Psych: Happiness Leaders
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Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
Use the healing power of patience and trust to help you heal
By lyssa - 03:09PM - 05/01/2012
Seasons of Change is a biweekly column from Jayne Clark addressing different topics each season. Spring's focus is relationships. Jayne Clark works intuitively with clients to help them resolve issues regarding relationships, loss, grief, health, and career path. To learn more, head to jayneclark.com.
We can't talk about romantic relationships without addressing the "black eyes" that often surround them—breakups, separation, and divorce. Whether you are the one leaving, the one being left or if the decision is mutual to part ways, ending a relationship can be very difficult.
Often times we are consumed with feelings of inadequacy when we are the ones being left. We wonder what we did wrong, what we could have done differently and why we were "not enough" to make them stay.
Breakups and divorces are never just about the superficial reasons we think they are—we can't communicate with each other, we have grown apart, she spends too much money, he works too late, he cheated, she cheated, she won’t discipline the kids, he won’t engage with the family, she drinks too much ... There is always an underlying issue at hand that requires a more advanced, sophisticated perspective.
People come together for specific spiritual reasons—to heal our current concept of love, experience forgiveness, surrender the walls around our heart, or let go of our need to be right. These and other spiritual reasons challenge our ability to grow beyond our physical desire for companionship, having someone to share our life with, or creating a family.
That is why it is so dangerous to stamp "forever" on a romantic relationship. Sometimes people come into our lives for months, years or for a lifetime. The most important thing to remember is to be in the relationship as honestly and openly as we can. The outcome will always take care of itself.
A little over a year ago, I ended my six year relationship.
The hardest thing about this breakup was that neither one of us did anything "wrong." There was no infidelity, disrespect, or mistreatment to the other one in any way. There wasn't a classic symptom or reason which made the parting even more difficult. In fact, there was mutual kindness, thoughtfulness, and love.
The deeper issue for me was that I spent my entire adult life in pursuit of a romantic partner.
I kept chasing after security, stability, and the guarantee that I would always be okay. Because those were my subconscious motivators, I never learned how to take care of myself emotionally. In the outer world, I functioned pretty well. On the inside, however, I felt like a train wreck.
I did not feel confident about who I was, my value or my worth. I had not experienced myself outside of either being in a relationship or chasing after one. I felt paralyzed by the thought of being alone.
I had to give myself the opportunity to stand on my own two feet and face all that I had been running from: insecurity, self-doubt, and shame. I had to face all the ways in which I hated myself and how disgusted I was by the thought of who I thought myself to be. And unfortunately, I had to take this journey alone.
At first, I felt miserable.
All I wanted to do was bury myself under a rock ... no, that's not quite right ... more like a boulder. Yes, a big, huge, ginormous, can't-even-move-it-with-a-crane kind of boulder. Knowing I had made this decision in search of my own spiritual and emotional healing, I still wanted to run and isolate from everyone who loved and supported me. I felt so ashamed of what a mess I was—at least that was my perception.
That is what breakups and divorces do: they expose all of the dysfunctional thought patterns we have about ourselves, love, and romance. When we don't have another person to "hide behind" or to distract us from our own selves, feelings of insecurity and unworthiness always rear their heads.
The two resources I called upon within myself to assist me in the healing process were patience and trust. Patience taught me to allow the healing process to work in and for me. Trust taught me that it would be so.
Parting ways with someone whom we have spent time with and shared life with is never easy. And it's never the "right time." If we are going through a breakup, it's important to give ourselves the necessary time to heal.
If you are the one initiating the breakup: bless yourself, your partner, and the relationship. If you are the one being broken up with: bless yourself, your partner, and the relationship. And if both of you have mutually agreed to end your time together: bless yourselves, your partner, and the relationship.
To bless the whole relationship allows for deeper understanding and insight to the role our former partner played for us and us for them. Keep the love. Heal what remains painful and hurtful. And pray for the eyes to see them clearly—for they are the ones who fulfilled their spiritual and physical commitment in helping us find our way back home.
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