For some of us, staying close to an ex after a break-up is not even an option. Things ended so badly that neither party wants anything to do with the other. But for others, the relationship ended and there is no animosity, yet staying close is a daily struggle.
Staying close to an ex after a relationship has ended is not easy. Besides, the anxiety about when he/she will respond of if he/she will even respond at all, there is the worry that you are being led on or played and will get hurt. On top of all that, there is the issue of not knowing what it all means and if even what you are doing is good for you. All you know is that, what was there isn’t there anymore and what is there isn’t really there.
It’s like being in limbo — not here but not there either. It’s even harder if you did not want the relationship to end. Being the one who was dumped, you experience more intense hurt over the break-up and as a result often have the hardest time moving on.
How we react to the end of a relationship is a personal matter. We all handle disappointments, hurt or grief in very personal ways, but if how you are handling the end of a relationship is causing you to act in ways that make you less than who you are, or cause you to withdraw into yourself (feel depressed) or cause you to fear opening yourself up to love again, you are not handling the end of your relationship in a healthy way.
You are probably emotionally stuck between what you had and lost, and what you want but can’t have. Between trying to go back into the past and correct the mistakes that led to the break-up and trying to accept your loss and move on. You even find that one day your mind is completely made up, it’s over and you should move on; and the next day your mind is equally made up, you can’t give up so easily, you’ll fight for your relationship.
You feel so stuck that it seems that the only solution is to erase any trace of your ex from your life. For a while, it seems to work. You don’t contact them and they don’t contact you, and over time your new life without your ex begins to take shape. You are smiling again, enjoying the things you used to before the break-up and meeting/dating again.
You have moved on… or have you?
I said earlier that reality has a funny way of contradicting our firmly held beliefs. I also want to add that, we human beings have a funny way of announcing to the whole world just how dishonest, unauthentic and self-delusional we are.
Yes, you have no contact with your ex whatsoever. Yes, you are smiling and enjoying life again. Yes, you are dating and even married again. But if weeks, months or years after your break-up, you are still name-calling or trash-talking your ex, still blogging about what a terrible person your ex was, still telling your break-up story with the intention of making yourself look good and your ex look bad or still unable to forgive your ex, you really haven’t moved on.
It doesn’t matter how many ways you say you have moved on or how many people you tell, you are still just as emotionally attached to your ex as the day before you said you had moved on.
What’s keeping you still emotionally attached to your ex and unable to truly move on is not even that you still want your ex back. You may have moved on from wanting him/her back but not moved on from what happened.
What happened is that you got dumped. What happened is that someone you loved didn’t want to be with you. What happed is that you lost control of what you thought you had control of. What happened is that your ego was bruised or wounded.
Now, there is nothing unhealthy about telling your break-up story or writing a blog or book about it (and even making a few bucks out of your pain), if you are honest with yourself — that you really haven’t moved on from what happened.
What’s unhealthy about it is not honestly dealing with your emotions and thinking that just taking your ex out of the picture is what is needed to heal and move on. By making it about your ex, you are refusing to take responsibility for your own experience and therefore denying yourself the important lesson the experience is trying to teach you.
What’s unhealthy about it is allowing your bruised or wounded ego to interfere with someone else’s emotional healing and growth, and in so doing standing in the way of their desire to experience ego-free love.
To experience ego-free love, you must learn to sometimes stand there in limbo — knowing nothing, having nothing and being nothing. What better limbo is there than one where what was there isn’t there anymore and what is there isn’t really there?
That place where you know nothing, have nothing and are nothing, fellow human beings, is where true, unlimited and abundant love begins. Until you have been there, you will always operate from a scarcity mindset. Until you have been there, your wounded ego will always direct your reactions and behaviours. Until you have been there, your healing hasn’t even began.
If you truly want to move on from what happened, if you truly want to heal your wounded ego, allow yourself to go THERE — even if it hurts so much to do so!
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