Ending relationships can be your catalysts for growth in 2012

> By Tenise Brown

Breaking up or ending a relationship whether romantic or casual can be one of the toughest emotional struggles a person may go through. It can be quite an emotional ride. It feels as if you’ve been dropped like a rock in mid air. As painful as a relationship can be as it’s ending, the experience or perceived loss can be the platform for change and the source of profound learning and the catalyst for personal growth. Instead of looking at the end or closing of a relationship as painful, stressful or loss, see it as an opportunity to learn, as an opportunity to change in the direction you were meant to lead and benefit from. See it as a situation to strengthen your weaknesses and polish your strength.

Socially, we tend to correlate the ending of a relationship with failure. We often articulate it as such; we may say “I’ve failed in this relationship”. By using such language we leave a negative impression in our minds and an association with the relationships in general. The ending of a relationship in my opinion is the ending of a Life Situation. Failure is the misconception. The Life Situation is your story and it’s meant to be experienced through joy and challenges. New life and death are all around us. Every inhale we take is the death of that breath; and life continues.

In all of our relationships we must be willing to be honest with ourselves when it comes to what we need and desire from the relationships and from our partners. Most importantly we must learn how to relate to ourselves, being honest towards our own needs. My definition of self-honesty is having the ability to totally value and trust your own SELF. Being totally aware of your likes and dislikes, needs, wants and desires. Paying attention to when you are violating your own energy. By being somewhere that is no longer serving you. Recognizing when you are putting your body under stress doing things that you truly do not want to do. Not compromising under pressure or false pretenses. Also being honest with those around you and the world. We have a tendency to stay in relationships that we know are not serving us because of FEAR. Fear of loss, fear of being alone, fear of hurting the other person even the fear of having to DEAL with an uncomfortable situation. The guilt comes in when we recognize that we are not being honest with ourselves; and thus being unfair to our partners.

Love and romance can be mutually exclusive. We can love people without being in a romantic relationship. I think we have been socially conditioned to believe that “love” for some has to equal romance. Truth is the love we feel for others comes from a beautiful place within ourselves. The way we love ourselves is the way we love others.

Social pressure is another contributing factor that comes from the Ego out of fear when deciding to end a relationship. Ones public image can weigh heavy on ones consciousness and can turn into negative self talk. People often wonder what others would say or would think about them. Gaining clarity and recognizing that we need to be honest with ourselves about the relationship helps to remove one from this state.

Traditionally, when relationships end, we tend to cut everything and everyone off. It’s silly to conclude that after sharing months and years with someone, that if one component of the relationship changes, all else must be cut off. Why can’t we continue with the other components of the relationship after our hearts are healed? Friendship does not have to be lost.

So now I guess by now you are saying, “how then do we end a relationship”? Once you have come to the conclusion that ending the relationship is what you really want to do. Here are a series of steps to help you through your new life situation.

1. Clarity. Make sure you understand why you are doing it. Sometimes the surface reason isn’t the real reason. Dig deep within yourself to find the real reason. Being surrounded by the situation can cloud your judgment. Separate yourself from the situation and spend some alone time. This will help you gain the clarity you need. I’ve found journaling to be an effective tool.

2. Self Honesty. Make the commitment to be honest with yourself and the other person. The truth will set you free. Be committed to that.

3. Mutual Meeting Time. Set up mutual time to talk to your partner as soon as possible. Some people are opposed to phone breakups. I think that face-to-face is always best, but if distance separates you, it’s best to do so as soon as possible rather than waiting.

4. State of Compassion. Before your meeting, get into a state of compassion for the other person. In a state of compassion, you will exude love and understanding, which you’ll need to help the other person heal. Some suggestions to help you get into a compassionate state: deep breathing, gratitude, and focusing on love

5. The Meeting. During the meeting, focus on communicating your reasons clearly and respectfully for the sake of the other person. Here are some additional pointers:

  1. focus on how things made you feel, this way your partner doesn’t get defensive.
  2. talk about things you’ve learned from the relationship and what you are grateful for.
  3. be genuine in everything that you say. If you don’t mean something, don’t say it.

6. Be There. Your partner will get emotional and possibly very upset. They will bounce between different emotional states. Your job is to be there for them. Become the observer of the situation. Stay conscious, calm and alert.

7. Don’t take anything personally. When we are emotional and feeling hurt, we can easily become irrational and say things we don’t mean. Don’t be surprised if your partner acts like a small child and says unreasonable or mean things to you. They don’t mean it. They are simply hurt and need attention from you. Don’t take anything personally. Become the observer so you don’t get attached to what’s being said and react defensively.

8. Love Them. Love them regardless of the situation. They are human and have feelings. Remember you can love people without needing to be in a romantic relationship with them. Be there for them in that state of love and compassion, regardless of how they react. This will help you find your center, while remaining calm to best help the other person deal with the situation.

9. Fully Express Emotions. If you feel like crying, do it, and do it fully. This will release the emotional clutter in your inner space.

10. Be Available. Do whatever is necessary to help them heal without compromising your values. Be available for them when they need you.

12. Space. Give them space. They will be hurt no matter what, so even if they appear fine on the outside, they are hurting. What they need now is time. Check up on them a few times in the beginning to make sure they are okay and to let them know that they matter. Remind them that you are here if they need your help to heal.

13. Relinquish Guilt. You see that you’ve caused pain and this may affect your state of being.

Lastly, take the time to reflect on what this relationship has taught you about yourself, your needs, your challenges, etc. Take this learning and apply it to your next new love interest. Appreciate the “gifts” that this person has given you. Appreciate the lessons that the relationship provided. Send them off with love and gratitude.

Tenise Brown is a North Carolina-based writer and student of naturopathology. Her column is distributed by The Jozef Syndicate. She can be reached at Tenise.Brown@yahoo.com.

One Response to “Ending relationships can be your catalysts for growth in 2012”
  1. Cheers for this excellent. I was wondering whether you were preparing of publishing comparable posts to this. .Keep up the outstanding articles!

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