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Write the letter if there is something you need to express, but don’t send it.
To write a letter and send it primes your mind to expect a response and perpetuates the agony. Even if you say to yourself, “It’s okay if she doesn’t respond,” a small part of you will hope that she does.
I’m not sure where this concept of “closure” has come from and why it’s infiltrated the world of psychotherapy, but I personally think it’s bunk. I’m not a therapist, but in my humble opinion, trying to achieve “closure” is a rehashing of the past, it’s clinging to something that once was, and is now gone. It prevents people on both sides from letting go and moving on.
To borrow Matt’s term from another thread, I’ve been down that mental maze before; “Everything will be okay if they know how I feel….I’ll feel better if they just understood what they meant to me…If they just apologize, I’ll feel better…If we could just be friends, the world will be normal…blah blah blah.” Total and utter B.S.
Breaking up is painful. It sucks. It hurts down to the very essence of your core and being. And you know what, it’s suppose to. Why? Because it meant something. It was powerful. It was special. It was important. There is no “Let’s just apologize and be friends” like we see in movies and sitcoms. To be honest, that kind of attitude and approach actually insults the relationship and debases the experience.
This relationship is a learning experience. It says more about you than you may realize and therefore, use this experience to look inward. Looking to the other person to help you find inner peace and equanimity is a distraction from the work that needs to be done within.
You can working with your therapist by asking, why did you develop a relationship with a person who, in hindsight, was so unstable and broken? What unresolved issues might you have that propel you into unhealthy codependent relationships? How can you find more stability in your life without a relationship?
My experience is that for better or worse, people attract their perfect match. Broken people, attract other broken people. Strong and stable people, attract strong and stable people.
This relationship is over and, someday, you’ll find someone else. So, what kind of person do you want to attract?
“Is it part of our nature to believe everything that goes on in our heads, to be manipulated by what we believe to be true?”
Unfortunately, yes. We believe our thoughts much too often than we should. It’s not our fault though. Apart from the education we get as children in terms of what’s real and what is fantasy, the instruction we receive stops short of opening our eyes to things as they really are and as we get older we come to believe in what we read, see on TV or in movies, and hear from other people without really questioning, examining, and asking “Is this true?”. Romance and relationships being the most susceptible realm to manipulation because it is where that we are most vulnerable.
“How can I change my way of thinking so that I don’t continue torturing myself with life’s greatest disappointments?”
Excellent question! That transformation occurs through meditation and working at disconnecting yourself from those inner monologues or dialogues and eventually shutting them off so that you can feel your way through life. While your mind may deceive you, your intuition and heart never will. Although that doesn’t mean you’ll be free from pain and suffering, you’ll discover a new resilience towards life and therefore openness to experience deeper levels of love and connection.
“Is letting go really the number one thing that must be done in order to live a complete and full life?”
“Can someone who thinks as I do ever find love and be successfully happy?”
“So when I do fail I can’t stop from blaming myself and have trouble understanding what everyone tells me….”
Blah blah blah blah….there goes your mind again spinning its old song.
@E’s Mind – Thank you. Now you could please shut up for a moment and give this girl some peace and quiet to get in touch with how she feels? 😉
“..I’m not doing enough or working hard enough to succeed..”
“..I should do more…”
“..feel like I never do enough..”
“..feel a bit bad about myself..”
“..you should at least be working…”
Holy crap! 😛 Sounds like you’ve got a really vicious demon inside you telling you some really nasty things about yourself and making up a lot of B.S. I’ve been where you are now and I know a lot of people who believed their parents, authority figures, and the media who tie our sense of self-worth to external accomplishments and unrealistic benchmarks of what it means to be successful and happy.
This book is not an exorcism, but it’s the closest thing that I’ve found to help kill that demon. Try it out: http://www.amazon.com/Soul-without-Shame-Liberating-Yourself/dp/157062383X
Believe me, there is freedom from this vicious cycle. 🙂
- This reply was modified 10 years, 4 months ago by John.
I’m glad it gave you something to consider. Keep what’s useful and disregard the rest.
I have to admit, it’s amazing to read your response as a reflection of what’s happening in your mind right now.
“He said…then I said…he was…I was….when I….when he…we had….I had…he would…I would…” and on and on it goes where it will stop, nobody knows.
The mind has an amazing power to take you away from the present here and now and pull you back into the past, like a mad scientist trying to figure out the what, the why, the who, the when, the how and round and round and round in circles it goes hoping to figure it out. Hoping to nail it down. Hoping to come to a conclusion that makes sense and everything crystal clear. Replaying conversations in your head over and over again like a video on rewind, repeat, rewind, repeat, rewind repeat. Sometimes changing the script, “if only I said…if only he said….”
It’s not a puzzle you’ll be able to solve. There’s nothing to figure out. It’s the past. It’s gone. Sit with the energy that has you tied up in knots and let it flow through you and out.The more you hang it, the tighter it’s grip. Let it go.
Your description feels all too familiar. From the sounds of it, you’ve slipped into the relationship danger zone. Namely, obsession and addiction. Now that you’re cut off from the source of your “happiness”, you’re experiencing the symptoms of withdrawal. The mind constantly wanders back the object of desire reviewing the past, looking around every corner for it’s presence, and finding reminders in even the smallest and remote details of everyday life.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it was a relationship filled with high intensity and euphoria. It’s easy to misconstrue these feelings of “happiness”, “joy”, and “elation” as love, but recognize your relationship for what it was – a drug. Anything that moves you to that sort of extreme and overwhelming feeling is bound to rebound eventually. For every highest high, there is the potential for an equally lowest low.
Recognizing that this was not a healthy relationship, that what you’re experiencing now is simply withdrawal, and that your mind is playing tricks on you as it’s looking for a fix, is huge eye opener that can help you move forward. As much as it hurts, spend some time alone and if you need social interaction, seek good hearted people who will be supportive, empathetic, and compassionate.
Also, take some time to connect with your inner child. It’s probably been neglected over the years, may have suffered some hardships, and so it seeks out love, affection, and validation from the outside world. Take the time to play with it, listen to it, and console it. It will be okay, it just takes a bit of time.
Some interesting new research is showing that self-esteem and the pursuit of self-esteem is a zero-sum game.
Self-esteem is based an ongoing struggle of comparison, judgement, evaluation, and need for external validation. It’s a constant barrage of slings and arrows that your mind throws at you, “Am I successful?”, “How do I compare to others?”, “I will feel good about myself if…”
It’s a game you won’t be able to win.
Check this out instead: http://www.self-compassion.org/
I’m going to put on my beginner’s hat because I hear where you’re coming from and empathize with the struggle – I too have these moments of yearning and I’m trying to explore where they come from and what to do with that energy that brings about feelings of longing and desire to be with someone, which can sometimes be very frustrating with your mind lashing out at the world, “Hey! Why not me?!’
But if there is no void, if there is no self-pity, if there is no crisis, if you are perfectly content with all aspects of yourself and your life, what’s left but to take each day as it comes and accept whatever may or may not come?
I direct this question to you as much as I do at myself.
I’m in a state of mind right now where if I meet someone, if we like each other, if we fall in love, if we get married, if we have a child, that’s great. And if none of that happens or if along that relationship trajectory, one of us or both us decide to go our separate ways for whatever million reasons people do, it won’t be the end of the world. Life will go on. I’ll be happy. She’ll be happy. And eventually, the struggle will end with death.
I realize it’s a very stoic approach to life, but that’s simply where I am today and so I want to be transparent about where my response is coming from.
@Lex I don’t want to be overly critical, but I’ve never been a big fan of the phrase “don’t think about it that much”. It’s like saying to someone, don’t think about purple elephants and expecting their mind to go blank.
It’s not what you think, it’s how you feel and react to what you’re thinking. You can’t always control your thoughts which are simply reactions to the stimulus around you, but you can control what you do with those thoughts, how much emphasis you put on them, and what meaning you attribute to them.
Also, trying to choose between positive or negative thoughts will simply keep you spinning in circles or riding a roller coaster of emotions. Choose neither positive or negative. Instead, strive to choose to accept reality in all its current forms and future possibilities.
I can definitely hear where hellno is coming from and to some extent agree. At the same time, the “Light a fire under your ass and do something with your life” message is not always very conducive to bringing about the fundamental shift you may need to truly find the freedom and equanimity you seek.
I’ve been down the route of skydiving, climbing a mountain, scuba diving, running a marathon, moving to another country, and learning a new language as a way of trying to get out of a certain head space, but, from my experience, all I can say is that those things are simply temporary distractions. I’m not saying don’t do those things, but be very clear as to why you’re doing them. Do them because you want to do them, because they reflect your goals, values, and aspirations, not because they’re simply something else you could be doing with your time.
hellno is also right about exploring further the void that you’re currently feeling and hoping to fill with a relationship and a child. Could it be that there are certain aspects of yourself that you do not love or accept fully? Is there still some self-doubt about your wholeness as a person without being in a relationship or mother?
Do you pity those who have not had children or who are not in a relationship? Do you think they want your pity? Probably not. Why then do you pity yourself?
There is the possibility that you may never be a mother or a wife. There is a possibility that you may not wake up tomorrow from your sleep, be disfigured in a horrible car accident, or find out that you have a terminal disease. Not that I would wish any of these things up on anyone, the probability of having are just as great as the probability of not having. There is amazing strength, resilience, and ultimately happiness in the acceptance and letting go of things and not trying to drive and control circumstances to meet your will.
I’m not saying not to pursue a relationship or not to want to have children, but don’t get too emotionally attached to the outcome. Like skydiving or climbing a mountain, those things are simply experiences that you may or may not have. To say, “I will be happier if…” or “I will be happier when..” is setting yourself up for disappointment and mental anguish, stress, and anxiety.
You will never be more happy or complete that you can be right now. The lens through which you view yourself and the world around you is yours to choose.
- This reply was modified 10 years, 4 months ago by John.
Don’t assume it’s easy to break-up with a person or cut off contact. It’s actually very difficult. However, it’s even more difficult to keep in contact with someone after you’ve broken up with them because every contact is like pouring salt on the wound.
And yes, just because they’re the ones who initiated the break-up doesn’t mean that they walked away unscathed.
When you make a decision to break-up knowing it’s the best thing for you in the long term, that doesn’t mean that you’re feelings for that person just go away. You still care about the other person and so there’s pain and suffering associated with seeing someone who know you shouldn’t be with or can’t be with.
Breaking off contact protects you and the other person from additional pain and suffering and allows you to spend time alone processing your feelings and emotions and taking the time to heal the wound properly.
I agree with Victoria – virginity is just a social construct and what you make of it.
So let’s drop the “V” word for a second and talk about sex in general. What does sex mean to you? Or more importantly, what do you want it to mean? You can decide.
Is sex something two people do for fun because it feels good, is it an expression of affection and a sign of intimacy, or all of the above? There’s no right or wrong answer here. You just have to choose what you want sex to represent in your life.
Personally, I could have lots of sex with lots of women, have no regrets about it, and form no emotional attachments. However, I choose not to. I choose sex to represent a new level of intimacy in a relationship and I don’t pursue sex outside the pursuit of monogamous relationship.
The choice is yours. It’s a personal choice that you don’t need to share with anyone else and no one should judge you for your choice.
Continue to talk it out and make the choice with your heart, your head, and your gut all in agreement.July 12, 2013 at 12:58 pm in reply to: Am I lying? How can I get over this? Need sincere advice ;( #38506
Thank you Matt for putting it so eloquently.
Guilt to some degree is necessary if we’re to learn from our mistakes, but then it can grab a hold of you like nothing else and spiral you down into anxiety and depression. I recognize that if I’m not mindful about it and try to simply push it away, it will attack even more fiercely than before. During meditation, letting feelings of guilt pass through you and give it space to breath is such a powerful exercise.
I take what I need from the experience to help me learn and grow and leave the rest behind.
I have to admit, there does seem to be some desperation in your words. I get the sense that there’s a holding or maybe even clinging onto something that doesn’t feel right for you.
If whatever it is that you are experiencing goes against the core of your being and your fundamental values in terms what you believe to be healthy relationships between people, trust your instinct. There’s no need for you to be there right now and there’s nothing any relationship can offer you that you can’t find within yourself.
Don’t ever feel like you to make it work for the sake of making it work.
- This reply was modified 10 years, 4 months ago by John.
And if I may add one more thing. Imagining a worst case scenario, what would happen if you did marry (in whatever civil or spiritual definition of the word) and then, someday, got divorced again?
The play would go on and the world would continue to turn just as before.
- This reply was modified 10 years, 5 months ago by John.