After a break up, we often aren’t grounded in reality……you know, the reality of what the relationship was *actually* like. Not the “potential” we saw, or the story we sold ourselves.
We may spend a lot of time remembering only the good, and then yearn for our ex, on the false premise that we will never have such a great connection EVER again (and in doing so forget that we will still get to live out our dream, just with a different partner who will be better suited for us…..which is the best friggin part).
Or we may spend our time remembering only the bad, and instead of pining over our ex, we may feel endlessly angry, resentful and wronged. (Side note: these feelings are normal and important to process…..but in many cases, the presence of them indicates that we are actually stuck in an old story that serves to validate unconscious beliefs we had about ourselves long before we even got together with our ex……but without realizing this, we end up stuck in a bit of a feedback loop). A good way to see if this is happening is to check in and notice the character of your feelings……do they naturally dissipate in intensity? Is there a sense of “completion” (NOT that you won’t feel anger again…..but once the heat of the moment has passed, does the sensation subside)? Or is there a sense of heaviness, (ie “this is the same old story” of how I’ve been wronged/victimized/etc)? Is there a sense of certainty around the hopelessness of our plight here, with no room for exploration or expansion?
In either case, we’re out of touch with reality. In order to remember what’s real, we can tap into our external resources (i.e. calling a trusted friend who can remind us of the reality of our experience, talking to a therapist/mentor) and our internal resources (i.e. doing the uncomfortable inner work of taking responsibility for our part in the dysfunction, which will shift the focus from obsessing about our ex back to ourselves, so that we can find peace and grow).