Style & Substance: Michele Armani and Sally Meisenheimer
Dear style & substance,
My boyfriend abruptly broke up with me last month. It is pretty clear that he was cheating and has a new girlfriend already. All I can think of is ways to get him back, which I know is wrong, but my thoughts of revenge are consuming me. Do you have any alternatives?
Ahhhh, sweet revenge? The thought can be quite delicious, but actually carrying something out is not who you want to be or become, hence your own intuition that negative actions would be wrong for you. Thoughts of getting revenge are quite common for everyone when they have been unjustly treated or just plain “wronged”. The substitute behavior is what will actually get you on a path of restoration to wholeness.
Having been to a great museum in Zagreb, Croatia, called The Museum of Broken Relationships, it got me (Sally) thinking about how to get beyond the hurt and resentment of a miserable breakup. The museum featured many authors who presented one item and a story to go with it about the end of a broken relationship. One furious author had ripped off a side mirror from her boyfriend’s car when she found it parked outside a girl’s house. In some cases the stories were very relatable while others were quite tragic. The point was, once feelings were expressed; be it hurt, disappointment or anger…healing and moving on to something better became real possibilities.
We don’t recommend violent or damaging acts in word or deed; however, getting to the root of your anger and hurt through a friend (or life-coach!) using talk “therapy”, writing it out in a journal or poem, or expending that negative energy in positive ways will lead to a healthy recovery and most likely a new and improved you. Painful, intense feelings must be seen through from beginning to end, otherwise, those emotions get stored away only to resurface in some other way at some other time.
Some DO’s and DON’Ts in this process:
DO find friends who will listen…but DON’T overuse that friend by discussing it over and over; that is when you need to find an objective listener.
DO find ways to be active; when you do not know what to do, start with the physical. This will give your mind a rest and re-set your body to be able to heal the emotional pain you are experiencing.
DO focus on being present in the important areas of your life; work, parenting, friends, and volunteering.
Heartbreak is universal, lay down with your sadness; but then DO get back up and open yourself up to happiness – it will come back to you.
A S K Style & Substance:
Michele Armani and Sally Meisenheimer
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