You found yourself in a relationship with someone who you thought was the best thing ever. (You imagined your wedding day; choosing baby names; growing old together; everything!) Then one day, all of a sudden, tables start to turn, and out of nowhere, boom! Everything came crashing down, leaving you shattered, hurt and alone. Maybe the breakup was caused by infidelity; one of you leaving without reason; or perhaps it was a painfully mutual decision between both parties. Regardless of what the reason was, you were forced to move on and live your life without this particular individual.
Emotional scenarios of this nature can affect us in a variety of ways. They can either evolve or completely alter our views of others, as well as our own perspectives of ourselves. They can also change how we view similar scenarios in the future. In this case, an emotional breakup can affect the way we view relationships and also the ways we respond to the very act of pursuing relationships, in general. Unfortunately, because the brain serves as a defense mechanism that is often triggered by past experiences, emotional breakups can evoke a sense of fear within us, with regards to the approach of new people and new relationships. In this fearful state of mind, we convince ourselves to believe that loyalty and strong partnership no longer exist. This behavior then causes us to expect disappointment from new partners before allowing ourselves the opportunity to get to know them.
This is not a healthy way to think, however, because the brain’s conditional mechanisms tend to be ongoing, we often feel the burn of our experiences long after they have already taken place.
Allow me to dive in a little further.
Imagine baking a pizza at 400 degrees Fahrenheit and removing it from the oven. If you were to cut a slice and immediately bite into it instead of allowing it to cool off, you would definitely burn your mouth. Feeling this burn would activate hormones in your body, (such as cortisone) that instill fear, stress and other alarming notions that would prevent you from wanting to eat again in that moment. This same thing also happens when you fail a test; when you lose something of extreme value and when you endure a heartbreak. You master the art of avoidance because you don’t want to feel the same “burn” again.
Now, here comes the kicker.
Upon feeling the burn from the slice of pizza, your initial reaction might involve the consumption or utilization of something else to numb the pain. The problem with the numbing method is that although it alleviates the burning sensation, your taste buds become desensitized. While the numbing does act as a protective barrier between you and the possibility of being burned again, the reality is that you will not be able to actually enjoy your food as you world if you waited for it to cool down. This is the same thing that happens when you live in pure defense mode after experiencing hurtful relationships. You disable your own ability to enjoy relationships because of the fearful and insensible barriers that you have built around your heart. Instead of focusing on the possibility of not getting “burned” and actually enjoying wonderful experiences with others, you constantly wait for your personal (and oftentimes negative) beliefs to be confirmed: “This guy/girl can’t be this good. I’m sure he/she is going to cheat eventually. They always start off acting right, but I know how it goes, so I’m already prepared”.
Do any of these thoughts sound familiar? I’m sure they do. But not to worry. I’m not here to judge you. I’m only here to help you.
Our affirmations are directly linked to the things we attract, as well as the things that are currently manifesting in our lives. This is why it is critical to understand the power of what we believe in as well as the words we speak. While the brain’s defense system is essential to our livelihood, we must learn how to manipulate it properly when managing the highs and lows of relationships.
For example, when hot food burns you, try blowing on it to cool it down. Unlike the numbing method, blowing will allow you to reduce the heat while still enjoying your food. The same applies to relationships and mental barriers. Instead of clinging onto past pain, shutting others out, and placing them in negative categories, why not embrace the lessons learned and remain open to the possibility of wonderful outcomes? Now, don’t get me wrong. Guarding your heart is important, so I am not encouraging you to go into relationships naively. However, I see absolutely nothing wrong with treading lightly into the exploratory territories of new relationships. Unlike the defense method, this way will allow you to develop and incorporate positive thinking as you cross paths with new individuals.
Each relationship that we go through teaches us more about our likes, dislikes, necessities, and levels of tolerance. This is why it is crucial for us to understand how to utilize the brain’s defense system effectively and proactively. There is nothing wrong with building walls to guard our hearts. However, the key point lies in building appropriate walls that will serve us, rather than hinder us. “What do I mean by this?”, you might ask. I am referring to walls that create a pathway to the person who is meant for us; walls that don’t kill our dreams and relationship desires; walls that allow us to attract quality individuals who exhibit royal energy; and walls that protect us from energy vampires who cause us to give up on relationships altogether. Essentially, I am ultimately encouraging you to build walls of discernment.
But the question is how? How do you restructure your mental building blocks? How can you truly go from an altered to an evolving mindset? The formula is quite simple: a reconditioning of the mind.
What entertains you energize you
What entertains you energize you
Undergoing feelings of fragility, brokenness, and heartbreak can be tough. As humans, the first thing we want to do is dive into something that lifts our spirits and rids us of our misery. The issue with searching for a quick “pick me up” is that we often allow ourselves to be entertained by things, or even people, that cause us to plunge even deeper into the low state we are already in. This only opens the door to more problems.
Say for instance, you refer to music as a coping mechanism after a breakup. If you listen to songs that validate the negative emotions (for instance, Chris Brown’s “These Hoes Ain’t Loyal” anthem), you will mentally label everyone you meet as a “hoe that aint loyal.” This type of energy will eventually be projected onto others through your actions, which will cause you to come off as bitter, negative and slightly disinterested. All this due to the devices you used to amplify rather than resolve those current emotions.
Breakups are tough but in order to experience better in your future, you first have to recondition your mind! Begin entertaining yourself with things that match the quality of life you want to have; things that fuel you and propel you. This includes hanging out with people who are full of good energy, avoiding toxicity, and most importantly, feeding your spirit with things that will inspire you — music included!
You depollute your mind by focusing on what that person or relationship have taught you
Finding the positive in the situation can also assist you in effectively recovering from a breakup. As opposed to focusing on the bad things that happened, understand that regardless of the outcome, that relationship taught you something valuable; something your future self will be extremely grateful for. Perhaps you learned how to value yourself more; how to stay true to your morals; and maybe you even learned new communication techniques that will allow you to appreciate the things to come. Either way, there is always something you can learn to value and appreciate from former relationships. Gratitude gives you the power to let go and release every hurtful element in exchange for a renewed mindset. It also frees you from carrying the heavy burden of resentment. Once you can view your pain in an alternative way and find thankfulness from specific scenarios, you begin to take ownership of your life.
Where can I take personal responsibility
Whether the fall of the relationship was or wasn’t your fault, there is some sort of personal responsibility that you can embrace. Remaining stuck in the “it’s their fault” mindset will only trap you, as opposed to allowing you to free yourself from the relationship.
When you are tempted to play the blame game in your recollection of past memories, imagine yourself being trapped in a cage. Imagine that every bar of the cage depicts a particular reason why you feel as though your ex messed things up. Whether you think he or she ruined your life by cheating, leaving you in debt, or refusing to love you the right way; imagine all of the negative memories imprisoning you, and imagine that your ex holds the key to the cage. While the reality of who is to blame may be evident, a constant dwelling on the past isn’t the healthiest. Not only does it keep you trapped in the idea of what was or what could have been, but it also stunts your personal growth.
Think on this, instead. What are some areas that you can take accountability in? What would free you from this cage and give you the power to make your next relationship better? Taking on this perspective allows you to then realize that it is not your ex who holds the key to the cage; you do. You have the power to break free and it all begins with how you choose to assess the situation you were once in.
al responsibility and using it even if you don’t want to. In order to take your life back.
Take your time
After a breakup, it is important to take some time to love and focus more on yourself. Take this time to build yourself back up. Don’t allow feelings of loneliness, desperation, or anger to cause you to rush into situations just to numb the pain. This will only cause more issues and bring about more pain in the long run. Take the time to heal and release the burdens in your heart to avoid bringing baggage into your next relationship.
Lastly, don’t go looking for love. Instead, make a conscious effort to have so much love in yourself that when you do meet the right person, you’ll know for a fact that your heart is ready to extend some of the extra love you have to give. Reaching this altitude of self-love will allow you to become stronger and more confident, even in the unfortunate event that things do not work out. Additionally, you will also become more self-aware, thanks to the newfound perspective you developed in an analysis of your past.
The beauty behind emotional breakups is that although they are painful, they typically result in us becoming the strongest, wisest, and most confident versions of ourselves that we have ever been. In addition to providing us with essential lessons on love and life, they also aid in the reshaping of our minds and play a role in the decisions we will make to come. So if you find yourself struggling after a breakup, remember that the only way to go from here is up. But first, the recovery process truly starts when you love yourself and change your perspective.
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