At first, it may seem impossible to learn something from a relationship in which you have suffered, or also enjoyed, or even been unfaithful to… But it is important to observe ourselves to find the learning and to extract new knowledge.
Suffering in the face of a break-up
A breakup can be so painful that it prevents us from seeing beyond the suffering. Our reality “tinges” with negative thoughts, with irrational beliefs, and this ends up affecting us in other areas of which we are also a part.
Pain is natural and can even be adaptive. But, as Buddha said, “suffering is optional”. By optional I mean that I can “carry it” all day and I can make (or not) it completely color my day today.
You can start by carefully observing if your daily actions are aimed at overcoming the pain or at “recreating” it, at thinking continuously about what you no longer have, about what you have lost… Depending on what you observe of your reaction you can see that you face the adversity of pain from suffering or from resilience.
As I was saying, pain is natural and even inevitable, but it is very important to observe it and understand it to see the learning that is hidden behind it: you have to “untangle” reality to see beyond it.
Perhaps it is the learning that I can feel free as a couple, or the learning that there is something in me that is uncomfortable and that affects the couple’s environment, or the learning of some limits I did not set and that hurt me, or the learning that thanks to that couple I have learned something about myself that I could not have learned if I had not been with that person.
How to let go of the pain?
When we suffer, our first reflex is to fight. Fighting against our own feelings and even fighting against the one who was our partner: because he hurt us, he left us, because we stopped loving him… What if I told you you should stop fighting against those feelings and accept them? What if you could surrender to the situation itself and accept it?
Accepting is not fighting, it doesn’t mean that I like something, it’s not that something stays like this forever… it’s respecting that as a person I feel these feelings and that I should let them go. When you let them go, reality “unravels” and I can see beyond it.
Although it may seem implausible to you, letting go is letting it be. It is doing nothing with that feeling, it is just observing it and understanding why.
And when you understand and get to the why, there comes your learning. There comes the learning that I had hidden behind that pain.
You can choose, and that is your power: choose pain and transform it into constant suffering, or you can choose pain and transform it into learning… But the first step is to observe and listen to yourself.
The couple and the breakup
The couple’s environment is that space that exists in common and that we create when we be a couple. In this common space, we must agree, know each other, set limits and barriers that do not hurt us … And just as being in a couple we can learn from each other (and from yourself), also in a breakup is the time we can learn from yourself and what we can overcome.
After a break-up it is time to observe, to understand, to analyze… but, above all, it is time to learn. Because in adverse situations, human beings take out our resilience, our ability to adapt … What if maybe that is your learning? What if maybe your learning is that you can overcome the pain and create a better version of you, knowing you more?
Steps to learn from a breakup
Observe the pain. Listen to it. Don’t let sadness, anger, and rage take hold of you… and if it does, imagine that you can let it go and that you can free yourself from it… how do you feel if you let it go?
Understand the pain. Find its meaning. Understand that it’s normal and part of learning (for example, when we learn to ride a bike… we fall, we get hurt… but we can stay crying and moaning, or we can get up and learn how to pedal or not…).
When you have understood the pain… Go a little deeper and find the learning. What have I learned from this relationship? What have I learned about myself after the breakup? What have I learned that is important and valuable to me?
Remember, if you feel that these guidelines are not enough for you please give yourself permission and ask for psychological help. Outside help from a professional will help you walk this new path of relationship breakup and come out stronger as a person. You deserve it.