Managing The Pain of BreakupsBy Dr. Margaret Paul
May 20, 2014
Do you know how to lovingly manage and heal the loneliness and heartbreak of a breakup?
Breakups are challenging for most of us. However, on top of the heartbreak and grief of a breakup, we often make it worse by the things we say to ourselves. What are some of the things you tell yourself during a breakup that may be adding to the pain?
- I will never meet someone else and I will always be alone.
- I'm a failure, a loser. There is really something wrong with me. I will never be able to have a good relationship.
- This is too hard. It's not worth being in another relationship.
It is the latter that Ingrid is struggling with. She asks:
"After being hurt in a relationship, I tried to give to myself the most loving care ever, and I managed to move on quite quickly. But the thing that scares me a bit is that I also closed so much that even if I think of meeting a nice new person, every bit of my body says: no thanks, I don't want to let anyone into my life. All romantic stuff just reminds me of pain. It didn't happen before after hard breakups. What is right to do in this situation? Thank you!"
When a breakup is so hard that you are afraid to open to another relationship, it means that there are some ways you abandoned yourself in the relationship. It is actually the self-abandonment that may be causing much of the pain – in addition to the actual loss of the other person.
When you abandon yourself in a relationship, you make the other person responsible for your happiness, lovability, self-worth and safety. Instead of taking loving responsibility for your own feelings, you hand this responsibility to your partner. If you imagine your feelings as your inner child, and you imagine handing your child over to your partner, then you can begin to see how devastating it is if your partner leaves. Your inner child – your feeling self – has already been abandoned by you, and now he or she is abandoned by the other person. This is one of the main reasons that breakups are often so hard.
Then, when you judge yourself on top of it, telling yourself you are a loser and you will never be able to be in a loving relationship, you further hurt yourself. If you allow yourself to take the other person's behavior personally, then you hurt even more. If your partner is the one who ended the relationship, he or she likely didn't reject you for your essence. Generally, when we reject someone, we reject them for their wounded self – not for their loving self. It is our wounded self who abandons us and then, from this self-abandonment, tries to control the other person into giving us what we didn't give to ourselves. It this element of control that often leads to the end of a relationship.
Aside from all of this, there is the genuine heartbreak, grief and helplessness of breakups. If we want to be in partnership, then we all need to learn how to manage these very big and painful feelings of life.
Heartbreak, grief and helplessness over the other person need to be managed with much compassion toward yourself. It is love that heals the heart – the love that you bring through from your higher power. Without a connection with your higher power, managing these big hurts becomes too hard.
Ingrid, my suggestion to you is to learn and practice Inner Bonding so that you can deepen your spiritual connection and bring yourself the love and comfort you need to move through your hurt. When you can do this, then you will no longer be afraid of a new relationship.
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Today notice, WITHOUT JUDGMENT, if you are primarily a taker - expecting others to take care of you, or if you are primarily a caretaker - taking care of others in the hopes they will love you and connect to you. Since neither taking nor care-taking are loving to yourself, both are aspects of the ego wounded self and are symptoms of self-abandonment.
By Dr. Margaret Paul