Surviving A Painful Divorce or Break-Up – Part II
Here is Part II of the previous post…
Tip #3 is critical, for yourself and for others. Injoy!
3) No New Relationships; You Are Toxic! – And I mean this! I recall my therapist at that time calling me “toxic” during one of our sessions. She vehemently instructed me to stay out of any kind of serious relationship for the time being. I recall a feeling of denial welling up inside of me as those words spilled from her lips and into my ears. My ego was highly offended with being labeled as “toxic”; it repelled the notion immediately. My ego spoke loudly in my head, saying, “she doesn’t know what she is talking about, I am in complete control of my emotions, and I will know when I am ready.” My ex-wife and I had been (emotionally) separated for several months at that time, so in my mind I was totally ready – NOT! I was far from ready. I was longing deeply for the closeness, connectedness, and companionship of someone – I was searching for a better-feeling place than where I was. She had provided this to me for years, and her not being there for me left me feeling sad, empty, alone. I felt abandoned, but I would ultimately come to understand and accept that she did not abandon me at all, she only found herself. And sometimes finding yourself requires a clearing out of your space, which can sometimes include relationships/people, things, even marriages.
We’ve all heard of the term “rebound” relationships before. I never believed much in the concept until I experienced it personally. When our romanticized version of love knocks us down and there is seemingly no way to get up, we tend to lean on something or someone outside of ourselves to help prop us up. We don’t feel we are strong enough on our own, so we seek strength externally. This can drain the energy from the good relationships we may have in tact. This is also why it is so common for prisoners to attach to religion or ‘GOD’, even certain relationships (on the inside and outside) while incarcerated; they develop these pseudo relationships with “GOD” while on the inside, but not long after they are free, they return right back to the life they were living before being incarcerated. It is because what they found wasn’t real, unsustainable. This strength you seek doesn’t reside outside of you; it is inside and just waiting for you to access it.
Guilty as charged: I allowed myself to become involved in a few of these “rebound relationships” before I realized what I was doing, and that I was actually loaded with toxicity. I wasn’t only hurting myself and others, I was also delaying my own healing. I attempted to give my heart (that I felt had been thrown away) to a really wonderful woman, but after failing and hurting her in the process by pulling away in fear, I finally slowed down enough to pay closer attention to the relationships I became involved in, and how I would become involved in them. The feeling of being wanted and needed by someone again was overwhelming, and it caused me to do things I would not have normally considered. In this toxic state, our minds are driven in many different directions. It can be very difficult to logically sort through things as we normally do. This causes chaos.
In order to avoid getting involved with anyone at any serious level, I began to seek out relationships with women who perhaps had also been hurt and were in a similar place mentally and emotionally as myself; women who only wanted closeness and intimacy, but without the commitment or expectations of a serious relationship. So I went online and began searching for various dating sites that connected people who were looking for the same thing as I was – emotionally unattached relationships. I was shocked to find so many resources that could temporarily fill this perceived need that I had. I choose to refer to it as a “perceived need”, because as time passed on I would discover that I didn’t need it at all- at least not in the sense of needing that most of us think in terms of. There were so many wounded individuals out there who were looking for love in all the wrong places, just the same as I was. So try really hard to avoid relationships of any kind, and just focus on YOU instead.
4) Discover New Interests – We tend to lose a part of ourselves when we merge our lives with another in serious relationships, especially marriages. The word “marriage” carries a certain energy with it. It carries a fairytale and fantasized ideal of what love is. It brings with it expectation that can be very difficult for any human to live up to, and by not being able to do so we open up the door for disappointment on both sides of the fence. What’s worse is that most of us enter into these relationships before understanding who we are to begin with, and when the break-up occurs, we try to return to the person we were before entering the relationship – but that wasn’t who we were in the first place either. Now there are at least two layers (possibly more) that need to be peeled away before discovering who-we-really-are at our core.
Being single again can present us with amazing opportunities to reconnect (or connect with for the first time) our true, authentic self. I strongly recommend that during this down time with yourself, you find new things to become involved in. For instance, I became more involved in community volunteering; I budgeted a small sum of money each month to take a roadtrip somewhere – mostly day trips and in natural settings. Sometimes I would travel alone, and other times with a friend or two. Becoming more connected to nature is also incredibly therapeutic. After all, nature is a mirror of ourselves. Do something creative. I began writing and singing again, something that I really love and hadn’t done in years; I began to learn Spanish at a higher level- still working on this one. Thanks to a great friend of mine who had moved to Dubai, I was able to take my first real (non-cruise) trip abroad. Work on home improvement projects, get involved in recreational sports, work with the youth. Search for new things that interest you. Step outside of your comfort zone. If you are not much of a social person, push yourself to become more social. Make new acquaintances and friends. These new relationships can come to be very beneficial as you maneuver toward finding yourself.
5) Express Yourself Creatively – This is something that is necessary in general, whether going through a tough time or not, but even more so when we are experiencing pain. Therapists and counselors often encourage their clients to write, or draw, knit, or find some sort of creative outlet. We are all expressions of consciousness, and everything else around us is also. We all have a highly creative essence within us, though many of us have not tapped into it yet for various reasons. We come from the origin of Creation, so therefore there is a need for us to express this, for expression causes expansion of the very consciousness that we are. When we resist expression, we limit our expansion. If you are angry, find constructive ways to express the anger; if you are sad, let the tears roll freely; if you are feeling depressed, lay in bed an extra 15-20 minutes some days; if you just want to scream at the top of your lungs, climb the nearest rooftop, hill, or mountain and do just that! If you want to just sit up and bitch, moan and complain to someone about it, find a bar on the other side of town and bend a complete stranger’s ear for an hour. I guarantee you that The Law of Attraction will lead you to just the right people and provide just what you need in every moment. The key here is not to ignore or suppress whatever it is you are feeling; find a way to express it openly and freely. But there will come a time to begin detaching. And you will know when that time arrives…if you are listening.
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