Inspirational Articles

Provocative Thoughts From The Next Generation

You, Yourself and I.

Breaking up is hard to do. There’s been books written about it, movies displaying it, friends telling you to do it but when it comes down to it, getting over love and past a break-up can be one of the hardest parts of relationships, and of life itself. You might know people who you are envious of because they appear to get over relationships very quickly.  Rest assured, they are in just as much of a struggle as all of us; and in fact, probably digging their hole deeper and deeper. If you’re looking for a few ideas and thoughts on how to “move on,” you’ve set your eyes on the right article.

First off let’s clarify a few things, one is that it is a natural animal instinct to avoid pain. The follow-up point would be that it is natural to “fear” what hurts us. And finally if we wish to thrive in life (which hopefully most of us do) we will no-doubt experience some pain and therefore someday face our fear (like it or not). The point, I’m attempting to make (while I run in circles) is that one way or another we HAVE to dance with our fears, even avoiding our fears is a way of interacting with them. Make sense? Even if we are running away from something it is still a response and an interaction… Since we have no choice but to have fears, the only choice left remaining is how we deal with them.

Take a second and think about how you deal with fears in life.
Does it resemble how you handle difficulties in relationship?
Do you avoid the tough conversations at all costs?
Or do you eagerly await the chance for a fight so that you can better get to know the person
on the other side of the argument?
(Doubtful huh?)

As I write this now I myself can think back to all the break-ups I have had to initiate or withstand and it puts me in such a down mood that I don’t feel like I’m the one who should be writing this article. But perhaps that is just what we need, a realistic approach to what is going on and not somebody saying how great things are going to be in the future and how things can only get better from here.

The truth is (or can be) that it hurts to be rejected or to reject someone else! In fact, for me acceptance is one of the most important things in my life so rejection is naturally one of the most painful. But here is the question… Do we let our fear of rejection take us out of the game or do we keep playing the game (maybe with our guard up. Hey, after all, football players wear safety gear to keep them from getting hurt and nobody gives them a rough time about it!)?

As a motivational article writer I’m supposed to say… “NO! Don’t give up! Don’t stop playing the game of life! Go for it! Take some risks! You might get hurt but then again you might find the love of your life and be happy for the rest of your life!!!” Pretty cheesy huh? The truth of the matter is I don’t think you need any coaching from me. You’ve probably made up your mind using one of two belief systems about people.

A) People are generally nice and trustworthy. If I experience pain it is most likely natural and could have been partially my fault. So I will try again in a relationship with a new person, using what I learned from the last one to hopefully create a healthier one this time around.

Or… Option B)
People are primarily selfish and untrustworthy. The reason I was hurt is because my ex was out for only themself (no that isn’t a word and yes, I’m using it anyway) and if I get into a relationship with a new person it might have a better result but ultimately that person will probably take advantage of me.

Yikes! Ok, Ok. So these might not be the two ONLY options but I think they are the main ones and certainly lots of people can relate to one or two thoughts from A/B or both.
The truth is I’m not going to push you to always take a risk. I’m not going to be all positive like many people I know and state emphatically that there IS somebody out there that is right for you because frankly, I’m not so sure myself.

So… where does that leave us? Better yet, where does that leave you? If you have just been rejected or dumped does that leave you alone? I guess so! And that means you pretty much are destined to be miserable and unhappy until you find the next love of your life right? WRONG!!!!

“You must love yourself before you can love someone else.” You have all probably heard this before but I encourage you to look for some new meaning. Think about that for a second. Does it sound cheesy? Does it sound like a load of you know what? Because let me promise you it isn’t, in fact, I think it’s one of the first keys or steps (whatever metaphor you prefer) to a life of happiness and peace.

Think about it. Think hard! What does it really mean to love yourself? And what are the results of truly being happy with who you are? Let me tell you, when I meet someone who is comfortable with who they are and clearly can accept themselves the results are obvious, both physically and in conversation.

Remember when I said that what I fear most is rejection because what I most value is acceptance? Well here it is again, if we don’t accept ourselves how can we expect others to accept us? How does that make sense!?!

I know I know, you will accept yourself! Just as soon as other people accept you. Sorry babe, it just usually doesn’t turn out like that, thank God! Because think about it, if it did then who knows what we might turn into just for the sake of being accepted by people around us! Think about the people you respect in your life. Do you respect them because they are eager to please you and be accepted by you and are willing to do almost anything just to earn your acceptance? I highly doubt it! Most likely we respect people because they stand for something. Because in the good times and in the bad we know who that person is and what they are about.

So back to you! Again the choice is up to you (I know, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, but life is full of choices so sooner or later you better start making your own)!  Maybe for you it is easier to go ahead and find another person who is willing just to “trade” his/her love and acceptance for yours and that’s all good, but be-warned! You might get the exact same results as you did before and without that person you will once again be alone, not accepted and not choosing to love yourself.

Nobody said it was easy; No one ever said it would be so Hard.
How do you accept yourself? I’m not sure, why don’t you ask yourself. Seriously! Try this out but with yourself.

Self: Hey, why don’t you love and accept me for who I am?
Yourself: Well, because you’re not good enough!
Self: Not good enough? For who you hypocrite!
Yourself: For yourself!
Self: And what would make me “good enough”.
Yourself: Well for starters, why don’t you lose some weight?
Self: There is nothing wrong with my weight! My ex liked the way I looked!
Yourself: Well that’s fantastic but instead of being accepted by your ex you have to think of how can you accept yourself!

Ok, enough of that dialogue, you get the point. Often times we end up using others in order to justify the things we don’t like about ourselves! Whether it is our appearance, our accent, our bad habits, as long as someone else still loves us in spite of our “shame”, we can escape having to love ourselves! In other words when someone loves us we can forget about all the things we wanted to change and just “settle” for who we are. You didn’t know you were so clever did you?

But I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that that trick isn’t love, it’s deception! Often times we find ourselves in “needy” or dependent relationships.* Soon we may find that we cannot live without the other person. And when the relationship comes to an end (as does everything in life) we may find ourselves in a dreadful situation. We may rush into a new relationship just to again find that affirmation.

In my estimation these “needy” relationships aren’t “healthy” exactly because it puts you in a position where we need others to feel value about ourselves. On the other hand, when we don’t need people we can appreciate them. Like dessert after a good meal! It’s so sweet exactly because we don’t need it! It’s a treat. It may be very hard to think of relationships this way, as the dessert instead of the main meal, but let me tell you, it sure is better for your health! 

So! Once again you are left with a choice. What is next? If you indeed just got dumped then you have an opportunity to date yourself for a while. Maybe go on a nice vacation and let you and yourself spend a little quality time together getting to know and love each other. I promise that if they (you) succeed in accepting and loving yourself the world is going to look like a whole new place when you get back!

* Please understand that while I do believe we all “need” others as human beings whom long for community… I am here using the term “needy” to describe a human behavior that creates an unhealthy bondage, slavery or addiction to the substance (in this case, a romantic loved one).