Relationship breakups leave heavy emotional dents. Because letting go of someone who influenced you so deeply is akin to becoming a new person, it’s easy to fall into the trap of blaming him for why things didn’t work out.
Sadly, most of us are taught to shun painful feelings and look outward when things go wrong. Isn’t it better then to take responsibility for how you showed up in the relationship?
Relationships uncover who we are
Looking honestly at ourselves (especially in relationships) takes courage, but doing regular checkups of our merits and flaws clarifies how our presence affects other people.
Self-awareness is gained by being around others. When those others are romantic partners everything is magnified. Say your partner doesn’t call when you expected, you might feel angry, sad or anxious; or if he spends more time with a friend at a party, you’ll feel jealous, insecure or upset.
When things are good though, there’s really not much to learn in terms of self-awareness because you are essentially at your best. It is when the relationship takes a dip that opportunities for gaining self-knowledge are ripe. In questioning the relationship, people tend to also question themselves.
Break ups cause disconnection
In the event of a breakup, there’s a frantic search for meaning. Your world shifts and you’ll very likely feel a sense of detachment, of missing something, of not being whole. Consciousness teachers say we are all connected, so it makes sense to view a breakup as a disconnection, not just to the person but the sense it made in your life.
In this limbo, finding your way back to love, stability and peace of mind are the main goals. To look in the mirror may be what’s needed to create a new personal meaning, a self that can reconnect to love again. Not just self-love but love in general.
When you are in a space of love it’s easy to be peaceable with just about anyone. You view and experience life with less selfishness.
The journey to seeing beyond the pain of rejection and lost love is kind of like stepping out of yourself to see things from an outside view. Learning from the experience is a step in the process. It helps to ask the right questions to figure out where things went wrong between the two of you. As you peel away the layers of unhappy encounters and ignored red flags things begin to make vivid sense.
The emotional floodgates can hinder sense making but are necessary for self-understanding. Dissecting your feeling self can be draining but in those privately vulnerable moments answers surface. Of course some outbursts are purely for releasing pent up anger and regret. Therein lies the healing process.
Some days are chaotic and filled with raging anger and sad tears. Most days though, are filled with soul searching and replaying memories through a new mindset.
Some things only make sense much later when the issue is long past. I guess that’s wisdom uncovering itself with age. So it can also be helpful not to over think things, to relive every single memory, as some things will only be clear much later. Then again, some things will never make sense at all.
For the ones you can find closure with, have at it because the universe has a funny way of replaying unfinished business in new creative ways. Best to get the lesson the first time. Equip yourself for bigger and better challenges.
Accepting what happened three fold (to you, your ex and the relationship) may be the hardest peace of the puzzle but a necessary one in order to forgive. Acceptance opens the door to move through and move on with your life.
Have compassion on yourself. You may feel some guilt and shame once you start taking responsibility for your actions hence the importance of compassion towards self. Thoughts will continue to come up and that’s ok, be mindful of these and then let them go.
Replenish what’s been lost inside of you through restoring or building your self-esteem. Positive affirmations, doing what brings you peace and joy, connecting with caring people will all help to repair any damage remaining from the loss.
Ultimately, the hope is that if one day you meet your ex, there might only be a flicker of surprise but more of a sense of peace and happiness for having had them in your life and thanking them for the lessons you learnt as a result.