The Breakup and The Mirror

They say that if you ever want to see the ugliest side of a person, divorce them. Breakups… from jobs, places, situations, other humans… can be the nastiest experience that some of us will ever endure. Breakups call forth all manner of chaos and emotion: in addition the inevitable pain, anger, tantrums about how unfair everything is… comes blame. We often blame everything and everyone for the breakup, and if we take responsibility its only in the most positive light we can muster. Some of us regale every listening ear with tales of how we were victimized, how the balance of life is all screwed up, and karma this karma that blah blah blah.

Breakups suck.

But they call it a breakup because it’s broken. And if all things are (figuratively) equal, breakups rarely lie solely with one party. There’s probably a very good chance that we had a hand in the fractured nature of our situation. But logic has no place here. In in the breakup space, there is only emotion. Lots and lots of emotion.

breakup heart

And then it’s done. The sun rises, we take a breath, and the ocean of drama that we wallowed in for however long is in the past. Suddenly, we are left with the salvaged pieces of ourselves, and the mirror for which to reflect on what damage we might carry into the next chapter. It’s often said that the divorce tells the tale of who you really are. If you carry the same damaging words, habits, actions and thoughts into the next chapter… there’s a pretty good chance that this was also your contribution in the past. It’s easy to point the finger when there is someone or something at which to point. But what happens when all that’s left is you and the mirror? Will you point the finger at yourself?

You should know that it’s perfectly fine to stare deep into the mirror and not like what is staring back at you. It’s perfectly fine to recognize certain traits and habits in yourself and see them for the negative space they occupy. It’s healthy to see yourself as you are, that you might grow into who you wish to be. The more you see yourself and things as they are, the more likely you are to make decisions and choices from that space… even if the decision is to stay exactly where you are. Clarity of self gives you choice. Choice gives you power. Know that your mirror does not have to come in the form of deep self reflection. Know that it can come in the form of an honest ear, a true friend, a person who is able to see your life outside of its chaotic border and offer an objective opportunity for growth.

Embrace the mirror, take responsibility for your own drama, and facilitate your opportunity to rise above it. Part of the work comes from managing disappointments about how things should be or should have been. Part of it comes from living in what is, right now, not what we believe should be. When we let go of the tantrum, take a breath, and choose to rise above chaotic participation, we afford ourselves the space to expand into possibility. We replace reaction with reflection, and give ourselves the chance to really, truly grow into the person that we wish to be.

 

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