It’s time for another reader inspired question. Liz sent me this heartfelt email with an issue most of us are all too familiar with (edited a bit for length):
“I only started learning about LOA at the beginning of July, after a friend lent me The Secret; I was going through a rough time. My relationship had ended among some other things, but the end of my relationship broke my heart; I loved this man so much, and still do.
My problem is that I thought I was doing well; I had stopped crying, was being happy, but I have lost my way. I was dealing with it all fine, I thought. I know I need to make myself happy and that no-one else can, and I truly believe in LOA, but other things have now happened and I feel that I am crumbling.
My question is, how do I stop myself from crying, how do I get back to that happy place? I am trying and thought I was doing great, but now I’m back to getting emotional again, filling up with tears and trying to talk myself out of it and find better thoughts. Then, half an hour later, the tears are stinging my eyes again. Just looking for a bit of clarity.”
Liz already has her answer, because I’m awesome like that. She then gave me permission to repost part of her question here, so that I could answer it more generally, for everyone’s benefit, because she’s awesome like that. Do you see how awesomeness attracts awesomeness? This is called the Law of Awesomeness. Ok, not really, but I still want that on a T-shirt. LOA: Law of Awesomeness. But I digress…
All relationships end at some point. Some end with death after 50 years of happy marriage, and some end after a few months, weeks, days or even hours. They will all end; that’s just a fact. But we don’t want to face that. We have this belief that we not only have the ability but some kind of responsibility to make all our relationships last forever. So, when a relationship ends, it signifies some kind of failure. We couldn’t make it work, most likely because there’s something wrong with us. We ask “Why did he leave me??”, “Why wasn’t I good enough?!”, “What does that skank have that I don’t have?”, and cause ourselves a great deal of suffering.
But the truth is that it was never our responsibility to make the relationship last for any length of time. Nor is that even possible. Because nothing we can DO will affect how long a relationship lasts. It all comes down to our energy.
You think you were attracted to his hunkyness and whit, but you weren’t
When two people are attracted to each other, it’s an energy thing. Oh sure, you may focus on the other person’s physical attributes (T&A or P&A*). But what you were feeling, the thing that gave you all the tingles and hot flashes, was the fact that your vibrations matched each other. It ain’t called good vibrations for nothin’, people. That’s what “chemistry” actually is – an energetic match between two people. Now, you don’t have to match up completely (no one ever does), but if a significant enough portion of your vibrations line up, there’s going to be a connection. Sometimes it’s a deep friendship, sometimes it’s love and fireworks and sometimes it’s a brief but satisfying, um, encounter of the dirty kind. The more closely your vibrations match up, the more connected you’ll feel.
Why relationships end
The reason relationships end is because that energetic match decreases or ceases to exist altogether. People change and their vibrations change. And when that happens, they’re often no longer a match to the same people, places, or jobs. This is unavoidable. We are all constantly evolving, whether we know it or not. Life causes us to evolve. Who We Really Are is constantly expanding and what we want and desire is forever changing. And when we don’t keep up with that evolution, when we hold on to old thoughts, situations and people, we get very uncomfortable. The gap between Who We Really Are and our physical selves widens. And the wider that gap is, the more suffering we subject ourselves to.
When a relationship ends, it’s not because one or both parties somehow failed. It simply means that these two people are no longer a vibrational match, that’s all. And that’s really nothing unusual. Relationships evolve, change and often end. Friendships end or grow more distant, lovers grow apart, kids leave the house and grow up (forever altering the dynamic of the relationship), employees leave, people unfriend us on Facebook. It’s not our fault. It’s no one’s fault. Our paths were simply no longer aligned. A relationship changing (growing closer, further apart or completely being altered) is no different than it ending, and we’re often just as reluctant to let that happen.
Why does it have to hurt so damn much?
Ok, the short and totally unrealistic, but theoretically correct answer is: it doesn’t. Yeah, I know. I said it was unrealistic. But in order to be completely accurate, I have to tell you that we’re not supposed to suffer, and that if we were all completely enlightened then breaking up would be no bigger a deal than saying goodbye after having coffee. But, since we live in the real world, and most of us haven’t completely ascended to pure love energy, I’ll admit that breaking up and especially getting broken up with, hurts like a mofo. But it’s not because they left us. It’s because of the way we’re looking at the situation and the way we’re thinking about ourselves. We’re allowing this situation to cause us to doubt our own self worth. And that’s always going to hurt.
Because of this horribly wrong but pervasive belief that it was our god damned job to make this work, and that if only we were better looking, smarter, cuter, hipper, or more awesome (and in some cases, less awesome), this person would still be around, when there’s a breakup, we immediately start to question what went wrong. What did we do wrong? Why didn’t they love us anymore? What could we have done to keep them? Oh, and then we replay every relationship that we’ve ever had, skewed through the filter of “Nobody ever loved me”, conveniently forgetting the fact that most of those other partners were horrible douchebags who we were glad to see the back of, and wonder why God created such an unlovable, messed up failure of a pathetic creature. Insert pint of ice cream (or bottle of cheap whiskey for the dudes) here. Yep, it’s all our fault.
Except, as I already explained, it isn’t. It’s the circle of life. Bambi gets eaten by Simba (they all live in the Disney forest. Shit is bound to happen, right?) and the one we thought was THE ONE, gets away. But when we think these horrible thoughts about ourselves, thoughts that our inner being absolutely doesn’t agree with, it hurts. It hurts, because our inner being doesn’t agree. It hurts because those thoughts aren’t true. And yes, I know that knowing this doesn’t make it hurt less. But it can make it hurt for less time. Knowing what the actual cause of our pain is, can help us to shift our perspective and think better feeling thoughts. Eventually.
How to feel better
When we go through any kind of trauma, it’s important for us to give ourselves some time and a bit of space to feel whatever feelings come up. We shouldn’t just push them away. Breaking up hurts. So, we need to let it hurt. But not forever.
Liz rightfully acknowledged that she knows that it’s her job to feel better. This acknowledgement doesn’t instantly get rid of the pain, of course, but it will begin the process. Instead of repeating things I’ve already written about extensively, I’ll simply point you to two resources I’ve already published.
How to Get Out Of A Funk – is probably the most relevant article I’ve written on how to feel better when you’ve hit a really low point.
The Vibrational Ladder – will help you to gradually change your thoughts and how you feel. Remember that you’re not shifting “He doesn’t love me” to “He loves me” but “It’s my fault”, or “I’m unlovable” to “This was a valuable relationship, and I’m grateful to have had it” and “I am loved.” You won’t be able to make this jump in one go, hence the gradual technique.
For best results, I recommend raising your energy a bit using the distraction method (Get Out of a Funk) and then the Vibrational Ladder.
The relationship had value
The fact that the relationship ended doesn’t mean that it didn’t have any value. The ending of the relationship has no bearing whatsoever on what people meant to each other, the depth of the connection between them or what either of the parties got out of it. It simply means that the individual paths of these two people went in different directions. Nothing more.
Often, when trying to recover from a break up, it helps to remember how this other person helped you to grow. Now, don’t misunderstand me. Most people, especially when they’ve been broken up with, will look back on all the good times and use those as an excuse to make themselves feel worse. They will way “See? We had such a good time. What happened? Why did they abandon all of that? What’s so horrible about me that this wasn’t enough?” THAT’S NOT WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. Sorry to shout, but heartbroken people are often hard of hearing. (When I publish this, it’s going to say so on the internet, which makes it a fact.) I’m suggesting that you look at what YOU, personally, got out of the relationship. How are you better off now? How have you grown? What lessons have you learned about yourself? What did this person help you to see about yourself? Remember that everything and everyone in your life is a mirror to your vibration. So you elicited all the good stuff and the annoying stuff from them. What did they help you to see? How did they help you heal?
Then, when you’ve identified a few things, don’t go down the “look at how good things were. Why didn’t it work out” route. Instead, be grateful that this relationship came into your life and realize that if this one made you grow so much, that the next one will be even better! Yes, this will take some time. It’s a process.
Why we can feel better for a while and then worse again
In Liz’s question above, she mentioned that she thought she’d been doing fine, only to suddenly fall back into crying and feeling sorry for herself again. Why can we seemingly make such progress and then suddenly be engulfed in pain again?
The problem is that we’ve invested a great deal of energy into those ugly, painful thoughts. The belief they are based on is pretty much a global belief. It’s old and strong and there’s a tremendous amount of momentum behind it. It’s like we’re riding our bike in a well worn groove on a dirt road and trying to forge a new one. It takes some time and effort. We’re able to change our thoughts for a bit and feel better, but when we stop paying attention for a minute, we fall right back into the old train of thought and feel horrible. This will happen and it doesn’t mean we’ve failed. It’s bound to happen. What we want to do is not beat ourselves up every time we fall back into the old groove, but rather celebrate every time we manage to jump over to the new, better feeling one. And the more we do that, the easier it will get and the less likely we’ll be to fall back again. We have to think those new thoughts long enough for them to gather enough energy so that it becomes easier to think those thoughts than the old ones. And this can take a bit of time and focus.
Let them go
When people gravitate out of our existence, it’s generally best to let them go. Sure, there are examples of when people fought for each other and ended up having a fabulous relationship spanning decades, but in that case, the breakup was a catalyst for growth, instead of a symptom of differing vibrations. How can you tell the difference? Well, you can feel it intuitively, but it’s incredibly difficult to do so while you’re in pain. It requires you to be really, REALLY honest and objective and who amongst us can do that while in a heartbroken state?
I have personally fought for a relationship (once) and it did work out. I just knew that I had to fight, and looking back, there were signs that this was an intuitive decision, rather than one born out of fear:
- I was calm. I never raised my voice. I was quietly upset. This is not normal for me. I am not what you’d call, erm, demure. When I get happy, I’m really, REALLY happy. When I get mad, I scare small children. When I get sad, I make a Sicilian mother at her only son’s wedding to the daughter of her lifelong rival seem composed. But that day, I just felt calm. I was in pain, but the emotions were much more subdued.
- I was willing to accept either outcome. There was no desperation. There was no feeling of “This is because I’m not good enough.” I simply felt that we were not finished with each other yet.
Most of the time, however, when someone (friend, foe, family member, lover, etc.) begins to leave your reality, it’s best to just let them go. Your paths may cross again, but holding on to them in a way that causes you pain is not going to make that happen (quite the opposite, in fact.) Be grateful for the experiences you had with this person, acknowledge that your vibration attracted them to you (good and bad, but focus only on the good) and begin the process of preparing yourself for the next one. Because if you can find a way to get into that space, the next one will be even better.
* = P&A, the male equivalent to T&A. P stands for Pecs. Yeah, I know what you were thinking… Shame on you.