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Have you ever stopped to think about the wide scope of our emotions? How you can be absolutely certain of how you feel one minute and then just as easily feel completely different about everything the next?
I marvel at our capacity to feel and then just as simply to “unfeel.” As though we are unzipping our love/lust/infatuation/certainty and replacing it with apathy/hate/indifference/anger. This most often happens in relationships, which makes it apparent what a fine line there really is between love and hate.
So, how do we ever really know if what we’re feeling in the moment is real and lasting? You have to trust yourself, but more importantly, you have to know what you really want and if what you want now will be what you want two years from now or even two months from now. It’s all about trusting your instincts, knowing yourself and knowing the person you are giving yourself to.
So how can you prevent this widely swinging emotional pull, especially when you get into tough relationship spots? I like to think of it as “how do you see when you’re blind?”
1. Only ask the opinions of those you really trust. If you are experiencing relationship issues, it’s so natural to go chat with your friends. However, sometimes we talk to too many people, and no one is truly objective. Everyone interjects their own experiences, thoughts and (sometimes) baggage when it comes to relationship strife. That’s why less is more when it comes to confiding. And oftentimes, we don’t take their advice anyway! Remember: to fix a relationship, you have to talk to the person in the relationship, so go to your partner first. If your partner is a tightly closed shell, remind him/her that when they got into a relationship, they were agreeing to converse, just like you were agreeing to have sex. Make a deal: more talking equals more sex! (Always a fair trade.) Bottom line? Don’t get too many opinions.
2. Look at the big picture. When we’re going through a difficult time, we can feel consumed, like this is the way we are going to feel forever. Look at the big picture. Remember a time when you were sick or sad. Did that feeling last forever? Look at the scope of your life – how many relationships have you had? How many have ended? How many have you looked back on, only to say, “What was I thinking?” So, if you are really upset, ask yourself: Am I really feeling this way because it’s valid or because I am caught up in emotions? How can I get clarity? Get some perspective and realize it won’t always feel like this – good or bad.
3. Realize that the old adage is true: time really does help. I don’t think time always heals, but it does allow you to put the pieces back together. Sometimes, after break-ups, we realize these terrible patterns or habits we may have had. Was I really that clingy? That controlling? That insecure? You might find yourself feeling more confident, more aware and more powerful once you get some distance. Don’t be afraid to let time be your ally instead of your enemy. Don’t be in such a rush to change and heal. Accept the process – it can often be the most interesting part of your life.
4. You won’t get over X until you meet Y. While it’s important to get closure from those relationships that you were really hung up on, sometimes you don’t move on until you meet someone you care about more. This doesn’t always happen, and you shouldn’t rush out to look for it, but in terms of healing, meeting different people can make you look at the world in a completely unique way. Let each person who comes and goes from your life bring you something new and interesting.
5. Pay attention to yourself. Often, when we go through tough times, we worry about everyone but ourselves. Worrying and obsessing has never changed a single situation, and it makes you crazy in the process. Why do we worry so much? Why do we stress? What does that do, really? Accept the things you cannot change and have no control over and focus on what you can do for yourself. What will help you move on? What will help you feel better? Don’t be afraid to get back to who you are.
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