Breakups are tough, no doubt about it. But there are ways to go through one that will make it less bumpy, more hopeful and in the end, more empowering. One way has to do with perception. The same situation can be perceived in different ways, and the way we perceive it makes a difference in how we feel, think and act, which in turn affects the outcome. Here’s an example:
A shoe factory sends two marketing scouts to a region in Africa to study the prospects for expanding business. One scout sends back a telegram that says, “Hopeless situation. No one wears shoes.” The other scout sees things quite differently. His telegram reads, “Glorious business opportunity. They have no shoes!” See what I mean?
In the same way, you could see your breakup (or any crisis for that matter) as only loss and devastation. You could complain and cry and go on and on about the pain for way too long, which would keep you in a continual negative cycle. This negative energy would, like a boomerang, bring you more of the same because what you put out, you get back. It’s a law of the Universe. I’m not saying that loss and pain aren’t a part of it. Of course they are, and you need to give yourself the time and freedom to acknowledge the pain and grieve the loss. But staying in that place will not help; it will hurt you.
You have another choice: View your break-up from a higher perspective. Look beyond the surface for the deeper meaning of what’s happening. Could it be that something new is trying to emerge in your life? Something beyond what your current limited vision can see? Could the Universe be helping you rid yourself of the old so that you can make room for the new? And might that new be better? Something that would bring you more satisfaction and joy?
No doubt, letting go is a scary proposition. We’re diving into the great unknown. It doesn’t matter if what we’re letting go of doesn’t feel so great. It’s familiar and comfortable… two things we humans like a lot. Letting go is, in fact, one of the hardest things that all of us have to do at one point or another. Someone once put it this way…”Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks all over it.” Wow. I can relate. How about you? But there are times when we must let go. And this may be one of those times.
So if we can entertain the possibility that something better might be coming, give it just a little space in our consciousness, then for moments at a time we can look beyond the catastrophe to what’s trying to emerge. We can ask questions like: What are the possibilities for me outside of this relationship? What good in this am I not seeing? Are there gifts beneath this chaos? What are they?
Perhaps the time and energy you spent trying to make something work that simply wasn’t working could be used for a new, exciting endeavor. Or maybe there is someone out there who will be a better partner to you. Or maybe just being alone for a while would give you the space to follow a dream that you’ve put on the back burner.
Going through the crisis consciously–learning the lessons that are there to learn, finding the gifts of the situation, looking for what’s trying to emerge, will give you hope and the strength to get through the hard stuff. It is possible to become a stronger, wiser person as a result of a break-up. Possible to open your heart ever wider rather than shut it down. Possible to become more compassionate, more loving, more forgiving of yourself and others. When you delve deeper, perceive your break-up in a more positive light, you put yourself in a position not only to create more harmonious relationships, but to meet all of life’s challenges at a higher level.
Check out my book, The Affair: From Breakdown to Breakthrough, A Therapist’s Real-life Journey, to learn how my husband and I got through our crisis and made our bond stronger than ever. You can read a synopsis of the book on my website, www.infidelityandaffairs.com and buy it worldwide from all Amazon websites (both print and Kindle) and Barnes and Noble. The book also gives you great tips and insights on relationships, as well as how to deal with this painful circumstance.