You’ve had a crush on someone for the longest time and have successfully manifested a relationship with that person.
Living has never felt the same. You find yourself happier, cracking up more than you usually do, smiling away at cheesy, romantic texts and are simply feeling on top of the world! You’ve found the love of your life and cannot imagine a single day or a future without this person.
But over time things take an unexpected turn and you’ve landed yourself with a break up……
Your world is shattered.
If this has happened to you recently and sounds familiar, you can take assurance in the fact that every single person on this planet who’s ever been in love and has experienced a break up, has felt this way.
Whether you’re 15 or 50, break ups are hard and everyone’s living nightmare depending on how consumed you’ve been by your partner or the relationship.
But the good news is that there is a way around dealing with what seems like the end of the world.
Dive right in
Given that break- ups are so overwhelming and confronting, we often get lost in the vagueness of the pain, which is inevitably caused from the absence of the person we once belonged with.
So sit with your feelings. Its absolutely okay to feel sad and hurt. In fact it’s our judgement towards these emotions that make us resist feeling what we need to and resort to all sorts of unhelpful tactics.
Instead, introspect on aspects most folks avoid or don’t think of. Things like what part of the break up is making it the hardest to deal with: Is it a sense of identity that you created with this person that’s now leading you to feel disoriented? Is it an unfulfilled need you have been unconsciously seeking, that this person filled? Narrowing down to such specific elements can help you identify the ‘pain points’ to cope with them better.
This strategy can be a sure saviour than making impulsive moves of entering the ‘rebound business’. Immediately getting involved with someone to feel good in the moment, while not being fully healed can do more damage than you’d expect. It’s like covering your acne with foundation instead of treating the root cause. Some day, that ‘bubble’ is going to pop. On the flip side, if being in that bubble works for you, so be it. As long as you’re creating it consciously!
What you avoid today, is likely to confront you in the face tomorrow. So acknowledge your denied emotions preemptively; and while the process may be unbearingly painful, the rewards are liberating.
Forgive Thy Self
A lot of post- break- up singles also end up beating themselves for feeling rejected or even guilty for ‘not doing things right’. This self-depreciating trap does nothing but create low self-worth and frustration. Its like building your own prison that keeps you stuck and stagnant. Through self-forgiveness you give yourself permission to move forward with freedom and purpose.
So while you may have certain realisations in retrospect, it’s important to also cut yourself some slack and take it easy on you.
Refrain from Blame
On the other extreme and more commonly, there’s a tendency to develop resentment towards ‘the ex’ and get caught up in the blame game.
Regardless of how self-justifying this may seem, it doesn’t serve well either. Indulging in activities like back biting about your ex or humiliating him/her on social media to prove a point is not only trivial but also demeans you as a person, even though your friends may not say it out loud.
Contrary to our conditioning, not every break up needs to be ugly. The possibility of concluding a relationship in a peaceful, civil way and wishing each other well, very much exists! It’s called Conscious Uncoupling.
The truth is that different people come in our lives for different reasons and each person brings a lesson or message with them. The best way to extract something from a break up is to treat it as an opportunity for growth and learn the lessons from each relationship, so that you can move on with more insight and knowingness for the new chapter of your life.
You don’t need to bear the burden of grief alone.
There is a natural inclination towards isolating oneself from those who can potentially be of great support. Hesitating in asking for help is a mistake. Before you hit rock bottom, reach out to a friend or someone you trust who’s experienced a break up and has some wisdom to offer.
The simple act of unloading things off your chest can help you revive and realign yourself.
Trust Your inner resilience
We all tend to overestimate the effect and duration of pain, in the process of which many resort to drugs and alcohol to numb it out.
The human mind, however is more resilient than we give it credit for and certainly far more powerful than any substances. There is nothing it cannot adapt to unless we’re intentionally trying to stop ourselves from moving on and adapting to new circumstances. So it really comes down to the fact that everything is only as hard as you make it to be.
Ask someone who has experienced a heartbreak and has gone on to find a renewed self and a more sustained love, and they might agree.
As the historic poet Alfred Lord Tennyosn puts it:
Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
If you happen to be suffering from a recent break up, as difficult as things may feel in the moment, know that this shall pass. All you need to do is give it time.
Meanwhile be conscious of how you speak to yourself and the narrative you create for your life. One bad experience now, doesn’t imply any universal truth for relationships in general or relationships that await you in the future!
More importantly, what’s killing your vibe today shouldn’t be the reason that stops you from being happy tomorrow.