Let’s face it. Never in the history of breakups has anyone ever said, “that breakup was fun!” Unless the person you’re breaking up with is a monster and you have no positive or genuine feelings towards them, you likely spend your time dreading an impending breakup. The hard time of being emotionally raw, heartbroken, and sometimes utterly lost is daunting at best. When the feelings you are experiencing are deep, breakups can leave you feeling like you are wandering around without a much-needed limb. Every day tasks seem impossible, and even just getting out bed some mornings can be one of the hardest of things to accomplish. It’s easy to hide away and seclude yourself in your little den of depression where darkness seems to overtake you, and some days it’s hard to see any way out. When you have a life planned out with someone, and that life comes crashing down, it can be of the most catastrophic events you may face. So how do we learn to deal with the negative emotions in a positive way?
One thing I have learned from my past breakups and mistakes, that I seriously wish I could go back and slap my younger self in the face with, is to make sure you take the time to feel the pain. It’s messy, it’s uncomfortable, and it downright sucks. But you know what sucks even more? Taking that brokenness into another relationship and having it turn out the exact same way as the rest of your relationships. If you are not taking the time to heal your wounds, you’re unknowingly allowing yourself to carry them with you wherever you go, with whoever you encounter. You will soon find yourself in a situation where you are on an endless merry go round of toxic relationship, after toxic relationship. By continuously subjecting yourself to breakup after breakup, you lose the value of what love really is. Love isn’t meant to be messy all the time.
Yes, there are ups and downs- not every relationship is puppies and rainbows. But love isn’t mean to be heartbreak after continuous string of heartbreak. Love is hard, but love isn’t intentionally hurtful. There shouldn’t be more sadness than happiness. There shouldn’t be more pain than joy. When you lose the value of love and learn to just expect heartbreak, you start to build up a wall of emotional protection and let me tell you, eventually that wall becomes so impenetrable that not even prince charming himself can breakthrough.
Take the time to feel the pain. To learn to forgive. To grieve the end of the relationship. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to take all the time you want. There is no time limit on how long it takes you to get over someone. It doesn’t matter if it takes days, weeks, months, or years. Everyone deals with heartbreak different. Everyone deals with breakups different. Don’t let someone else dictate how, or when you should be over someone. Heartbreak is real, no matter how long or short you were with someone. Feelings are feelings and they should never be ignored. Everyone heals at different rates. Don’t rush it, if you rush through the process or use emotional band-aids to cover the problem, you run the risk of not healing completely. Not allowing yourself full healing is inevitably going to lead you back into the same situation– either with that same person, or with someone just like them.
You’re going to consider going back during the post-breakup period and I think that anyone who denies that they even gave it a moment of thought is a liar. Hey, you may even do it a time or two. But through each breakup (hopefully it doesn’t end up being multiple) you will learn to see through the façade of a “healthy” relationship you may have thought that you had. If you are anything like me, you learn these lessons the hard way. I gave way too many chances, to all the wrong people. I still do, I am a work in progress. I used to beat myself up for giving someone the time of day who I knew didn’t deserve it. But now I have learned to see it as a learning experience. I’m not perfect, I get lost in old feelings. But that’s exactly what they are… old feelings.
It’s easy to go back to what you knew. What’s scary is facing the unknown. The possibility of a future without someone you are so used to having around is terrifying. I would hold on to people I knew where not right for me, all because I was terrified of what my life would be without them in it. I had become comfortable in my own mess. Even though it was a mess, it was my mess, and I knew how to haphazardly navigate it. Even when the final destination of that navigation was always heartbreak. I knew how to deal with that heartbreak and breakups- patch it up haphazardly and on to the next one… if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you all know how well that worked out for me.
Never did I ever think that it was necessary to allow myself to truly feel the feelings that came along with breakups. I never wanted to feel the disappointment, the sadness, or the aloneness. So I would find any outlet I could to distract myself. I do think that during a breakup you need to find reasons to get out of bed in the morning, distractions are needed to keep yourself from fully giving into the self-pity that may come with a breakup. But completely shutting out the emotions is what I continuously found myself doing. I pretended that I wasn’t hurt, or that I didn’t really care and I would bury my emotions. Ignorance is bliss, right? I was in denial. Denial about the disaster of a dating life that I had. Denial about how hurt I really was when another relationship didn’t work out. In denial about how much I needed some help.
I wish I had some secret formula I used to navigate the mess of a breakup and to learn to heal my heart. That A+B= C and boom, you’re fixed. I tried everything, and I mean ev-er-y-thing. I found myself getting to a certain point in my healing and then would hit a wall and be stuck, not knowing which way to turn. No matter what I did, that wall was not moving. But you know what finally changed? I turned back to my faith. So, I guess in turn that is the secret formula.
You see, I finally got to the point in my life where I gave up on doing it on my own. I realized that I couldn’t do it on own. I don’t think we are meant to deal with the messiness of breakups on our own. We aren’t meant to have to focus on healing ourselves alone. I’ve learned that I have weaknesses that I simply am unable to heal or deal with on my own, but in those weaknesses I can count on Jesus to help get me through. Psalm 34:18 became a verse that I leaned on during the times I was at my lowest. “The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” He can heal all wounds. He can turn everything around if you just allow Him to help. He is always there ready to help you if you just ask.
By finding my way back to my relationship with God, I have started to realize what true, no strings attached love is. I started to focus my attention back on Jesus and slowly my tolerance for things of my past melted away. I’m not saying I don’t have days that I don’t look back at things in my past and miss them, I’m human… But I do have a much larger hope for a greater and better future. You know what? It’s taken time. It’s taken patience, and it’s caused me to deal with some pretty deep emotions. I’m still learning, I still mess up and I know I will always mess up. I have my days of doubts, and my days of darkness still come and go (although much fewer). But I have hope now. Knowing that I am not alone in this, and that I wasn’t meant to deal with a string of dark and harmful emotions all the time was life-changing for me.
I hope that every girl or guy who reads this blog realizes that they deserve so much more than a continuous string of boys or girls who don’t care enough to really care. Don’t waste your time trying to push a relationship that brings you more sadness than happiness. If someone is continuously taking advantage of the love you so freely give, it’s time to walk away. I know breakups are tough. But take the time to allow yourself to be healed, to feel the pain, and to realize that you deserve more. I do think it’s always going to be a continuous path, it doesn’t happen over night. You’ll grow over time and learn so much more about yourself than you can imagine- the good, the bad, and the ugly. But when you realize what love is really supposed to be, your tolerance for anything less becomes greater.