One of the greatest joys in life is finding and being with a person who is your best friend. A friend who is your confidant in times of trouble and one that you can share a glance with and know exactly what they are thinking.
You imagine finding this person that you can share your craziest dreams with and know that they understand you. You laugh, you cry, you love.
Most people can spend a life time looking for just such a person.
Sometimes, when we are young, we enter into committed relationships having little to no idea what all of that really means and how to find it.
We are blissfully in love with this person who makes us feel good about ourselves and life in general. It seems like the world could completely stop and it wouldn’t matter as long as we had this special someone right by our side.
But sometimes during that first marriage or serious relationship, we begin to notice irritating things about the other person that was probably there all along. But now that some time has passed, we have more time to notice the things that previously we dismissed as quickly as they came into our awareness.
For some couples, this is the beginning of an escalation of disenchantment. All sorts of paths are taken at this proverbial fork in the road.
For some, the relationship withstands the bumps and hiccups along the way and their marriage and relationship grows stronger in spite of it all.
For others, the years pass and the emotional and even physical closeness fades and each person slips into a life of quiet desperation. Although still married, the relationship is on life support and each person secretly wonders who will be brave enough to pull the plug.
I’m very sure, after talking with so many couples over the years, there is just about every variation on these scenarios imaginable. There are no quaint generalizations to be made when you are talking about people.
Every person is special and valuable and have legitimate relationship stories to tell.
For many couples, that fork in the road decision is to end the marriage or relationship. Perhaps there’s just nothing left in common. Maybe it’s a case of infidelity or even emotional abandonment.
The list of reasons is almost endless.
It seems that it really doesn’t matter what those reasons are, it’s very, very real to the participants in the drama that is about to unfold. The hurt, the emotional wear and tear, the hopelessness and even rage are all there. They are experienced individually and uniquely by each person and everyone has a right to simply feel what they feel.
It’s true that there are thousands of articles that have been written about divorce. Articles that address the reasons, the pain, the financial considerations and custody issues. All of those things are important issues, but there is something else perhaps even more important.
If you are going through a break up or divorce, I want to let you know that it’s OK to simple feel what you are feeling…right now.
I want to let you know the power of just resting in the moments that unfold and being vulnerable with yourself as the days unfold.
Be fully present.
I know in my life, when I am in a painful time, my main goal tends to be just getting rid of the pain. The idea of just being still and feeling the pain is out of the question. Many of us prefer to stuff, pretend, and move on.
But there is great power in personal honesty. Having the courage to sit down, be quiet and be intentional about thinking through all of the events, behaviors and attitudes leading up to the break up or divorce is one of the healthiest things a person can do.
Don’t get me wrong.
All of those feelings I mentioned earlier will try to derail you from being intentional about this time of quiet observation. There is a war going on inside your head and your heart and it’s really difficult to quiet the war zone long enough to take this personal time of inventory.
I’ve discovered from my own personal relationship journey that making a decision to be vulnerable with myself and face my worst fears about me was my first step to understanding my own relationship failures.
It was during those intentional times alone in my thoughts that I discovered my own contributions to the deterioration and ultimate demise of the relationship. It was during those reflective moments that I was able to look directly at myself, not in a blaming or judging way, but being a best friend to myself.
I gave myself the freedom to look inside, correctly acknowledge what I saw, correct what needed to be corrected and move on…no judgment, no self-hatred, no guilt.
It was only then that I could look at my ex-husband and our relationship with clarity. It was only then that I could accurately view the events, attitudes and behaviors in the past with an eye toward learning from them instead of becoming their slave.
The truth is clear.
The only person you can ever change is you. The only person that you can truly know their thoughts, motives and intentions is you.
So it only makes sense to spend your time and energy intentionally focused on the one person on the planet that you have complete control over…you.
Maybe you have just gone through a break up or divorce. Maybe in your quiet moments your anger and pain are now turning to guilt and self-doubt.
It’s normal. You’re normal.
It appears that most people are hard wired to seek companionship and a close, loving relationship.
Maybe this one didn’t work out the way you had planned, but that’s OK.
Be your own best friend for now. The way you talk to yourself and think about yourself now will greatly determine how you show up in future relationships.
You can take some powerful steps toward intentionality that will move you much more quickly from the emotional upheaval you may be feeling now to having more peace and acceptance within yourself.
Here are the 4 steps in a nutshell…
- Be intentional and honest with yourself
- Acknowledge what you discover about yourself without judgment or blame
- Commit yourself to turning the “loss” into a “learn”
- Be your own best friend.
There’s an old adage that says “you cannot give what you do not have.”
Learning to be your own best friend during one of life’s greatest relationship challenges is a gift to yourself.
Accept that gift so that you have something to give away in the future.