On our journey through life, we are bound to run into situations that challenge us. If we didn’t encounter difficulties or tests, we would never grow in our understanding and we would never learn how to be a better version of ourselves.
One of the challenging situations that we are all facing at some point during our lives is the ending to a love-relationship of some sort. It might be a friendship or a romantic relationship, but in both cases we are losing, or rather changing, our connection to another soul or human being that we love very dearly.
It may feel like we are breaking, literally.
What I am contemplating at the moment is whether this feeling of being broken sort of gives us an excuse to say or do things that are hurtful to the other? Does it suddenly become okay and expectable that the one who did not end the relationship can do and say whatever he or she wants without considering the ‘evil other’s’ emotions?
I have been observing this phenomenon – not by intention, though. However, in my life and in lives around me people fall in and out of love all the time, they grow together and connect to each other until an unbalance may occur. If the unbalance continues, the relation breaks and the one left behind appears to, or is actually expected to be the one hurting the most.
Is this so? Could it be the case that the one causing the other person to hurt, is hurt by breaking the relation too? I know from my personal experience that often times it hurts more to break someone else’s heart than being the one left behind. And on top of that, it is more or less broadly accepted that the one being left behind can scream and shout and blame all it wants without consideration for the other person’s heart.
Thoughtful communication is a practice – so practice when the tides are low
In my opinion, acting with compassion, understanding and respect goes for any situation we encounter. We get to practice through our daily interactions in order to be able to also master this thoughtful way of communicating when it gets windy and tides get high. I am still practicing and am getting closer to mastering the skill of stepping back and choosing my response rather than just shouting my reaction out. It is a process and it needs attention.
I am currently reading this book, Anatomy of the Soul, where Caroline Myss draws out foundations from several different belief systems and finds similarities across them all. In the section about Honoring The Other (which is present in all belief systems) she writes something like this: “Life sometimes forces us to reconsider the pacts we conclude, hence divorce or break-ups will happen in marriage or other relations. The divorce or break-up itself is not dishonoring, but the point is that we should be aware of the way we behave in the process of taking back a promise.”
So, are all these belief systems putting all the burden on the one breaking the connection too, or does it apply to both sides of the pie?
In my world, it applies equally. Taking the step and making the decision that what is going on is not soothing to any of the two souls, takes courage. However, making this decision doesn’t delete everything that happened previously in the relation and in most circumstances both parts have been equally managing and mismanaging the relation – otherwise the relation would not exist in the first place. Or persist as long as it did. Only in abusive relationships we find a ‘good’ and ‘evil’ constellation. In other cases, there is no such thing. It is all perception and perspective.
We can express emotion without blaming and dishonoring someone else
I had the need to write this, because at several occasions, I have experienced being told directly or indirectly to disregard my own feelings of hurt, because I was the one breaking a relation. I have also felt that only a few people would honor my feelings and respect that I had a need to release them and feel them too. If we hide our feelings whether they are widely accepted or not, they will stay in our system and create dis-comfort dis-ease at some point. But it is actually possible to express emotions without dishonoring somebody else or blaming somebody else for the pain we are feeling.
I know some people need a target to let out all the pain, but it may actually be enough to find a deserted place and shout your lungs out, or go to the gym and go crazy on the boxing ball. Once it is out of your system, you don’t have to look back to the emotion, because you might actually be able to see the situation from a different perspective and be grateful for what you DID experience with this person and what you learned from it.