I love how the world has evolved and how there are publications like this one, that focus on equipping women with leadership skills and entrepreneurship advice and encourage us to smash our goals and lead lives we can all be proud of. Thankfully, magazines aren’t full of articles telling us how to get a man or keep a man or some other version of that ridiculous narrative that limited our life choices. (Let us know your thoughts in the comments on Women On Topp!)
But humans are social creatures and we do embark on romantic relationships. It’s perfectly ok to want the career and the family and you don’t have to compromise on your values or your dreams to choose only one option for yourself.
We pursue relationships and we have dreams. Sometimes we have had a long term relationship that has ended and there is no denying that it hurts like hell. If we don’t learn how to recover fully, it can affect our relationships for the rest of our lives.
It’s important to be kind to yourself and to take the time that you need to heal from a broken heart. You may employee various coping mechanisms – like hitting the gym really hard and working on your revenge body or going on a trip with your besties or getting a haircut and buying the perfume your partner never liked on you. You do whatever it is that you need to do in order to help yourself heal, but make sure you also do these 3 things:
Stop comparing your trauma to others
Yes, there is a lot of tragedy and trauma in this world and there will always be people who are going through horrible things. As humans, we tend to compare our trauma to that of others and we think we should somehow behave differently because at least we don’t have it as badly as person X. The truth is that your trauma is yours.
Whatever is unacceptable to you, is unacceptable and you need to stop comparing yourself to other people or saying hateful things to yourself because you’re not as tough as that girl from that story or that guy in that movie. It’s healthy to be able to recognize the positives in a situation and to show gratitude for all the wonderful things in your life. It’s also ok to feel sad and to mourn a loss or the end of a chapter, without feeling guilty about it.
Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know
You know that saying “hindsight is always 20:20”? It’s always so much easier to look back on a situation and experience, knowing how it turned out, and then recognizing all the signs and doing the agonizing “could have, should have, would have” exercise. We all know how the Titanic ended up and can comfortably weigh in about what should have happened and what could have been done differently to save more lives and we have numerous opinions on what we would have done differently if we had been there. But we weren’t there and at the time of the tragedy, the outcomes hadn’t been foreseen.
Relationships are much the same. When we look back, we are super hard on ourselves because we can see with a lot more clarity, the exact moments that things were going off the rails. There are always signs and there are moments and events that contribute to relationships ending. But when we are in the relationship, we can’t or won’t always see those signs and we don’t take the necessary action. That’s why you need to stop re-hashing evening in your mind and you need to forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know, at the time. You cannot go back now and change it. You can only learn from the experience and apply the learning to do better next time.
Don’t change who you are
It’s tempting to try and convince ourselves that if we had been a different person or we had behaved in a different manner, things would have turned out differently. If only you weren’t so honest or if only you weren’t the type of person to become so emotionally invested from the start, you’d still be together. It’s tempting to lay the blame at our own doorstep and lambaste ourselves emotionally for not being the right person for someone else when the truth is, they weren’t the right person for us. By all means, do the work to grow and develop as a person and to constantly be the best version of ‘you’ that you can possibly be. But don’t ever lose sight of your own values and who you truly are – especially not just so that you can stay in a relationship.
Whatever it is that you are going through right now and however badly you may be hurting, please be kind to yourself and focus on achieving your goals and building the life you dream of. The sun always shines again and every storm runs out of rain. This painful experience is but a moment, nothing more than a brief chapter in the epic novel that is your life.
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