Thursday, March 21, 2013
The good news is, my nasty break-up led me to get healthy. The bad news is, my nasty break-up led me to get healthy.
Taking on this challenge at a time in my life when I was confused, vulnerable and so lost gave me a focus, an outlet for my rage and something to boost my bruised ego. But it also forced me to unpack some emotional baggage I was hoping was lost on a transcontinental flight two decades ago. While I've literally been sweating it out at the gym, I've also been wading through a swamp of emotional bulls***. It's been so exhausting but was necessary because there was no way I was going to do all this hard work to see it all unravel with my emotional landmines. Dealing with a break-up and a lifetime of insecurities and fears is enough to send any person to the bridge for a nice, hundred-foot plunge.
For me, it sent me into a depression. It wasn't an immobilizing depression. I still got up, showered, went to work, socialized and otherwise participated in life. But I was only half there. Feelings of deep happiness or joy were rare. I didn't care for much. I felt a lot of sadness and there has been a lot of crying and self-loathing and don't even get me started on self-esteem. Some days I don't even know what that is.
I was starting to come out of it though. I could see happiness on the horizon.
Then I was betrayed about a month ago by a longtime friend I had started dating. The incident brought up everything that happened with my ex and made me feel like it had all gone down just a few weeks ago. It took me to a new level of misery I didn't know was possible and then I just seriously got sick of myself (I was the one who needed a punch in the face at this point.) I realized what was missing. The final step. I needed to forgive my ex to truly move forward and be happy.
And yesterday, I made a decision to do just that. I decided to forgive him and myself for everything. I'm going to let it go entirely. No more examining. No more what ifs. No more bad-mouthing him. I'm just going to release it all. My energy will now be spent on being happy instead of stewing in the ugliness of it all. Listen, I'm not a monk. I'm not of the "turn the other cheek" philosophy. There are some people who need a roundhouse kick to the face (Just kidding. I'm too short to roundhouse kick anyone.) I want to punch an S.O.B as much as the next person. And I believe that anger is absolutely necessary and proper when someone has done you wrong. I've blogged about this. Anger makes you want to punch someone instead of accidentally ending up back in bed with them. Anger can propel you forward when every fiber of your being is telling you not to move a damn inch. Anger can give you a backbone.
Forgiveness is just as powerful. It takes away control from the other person and puts it back with you. It says I'm not a victim. It says I give myself permission to stop being angry or hurt or depressed about this. Most of all, it lets you deposit all these negative feelings into the void and make room for better things. Forgiveness says I give you permission to be happy.