Dare to Be Happy
By Daniel Tipton*
SURVIVING A SIGNIFICANT BREAK-UP
[as it appeared in the September 2011 Newsletter]
I broke up with my girlfriend of five years about a year ago. I’ve trudged through the muck of detachment and I can feel myself becoming a new person. I’ve been in a cocoon of reflection for a while now, yet I feel myself emerging as something better. I’m sure many can relate to this yet this is my first go-around with the experience. Here are some things I experienced along the way
* Action rarely fixes feelings: After the break, there were many times that I thought some course of action would take my negative feelings away. Negative feelings come and go and they are delusional creations of the ego and will lead to delusional, self-serving actions. When a feeling comes up, it is something in you asking for healing; it is a chance to release something. Sometimes “riding-it-out” is the only way to let it go but it has to be let go.
* Don’t obsess; nip it in the bud: Some days I would start thinking about something from the past that I regret or think I miss. It was easy to let it get carried away and before I knew it, I was obsessing and getting depressed. I have found lately that if I catch the thought, let it go, and switch focus to something positive, it helps to keep it from snowballing.
* Talk to somebody who has been through it: Sometimes, just talking to somebody who has been through what you are experiencing is helpful. Knowing that they have been through it and that they turned out ok gives hope and helps the light at the end shine brighter.
* Friends help fill the holes: While going through the break-up, there is a feeling of loneliness and lack of communion. Friends offer a sense of closeness and joining that the relationship once offered. It is also a good time to reevaluate our relationships with other people. It is easy to let a romantic relationship take all or most of our relationship investments. With my freedom, I had much more to invest into other relationships. The result was growing closer with old friends and discovering closeness with ones I had not before.
* Rebounding: I personally found that it was best to wait until I knew my heart was open again before I pursued any kind of romantic interests. I dabbled with a couple people but quickly told them I was not interested when I realized that I was not ready. Until now, I have been in no mental state to offer myself fully to anyone. Rebounding seems to be more of a distraction that can prolong the healing process.
* Discover what has wanted to be expressed by you, that you might have been too distracted to see. After my break-up, my life shifted into a higher gear. Things that I really wanted started happening at an accelerated rate. Now this new speed is the norm. My relationship sufficed as a distraction to keep me from looking at what I want out of life. I am now taking advantage of my time in order to shape my life into what I feel is my calling.
* When the pain becomes too much, go to a sanctuary: There were times when my thoughts became so loud that it completely took me out of the moment, making me unable to focus. I found it useful to stop whatever I was doing to go to a quiet, peaceful place to sit alone and refocus. I found many times, that if I simply sat it out, the feeling would subside and transform into some kind of revelation or inspiration. Sometimes it took 1-2 hours.
* There is nothing to “do” but let it go. I started many letters, and recited many conversations that I thought would bring answers and clarity to things. I always ended up throwing them away. In the end, there is only one thing we can “do” and that is to do what it takes to let it go. It is the ultimate goal in whole detachment process. It is also central theme of A Course in Miracles: forgiveness a.k.a. letting it go.
*Daniel Tipton resides in Omaha, NE and is a member of the Course in Miracles Society study group. He is enrolled in the ACIM Ministerial Program offered by the Community Miracles Center and attended the 2011 Annual ACIM Conference in San Francisco.