I’m devastated, because he broke my heart.
He must be a magician and you must be immortal, tearing out your heart, freezing it, breaking it into pieces and putting it back, still being alive. Wow. Good job.
He left me and I’m hurt.
I’m glad you are a saint and that you have no responsibility in this situation. Let me ask you something. How do you do hurting?
Umm. How do I do? I feel pain and disappointment, because he left me.
Yeah, but how do you do it? What are you focusing on? What are you telling yourself? What are you picturing?
I’m seeing myself alone in a dark room and I’m saying I’m hurt and that I will never find another man like him. I can’t love again and I’m just sad.
So, this is how you do hurt. It’s not about him—it’s all about you. You hurt yourself by your focus, images and self talk. Look at reality. You are sitting here talking to me and your heart seems to be whole and fine. Who is responsible for your feelings?
Umm… I am…
Who can change it?
How does it feel having your power back?
It’s scary and wonderful at the same time.
Of course, this is just an imaginary conversation. But does it sound familiar? Do you know anyone who ever said something similar to this?
We are sometimes so caught up in our minds that we don’t realize we are living in the past or projecting into the future, missing the present moment. After a break-up we mostly get scared about the future, feeling hurt and keeping our wound open by replaying the stories in our minds. We have been looking at the pictures and feel like we can’t let it go. Of course not! It’s familiar, it takes away our responsibility and we don’t have to face the uncertainty about what’s next. Why would we want to let it go? Because it hurts? Well, if that was enough reason, we would just do it.
What really hurts is comfort. Being comfortable, wanting to be comfortable, wishing we were comfortable. Comfort equals death. I know, that is a strong statement. Many people work through their entire life, breaking through barriers, being the hero of their families (they don’t realize that) and they wish when they retire they will have a comfortable life. And when they get it, they get closed up, preferring to be alone and not doing anything. And when they feel like their life is getting close to being over, they talk about the great times when they had to face challenges, overcame adversities, had adventures—anything that wasn’t comfortable.
We prefer staying in our comfort zone even when it hurts, because imagining what is outside hurts even more. And when something pushes us to step out of our comfort zone, we realize it’s not as bad as we imagined. Fear of the unknown. Hence, when we break up, it’s comfortable to blame the other one—it’s his fault, he was the one who didn’t want to make it work, he is the one who doesn’t pay for childcare, he is the one who left me, I’m all good. Even when we realize we had some parts in it, his fault is bigger than ours. It keeps us safe.
Have you ever had an experience when you imagined something horrible will happen and when it finally happened, it wasn’t that horrible at all—it was even pleasurable? This is how our mind tricks us. Because we believe it. Because we want to believe it to stay safe.
I’ll tell you a secret. If you stop fighting reality and just accept it for what it is, you will be liberated, you will be more open and you will be excited to learn what’s next. Do you remember a time when you were excited about something you didn’t know? Maybe as a kid or a young adult, you learned something new and you couldn’t wait for what was coming. Maybe it was at Christmas—maybe you had so much anticipation you couldn’t sleep? Can you remember a time when you were this excited about something unknown?
When you accept what is right now, you will be able to experience this again. How do you do it?
Be aware of your mental pictures. Either you make it about the past or the future—just be aware of it. What have you been picturing when you feel hurt, sad or lonely—whatever it is that you feel? Stop there and observe that picture. Observe how it affects your emotional state. Observe how you are being when you look at it. How you are treating your loved ones? How you are treating yourself?
Then imagine you are past all of these. How will you feel? Observe how you are treating your loved ones and yourself. How are you being? Is it different?
Nothing changed, except the pictures in your mind. The reality is that you are sitting or standing at your computer, iPad or phone and reading this article and you are making pictures in your mind that cause you to feel negative or positive. Nothing changed, except you changed your mental movie. The power is in your mind. Don’t give it away.
Szilvia Toth is a break-up expert. She is empowering women to have the strength to break up smoothly, if this is what they really want and helping them to get over their exes. Her motto is, “Be responsible. Love. Have FUN.”
Editor: Malin Bergman
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