When heartbreak comes…
There is a kind of pain that comes with biting the tip of your tongue or the insides of your cheek twice. It is debilitating. Actually, it is not really about the searing physical pain that comes with it or the revolting metallic taste of blood that overwhelms the saliva in your mouth. There is also that stinging self-loathing that stems from knowing that you could have done better; you could have avoided that pain if you had been more careful.
I could be wrong. But I believe that that kind of pain is one that can stand parallel to the pain of a heartbreak.
Last week, I spent hours last week going through submissions to the trending hashtag #heartbreak on Twitter (Nigeria). I have to say, it was exhilarating combing through the heartfelt stories. From the very sweet to the straight-up scary; some of the stories reminded me of times when I believe my heart was broken; while others made me feel dragged for times when I did the heartbreaking.
Interestingly, one of my friends had also followed the hashtag and messaged me about it. We ended up talking about his “fuckgirl” ex-girlfriend of two years. As he regaled me with the story of their breakup, I got the picture that their episode was relatively benign as it did not necessarily include heartbreak; any deep-seated betrayal, broken trust, abuse, or other forms of mistreatment. I then wondered why he sounded so bitter and even felt shocked when he concluded his gist by saying; “It will never be well with her.”
There is a ‘sort of” general consensus that we should forever harness bitter resentment towards the other party in our relationship gone wrong. So, I guess it is not uncommon for the average person to hold feelings of hatred, hostility; or even ill-will toward their ex.
Understandably, it feels like you invested time, money, love, and a part of yourself, ultimately for nothing. Therefore, you want them to suffer too… alone and poor, in a pit of despair of their own making.
True, the torment of a hurtful heartbreak or breakup can create very deep wounds…But I have to ask. Why is hating your ex what you’re supposed to do in order to move forward with your life? Isn’t hating someone the antithesis of moving forward? And not to sound righteous or anything, but saying that it will not be well with a person just because they broke up with you or your relationship with them didn’t work strongly points to narcissism.
You are basically saying: “If you do not love me the way I want, you must be destroyed”; or “If you don’t love me and you let me love you, then I’m going to hate you because I have to be the center of your world”. Why should they have to suffer because they did not play out your picture of what it should have been with them? Did you genuinely look at both sides of the picture?
In my opinion, when you find yourself making such comments; first ask yourself why exactly you are experiencing those types of strong negative emotions towards the person you once loved in the first place. Is it because you are upset about the break-up? Or are you instead experiencing something a little more toxic?
The truth is, it is tempting to let your negative feelings fester and turn towards hatred. This is because anger is an easier emotion for many people to handle than hurt. But who are you helping by holding onto all those negative feelings?
As Buddha or Bob Marley once said: “Holding on to hate is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Nothing gainful is earned by cogitating over that heartbreak; the terrible things your ex did to you and making yourself miserable in the process. The hate causes you so much more suffering than it does them.
And for your information; cursing them will not stop them from finding happiness or being successful in the future without you. Likewise, hanging onto your justified rage and suffering with the hope that the other person will finally see the light, or realize how much they have harmed you and feel as bad, will forever remain a frustrating fantasy. They will never see that light.
While being angry, upset, or resentful is a perfectly reasonable response to someone who mistreated you; at some point, you have to realise that in doing so; you are still giving them your emotional energy and they don’t deserve it. There is also the fact that being angry is stressful to your mind and body. Also, stress is known to lead to high blood pressure and inflammation. You could be doing serious damage to your body.
Please note, I am not saying you have to force yourself to feel positive about your ex; especially if that’s not truly what’s in your heart. Also, I am not saying that you need to go out and become friends with all of your exes. All I am saying is that you need to force yourself not to harbor negative thoughts toward them. Any energy focused on them rather than yourself is a waste of time.
Instead of being bitter toward them because of that heartbreak, use it as a teachable moment. Ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” Doing so will ensure you avoid making the same mistakes over and over again; while the ex in question is probably moving on and doing much better with their life; as well as in their relationships. Learn from your experience with them, forgive, and move on.
I guess my point is basically this: Like Adele, can we possibly normalize wishing our exes well?