Monday, August 8, 2011

Breaking Up is Hard to Do But Moving on Can Be Harder.

When my first husband passed away, I learned quite a bit about letting go and moving on.  I experienced, first hand, the pain of having a hole in the middle of my life and not being able to do a darn thing about it.  I know what it means to dial a cell phone number and get the voice mail, knowing he'll never answer again.  Like I said, life has taught me quite a few lessons about letting go and moving on.  

Breaking up is seldom easy to do but it can be the moving forward and getting on with life that can feel like torture.  Letting go of a past relationship requires that we let go of not only the past but of all hopes and dreams that we had for our relationship.  All of the familiarity, inside jokes, silly sayings and whatever else has been built over the course of the relationship gets stripped away and we are left with a very harsh reality.  IT IS OVER!   

No wonder we don't want to let go!  Can you blame a girl for pining away, hoping and or  praying that he will come back?  Maybe he will change his mind or magically change into a completelydifferent person and FINALLY be the partner I've wanted him to be for all these years!  I know it sounds silly but honeeeyyyy, we can conjure up all kinds of unlikely outcomes, when we don't want to deal with the pain that is looking us in the face.  Unfortunately this is one of those places in life that you can't go over, you can't go under and you can't go around it, you have to go (and find a way to get) through it.  So what is a broken hearted girl to do, when clearly her relationship is over and she still can't seem to move on?

Here are a few things that helped me to move on in my life after being widowed.  Maybe they will help you too....

  1. I had to stop running from the pain.  Mainly because I began to realize that I could not outrun it.  This meant that I had to slow down and feel what was happening and let me tell you, this part sucked!  This part of the process that was probably the most gut wrenching but this part also allowed me to begin to deal with reality.  And the reality is; letting go of someone that you still love it is going to hurt like the dickens and the longer you run the longer it stays with you.
  2. I had to get real.  No person or relationship is perfect .  Although that is exactly how we want to paint them when we don’t want to let them go.  I had to admit my life and relationship were not always rosy.  This step was tough because my first husband passed and you know, once someone passes away it is easy to make them a saint.  But when I got real, I had to admit that he was not perfect and nor was I.  Our relationship was a real relationship with some really great times and some times that were hard as hell.  Getting real helped to bring me out of denial and if there’s one thing that will slow your progress to a halt, it’s denial!
  3. I had to remind myself that life could and would be beautiful again.  Although I had a wonderful relationship in the past, that was not the end of happiness for me.  So many people told me that you only get one great love in you’re life, that I believed them, for a while.  But you know what, that’s not true and don’t let anyone convince you that that was your one shot at love and happiness.  Only YOU get to decided that and if you decide that you’ll never be happy again, you won’t (until you decided to be happy again).  
  4. Lastly, I had to make a conscious effort to find my happiness and see the beauty in my own life.  This did take time and energy and there were times where I would slip back into moping.  However, slowly but surly I felt myself moving away from feeling stuck in sadness and enjoying my life again.  I admit, this is not always easy but it is definitely an important part of moving on.  Because if you don’t see your life as great, who else will?
Although moving on after a breakup can be tough, it can be done.  It just takes a little time and effort (okay, okay maybe a lot of time and effort) but the point is it can be done.    So take courage and know, as the old folks say, “This too shall pass”.

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