When navigating life after a major disappointment, the journey has three (3) phases:
This is particularly true as it relates to intimate relationships. As a Christian woman, the desires of the heart for marriage only seems to get stronger as I get older. My friends are getting married and having children. Meanwhile I am parked in Singlesville wondering what life I will have in the future.
Last year I experienced my toughest break up ever. After four (4) years of dating my ex on and off. I went through the three (3) phases above when it ended. After that, I felt content with the relationship’s end and coming to terms that it was over. I reflected on a book I read by Dennis Merritt Jones and another I read by Peter Scazzero. Both helped me to get a clear understanding of the woman I was becoming and what I can learn from the woman I was. They led me to outline four (4) ways I was able to rediscover myself after a major disappointment.
1. Fill the void of your former relationship
Being idle will cause you to replay every good, bad or ugly moment that happened in your past relationship(s). You want to avoid that to keep you from becoming depressed that things didn’t work out the way you planned.
Think about donating your time to help those less fortunate than you. Connect with locals in your area to support a charitable cause as your passion project. Seek volunteer opportunities to serve your community.
2. Make a decision to be content with your breakup
Every year myself and a group of friends choose a word theme for the year. After my most recent major disappointment, i.e. a relationship ending. I choose the word CONTENTMENT as my theme for the year.
While I can say contentment did not come shortly after I declared the theme of my life. But, it did help me to frame my mind and my actions in a positive manner. I was able to view things that were happening in my life from a different perspective. One that was not centred around negativity or being petty.
Disclaimer: That does not mean I was an angel. It doesn’t mean that my ex and I were still best buddies after the fact.
What it does mean is that I was able to appreciate where I was on my life’s journey. I was beginning to look forward to better things to come in the future.
3. Determine if you want to be friends with your ex or not
I saw this post on Instagram about maturity after a relationship ends. If I had read it during the ‘heartbreak’ phase I would have dismissed it. After going through the first two (2) actions above, I read that post with peace of mind. I knew I made the right decision for me after my break up.
It’s important for you to choose one (1) of the following:
continue to see your ex as a friend
leave the past in the past
If you’re not careful, you may find yourself repeating a cycle. One in which your relationships end in disappointment. Due immaturity, you burn bridges with your exes as a result.
4. Seek wise friends
A circle of friends will help get you through the ‘heartbreak’ and ‘indifference’ phases. They are the sisters or brothers you share details about your relationship(s) with. You trust that they will not run back to your ex or his friends to keep him or them in the loop on the happenings in your life.
If you are faith-based, I recommend that this circle start within your church. After joining a small group at my church, I was able to receive the contentment I was seeking sooner than later. These women poured wisdom over me during our meetups and I was able to reciprocate over their issues. If you are not faith-based, identify a group of women who you trust. Be vulnerable with them and ask them to provide you with support.
At the end of the day, understand that another person should not be the sole reason for your happiness and joy. You have to decide to be happy with yourself. You have to love yourself first. Once you do those things, you will rediscover who you are. By then sis, that major disappointment that broke your heart will be a distant memory from your past!
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