Sometimes, we all hold onto stuff that keeps us from living our lives more fully. Sometimes, we hold onto stuff that changes our physical and mental health. Sometimes, we hold onto stuff that blocks us from experiencing better stuff. Sometimes, we are being summoned to let things go. It may potentially be the most difficult thing, the thing we are most attached to and still, sometimes you need to let things go.
So, I don’t know if anyone else can identify with this, but here goes… You’ve been hurt in a relationship, where you didn’t see it coming, and suddenly the relationship that you thought you had seems to be a facade. You may question your perceived reality of the relationship and wonder if it was ever what you thought it was.
But wait a minute- as you reflect over the history of the relationship, there were those subtle hints, and even big red flags, that were set aside and overlooked. There were those times when “something” was telling you, “something's not quite right.” That voice may have been drowned out, by you rationalizing and making excuses as to why these hints and red flags could be dismissed. You may have found yourself resenting the person, or not being direct with them. Instead, you let your feelings come out sideways, maybe by using sarcasm, distancing without explanation, gossiping, or other strategies to avoid being direct. This kind of thing can happen in any relationship; of course, the more emotionally connected the relationship is, the more hurtful it is. All of us have had this experience, likely a few times.
One friendship I had, ended poorly, and abruptly. I felt hurt, shocked, angry and sad. I didn’t believe she was being fair in not letting us talk through it. Here are a few, "Aha!" moments I had about myself eventually changed my understanding of my patterns:
I really liked to have the last word:
It wasn’t so much that I was upset about us not having closure; it was the fact that I didn’t “break up” first. Since I was a child, I wanted to have the last word so that I could feel superior and not inferior. The truth is, I was scared to pull the plug on our relationship because I had placed her above me. She could get really mad and, as a result, talk about me and influence others' opinions of me. I may lose something that I made more valuable than what my gut was telling me.
I didn’t like the awkwardness of asking for what I need:
I realized that what I really had trouble with, was setting appropriate boundaries and maintaining them when there was push back. Therefore, I became a victim, rather than taking a leap of faith and having a voice and commitment to live through whatever doors might open or close, based on advocating for myself.
If I liked the person, I would lie to myself:
In other words, I’d go into straight up denial, "lalalala," mode, and become blind, deaf, and voiceless. When I looked back on this, what I saw was a pattern of needing a problem to fix, so I could ignore my own issues.
What is or was your part in relationships that you were hurt in? Now read carefully - I am not saying you are at fault or don’t have a right to your feelings or opinions. What I am saying is that, I believe all of our relationships come to teach us something about ourselves and life. Often, if we don’t explore that, we tend to hang on to stuff that weighs us down, dims our focus, and takes up room in our lives where there could otherwise be space.