Step 3: Forgive and Rebuild Your Life
Bolder Sisters, during week 1 of the Breakup Series, we (using one of my breakups as a guide) looked at how important it is to allow yourself to feel the pain so you can heal from it. We also saw in week 2 why we should not allow denial to blind our healing—best done by staying away from the Ex and processing your emotions realistically. This week we’ll end the series by putting it all behind us.
One of the road blocks to healing and forgiveness is that we mistakenly expect to have “closure”. Closure is the expectation that we’ll get the answers we want and those answers will put the breakup into a neat little package that gives us peace. This expectation allows you to continue to hold onto anger while not taking responsibility for your own recovery.
I wanted closure because I couldn’t understand how a loving and non-combative relationship ended for no apparent reason. It was an affectionate, playful, communicative union so I was baffled. My anger and bitterness at this point was rooted in frustration because I wanted answers—needed answers—NOW. The truth is there are no nice and easy answers for many circumstances. Once I accepted that, I was able to move forward.
Of all the phases we go through in life—not exclusive to breakups—this is the one the gets overlooked to most. Lack of forgivingness is the most soul destroying act we can do to ourselves. Notice I didn’t say to others. Let’s define the word forgive: 1. To grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.); absolve. 2. To cease to feel resentment against. 1
We truly believe that not forgiving someone is most hurtful to that person. In actuality, it is just another festering form of anger and resentment—which at this point borders on hatred. Someone once told me “why would you allow someone who’s not paying rent to take up space in your mind?” It’s so true because when we think about them, we hit the reset button all over again. Forgiveness releases the brunt of the pain and anger you feel toward that person and it literally sets you free. My fiancé didn’t ask for forgiveness and to this day isn’t aware that I’ve released him. I was, however, recently approached by another ex who asked me to forgive him and I did (highlighted a previous article “The Power of Forgiveness”).
Self-discovery / Self-love
One of the best things you can do is put more time and energy into yourself. During those first months after the failed engagement, I worked out, wrote in my journal, and invested energy and money on my mental health and well-being. I didn’t know it at the time but while engaged in those activities, I didn’t realize he wasn’t on my mind as much. My mistake though, was not taking enough time and dating too soon. It was brief but I believe that is what finally made me realize that I needed more time to myself. I renewed my love for writing and artistic development. I’ve also had time to examine the mistakes and compromises I’ve made in past relationships. I now have a clearer focus than ever and it’s amazing. I’ve added a few more items to my list of relationship “deal breakers / most haves” that are healthy and meaningful to me. I recently saw a movie on Netflix and the title (funny) is so appropriate “Someday the Pain Will Be Useful to You.” It’s a true statement if you are honest and open with yourself in your journey to completeness.
Bolder Sisters were you able to move forward without closure? If not, did you get closure and was it helpful?
Kim Woods earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems at DeVry University. She developed a love for writing poetry and short stories as a child. Kim is socially conscience and her desire to use her life experiences to help others is what drives her to seek opportunities to share her story. She decided to write freelance for the Bolder Sister because it is her desire that women evolve and thrive in their own authentic truth.
Kim resides in Chicago, Illinois and has one son, Donald. In addition to writing, she spends free time creating unique wall art, decorating, and teaching herself how to sculpture.
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