Breaking up with someone we have loved and shared our lives with is one of the most painful experiences of life. After a break up we literally have to re-learn how to be in the world again--and this time it’s alone. Both our lifestyle and our identity completely changes. And we are expected to continue through life, despite having a heart that is broken into a million pieces. Maybe you shared a home, a group of friends, a dog, and/or children. Maybe you shared a connection so unique that a piece of it will be with you forever.
Breaking up is a very important process and when done in a respectful way, both people are able to heal and move on. However, so often we break up with our partners in an unbalanced way. And, severing a relationship with little respect toward the beauty of the connection, can leave scars that last a lifetime.
Being with other people isn’t always easy. When you open yourself up to someone in such a vulnerable way, you are also opening yourself up to being hurt. Therefore, the pain of intimacy can sometimes overpower the love, and when this happens, being together will hurt more than being apart.
Love can literally drive you crazy. It can hurt in a way that nothing has ever hurt before. Love can leave you helpless in a pool of tears, stripped of all strength and dignity, not knowing how your life will go on--hating, resenting, self-destructing. Love can unleash the worst parts of yourself. It can give you a feeling of emptiness that hits your core so deeply, you will stumble and fall, and stumble and fall, and stumble and fall. That is, until you pick yourself up again.
Love will destroy you and thank God for that. Most likely those parts needed destroying anyway. It will destroy you so you can grow to your fullest potential--something far beyond what you ever imagined possible. And when you heal, you will love again.
We are constantly changing and growing into better versions of ourselves. The person you were when you were 20 is not the same person you are when you are 30 or 40 or 50. A great quote by Joan Didion is: “I have already lost touch with a couple of people I used to be.” We work so hard to hold onto identities--but the truth is we are never the same person from one minute to the next. And as we grow, we move and shift in certain ways that either includes or excludes people. And keep in mind our partners are moving and shifting as well. We can grow together or apart and sometimes we can grow apart and come back together. However, many of us do not hold on long enough to see the coming back together part.
As we move on to new relationships, new homes, new adventures, new ideas, new hobbies, we continue our path of exploring self and other. We learn more about giving and sacrifice and making someone happy. We begin to gain a greater sense of self-acceptance. And it is from this point that we can look back at our past relationships and think fondly of them--despite the pain that they brought us. After all, it is that pain that made us shift. We have a choice what to do with that shift. We can allow it to destroy us or we can ride it in all it’s pain and glory in order to become even better versions of ourselves.
And no, we don’t forget our past loves, nor should we. We still hold those memories in our heart and they have a way of resurfacing into our awakening lives. We remember shared experiences, and most importantly we remember how they made us feel. Usually after enough time and space, we remember the love.
If you are currently experiencing a break up or a divorce, please know that the pain is there to help you heal. Allow it to happen. Don’t cover it up with temporary solutions. Remember that the only way out is through. So if you face the pain, your heart will heal. Contact me today to schedule an appointment in my Longmont or Boulder, CO office.