There is nothing clean about a break up. There is nothing sanitizing, and soapy and cleansing about losing time and energy with someone that you cared for. Nothing. I even hate the phrase ‘break up.’ Like what else can it be called?! There has to be something else.
A few years ago, Gwyneth Paltrow said she and the leader of Coldplay, whom she was married to, said they weren’t divorcing, they were ‘consciously uncoupling.’ That sounded even sillier. That’s a cheaper name for an annulment. That’s what some churches do: it just ERASES your relationship. With like the quickness it takes to pee or blow your nose. It’s just OVER. That’s even worse. At least give me the respect of a spme paperwork! A call log, something! Don’t just say to me “Nall, I changed my mind, you and I never happened.”
The harder thing about a break-up is to admit that you were involved with something that wound up not working. You admit, or begin to admit, something that you are a conscious part of is indeed not working or able to work no matter what you do to fix it. That is hard. There are people for fear of being alone, will never, ever, admit that to themselves, which is more honorable to the relationship. Maybe we should call is ‘conscious honoring’. This is where you admit what you are doing is not working. It won’t ever work, and you do what is in the best interest of you and your partner. But namely, you.
The thought of being alone is frightening to many people. With the society we have now, everyone is engaged, everyone is pulled in, downloaded, app-ready and a swipe away. We don’t now what it means to be ‘alone’ or by ourselves. We don’t have the luxury of listening to own thoughts on a consistent basis without a notification going off. That’s what makes these decisions and feeling so hard to deal with.
The dirty secret? No one can complete you, they can only complement you. They will only compliment you. It is not another person’s responsibility to heal you, complete you, fix you, and make your crooked ways straight. You cannot assign, designate someone with the same issues or tendencies for mishaps and brokenness as you to somehow make everything about you that displays the same thing okay.
This is why break ups hit so hard…the dream shatters. The thought of forever is gone and you have to face that. You have to admit that what you chose isn’t working and may never work. There is an honesty that is brutal in admitting what we cannot do. It is always easier to be with someone else and construct new crises rather than to do introspection on what contributed to what lessons are gleaned from the relationship. That is hard. It is hard. There will never be a time where it is not hard. The investment of time, love and energy is hard to replace unless healing takes place.
Where does the ‘Now What’ come in? Right here.
You were an entire person before you met this person so know you have to reconnect with that person. The dirty secret no one tells you is that you aren’t the exact same person you where as when you got into that last relationship. You now have to incorporate those experiences, good and ill, to the grand tapestry that is now your life. There are things that were once foreign to you that you now have to accept and recognize as good or ill. Can you do that apart from time alone? No. Will this introspection be needed? Yes. Will it be painful? Without a doubt.
You, me, them, us…this is what a dear friend of mine calls ‘shadow work.’ These are the things that few people know about you, things that are still painful and that you haven’t worked through, but can be worked through without anyone seeing it. In that, with that, is a blessing. Why? So no one can see you bleeding. No one can see you struggle openly, and if they do, they can at least remind you that you won’t die in this period of not being with someone. In this age of everything together, it seems evil to be separate from things…especially people. But, it’s necessary! It’s necessary because you have to be content and happy with whom you are before you begin to search for someone to ‘complete’ you.
You are complete when you can look at your ‘shadow work’ and know that all you’ve done and the result is you working through that. This way, you are indeed the best you for YOU, and you cannot be, will not be defined by someone else’s thoughts of you or lack of identifying the awesome in you.
If you love you first, no one can love you last.