This post is a continuation on the
topic of our relationship to pain.
I can either have a healthy or unhealthy relationship and that includes pain.
Without a healthy relationship to pain I disconnect from life and myself.
What is a healthy relationship to pain like?
How do I know when my relationship to pain is not serving me?
This post is about rebound relationships and our relationship to pain.
When a relationship is filled with turmoil or ends it is rarely painless.
Either we numb, divert attention, don't let go completely, we rebound, and simply do our best to indefinitely delay our experience of hurts and pain.
We do not let go by remaining in touch with our ex. In my latest relationship I stayed in touch via email and have learned from it. It is up to us to decide if staying in touch serves us well.
The truth is that staying in touch is not really letting go.
Staying in touch may minimize the sting of loss. There can be other motives to our keeping in touch with our ex. If we really want to let go, it means we have to cut all ties and move towards closure in our own way. We do not need to stay in touch with our ex for hope to remain alive.
While it is healthy to go out and be available to date, it seems there is a time for it. The time is not when we are in the 'vortex of pain avoidance.'
I've never done rebound relationships because my heart just couldn't do that. To me it would seem as though I were using a person to distract myself from who is really on my mind. Sometimes rebound relationships are a way to fill a void that never fills with anyone no matter how great they are.
How can a relationship thrive when the relationship we have with ourselves is lacking?
We can have healthy or unhealthy relationships.
If we grew up in less than healthy relationships, we may not know better and yet pain serves to show us.
We need pain to some extent.
Pain serves the noble purpose of motivating and guiding us in our lives.
Pain is healthy when I allow it to run its course and I do not wallow in it. Pain is just part of the human experience on planet earth.
Pain is unhealthy when pain becomes my state of being or a way to punish myself. Pain is unhealthy when I do not release it or I recycle it.
It is healthy to find meaning out of our painful experiences.
Our lesson in experiencing pain is not to close our heart or disengage from others. Failing to understand life-affirming lessons is not getting meaning out of pain.
Pain is an opportunity to connect to ourselves and with a vast mysterious Universe. Connection can be prompted by feelings of sadness, sorrow, anger, or any other emotion that is painful to us.
Pain may seem like a door that leads to very scary or vulnerable places and yet it can also lead us down a path of awakening and greater aliveness.
Unexpectedly things remind me of all we said we would do, all the places we had yet to camp and hike...all the traveling we might have done.
Because I stayed in touch via email -I learned he "missed what he had with me," because he went out with other women since our rupture.
I suppose rebound relationships can serve a purpose if they are an 'upgrade from the ex,' otherwise we will miss the ex even more. Or if we can be present enough to be there for the new person then a rebound may be a win-win.
I just know that no relationship is serving me when I am not learning, growing, or moving towards the experience of greater wellness.
Everything always starts and ends with me.
I ask myself how am I taking care of myself during my challenging moments? Am I resisting or allowing myself space to just experience what is? What feelings do I struggle to experience? How are these feelings evoked and how do I get through them? Am I willing to go at my pace? Might I be afraid that I won't be able to stop feeling those painful feelings?
Can I welcome my pain?
I welcome pain as my loyal confidant and my pain does move on. It may return and yet I know it is not my enemy. Pain is my kind guide.
There can be beauty amidst the experience of pain.
It is only when I use my pain to torture myself that I am a victim and cannot see any beauty around me.
Rather than rebound I choose to appreciate the beauty of my emotions, of life as is and move from pain to liberation.
Dedicated to B.G. and my beautiful mom.