ASK ABDI: HOW TO DEAL WITH THE PAIN OF A BREAK UP?
QUESTION: I am writing because I would like some advice on dealing with relationship issues.
A few months ago, my previous partner and I broke up, and I am still struggling with getting over it. I knew that relationship was not the most beneficial for me. However, what has really hurt me is her cold and indifferent attitude. After we broke up, she ignores me - though we still frequent the same places. She is now in a new relationship, and it really hurts me to see her together with this new person.
I have tried to be mindful of what my feelings are and meditating on them, but I don’t know if that is also causing me more pain. I feel like she takes up a lot of my mental space and I feel like the more I meditate on these thoughts, the worse I feel. I need some help in dealing with this situation and need relief from the anxiety this causes me. Any help is appreciated.
ANSWER: The advice that you are asking for is not about “relationship issues”, but about your relationship to your self. And Self. The first part to pay attention to here is the fact that logic (“I knew that relationship was not the most beneficial for me”) has nothing to do with the emotions that you are feeling (“what has really hurt me is her cold and indifferent attitude”). The conscious mind knows that this is not a healthy connection, but that is not the part that initiated the relationship. It is the unconscious aspect that opened this door and still has a firm grip and does not allow it to close.
Take this person out of the equation and face your abandonment issues. Yes, it is painful for many of us to see an ex with another. But why? Go in and examine the root of it. Your healing is not connected to another person’s behavior, but your own. Many times, we falsely believe that we need closure with another to move on from a painful situation, when in fact the resolution can only come from within our own self. The pain and anxiety that you are feeling are not “caused” by this person, but are from within yourself, and it is there that they need to be healed. As painful as these feelings are, and as much as we all want them to go away, it is only by understanding their internal cause that we can heal them. I understand that this is not an easy time for you; it certainly is a meaningful one. Do not be in a rush to move past this, for surely you will repeat this somewhere else. Don’t get lost in the feelings, but do make room for them. Do not confuse harping on things with facing them. These feelings do have a bottom. Feel, breathe, and release them without getting lost in the story. We are all master storytellers, stories that have little in common with the situation at hand. Own your 50% in creating this situation and examine your role in this predicament. One can not leap over these conditions, only crawl through them on one’s belly.