One of the greatest realizations when plummeting through post-breakup trauma is that ultimately despair has cursed everyone capable of love. It changes the way we look at certain people — and ourselves — forever. Even the greatest of thinkers, writers and celebrated romantics have felt the touch of the void. Perhaps just knowing that what we feel, and what we think we know, is merely part of a repeating timeless echo, may give us the strength to move on and find greener pastures.
“Time heals griefs and quarrels, for we change and are no longer the same persons.”- Pascal.
In my mind, there is a great deal of comfort to be had in knowing that while we may be our own worst enemies, time will passively heal our wounds. I don’t feel this advocates sitting back and hoping the tide will wash over you sooner or later, but it can be a source of comfort.
“If someone you love hurts you cry a river, build a bridge, and get over it.”
Blunt objectivity is hurtful, but certainly the most beneficial approach to healing (in my mind). Self-pity and depression are part and parcel of a turbulent break up, and should be accepted as such. Nevertheless, they can be taken to far. Realizing that you are ultimately responsible for your own happiness and success should spur you to convert sadness into energy and not only move on, but become something better. As you improve, so will your self-esteem, expectations and standards. Can you think of a cleaner way to look behind you and smile?
“Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.” – Helen Keller
Self-pity destroys everything that has value in our lives; friendships, relationships, self-worth and happiness. Reveling in it will only deepen our depression and drive away new opportunities. My suggestion? Fake it till you make it!
“To change ones life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly.” – William James
I often hear people describe their post-breakup moratorium as a grey, ground-hog day scenario. The reason for this is not all our consciousness’s fault. The brain loves safe zones and routine. A break up is no different from cutting any addiction in that it causes a form of emotional and chemical withdrawal. Shocking the brain into creating new safe zones is a proven way to move on. Replace one addiction with another — your new love affair with yourself! Think of how you’d like to live, of how you’d love to be seen and do it — as flamboyantly as possible.
“Gather strength from life’s storms.” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie
There are two sides to everything. If a future without your ex seems intolerably sad, bear in mind a widespread fact. Ask anyone who has not recently broken up if they still carry regrets. You’ll often receive the same answer: “I still love, care or think of him/her now and then, but I’m more functional, productive and happier without him/her”. Your breakup will strengthen you and propel you into the future, opening you once again to an unlimited array of options, senses and experiences — in short, you will live again. You miss them based on who you are today (and don’t forget that routine is habit forming, much of what you are feeling is chemical as well), but tomorrow you will be someone else!
“The worst thing is holding on to someone who doesn’t want to be held on to.”
My last point is the only point which is not aimed at personal introspection. As solipsistic as your pain may make you feel, bear in mind that it is entirely normal for feelings to wax and wane. Often, holding on causes not only pain for yourself, but pain for the person who is trying to break free. As they say…
“If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.” – Kahlil Gibran