Sometimes the vision we have for our life does not at all align with what the universe has in store for us. This is always the case with breakups. They’re never easy. Even when it feels like the world is ripping you both apart in every way, you cling to them because that love is real. You don’t want to let go, not only of the person, but of the life you saw with them. The happy moments. The playful moments where you just felt like children. Even the moments you cried.
Coming to terms with a breakup takes time. But mostly it’s about letting go. Once you begin to release that past life and accept where you are, you start to enjoy the fruits of the lessons that person brought into your life. My recent breakup taught me many things, as anyone who’s been in a loving, committed relationship has experienced.
The golden nugget I wanted to share with you was this:
Life gets so much easier when you stop taking things personally.
This seems so simple and mundane. But actually, it’s one of the most challenging and complex ideas I’ve had to absorb in a long time. Not taking things personally means that you have to understand where someone is coming from on a deep psychological level. It means removing your ego and seeing things for exactly how they are, and not how they make you feel.
When someone lets you down or doesn’t show up in a way that you need them, when they hurt you or do something stupid, when they sabotage themselves or your relationship, when they push you away or play games (note- this is not speaking about my relationship, but things that happen in general to people), it is because they are suffering in some way.
Hurt people hurt people.
The only way to stop this cycle is to not take things personally. Instead of viewing things from a personal perspective, what would happen if you took a step back and got a bird’s eye view of the situation? When you finally begin to remove yourself from the equation, you’re able to see things for how they are. You’re able to spot the origin of the behavior that originally caused you pain and begin to release both yourself and that person from the grips of this situation.
Usually, it’s some sort of childhood baggage that causes conflict. More often than not, there is a weak point in our relationship with ourselves. Maybe there was that one thing you’ve always been insecure about or maybe your parents left you with a small, emotional injury. These are the things that tend to crop up and become hurdles in relationships.
That’s why they say you need to develop a beautiful relationship with yourself before being with someone else. What’s the problem here? No one has a perfect relationship with themselves. No one is 100% secure, 100% honest, 100% self-loving, 100% confident, etc… there’s too much room for error for that to happen.
And so what happens when we put two people with unavoidable baggage together? –>They hurt each other.
But the “hurting each other part” is natural. It’s life. It’s messy and rude and likes to throw dodgeballs straight the face sometimes.
However, the pain others cause us is so much worse when we take it personally. We lash out by being reactive, rather than rational. Whenever I experienced a certain behavior where I felt let down, I would get so upset instead of actually understanding why the person acted like this in the first place.
It takes a great deal of self-awareness and pride-swallowing to step off your throne and try to listen to what the behavior is telling you. What is the underlying message? Nine times out of ten, it’s not about you. It’s about them and shit they need to work through.
I’m not saying that I haven’t been the one to hurt others- I’ve been in both shoes.
I’m also not saying all of this to excuse behavior that hurts people. Understanding is not condoning. But it is healing.
Addressing the action and communicating about it is important. However, everyone needs to feel heard and understood on a deeper level than that.
Baggage can only be let go once it’s recognized and processed. Part of the role of a partnership is to help each other shine a lot on the areas of our life where we hold these invisible, heavy backpacks so we can begin to let them go.
Really loving someone means that you’re willing to see them for who they are. You give them a gift that very few of us receive.
The gift of being profoundly understood.
And, hopefully, the gift of understanding that it’s not always about you.