Just because a relationship ends, it doesn’t mean it’s over. When we take a lover, it’s as though we breathe this person into the very center of our soul, inviting them to take up residence and root down within us.
In the bloom of romance, this joining can be one of the most beautiful experiences we’ve ever had, as little by little, you and your beloved begin thinking one another’s thoughts, sensing one another’s feelings, merging your worldviews, and assimilating each others preferences and rhythms as though they are your own. Becoming, as the Good Book says, “one flesh.”
Excavating your former love from the inner landscape of your psyche can be an excruciating task. If you have ever tried to untangle badly matted hair, you might begin to understand the drudgery of working through grief. The mournful process of forfeiting one precious jewel at a time, as bit by bit, piece by piece, you clear away all that was healing, all that was hopeful and all that was home, until you are left with a barren box that by now, more resembles a coffin than the treasure chest it once was.
The Death Of Love
Even when external breakup is quick, the inner one rarely is. It’s no wonder then that we’ll often try to short change the laborious process of grief by allowing an annihilating rage to wash us over like a torrential downpour. In a fierce attempt to emotionally disconnect and avoid the pangs of sorrow, we’ll allow anger to consume and devour us, quickly moving us from a “soul mate” to a “soul hate” connection faster than we can say the words, “Let’s just be friends.”
At first, hating your former love seems like a good idea because it can help you detach from him or her. But ultimately, if you ever hope to have happy, healthy love in your future, you will want to learn how to disconnect in a healthy way. Because truthfully, your next relationship won’t begin when you meet your next partner, but when you’ve dealt with your previous one.
And besides, inside the blinding rage and festering resentments, you risk doing a tremendous amount of damage to yourself and others, as well as steal the energies you need navigate this ending in a way that will allow you to reclaim our power, and reinvent your life to be even better than it was before.
Yet, the feelings that can come up during a breakup are so big that they can be really hard to navigate without getting ourselves into some kind of trouble. Big rage, big hurt, big hopelessness, big powerlessness, big desire for revenge – all threatening to overwhelm us and cause us to behave in ways that are completely outside of who we want to be, and the image we have of ourselves as being good, kind, loving, fair and decent people.
In the midst of these feelings, we can suddenly find ourselves out of control, saying all sorts of horrible, undermining and nasty things that we never thought we’d say, and doing and all sorts of heinous, monstrous things we’d never thought we’d do.
After all, hurt people hurt people.
How To Move Past The Hurt
Yet, we can learn how to hold and harness the energy of these difficult, big emotions, and transform them from the energy of destruction and into the energy of change . . . allowing them to serve as a powerful catalyst for us to take a huge leap in our own growth and development, as we learn to use all of the energy contained therein to empower us to graduate forever from our old hurtful and disappointing patterns in love. Thereby honoring this loss by harnessing the opportunities for growth it inherently holds.
In other words, if navigated wisely, you can learn through this suffering how you can ensure that you never, ever, EVER have to go through this again.
The Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, wisely says that “anger is the garbage of all emotion, but it takes garbage to make compost, and it takes compost to make a flower.” Every difficult emotion has underneath it, a beautiful gift waiting to be unwrapped.
So, if you find yourself indignant and enraged at how poorly you’ve been treated, you want to celebrate that anger and relate to it as the part of you that is waking up! To relate to it as the part of you that is compelling you to stand for your right to be treated with honor, love and respect from this moment forward. You want to learn to nurture this very healthy impulse underneath your anger, and to sponsor that impulse into the light of day by committing yourself wholeheartedly to that which is seeking to evolve and be liberated within you.
If you’re struggling to get to grips with a breakup, or would like to learn more about unconscious uncoupling, listen to Katherine’s free audio download, Happy Even After: The 5 Keys to Conscious Uncoupling.