Tuesday, May 3, 2011
After a Breakup: Restoring Confidence and Self Esteem
Some people don’t know how to get into a relationship, while others don’t know how to get out of one-—how to detach and move forward.
In relationships, learning to bond and to separate are essential skills. As you get to know another person you share more about yourself and you develop deeper levels of closeness. You connect.
Henry Cloud says that bonding is one of our most basic and foundational needs. He affirms that we are relational at our very core and God created us with a hunger for connection and relationships.
“Bonding is the ability to establish an emotional attachment to another person,” says Cloud. “It’s the ability to relate to another on the deepest level.” When we feel more connected to others, whether it’s a romantic or other kind of relationship, we are happier and healthier.
The other side of the coin is learning how to separate and keep your sense of self intact in the process, whether you are in a relationship or not. “Separateness is an important aspect of our human identity,” says Henry Cloud. “We are to be connected to others without losing our own identity and individuality…to master the art of ‘being me without losing you.’”
When you retain your sense of self and the man keeps his identity intact, you will be a better couple. In essence, when each person’s sense of “me” is solid, there is a better “we.”
For instance, think of two circles side by side—one is yellow (representing you) and the other is blue (representing the man). When a couple first meets, the circles touch on the outer limit; their lives have not yet intersected. Then as they get to know each other, the overlapping part that represents them as a couple becomes increasingly green (because yellow and blue make green).
If they marry and become one, the two circles mesh to form one circle that is entirely green. The point is, each person must retain his or her sense of self in order for a healthy couple to exist; he must keep his blue-ness she must retain her yellow-ness otherwise green won’t happen.
Don’t let your pain or your past define you. It is a part of who you are, but it’s not the entirety of what makes you the unique individual you are. Who you once were, or who you are now can be transformed as your identity comes from your security in Christ.
When your identity is rooted in the soil of God’s truth, your confidence grows.
So when you run into the guy who dumped you, or the girl he is with now, it won’t shatter your self esteem. Sure, it may shake you up a bit at first, but you bend; you don’t break.
As you learn to accept your strengths and your weaknesses, you build confidence that you are worth being loved well.
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.