Something about emotional uncomfortable-ness makes me uncomfortable. Doesn’t it for everyone? I don’t believe anyone cares for emotional pain, it’s part of life – it kind of just lands on you, although usually the circumstances around the pain have been present for quite some time, we usually don’t realize it until we just can’t take it anymore. What brings the emotional pain – people! Now, I didn’t get to choose my family of origin, so that emotional pain growing up with I will save for another blog post. The kind of pain I’m referring to is the pain as a result of the relationships we have chosen to have in our circle?
My first experience with this emotional pain was John. He was 6 years older than me, I was 17 at the time, it was the summer prior to my senior year in high school. Up to that point I had only tap danced with dating, a somewhat innocent boyfriend in high school which was full of awkwardness and shyness. John was different, he pursued me – he complimented me, he called me all the time, he had a nice car, and he wasn’t bad looking. Seemed like a good idea at the time! (Doesn’t it always upon reflection) What started out as exciting and passionate within a year and half turned into emotional abuse, sexual abuse, ex-girlfriend pregnant with his baby, the loss of that baby, his other daughter, the girls who called the house late at night when I was there, the lies, the mischief – it was a nightmare. Yet, being 17, and then soon 18, I was somewhat hooked, and didn’t have the emotional stability to know better. The alcoholic home I was raised in somewhat lacked in the toolbox arena for such experiences. As with most train wreck relationships it ended in a fury, and I left him. I will save you from the details of the breakup, however I will discuss the emotional tool box I came out of it with, it saved my spirit and my life.
- I refused to linger in romantic fantasies about what worked in the relationship. I immediately remembered the bad, this blocked me from even playing with the idea of going back. Once I was honest with the horrific nature of the relationship, I refused to allow myself to ever go back to thinking it was doable.
- I returned to my life prior to the relationship – my friends. They had to forgive me for essentially cutting them out of my life, but they did. I had to work at doing things I enjoyed again. I had to remember I was someone before the relationship who enjoyed things.
- I never looked back, and I refused to talk with him at all or discuss anyone associated with him. When the bad relationship is bad, why tinker with the idea we need to be “friends” or I need to still talk with the family. Break the strings, and move on. No need to play back and forth.
So, there is an example of the intimate relationship gone bad, but what about the annoying co-worker/best friend who is negative and full of bad juju? What about the friend who only brings drama into your life, and never feeds your growth? What about the day job you been tolerating day in and day out because it pays the bills, but spiritually you are dying at it? Can we apply the same simple tool box to those relationships? And what happens if we don’t cut the “ick” out of our life, and continue in the relationships?
Our lives are filled with only so many hours, hours which we are full of thoughts and movements. If I decided to fill those hours with someone who is emotionally and spiritually draining what does this do for me? Perhaps, it helps me avoid a pang of uncomfortable emotional pain a break up would cause, or hanging onto the job helps me avoid the fear of financial needs and family needs being met. We assume life will be worse if we make the change. But will it? What if every day you no longer had to tolerate the friend, or the job? What if daily you woke up only with energies around you which supported your path of growth and progress? Wouldn’t it be worth it?
What do we do?
It’s simple. We break up. Yep, that’s it. We break up. Something so simple, yet the strings we have attached to the situation make it feel almost virtually impossible. When we don’t keep it simple, in the big moments of emotional pain this is when we react and quit the job in a storm of fury, or we end a relationship with a good fight. We leave with a bang! We do it this way because over time we have ignored the feeling inside which is telling us this isn’t right for us any more, we have outgrown it. We bury the voice deep, deep down. Then one day we wake up and wonder how we stayed married for so long to the wrong person, how we spent 20 years at the same job around the same people and never liked it or them. Would you like to avoid this?
What areas in your life do you need to get the “ick” out of it? What are you willing to do about it? Once you admit it, the following can work as a simple guide for you.
- Break up (yep I’m keeping it simple)
- Only remember the bad in the beginning of the break up, this will keep you out of temptation of going back – you will have plenty of time to have positive reflection years down the road.
- Create the enjoyment in your life immediately. Hang with the positive friend, do the fun things which speak to your spirit.
- Don’t engage in rehashing conversations about the old relationships. It’s done, there is no reason to reflect and discuss things again – this only pulls you backwards.
- Once the “oh fuck I did it!” settles down – go celebrate – now be reasonable especially if you are now unemployed – wouldn’t go buy a new car or anything – maybe a pair of shoes for the ladies, and a cigar for the guys?!
Standing on our own, in our beliefs as adults takes a hell of a lot of courage. It’s never easy – however if we pause and reflect for a moment on the slow emotional burns and ick in our daily lives we will find we can eliminate them and start fresh with a brand-new experience of our choosing with who we are today, not yesterday, when we chose the relationships – but today. Next, it will be about making sure you understand your needs in relationships so a pattern doesn’t form.
Have a nice day, and enjoy the journey!