Previously, I gave you my thoughts on mending a broken heart which, judging by the views/reads it generated, must have made some sense to you. Again, I would say this, do not shun from getting hurt. We need that for our soul to grow deeply, exquisitely and gracefully. Anyone who has not been wounded in any battle would never learn to appreciate the hidden mystery and beauty of both love and life.
Now, after dealing with our heartbreak, I believe it is best that we move forward carrying all the lessons we picked from that experience. However, by moving on, I think that it would be wise for us to learn how to start anew with new eyes…the eyes that see the reality of love and life and not the illusion of it. This way, we would be able to avoid breaking our hearts over and over again. I subscribed to Rumi, yes. But a lesson or two would be enough to get the message, right? Certainly, if we still blunder up to the third time, then we have to make a very close scrutiny of ourselves; for, unknowingly, maybe the trouble is with our own self and not the other.
I have a very good pair of ears for listening and a wise enough head that can concoct advice when such is required. It is no surprise, therefore, that many people, virtually and otherwise, would unload their sad tales to me. Believe me when I say that I do understand the pain…I tasted pain from my own folly and I felt pain through the eyes and hearts of other humans. So, yes, pain and feeling of brokenness are nothing foreign…I look them in the eyes and hey, I am still alive and vibrant. There is no guarantee that there will be no more to come for such are part of living and being human. Still, why choose to suffer when there is another way of dealing with it?
Life, according to my old uncle, is all but a matter of perspective. When I was a teen, he used to tell me and my cousins: “If you do not want to end up with a drunk, please do not get a boyfriend who drinks.” He only wanted to share an important nugget of wisdom but I was young and irreverent so I retorted: “But Uncle if I do that then I might end up not married at all!” To which he would always respond: “Well, at least, you will not end up with a drunk. And that is the whole point. Not to end up with a drunk.” He said similar thing to my brothers and male cousins with regards to finding a wife. Wisdom of the old.
He is right, though. See, if you get into a relationship with a guy who drink or smoke or gamble or womanize, it is either complete naivety or stupidity on your part to think that he would suddenly change just because he is with you. No one changes anybody. Change is made because the person himself/herself commits to changing. If such was motivated because of you, well and good. But that is one in a million chance, baby. So never put your money into it.
Trust issue is another problem in relationships. I have a very close friend who suffered greatly and is still suffering to this day because of trust issue. She was betrayed in a previous relationship. The girl who used to be fun-loving was turned into a nagging, insecure girlfriend. She used to check her boyfriend’s phone and online activities that resulted to several serious fights. Time and again, she would run to me to vent out. They were on an on-and-off kind of thing. In one of those conflicts, I pointed to her the importance of trust. Your partner may or may not be doing the thing you are accusing him/her of; but regardless, the point is whether you trust him/her or not. If the trust is lacking, then why choose to stay? Constant doubting is hellish; nagging is hellish to you and to the other person. Never attempt to control another; you will only be hugely disappointment. Instead, attempt to control your own reactions and you might just have a chance to live a happier life.
Let me now go back to my subject matter…how to avoid heartbreak. So, here is, I think, how:
- Go into a relationship for the right reason – that means, your heart, head and gut instinct should be correctly aligned before getting into any commitment. Being single or being out-of-place with married or coupled friends is not a perfect reason to get a partner. That is the first big mistake you will make if you let conformity dictates your action. Never marry for money, either. Nothing is permanent in this world. What will happen then if our partner loses his/her financial stability. Would we then leave?
- Give enough time to cultivate friendship before getting seriously involved. Cliché? I do not think so. That time will give us room to study each other…see if our personalities and goals in life would match. We would be familiar with each other’s idiosyncrasies that adjustments could be made while still in not a hostile level.
- Remember to remind ourselves that partners cannot be tailor-made or customized according to our specifications. Needless to say, when we choose the person, we choose also to accept both the good and bad that come with the merchandise. It may well serve us to tell ourselves that we are just as imperfect as the other. That would help us to come down from our high horse.
- When we made our choice, convinced 100% that it is the right one, never give up on love. Love your partner in the best of days; love him/her in the worst of days. Most of all, love even when he/she stops loving. Aha! I bet you will not like this last statement. I did not like it the first time I heard it as well. But I did hope I learned it sooner, then maybe I would have prevented my own folly.
You see, relationships are a play of ego which could either give us freedom or bondage depending on how we choose to make our action or reaction. As humans, we have this tendency to seek separation when our ego is wounded. When we feel that the other person stops loving or caring about us, we retaliate in the same manner by withdrawing our own care and love. We isolate our own self and build a wall until we become separate islands.
If this is the action/reaction we will take, then where do we expect the relationship to go? Slow death, where else, until it reach its final annihilation. During and after that, we will go through various stages of anguish coupled with resentment and all that dark thoughts. Who is causing this pain? Not the other person, I tell you, but our own self. Because it was us who made that emotional choice to separate ourselves from the one we love.
Now, what if instead of pleasing our ego, we go the other way? Instead of choosing to withdraw our love and care, why not double it? No, I am not saying we become a doormat. I am only saying not to create drama. Stop thinking. In many cases, it is the overthinking and doubting that kills a relationship. Our mind can create monsters and ghosts that are not even existing. So, for the love of God, stop thinking. Find an alternative. Meditate. If your partner is, say, an alcoholic (he/she is already one I bet even before you two get together), just tell him/her straight that his/her drinking is not making you happy. Point out the problems that it is creating between the two of you. Nevertheless, do not stop caring; do not stop loving. Carry on with the days the same way you carried the days the first time the two of you met.
There is a local idiom in our country that said that even a wood soaked in water would finally burn if it is constantly near the fire. I would, therefore, think that if we do not waver for a single moment, our partner (and in this case I am not referring to a person who resorts to violence and abuse) will eventually realize his/her own foolishness and stop his/her own drama.
We must love and become the love ourselves…that way, we will create less drama and less trouble in our respective lives. We must not look for the other person to console us every minute or to love us every second. Our happiness is our own responsibility. Loving is our own responsibility. We should not look for the other person to provide for us. If we are happy on our own, if we fill our hearts with self-love and love for everyone we love; then we do not need another human to make us feel complete. Any happiness and any love brought by the presence of other beings is therefore a bonus…an icing to the cake.
Easy for me to say? Believe me when I tell you that I wished I read something like this sooner then, probably, I would not have to write that first piece about mending a broken heart. The next time around, I will choose to love and care even when I am not getting it in return.
5) Communicate, communicate…but communicate the fact, no drama, no exaggeration. That close of friend of mine would always say: “If I did not start doubting, then he would have continue betraying me.” Woman’s intuition many say is strong and many times is correct. I have no doubt her ex-boyfriend was indeed flirting with another girl. Still, nagging and display of insecurities will not cure anything.
She could have plainly communicated her specific doubt to the guy. Listen to the explanation. But instead of nagging and picking a fight, she could just have stated that the flirting would hurt her and ruin her trust.
Loving, unfortunately, will not save us from pain. It means trusting and being vulnerable. The guy may or may not continue to flirt outside their relationship, who knows? But without dramatizing her suspicion, she would have prevented exchange of hurtful words. Even if eventually their relationship ends, there will not be many painful memories. Words could cut deeper than sword. I am guilty of that everytime I forget to check my rising temper; and I suffered from such indiscretion.
6) When you commit to love or care for someone, do not consider action that runs counter to it. Always, our first reaction to trouble is self-preservation. And before we even get to the end, we have already contemplated ways of how to go about things should we lose that one person.
What I am saying is that, if you promise to commit to someone, commit without thinking of exit plans. Our mind will tell us that it is self-destructive. But, think. When we choose to end something that started beautiful because we feel unloved or uncared for, does the separation save us from pain? I am quite certain it did not. What it did was to give us a choice of the form of anguish we want to go through.
Loving is our responsibility. Please hear me out. If we all endeavor to commit to love and become love, then this world can be turned into a better place…almost heaven.
By Marisse Lee