Breakups and Breakthroughs in Relationships
The words people say to themselves and the words heard after a breakup have an impact and a message. Folks know that the messages in fairy tales are not the truth. When we hear, “and then they lived happily ever after,” we all know there is no real happily ever after. Maybe there is an “authentically ever after,” a “hopefully ever after,” or even a “perfect-for-us ever after.”
Wouldn’t it be great if after a relationship, you could just shake hands with the person and say, “Thanks, that was great,” and then go on your way? Or perhaps, “Thanks, I learned a lot of lessons out of that,” or “What a wild ride that was! Take care.”
However, most of the time you are in deep grief and feel as if you’re standing under a dark cloud. Are there other options that you might think and perceive? The grief is real, but does there have to be a dark cloud? Could you be in the afterglow of love instead? Could you surround yourself in the gratitude of your love? Could you stop and think, Wow, what an interesting time in my life that was. Wasn’t that an amazing chapter? Could you be curious about what’s coming next? Do you really have to be stuck under the dark cloud, waiting for the storm to come?
Like most human beings, you probably see being in love as a hill with no relationship to the valley. Do the times when you’re alone have value? We hope you will allow yourself to feel the pain of grief after a relationship ends, but know that constant negative thoughts will only add to the suffering.
Talk to people, especially older people. Hear how amazing their lives were when they were in relationships and when they were without a relationship. In all levels of consciousness, speaking, meditating, praying, and saying affirmations have tremendous healing power. And so does silence. Some will even tell you that when their relationship ended, it was a profound time in their lives, a time of re-creation, reformation, and growth.
The Wrong Person Can Be the Perfect Person
Many of us think that this relationship went sour or that one was a waste of time, and consider those months or years as something we will never get back. But the truth is that each relationship is an experience that we have been uniquely and personally assigned, whether we are with that person for a week, a month, or a decade.
People in intimate relationships usually have the same issues, but in reverse. If you struggle with love, you’ll attract someone who has issues with love. If you have issues with power, your partner will, too, although not necessarily in the same way. And then, it may not be that obvious.
If one person is bossy because he fears he lacks power, his partner may be submissive because she fears finding her power. A couple may have problems with addiction, but while one is the addict, the other may be the co-dependent partner or the rescuer. If the shared issue is fear, one partner handles it by being bold and fearless, while the other person is timid and makes little to no decisions. Like often attracts like, but in an “opposite” way. In other words, in any relationship, one person makes pancakes, and the other one eats them.
What that means is that typically, when a problem occurs, one partner wants to talk and work it out, while the other prefers to be quiet, to let things settle down and work themselves out. The more aggressive person pushes all of his buttons, and his “refusal” to deal with it pushes hers. Both people think that the other has a problem and is handling it wrong. But in a very real sense, each one is perfect for the other in that moment, in that relationship.
Grief After Relationship
In the movies, when the main character falls in love with someone but the affection isn’t returned, he or she keeps pursuing that unrequited love. And in the end, the target of affection—usually at a big dressed-up public event—realizes that the main character is indeed the one! But in real life, most say, “No, thanks,” or “Sorry, you’re not my type.”
What is your thinking in that situation? She doesn’t want me, but someday she will. Or perhaps, I will make him love me, or I will get him one day. Can you just accept the truth? Why let your fairy-tale thinking manipulate the situation? This is a moment when you’re struggling and should be grieving. Can you grieve the disappointment fully and be done? Why chase someone who doesn’t want you? Why would you want to bring that kind of neediness into your consciousness?
Instead, consider the following affirmations:
- A person who loves me back is on his way to me.
- The right person for me will know who I am.
- I don’t have to convince anyone to love me.
- The right person will love me.
The grief you feel at the end of a relationship is sometimes a misperception that things didn’t work out and that your life is going wrong. Of course the loneliness hurts after a relationship ends, but allowing your thinking to focus only on the loneliness will make you even more miserable. Acknowledge it, and be open to more positive thoughts entering your consciousness.
Take a look at your grief, and ask yourself, If everything is unfolding as it is supposed to, what else am I feeling?
If you can separate yourself from the grief of the relationship, you can drop into a deep inner cavern of an old wound and then finally rid yourself of it. Under the grief, you may discover an abandonment issue that’s repeating itself—perhaps a perceived rejection from a parent when you were young, or a first love that spurned you. The healing of these inner wounds won’t necessarily guarantee that you’ll get your next relationship right. But you may find the clarity to understand that relationships never really go wrong. If you find that ending a relationship is extremely hard, just know that you aren’t alone. Most people know how to begin and end relationships, but rarely learn how to complete them.
Every relationship is assigned to you for your healing. Grief after any relationship gives you the window to heal your wounds and begin anew. Each relationship gives you an opportunity to face your fear and anger. But more important, they give you the chance to come closer to authentic healing and true love.
Tapping Into the Love Within
It’s likely that you’ve often heard about self-love—that your greatest love is within you—so we would like to take some time and break down how and why self-love works.
You may wonder why we need to talk about loving ourselves in
grieving the loss of another person after a breakup. There is sadness and often loneliness that must be recognized and honored, but beyond that is an overwhelming emptiness that is more than the vacancy left by the other person. That pain often causes as much, if not more, suffering than the grief of the loss of the person. The overwhelming emptiness is not the other person being gone, but the lack of self-love.
Think of it like a huge tank: If yours is completely empty and someone comes along and fills it with affection and tenderness, you feel an amazing sense of love entering your life. Yet you also feel a desperate neediness, because your tank rises and falls dramatically with the ebb and flow of the relationship. Then, when the person leaves, you are left with nothing, and that kind of emptiness is gut-wrenching.
But what if you had your own reservoir of love? What if someone else coming into your life simply added to it? How different would your relationships be? Grief is a gauge that allows you to take note of how you’re doing in this area.
no one out there is your source or holds the key to true love for you. True love is always inside of you, and you decide, consciously or unconsciously, whether you will allow yourself to access it. In grief, it’s easy to believe that your love left with the person and you are now empty. But we’re here to remind you in your loss that the love you accessed is still within you, ready and waiting. The next new person in your life won’t find it for you, but you can experience it whenever you are truly open.
All the love I need is within me. Other people remind me of the deep love I already have within.
Staying on Your Side of the Court
Picture your world as a tennis court, and you’re playing with someone else. You only have control of your own thoughts, actions, and intentions—not what the other player does or thinks. So many times in grief, as well as in relationships, you may try to strategize, control, and operate from what the other person is doing. You have to bring your thoughts, words, and actions to your side of the tennis court. You have to focus on what you’re doing and how the Universe is responding, and it all starts with your thinking.
Affirmations can help you maintain positive thoughts. After a breakup or when a relationship is winding down, pay attention to your thoughts. You might be thinking, Maybe I could have kept the relationship casual, or He mistreated me, but everyone is human, and we all make mistakes
Sometimes your mind tells you to stay in a bad relationship because you think you need a placeholder—someone who you think loves you and is there for you. If you could see your thoughts as energy, what kind of energy are you attracting and perhaps settling for, and who is responsible for that energy? When a relationship ends, it’s so easy to obsess about the other person: Is she thinking about me? Does she miss me, too? Is she also analyzing the relationship like I am?
All those thoughts are in the past—a past that probably didn’t happen in the way you see it anyway. Think about bringing your thoughts and energy back to the present. Bring yourself back to your side of the tennis court because if your thoughts are all about someone else, who is managing your life? Who is taking care of you? What you probably wanted from your ex was to feel loved and cared for, but look at how you’re not loving yourself. Look at how you’re not taking care of yourself and how little you’re giving to your own life. When you’re obsessively thinking about someone, it’s as if the person is taking up space in your consciousness without paying any rent.
As you reflect on the relationship with gentleness and compassion, notice how you settled for less, how you allowed yourself to engage with someone whose vibration didn’t match yours. You may suddenly feel a pang and say, “Oh, but it did match.” Even if that was true at one point, as you sit here heartbroken, it’s not true anymore. As you move forward, bring your thinking to a higher place. Thank the Universe for this learning experience that resulted from the relationship, as it’s helping you to heal and reminding you of who you truly are.
One of the important lessons in a relationship is that you cannot give what you don’t have. You can’t receive love if you believe that you’re unlovable. That’s why growth is an inside job. The most magnificent love could come into your life, and if you judge yourself as unworthy, you won’t be able to accept it. You may think that it’s always about the other person, but ultimately, the capacity to give and receive love resides solely within you.
Hopefully, you’ve begun to look at your thought patterns in relationships. You can see how grief allows you to peer into your relationship dynamics. You can begin to not judge your past as wrong, but rather understand that the relationship has delivered you to this new starting point. In love, there is no wrong person. There are only perfect teachers. If your relationship is crashing, the only thing to do is to put on your oxygen mask and take care of yourself. Be gentle with yourself, and love yourself.