In a mini excerpt from The No Contact Rule (2nd edition), I talk something that many of us have struggled with after a relationship or when looking back – this sense of it all being a ‘waste’.
The difficulty with ending what may have come to be a very painful involvement or with trying to let go of your feelings is that you don’t know what to do or how to feel. When you lose someone you love to a bereavement and it’s been a healthy relationship, you grieve over the happy memories and even some of the tougher times, you feel mad about being robbed of this person and for whatever they’ve gone through and for the future that they didn’t get to have. When you grieve a relationship that never got off the ground or was unhealthy, you’re up against a myriad of emotions. You’re not sure how to feel and as you start to try to recall the good times they may completely cloud out the not-so-good times for a while, which may actually cause you to feel an even greater loss because your mind ends up being tricked into thinking that this person was exactly how you’re portraying them in grief.
Being truthful about your experiences, how you’ve felt, what you and they have been and done can, when you tot it up, seem so big that to now have no relationship and to need to cut contact can seem like an enormous waste. It can mean so many things whether it’s about them or what you’ve got to sort out in your own life that you may attribute all sorts of negative meanings, which in turn may make you feel like avoiding the loss and going back to make it all mean something else entirely.
You want everything you’ve felt, been and done to mean something but it’s going to mean something entirely different if you continue to engage with this person and end up hurting further.
Yes it’s a loss but it’s not a waste. It isn’t. Some people don’t even try; you tried. This isn’t about ‘mistakes’ because it’s not a waste if you learn from what was good and bad about your involvement, which can only pave the way to success. We don’t get to learn without cutting our teeth on the trial and error of life and its experiences. A mistake really only takes on greater meaning if you won’t acknowledge it and that’s when you may start to experience regret and feel like you’ve wasted your life because you persisted with a course of action. But you’re trying to do something now and if you see this through and grow out of this experience, what has happened could end up being the best thing that ever happened to you because it paves the way to you ascending into being your best you and living a better life.
Change the meaning of this loss and in fact all of your losses and you change the feeling and also change your mentality and actions, which means that you change your present and future. Loss becomes gain. Life is ever changing, ever evolving and renewing. I’ve seen people triumph out of adversity and loss to dramatically change their lives and experience happiness in a new direction. This can and could be you.
This is a partial excerpt from the chapter It’s A Loss – Change The Meaning, Change The Feeling, from The No Contact Rule (2nd edition).