Teaspoon of Happy

A Bad Case of the Break-Ups

So, you’ve gone through a break-up. I know, it sucks. It’s one of the most tedious places to be and it’s seemingly endless. But this might be the best thing that could ever happen to you. I kid you not. Hear me out.

Relationships come into our lives for very specific reasons. We want/need something in another and that compliments something they need as well. As we move through different relationships, we take from each a different part of ourselves. We gain a different missing puzzle piece that completes part of who we really are: our true and best self. Sometimes they end because they no longer fulfill or compliment a part of us or that other person, and though sad to let go, it’s healthy to move on. Break-ups can be especially traumatic when they’re unexpected because it’s someone you’ve invested your heart in that is now willfully hurting you, which is a knowledge similar to the death of a loved one. You must mourn that loss and accept the reality that they are not who you thought they were, and that can be very, very painful. A lot of that pain comes from the lack of control you’ve had in the break-up: you’re just not ready to let go.

Often the greatest opportunity for us to discover our best selves is when we are jolted into reality in a way that forces us to confront a lot of what is normally unseen: Hidden fears or hidden feelings that we often bury and soothe in our relationships. When you go through a break-up, despite the pain of the loss, you have a rare opportunity to discover the most valuable relationship you’ll have throughout your entire life: your relationship with yourself. You can get to know yourself once again and truly see what you like about yourself. That knowledge will lead you to surrounding yourself with everything that rewards you and your passions. When we get into long-term relationships we tend to get into habits of compromise and sometimes without even noticing, those compromises have eroded our sense of who we are. We also come to know ourselves through a filter of one person, and that filter can tint our understanding of who we are in directions that might not be authentic. Of course our relationships are in our lives for big reasons: they help us to face challenges in life and to grow. Even in decidedly bad relationships, there is value that we take from them, we don’t have to decide that they are a blemish on our life forever.

Regardless of whether or not you’re in a relationship, your life can always be as happy and fulfilled as you want it to be. Your happiness is not reliant on being with another person. It may not feel that way because you’re sad, but know that it’s true. That is a myth that comes from fear of loneliness and old painful feelings that live deep down inside. Your happiness comes from your ability to know and love yourself and to be proud of who that is. When you know that person and love that person, you shine like a beam of light and you attract others that see and love that person as much as you. During this time especially, take excellent care of yourself. Do not spend time blaming yourself or considering that something was wrong with you in any way. Instead spend time thinking about what you like about yourself. What do you think is great about your personality? What do you value in others? Those values might have shifted as of late.

Now is the time that you can gain much understanding about yourself that will bring to life the person you’re meant to be. When you grow into a better, more true you, that you sees different things in others, like you have a “gifted” vision. It’s almost like finding an invisible ladder that leads you to a world of people that you didn’t know existed. And that world is full of wonderful friends and hobbies that support you, and it’s sunny and safe no matter what, because you have this quiet confidence and comfort in You. But I’m getting ahead of myself, because in order to get to that place you’ve got to start by healing.

During in your break-up triage, try to do a few things to productively heal.

• Stay in your own head: how you feel and not what “they” are thinking. That is none of your concern and it’s only going to inflict pain on you to think of it, so stop it.

• Let go of any thoughts related to what you did to cause them to do something: truly you cannot cause anyone to do anything, you are the boss of your body and your actions alone and the same goes for them. You did not make them to do anything.

• Take aggressive measures to take care of yourself and meet your basic needs: listen to what your body and mind need. You’re in a tough place for a bit, so maybe that means you need friends to come over every night and watch comedies. Or maybe you need to take meditation classes. Or you need to exercise more so your emotions stay level. Be aggressive and don’t slack on self-care. Especially right now.

• Do not accept mistreatment and do not put yourself in harm’s way. If you need a friend to help you with this one, pass that power over to them. People that know us well have a lot of power over us. Sometimes in order to gain the distance we need to let our wounds scab over, we need to force a safety buffer. Put that in place in any way you know how. With distance will come much clarity.

• And last, go easy on yourself. It’s easy for others to give you advice on how you should be acting or what you should be feeling but the truth is, you’re heart is taking care of it, but at your own speed. No one is a machine and you can’t be somewhere before all of you get there, so give yourself time. Take care of yourself and you’ll get to where you need to be.

If you feel scared and overwhelmed, like you can’t live without this other person, know that this is an irrational fear and not connected to reality. You need to work on calming down your emotions. You might want to consider seeing a therapist to get you through this time. Know that this is a common emotion and you just need to work through some stuff around it. But it’s irrational and not based in reality. You can move on and live happily once again, it just might not feel that way right now. Reach out and talk to someone with a background in therapy.

Pass this time well. Be kind to yourself and protect yourself, and use this time to get to know who you are, minus another. Because that is great and wonderful, and will lead you to everything you’ve been looking for all along.

Happy Sunday, xox Sarah

Featured image via T. Elise on Flickr

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