“I can choose to not think about it. But I’ve got to…I’d rather not think about this stuff because it hurts.”
That’s a woman from New York City talking about her divorce. If the biggest month for romance isn’t turning out quite the way you thought, you might be feeling just like her. But that doesn’t mean you need to stuff your feelings or hide out until March. You can start your journey to healing by cutting the craving for what you once thought was so sweet.
Here’s what the woman told Humans of New York:
“I’m still having trouble even saying the word ‘divorce.’ I had always planned on only being married once. And now I’m not.
I’m getting older now, and I always wanted to be a Mom—but I’m not. And that’s really hard.
I’m clocking my progress by the moments I’m not crying. And as long as I don’t think about any of these things, I’m fine. My career is going great.
I can choose to not think about it. But I’ve got to. I’ve got to ask myself: ‘What happens if he never apologizes?’, ‘Will I be fine if he never makes amends?’ I’d rather not think about this stuff because it hurts. But I know it’s the only way to move on. I can either think through it now, or I can carry it with me forever.”
Trying to leapfrog past the pain is understandable. Yet old hurts and unfinished business can crop up when you least expect it. Worse yet, they can cloud your vision, making it impossible to see the love trying to make its way to you. And staying open-hearted in a difficult world is what the February series, Make Room for Love, is about.I had a friend in a similar situation. She had a devastating break-up after her boyfriend suddenly announced he didn’t want to be committed. When we got together six months later, she was hopeful about the future.
She told me, “After the shellshock, I started deleting my Facebook photos. I’ll admit it—I was pretty teary. But our vacation pictures reminded me how always he wanted to pick where we would go. I think he just liked to have the last word!” She smiled and said, “His halo got a little rusty when I kept thinking about his “me, first” mentality. I don’t know what’s next, but I’m finally free of all his priorities!”
Valentine’s Day may have triggered you into thinking about the one that got away. If you’re romanticizing about all the things you once had or waiting for an apology before you move on, like the woman in New York, try my friend’s technique. Reframe the relationship as something toxic to you, whether that’s sour gummy worms or watching a TV show or sports that bores you to tears. When you cut the craving, you’re available for all the love that’s here right now, right where you are. And accepting that love is how you heal.