Monday, January 28, 2008

Breaking Up: The Process of Healing

There was an interesting turnout on my previous post, entitled, “Self-Improvement”, not so much on my blog, but on the Myspace page I have. I periodically send out bulletins with the post inside it to many people on my list - if it’s a topic I feel strongly about in my heart. I received so many emails from people who were in pain over relationships. I have never sparked this type of response before. My blog didn’t get as many hits as the Myspace did - and the bulk of the response was waiting in my inbox. There were people who emailed me that poured out their souls. I can’t believe how many people are out there in such emotional distress. It amazes me…yet it doesn’t.

During this time in my self-reevaluation period, I’m doing a lot of bible study, prayer and meditation. I can’t tell you how this has helped me tremendously. I’m seeing things for the first time clearly. I want to talk about the people who responded. I’m going to bulk them up into one category: heartbroken. Even though each story they told was a bit different from the next, they still had a common denominator: extreme sadness. From the many stories told, the person felt heartbroken and wanted their ex back. (Of course you only get one side of the story, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt.) It’s really interesting hearing these stories, because every single person on earth can relate somehow. We’re all in it together…

I really want to write about what I’ve learned regarding relationships, whether it’s the end of a friendship or the end of an intimate relationship. There is an important question that has to be asked: did you have more sadness than happiness in the relationship? All relationships have their ups and downs of course, but was the relationship more stressful than it was comforting and loving? Was there more jealousy than acceptance? And everyone is going to say it was great in the beginning… We all have our idiosyncrasies and our “thing” if you will, but when you make a commitment to someone, are you willing to accept their “thing” or just simply pick it apart and dissect it until it drives them completely crazy, or are you willing to love and accept them and live with their “thing”? Why is the divorce rate up more than ever? Commitment is gone. It’s now based on what you see in the movies or TV: lust, passion and having that spark last forever.

Newsflash: it fades. When that exciting lustful phase fizzles out – you better make sure your partner can stand you. Someone told me this amazing quote: “Make sure the person you're with, loves you more than you love them.” This of course, isn’t meant to be taken literally, however it’s a saying to really make sure the person you are with respects and loves you as much as you respect and love them. A lot of people have false illusions that they should have butterflies throughout their entire relationship. What foundation was the relationship built on: friendship or lust? Usually, when a relationship is founded on “friendship”, you have that solid base to fall on. When it’s purely out of lust, you’ll find that the base you fall on isn’t so stable. You’ll sink to the bottom trying to fight your way back to the top again.

Another interesting point is, what position were you in when you first met this person? Were either of you in a relationship at the time? Was there any infidelity on their part while pursuing you or vise/versa? Chances are, if you met them that way, you’ll end up that way. As the old saying goes, "If they cheated on them they’ll do it to you". If you found that they were completely honest throughout the course of their past relationship, then the same concept applies. Look at the patterns. I’m not writing this as a “know it all”, I’m writing this out of experience and what I’ve learned through my own past.

The best advice I have ever heard was this: if you love them, set them free. Really do it. Don’t just say it. Send them off in “love”. Really wish them well. If you truly believe that you loved your ex, then make sure that the end of the relationship goes off in love as well – no matter how harsh the breakup was.

Finally, all of you should be of one mind, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God wants you to do and he will bless you for it. ~1 Peter 3:8-9

Even if you know that your ex is out there badmouthing you and saying things that make you look less than pleasant – keep quiet. Let them ramble on. Obviously, they’re still in pain and need to vent. Don’t retaliate and do something you’ll regret. Remain quiet and calm. Give yourself time to heal, which means limiting your contact with them – not to play games, but to get over your heartbreak. It’s important to make sure that “the no contact rule” applies to only healing yourself. It’s also important to keep in mind that it’s okay to think about your ex. They were apart of your life and will always be sketched in your heart. It’s okay to remember the good times and rehash the past – that’s the normal process. If you deny yourself of these thoughts, then it’ll resurface in another form. Let yourself go through the process.

In conclusion, here are some wonderful scriptures that have helped me. I hope they will do the same for you!

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7

Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. ~Psalm 55:22

We can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. And if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for. ~1 john 5: 14-15

He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds. ~Psalm 147:3

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character is us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. ~Romans 5:3-5

If you can keep in mind that all of the trials you are experiencing right now are like weights for our muscles; they will strengthen you for the next time you get beaten down.

It does get better.