Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
There’s a way to explain heartbreak to kids. You ask them to break a biscuit and then say sorry to it. You then point out that saying sorry doesn’t do anything, the biscuit stays broken. We then explain that, in the same way, we have to be careful with people’s feelings. Saying sorry, even when you mean it, sometimes isn’t enough.
It’s a cute, easily understandable analogy. But, like so many things we tell our children, it’s just so much more complicated than that. We don’t always mean to break the biscuit. Sometimes the biscuit comes out of the packaging already broken. Sometimes we break. But the most important difference is we do heal. We can go on become whole, happy, fulfilled individuals, touched but not destroyed by what has happened to us.
But sometimes, before we get there, we feel closer to being the biscuit. We can feel like there’s no way of holding ourselves together. We feel lost and we feel broken. We can even feel we’ve lost the shape of ourselves without this other person. However the break up happened, whoever’s fault or decision, we have a loss to grieve. For the loss of the person, for all the time and emotion we’ve invested, and for all the unrealised potential of that relationship.
Break ups aren’t meant to be easy. But the feelings around them do change. As we give ourselves time and space to process things, as we allow ourselves to let things be until we are ready to let things go, we give ourselves power and we move on. Sometimes we get stuck. But we do heal if we take care of ourselves enough to allow ourselves to do so.