The #1 phrase after a breakup that will keep you from moving forward and how to avoid it.
Several years ago, the beginning of a new journey began. I thought it was the end of something but it ultimately became the beginning of something even more amazing.....but it required a breaking.
It was March 15th and my marriage was ending. I tried everything to save it, including stating the number 1 phrase to avoid..."I promised to change." That promise wasn't only during the process of my breakup but it also became the message I repeated to myself during the transition of my life. I thought it was me, I was the problem, I discredited my value and my worth....I couldn't see that I was perfect in my imperfection.
I took full responsibility for my failed relationship, thinking that he was perfect and it was me that needed to change. Here's the funny thing....we are constantly evolving, growing and changing. But let's get real here, it wasn't "evolving" that I was speaking of when I said "I promise to change." It was the things that I thought were not great about me, that caused the breakup. One day, I made a decision, it was several months after the separation and I realized this thinking was not benefiting me at all, in fact it's not even true....I am perfect in my imperfection.
I had to allow for a shift and today I'm sharing 3 steps I took to allow for that shift.
First things first...
The first thing is to realize that we all create stories around events that occur in our lives. With each event that occur in our life we create a meaning behind the experience; therefore, creating a belief or feeling around each event. That's why investigating the story is so key. The investigation allows you to determine what is true and what is a mere interpretation, allowing the meaning and your continuous experience to be completely up to you.
The first time I began my own investigation was several months after my separation. I was sitting on the floor, about to begin my typical morning routine- prayer, visualization and journaling; But this particular morning I decided to do something different....I decided to reflect. I started reflecting on the separation, investigating the story I created around the breakup. I questioned my beliefs and what was really true. A shift began to happen. Tears slowly trickled down my face, but this time, the tears were tears of appreciation and not complete sadness. I was discovering that this was not happening to me but for me; this was what was suppose to happen. It wasn't my fault or his fault, it just was.
Ask the Questions....
How would you feel if you began to look at your experience not from the story you have created but from the the point of possibility? What would happen if you began to ask yourself what is this experience creating for me? What if you began to see the relationship through the lens of just 'is" instead of betrayal, hurt or disappointment? What would happen if you began to question the story? What would you be able to create, attract and have in your life just because you decided to investigated your story? The 1 thing that will occur is you will began to shift from "I promise to change" to "I'm beginning to evolve and grow." That's the ultimate step in moving forward.
Now, Let go...
The most difficult thing for me after my breakup was to truly forgive me. It's funny how much easier it can feel to forgive others over ourselves. But the truth is, we can't truly extend a level of grace and forgiveness to someone else if we don't know how to extend it to ourselves. Hard truth, but truth it is. Here's the thing, it is SO natural after a heartbreaking experience from a breakup to go into the old blame game...blaming of self, blaming of him, blaming of the world...it happens. But, how is that truly helping? Is it causing a continuous cycle of "I promise to change?" I believe it does.
So, what's the key? The key is to remember YOU ARE NOT perfect BUT you ARE perfect IN your imperfection. Once you believe you are perfect IN your imperfection the "I promise to change" will go out the window.
Realize that forgiving yourself and choosing not to fall into the "I promise to change" mindset is not a matter of excusing behaviors or hurtful choices. It's choosing to own your choices and behaviors, taking responsibility for them while realizing that the BEST of who you are is already within you. And that doesn't need to change, it needs to be embraced.
Here's a question - What are you promising to change anyway?
I ask because when I made this promise...I had NO idea what I truly meant by that statement. All I knew was that I 'needed' to change. May I ask you, did you do the best you knew how at the time of your relationship? Did you give it all you knew to give? Then why would you change that?
The problem we fall into is that we judge our current knowledge against our past decisions....that's not fair to you or him. Allow yourself grace to grow, to learn and to love. And once you extend that grace to you, you in essence will begin the journey to not only forgiving you but forgiving him. And the steps to moving forward have begun....no more "I promise to change."
The definition of change is to alter, make different or use something else instead. The definition of evolve is to develop gradually or for someone to develop gradually. Which would you prefer? To alter what God created at the core of who you are or to evolve into who you are meant to be and is truly present within you? Allow yourself to forgive.
So, now that you are investigating the story and beginning the journey of forgiveness, it's time to get reacquainted with YOU.
After my breakup, I felt so lost and confused about what I was supposed to be doing, my financial state, my daily routine that I didn't know who I was anymore. It's so crazy how we can get so accustomed to a life that when things change, it knocks us into a whirlwind of confusion. Or maybe, that was just my reality....But once I allowed myself to get reacquainted with me again, my life began to take a turn for what I desired in my life.
So, to begin to live and enjoy your life as God intended for you to live it, you have to get reacquainted. In order to begin this journey, it requires you to engage in a bit of curiosity with you.
Do you remember the last time you met a stranger in the grocery store, mall or at work and you asked questions just to learn a little bit more about them? Well, this is your opportunity to do that with you. It's been a while since you've been on your own, and it's your chance to get to know the amazing person you are now. This process will cause you to shift from "I promise to change" to "I love who I am." During the journey, ask questions without judgment, be curious, write in a journal and get to know you. Discover what lights you up, what your interests are, what your favorite foods are, what inspires you and so much more. The more you get to know you, the more you'll learn what you desire next in your life. Enjoy the journey.
Start the journey of learning more about you with this guide.
Promising to change keeps you focused on the past BUT allowing yourself to evolve is shifting to the present and moving you toward your future.
Those are the 3 steps to avoiding the trap of "I promise to change" and allowing yourself to move forward in your life. Remember, you are not saying that there aren't things you need to improve upon but you are realizing that everything that is perfect about you is already within you. It's just a matter of you embracing the beauty within you. You are perfect in your imperfection but to see that begins with you changing the story, forgiving yourself and getting reacquainted.
What's one way you are going to apply these 3 tips into your life so you can truly move forward after the breakup? Share in the comments below.