-seller Dear Love and You’ve Got This, Mama series released in 2018. Habiba is of Bangladeshi and American descent. She has two children and lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her family.

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APA Reference
Zaman, H. (2020). Shouldn’t Hold On, But Can’t Let Go. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2020, from


Last updated: 6 Jun 2020
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