Monday, March 10, 2014

After A Breakup, Take Some Time ~ Monday Musings

Occasionally, I meet people who have experienced a bitter breakup. It might be a divorce they didn’t want, but were forced into because of the no-fault divorce law, or perhaps a longtime sweetheart decided to move on, for one reason or another. 

When that happens, those who’ve been abandoned generally find themselves wandering in a desert of emotions. They are angry and sad. They are frustrated and overwhelmed. And on top of everything else, they are lonely. And it is that loneliness that often drives them straight into another relationship, sometimes only a few months later.

So desperate they are to feel loved again that they attempt to jump over the grieving process that needs to follow a loss. I know this because they have told me so.

Sadly, more times than not, the relationship they enter into, before coming to terms with and finding some sort of peace following the loss of the previous one, does not last, or is a stormy one. And it’s not surprising when that happens.

We cannot be perfectly filled with love and contentment, until we have emptied our hearts of anger and animosity. You can’t have love and anger in the same heart at the same time, and expect much success in relationships, because no matter how hard you try to stifle it, suppressed anger will pop out, sometimes when you least expect it, directed at people who don't deserve it.

In the late summer of 1977, I was three weeks away from being married to the man I loved when, suddenly, and without warning, he called the wedding off. At first, it felt as if my heart stopped beating. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t believe it.

In the months that followed, I found myself going through every stage of the grieving process—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—some stages lasting longer than others. 

It was two full years before I felt ready to look for love again, to put my heart out there and trust someone.

Two years may seem like a long time, but ridding ourselves of negative emotions takes as much time as it takes. There's no timetable, and there’s really no way to hurry it along.

There are, however, ways to help you get to the other side of loss. I’ve said before that, for me, journaling helps. By writing down painful experiences, those emotions are no longer stuck inside, but are there on paper to examine and resolve. I wish I had known this in 1977. There are other ways to let go of pain. Counseling. Support groups. Talking with a trusted friend. And, of course, daily conversations with God, and reading the Word.

I believe that doing the necessary work, following a breakup, is not only for your personal benefit, but that your future relationships have a much better chance at being healthy ones when you can walk into them, not as a broken individual, but whole again, with an open heart, empty of emotional clutter, holding no grudges, content with the person you are, inside and out.

Until next time, dear peeps, I'm on a quest to empty my heart of anything that would thwart love's pure flow. Won't you join me?

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  1. There is so much wisdom in this post! This nugget is one I want to use when I teach on "inner healing" type topics, "ridding ourselves of negative emotions takes as much time as it takes". Thank you!

  2. Some times people have to have someone in their life....I have always said ...better to be alone and lonely than miserable with someone. My sister has jumped back into a no where relationship, twice. I tell her slow down....give yourself time to be alone , to think....about , what you truly want in life.Blessings, xoxo,Susie

  3. Wise words, my friend. A very thought provoking post.

  4. Great post, Dayle.
    You have certainly walked the walk regarding painful break-ups. That man missed out on a wonderful woman.
    It's true that journaling is immensely helpful and totally surrendering to the Lord is important, too, but hard.
    I've found that the passage of time is also part of the healing process. Susan

  5. Good wisdom here, Dayle. While not related to break-up I'm trying to figure out how to write about other diseases of the heart that I'm struggling with currently. Your last line really stood out for me... "I'm on a quest to empty my heart of anything that would thwart love's pure flow." too! Blessings to you.

  6. When my first marriage crumbled a counselor told me, "The opposite of Love isn't Hate; the opposite of Love is Indifference." It's so true - when you catch yourself not thinking about the person who broke your heart in a detached, non-personal way then you've definitely moved one. But it does take as long as it takes. For some people - a few weeks or months; for other people - more than a year.

  7. So much of what you have written could be applied towards any relationship, not just romantic ones. Even when friends or family fall out it's difficult. There is some great advice for all of us in here, I'm going to keep it in mind.


  8. Wise words, Dayle, offered with tender, loving care. My prayer is that the brokenhearted will read them and be comforted.

    Hugs 'n blessings,

  9. Sharing what you know is such a blessing to those of us who read here. Thank you.

  10. I would love to join you. I have always been on your team.

  11. Great thoughts, Dayle. Even when it's a death, we do have a tendency to want to avoid or rush through the grief process. But, it must do its work in its time.

    Yes, I'll going you in some heart housekeeping! There's a lot of clutter in the way!


  12. Such a heartfelt post with sweet thoughts and suggestions from someone with a tender heart. :)

  13. Such wonderful advice. As someone who has had a broken heart it is such wonderful words of wisdom.

    Happy St. Patrick's Day weekend!

  14. Beautifully written, Dayle! I've been there, done that....too many times. From a high school sweetheart to marriages and other relationships. It really does take much time as it takes. Counseling was of great help to me as well as relying on God. I didn't know about journaling for a long time and I agree that it helps too.

    I've been helping my daughter and sil pack, move and unpack. Have been extremely busy and terribly exhausted! Hope to get some time to catch up next week.

    Have a blessed weekend!

  15. You know, in reading this I was thinking that there are all kinds of break ups. Sometimes just a break of faith with a friend or a group (or in my case these days with a church) can be as painful as a divorce. Your wise words apply. Thank you.


Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle