Experiencing a breakup? Is the relationship that you thought would last forever, now over? Are you feeling dazed and confused, unsure how to pick up the pieces?
Breakups are common, and especially in love relationships. Of course, many of us have experienced the hurt of separating from a loved one. Someone we gave our heart to, who we thought we would be with forever. The personal stagnation and depressive feelings that resulted from the disappointment of loving someone completely, only now to feel rejected and wonder if the love was ever reciprocated? You may then start to question your personal worth as well as battle the thoughts of inadequacy, doubt, anger, and hopelessness that so easily creep in on us. While the candid reality of the ending love relationship is real, we also experience breakups in many other ways too, but we just don’t tend to define them like this. We can breakup with our families, our jobs or careers, material possessions, goals or dreams, ideals on who we are, and of course our breakup with pieces of our persona who once made up who we are, or were, or something like that…these are the breakups that are very common, and most often overlooked.
Breaking up with ourselves may happen in various ways:
- First, we evolve and change in some way. Maybe we have matured through some tough challenges, or you have been impacted by life circumstances. You now see life in a different way, and can never see life through the perspectives and beliefs you used to have.
- Second, our interactions with people change. The ways that you talk to and engage with others is new. Your predisposition to anger is lessening, and your patience with accepting the flawed human status is heightening. You carefully craft your words before you use them, and you do much more critical thinking before coming to conclusions about your experiences or making decisions.
- Third, you see yourself as a new person. Life has a way of shifting our understanding and belief in ourselves. Similar to the evolving and change that occurs in our life, seeing yourself as a new person includes leaving who you used to be in your past, behind you. The mistakes you made and the life you lived are part of who you are, but you no longer allow it to define you.
- Fourth, life is moving by much faster. As we age, time seems to be fleeting. Our days and weeks blend together with the months and years. It is suddenly hard to remember the small details because we are so busy keeping up with our faced-paced lives. We desperately want to shift our priorities and slow down, and smell the roses of life. We want to spend more time with family and loved ones, and we want to begin pursuing our passions and initial goals for our life.
The breakups within all of these stages occur because we are going through the process of separating from a familiar aspect of ourselves and our daily lives. It is not easy to evolve and change. Fact is, change can awaken the same emotions as fear for our brain, causing anxiety and panic. When our interactions with others cease completely or are altered in some way, this might cause us to question our sense of self, as our connections to people are important indicators of our character and development. Seeing ourselves as a new person has a major impact on separating the new from the old “us” as we navigate life. We are most often not the same person in our late 40’s as we were in our teens, and this is the cycle of life, one that is sometimes embraced but often provokes fear because we desire the familiar. Then, as we age, we breakup with our concept of time. Our life begins to have more meaning because an hour of time is perceived as a valuable commodity. By the adult stage of our lives, many of us have lost loved ones and we now see the true value and unpredictability of life.
These breakups can sometimes be more difficult to accept than the ending of a love relationship. We just do not see these major changes in life as breakups. The pain and confusion that are the result of these developmental breakups are often ignored because society just expects us to deal with them and immediately move on to the next thing in our life. But when you really think about it, and I mean really consider it, isn’t is hard to accept the breakup with your former self? Is it easy to accept that some goals or dreams you once had may not blossom? Are you challenged by the rapidly growing speed of daily life? Do you feel disconnected from things and people in your life that you used to feel bonded to?
If you answered yes to any of the above, my friend, you have faced an internal breakup.
Just as with a love relationship, the breakup hurts to our core, but it does get better if we center ourselves and work to get through the emotional pain. We have to open our minds to accept the loss, acknowledge the emotions we feel, and then take action to heal. If we stay in our wounded state for too long, the opportunity to grow through the loss or change might pass us by, and we will be stuck in an unhealthy mental and emotional place. Take a few steps back and try to look at yourself in a transparent way, and then determine if you need to begin to transition into the healing and acceptance phase of the breakup, and then do it. Reroute your new self and your new life so that you can become connected with the requirements of the next season of life, with the living of life that is necessary after the breakup. You owe this to yourself to find a healthy way to be at peace with the change, and to grow through the pain. It will get better if you want it to, but if you do not work at it and MOVE toward the peace you need, then it will not get better, instead it will likely get worse.
And breakups are real, at any and every stage of life. But the breakup can also be a wonderful opening to our new life and the new person we have become. Embrace the change instead of rejecting it.
Want to understand more about the relationship you have with yourself before the breakups happen? Click here