Archive | June, 2013

Moving On From a Bad Relationship

14 Jun

im-movin-on_121230728

On my recent post Future of this Blog? I got a request from a reader to address the topic of how to move on from the end of a relationship, especially one that ended badly.  I’ve been thinking on that topic, and considering how to address it.  Honestly, I’m not sure that I’m the best one to give advice on this topic.  I have moved on from Chris (a.k.a. Mr. Mess), and I did it pretty quickly once we were separated.  However, that is mostly because I let things drag on far beyond the point where they should have.  I was able to move on emotionally once we were officially “over” because I didn’t let go and kick him out until I was already there.

I don’t really recommend that approach.  It put me through a lot of unnecessary turmoil and angst and emotional pain.  Holding on that long when I was so obviously being mistreated, lied to, and taken for granted is a hallmark of an unhealthy person.  Some people may argue that it shows love and devotion and strength of character.  Maybe at first.  However, I endured a lot of things that a healthier person would not have accepted.  A lot of things that I would never, ever advise anyone else to put up with.  I did it out of fear and a need for a “safety blanket,” even if said “safety” was actually harming me far worse than moving on would have.

Besides being degrading, that approach is also not possible in cases where the other person leaves you.  You may want to hold on, be willing to accept terrible treatment, and desperately want to “work on” things with someone who isn’t putting forth any effort and has no desire to change (like I was), but have that person walk away.  Or reject you.  Or leave you for someone else.  Either way, you might be looking for the unhealthy “safety blanket,” too, and have it denied, ripped away.  How do you move on then?

If I could do things differently or if I could give anyone else advice who is in a bad relationship it would be to love yourself.  Take care of yourself.  Find yourself.  Put the focus where it belongs – on you, not on him or her.  I think the key to really moving on is to realize what you deserve, find the things that make you happy, and pursue them.  Do some sort of physical activity, whether it be biking or hiking or walking or dancing – something to get your mind and body working together.  Laugh as often as possible.  Watch funny movies, listen to good music, surround yourself with family and friends and people who love you.

I will share something else that has worked for me.  It may or may not work for you, depending on what type of role model you have.  I try to think about my Mom.  What would she do in this situation?  What would she accept?  Would she allow someone to treat her like this, behave this way, etc.?  If not, I ask myself why I accept it.  Then I try not to anymore.  That last part requires the answer to the question that precedes it.  A lot of the time the answer has been that I don’t think I deserve better, or that I’m afraid that I won’t get better if I don’t accept what I’m given.  In order to really move on, I need to combat that voice and find a way to know that I deserve more than what that person and that bad relationship gave me.  If your Mom won’t work, think about a friend or sister or some other person you love and ask yourself if you think they should accept that kind of treatment.  Most likely, the answer is no.

How does that help you move on?  Knowing what you were given in a bad relationship wasn’t good enough makes it easier to walk away emotionally.  When you realize how little there was to mourn and how much better is out there, it becomes easier to accept that it’s over.  Not only to accept it, but to rejoice over it.  I now feel elated that things are done with my ex, and so excited to get the divorce papers back from the judge signed that I can barely wait.  My friends want me to have a divorce party.  I still haven’t planned one, but it sure does sound like a good idea.  I’m not just moving on, I’m dancing on the grave of this terrible relationship.

That’s what you should do, too.  Dance.  Laugh.  Love.  Rejoice.  Take time to pamper yourself, lick your wounds, and realize that you deserve more, you deserve better, and you deserve real love.  The kind of love that you would hope for your Mom or sister or best friend.  The kind of love that treats you well, makes you feel like the most important person in the world, and complements your happiness.  Note that I said “complements your happiness” and not “makes you happy.”   Only you can do that.  Find your happiness inside of you, nurture it, and watch it attract the kind of people who will support it and not leach it out of you.  That’s my advice on how to move on from a bad relationship.

And just because, here’s some musical inspiration:

“I’m Moving On”

I’ve dealt with my ghosts and I’ve faced all my demons
Finally content with a past I regret
I’ve found you find strength in your moments of weakness
For once I’m at peace with myself
I’ve been burdened with blame, trapped in the past for too long
I’m movin’ on

I’ve lived in this place and I know all the faces
Each one is different but they’re always the same
They mean me no harm but it’s time that I face it
They’ll never allow me to change
But I never dreamed home would end up where I don’t belong
I’m movin’ on

I’m movin’ on
At last I can see life has been patiently waiting for me
And I know there’s no guarantees, but I’m not alone
There comes a time in everyone’s life
When all you can see are the years passing by
And I have made up my mind that those days are gone

I sold what I could and packed what I couldn’t
Stopped to fill up on my way out of town
I’ve loved like I should but lived like I shouldn’t
I had to lose everything to find out
Maybe forgiveness will find me somewhere down this road
I’m movin’ on

I’m movin’ on
I’m movin’ on

You call me up to tell me that you’re sorry
But sorry is as sorry does
You can call it what you want to
But damn it, don’t you dare call it love

You’ve got the nerve to ask me if I’m okay
Boy, give it a rest
‘Cause I’m good
And getting better at being my best

They say time can heal all wounds
Well, the sooner the better for me
‘Cause a heart at war damn sure
Will make you be all that you can be

You tore me down piece by piece
But believe me, there’s plenty of me left
Boy, I’m good
Getting better at being my best

I’ve been thrown a lot of curves in this ol’ world
But it’s only made me strong
I suggest you do what I’ve done
And make this call your last one and move on

No’s my final answer
Rest assured that I’m not after anything less
Boy, I’m good
Getting better at being my best

Oh, I’ve cried a river
But you don’t remember
Let me refresh your memory
One last time

Boy, I’m good
And getting better at being my best
Boy, I’m good
Getting better at being my best

Boy, I’m good
Oh, I’m getting better
I’m good
Getting better at being my best

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Learning to be Selfish

5 Jun

Selfish

I’m trying to learn to be selfish.  I’m sure that sounds strange.  My entire life I have been a giver, someone who gives up my own wants and needs for others.  I was raised in a strict religious household.  I was taught that there is no higher purpose than to sacrifice yourself for another, as Christ did.  Just writing that now makes me want to go throw up, but it was beat into my head (almost literally).

In many ways my giving nature has made me a good person – compassionate, willing to listen, and nonjudgmental (as a side note, I’m not sure how I got that when my #1 biggest complaint about religion is all of the judging).  When I love someone I will do everything in my power and then some for them to have their needs and desires fulfilled.  I get a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction from that.

The negatives of that trait are that my giving can get out of control easily with someone who is a taker.  My ex was definitely a taker.  He took everything I had and then demanded more, while simultaneously giving me very, very little in return.  Being someone who doesn’t know how to say “No” to the people I love has at times exhausted and drained me. I have found my own needs ignored, and I’ve been complicit in that.

I do NOT want that to be my pattern again.  So I’m practicing selfishness.  There are negative connotations to the word, but looking out for myself, thinking of my own interests, and putting my happiness first sounds like just the change of pace that I need.  In fact, I even have a plan for learning to be selfish, courtesy of http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Selfish.  Here’s the easy five step process:

  1. Discover what selfishness is. Selfishness is not using others, or making them serve you, or removing yourself from people. Selfishness is being primarily interested in your own goals. Selfishness has nothing to do with other people – a selfish person who hurts others is a contradiction in terms.  A selfish person is concerned with their self, and has no need to hurt others.
  2. Find out what makes you happy.  Having things that make you happy is the key to being selfish.  Do what you love, value things, be a happy person.  When you have discovered what it is that makes you happy, follow it.
  3. Succeed in a certain area.  Success is a primary component of being selfish.  Being successful means that you have dedicated yourself to something that makes you happy and have followed through on it.
  4. Stop sacrificing.  Don’t sacrifice unless its for something else that makes you happy.  If you sacrifice, then you lose something that you value, something that makes you happy.  You’ll never live a full life if you live this way.
  5. Understand the parts other people play in your lives.  Remember, they are people, just like you.  People are often an essential component to a selfish life.  Having someone that you value and whose company you find enjoyable, your self finds a value in them.  If you are in love with someone, that person is of value to you.  To quote Ayn Rand, “In order to say ‘I love you’, you must first be able to say the I”.

I’m not sure where exactly I am on this list.  I think probably way back at #1.  Thinking of myself still seems unnatural and odd.  I’ve got a toe into #2 as well.  I am trying to discover the things that make me happy.  So far I think I’m doing a pretty okay job.  I can already tell that #5 will probably be the hardest for me to conquer.  I guess that’s why it’s at the end, though.  I’m gonna take it one step at a time, one day at a time.  And I’m going to practice treating myself as well as I treat other people.

This weekend I made pretty good progress on doing things that make me happy.  Friday night I stayed home and watched The Hobbit.  I’ve been wanting to see the movie, but never seemed to be able to find the time or concentration.  I’m glad that I made time, though, because it was a fantastic movie!  Saturday I got tickets to a Tim McGraw concert from my boss, complete with VIP access and a private show.  It was phenomenal.  Then Sunday I got to go to my favorite event in the city, a food festival where the top restaurants offered $3 tasting portions. I stayed busy, and I stayed smiling.  Here are some shots from those events (I was rocking hats and fun style all weekend, and I was in a pink frame of mind):

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The best part of the weekend was waiting for me Saturday night (actually Sunday morning) when I got home:

IMG_20130602_241459_298Yay!!!!  One step closer.  No, they aren’t THE papers, but they are very, very close.  Now Chris has to actually sign the damn things.  Relying on an incredibly irresponsible person to take care of something even as simple as that isn’t as much of a given as it should be.  Whenever the hell he decides to do that the papers will be submitted to the court.  Then I will have to wait for yet ANOTHER man to sign them.  Hopefully within the next month that will be complete and I will officially be a single lady again.  Woot woot!!!  I can’t wait!

 

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