Tuesday, January 11, 2011
After a Breakup: Some Perspective on Dealing with Endings
Twilight. It’s a time of transition. As late afternoon fades into evening, the vivid colors of day disappear, and the sun dips slowly into earth’s edge. In the dimness before nightfall it becomes increasingly harder to see. Likewise, a relationship ending is your own “heart sunset.” Goodbye day; goodbye love.
There are probably a million reasons why it went south. But whether you initiated the split or the other person did, you may be feeling sad, hurt, angry, disappointed or really confused. Some days you just want to sob with your two new best friends, Ben and Jerry (and their ridiculously good frozen treats).
To start, we need some perspective on endings and losses:
1) You’re not a loser. Sometimes we lose people or things we treasure. But it does not mean we are losers.
2) Endings are a part of life. In fact, much of life is about beginnings and endings, transitions and changes, losing and finding anew. You graduate and start a job. You leave a job or move, and start another over again. Loss and gain, good and bad, life and death are all part of life, and life has its cycles.
3) Some endings are necessary. For example, if you were dating someone who treated you poorly, it’s your gain not your loss that he’s no longer in your life. Someone who is rude, obnoxious, or insulting is not a good choice of someone to bond with, much less spend the rest of your life.
4) Big picture. Often we only see things from our own point of view, but God sees the big picture of our lives; the past, present and future, and He knows what is best for each of us.
5) Change will come. You will not stay in this ending phase of life forever; a new beginning will come. You may not know when or how, but it will. Just like the springtime comes every year, even after the hardest of winters.
6) “It’s not always what happens to you, it’s how you respond to it that makes a difference.” So says author Chuck Swindoll. I believe him. You can choose to ignore your pain, numb out, try to forget about it, or do nothing. Or, in the midst of your pain and darkness, you can look to the light of God’s truth for hope, healing and wholeness. Either way, it’s your choice.
How you handle endings, or don’t, will determine how you move forward. Not sure how to do so? Keep reading and each week the blog posts will provide more information. You’re on your way to heart healing!
Jackie M. Johnson is an author and freelance writer in Colorado. Her hope-filled and encouraging books include "Power Prayers for Women," "When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty" and "Powerful Prayers for Challenging Times." Jackie also writes the Living Single blog on Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk website.