Navigating Break-ups

Paper.Project.29.PNGThis started off as words of insight to a young couple navigating a painful breakup. He couldn’t bear see her in pain, also couldn’t see a way for them to carry on, so he requested me to offer each them support through that period.  As I continued writing, it expanded to something bigger, which people who are in, out of and in-between relationships can probably relate to.

For him

It must be a really hard and kind of confusing, to love someone and, yet feel like you need to walk away. Sometimes not really know why. To feel like you cannot be yourself fully in a relationship, you become someone else when you are around her and eventually start feeling claustrophobic and feel the urge to get some air. A place where you struggle to find a balance between the relationship and yourself.

Honour where you are right now, without accepting the finality of things. There is a reason why you are here, why all of this is happening to you /why you are making these choices.

Be curious about what is here, ask yourself if you are running away from something because you are not willing to address it now. Or, are you walking out of something that’s no longer working for you, towards honouring yourself? There is a stark difference between the two. Be honest with yourself. Acknowledge that, at least to yourself.

Respect can mean many different things. You can only truly respect her when you are also respecting yourself. Respecting her means, not going back to fix the relationship because you feel sorry for her or find it hard to see her emotional. Respecting her means understanding that she deserves your honesty and vulnerability. And finally, respecting her means being with her for the right reasons, because you really want to be with her; because you are willing to stretch for her and the relationship (without breaking yourself).

Always treat her with love and kindness even when its scary and hard and all you want to do is run away from emotions. Be honourable and respectful regardless where the relationship is.

For her

Breakups are hard, regardless of whether it was your decision, the decision was made for you or it was a mutual agreement. Either way, the pain is inevitable. I am sorry that you are hurting.

If you did make the choice, it must have been a hard and difficult one to make. There must be a strong reason why you did so. Honour your values and choices. If the choice was made for you, then it probably seems more painful on many other levels as it triggers and questions your self-worth. Your self-esteem may have taken a huge beating. Now is the time to practise a lot of self-compassion.

The mind can make up many stories of being “left”. Please catch yourself when you do that, as that will only take you down a spiral. As hard as it may seem it was not personal You just got caught in the line of fire and are impacted by someone else’s process and life choices. Nothing was done to you, even though it seems like that. Remind yourself to not take things personally.

If you feel that you cannot be without a particular relationship or person, then know that this is precisely the reason the universe is orchestrating this experience as a GIFT to you. It wants you to learn some important lessons – You can be with anything, you can be without anything, you can be yourself, you do not need another to complete you, you are whole just as you are. Your self-worth is not attached to another person or a relationship. These are important lessons to learn in life for any human being

You might want to fight this outcome, kick and scream and try to control the situation, but the truth is you only have control and power over yourself. You have no control over anything outside of you. When you accept that, life gets easier.

Choose yourself. Respect yourself. Honour yourself. Not from anger and resentment or from a reactive place, but by merely choosing to focus on yourself. That’s an important job you don’t want to entrust someone else with.

You deserve to be with someone who wholly and willingly wants to be with you and is ready to go all the way, not by force, demand, pity etc You deserve that and nothing short of that.

Closure is something you will look for so that you can move on with peace. You might think, “If only things were a certain way, or certain words had been expressed” you would have been in a better place to move on peacefully. But that is not the case now, this is where you are now. Please don’t look for closure outside of yourself. Don’t wait for words and assurances from the outside. Give yourself what you are waiting for.

And then some

Endings are always painful because we are struggling to keep things just as they are, we fear change, but change is inevitable. We will take time to grieve what no longer exists. Allowing grief is also allowing ourselves to feel the full range of emotions, ride that wave, rather than take the high road too soon.

Be compassionate and kind to yourself and each other, Be grateful for the journey you have had together. This relationship has served its purpose. Acknowledge and express that to each other. This person came into your life with a gift and is also leaving with a gift. You might not want to open the gift now, nevertheless, it is a gift.

We each bring our own set of luggage/garbage (depending on how we use it), our perspectives, our belief systems, our expectations from life and each other. Unless we find a way to align as a ‘WE’, and also acknowledge that we are two separate entities, we will continue to have pseudo-relationships where each will drift and lead disconnected or separate lives.  Endings are also a reminder to sort through our garbage so that we don’t keep carrying it with us moving forward.

It is normal to want to point fingers at another, to find someone to put the blame on. so it’s always good to remind ourselves that we only know half the story.

Endings can be anything. They could be temporary pauses to begin fresh, end of behaviours/patterns that are no longer working, end of disagreements, end of suffering, the end of the relationship itself or anything else. Walking hand in hand with ENDINGS are NEW BEGINNINGS.

At times we need to let the chips fall as they may and be open to what happens next. We might probably have some new insight and put them all together in a different way or all the old unwanted pieces will shatter and disintegrate so we can begin again with what’s left. Stay open.

Stay open to life my loves.

Sheena Yusuf
Life & Relationship Coach (CPCC)
Professional Photographer

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