And you know what? Even when it’s an eleven year old’s first crush, it’s still never easy, because it goes to the heart of who we believe ourselves to be: lovable, loving, worth holding on to, worth making some effort for, valued, valuing, caring and cared-for – or not.
Each break up brings its own measure of heartache and disappointment, and depending on the circumstances, much harder emotions too, like vengeance, blame, guilt, shame, hatred and jealousy.
So here’s my broad game plane for finding inner peace, which really applies to all difficult circumstances we find ourselves in:
You would not believe how many people waste literally years of their lives pining over what was, wishing they could turn the clock, wishing it was different, denying reality, telling themselves miserable-making things like: ‘I’ll never be able to be happy again!’
However hard it was, however bad it got, however amazing you believed it to be and now it’s gone – accepting it is the first step to finding inner peace.
We like to think that we’re in charge of the world, and of our lives, and how things should play out and proceed. The uncomfortable answer is that we’re not: God’s running the show, even the bit called ‘our life’, and if something isn’t going to our plan, it’s only because God’s got something better waiting in the wings.
Believing that can get you through the hard times in one piece, while you’re waiting for the ‘something better’ to actually show up.
2)Look for the good.
Again, depending on the circumstances, this could be easier to do or harder to do. If you just broke-up with a drug abusing mass murderer, then it hopefully won’t take too much effort to see that it’s probably for the best. But if the ‘ex’ was pretty perfect, in all ways except for breaking up with you, then these circumstances require a lot more introspection and hard work, to try to see the good in what’s happened.
What I can tell you is that each and every single one of us is down here with a particular job to do, and a particular mission to fulfill. Look at what Gandhi and Nelson Mandela achieved…look at how much suffering and hardship they had to go through, before they could really grow into the ‘them’ that changed the world.
In some way, big or small, your break-up contained some growth formula for that amazing part of you that’s going to go and build or change the world for the better. If you spend some time looking for it, I guarantee you’ll find it – and some wonderful doors will start to open for you, both internally and externally, that you didn’t even know existed.
3)Learn the lesson.
Nothing happens randomly, or ‘by chance’. Everything, even your break-up, occurred as part of God’s big plan for your life. There’s a lesson in what happened with the ex, and learning it is also part of your spiritual game plan.
The next time (and there will be a next time, don’t worry!) – what will you do different? What different things might you be looking for now, in a life partner? What did you learn from what happened? What do you want to change in your life, or yourself, or your beliefs, or your thoughts, or your wardrobe, as a result? (bring back the shocking pink sweater they hated!!)
How has this taught you to love yourself more, to value yourself more, to not compromise on the things that are really important in life, and important to you?
How has this taught you to be more generous, more loving, more understanding of other people’s imperfections, more flexible, more giving?
Once we learn a particular lesson, we can move on without getting stuck having to repeat it in some endless ‘groundhog day’.
4)Think good and it will be good.
Yes, breakups hurt and are hard and cut to the core of who we are – even when they’re relatively benign, if you can claim such a thing.
The key to getting over them as fast and as easily as possible, and to getting back on your feet and enjoying your life again, is to think good, and it will be good. If you follow steps 1-3 outlined above, you’ll already be well on the way to achieving peace of mind, and being ready for your next, hopefully wonderful and permanent relationship with Mr or Ms Right.
By contrast, if you think bad, it will be bad.
Our minds influence us tremendously, and what you go around telling yourself directly affects your mood, feelings, energy levels, self-esteem, and physical health.
If you do your best to stay positive, don’t stay down wallowing in misery when you have your inevitable ‘bad day’, and keep trying to accept what happened, look for the good and learn the lesson – people will love being around you, the real you, and you’ll have friends, fun and stuff to do while you’re putting your life back together and acquiring more inner peace.
If you whine, complain, blame, or get all angry and bitter about what happened (clearly, I’m talking about doing these things a lot, not just on the odd ‘bad day’ that we all have) – then people will start to steer clear of you, and life will get a whole lot harder and more lonely.
So as much as possible, think good, and it will be good.
A great book to read, btw, that really helped me with all my ‘inner peace’ issues was The Garden of Emuna. You can pick up a copy of it HERE: