Resist romantic propaganda

Joey Garcia

My live-in boyfriend and I broke up and I had to move back to my parents’ house. I still love him and he says he still loves me. We had many issues but tried to make the relationship work. The last time I talked to him (after the breakup) he said, “Nothing is permanent. Who knows? Maybe this is good for us. Maybe one day we can get back together once we resolve our individual issues.” That conversation confused me. It gave me hope but that hope makes it difficult to get over the breakup. I keep thinking about us together again in the future. Neither of us seems strong enough to end it. How do I get over my very broken heart? Are there any books that can help? How do I love me again and take care of me?

If you stopped loving and taking care of yourself during the relationship, resolve now not to take that path again. Although a healthy commitment requires a dose of selflessness, you should never dispense with self-care or self-love. The trouble, of course, is that too many people believe in romantic propaganda. You know, lyrics or lines like, “You are my everything” or “I can’t live without you.” As a result, these people make the romance the center of their lives, instead of one of its favored components. Then every breakup spins them into another abyss because they believe they have lost their center or reason for living. After the grieving that is normal in any loss, they have to reconstruct a new focus in their life. But if they had been investing all along in their own interests, friends and future, as well as the life of their relationship, the transition into their new single life would be easier. Comprende?

The best way to get over a broken heart is very slowly. This is not the time to be hitting the clubs or dallying in Internet chat rooms searching for a new love. No, this lull after the storm is for reflection. Write an honest inventory of yourself: What changes do you need to make in your personality to allow you to be the kind of friend, partner and person you admire? After you integrate new attitudes and behaviors into your life, you will develop a truer awareness of the partner who is perfect for you. At that point, it will be clear whether your ex-boyfriend is that man or not. You will no longer be swayed by the possibility of getting back together if doing so will only cause you to relive the unresolved chaos in the relationship. You will learn to savor the love shared with him but accept that it’s possible to love someone without that person being the right partner for you. These transformations are possible because self-love always propels you toward a saner evolution. A book like David Richo’s How to Be An Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving can help. A warning though: It’s deep. So it requires a genuine willingness to understand yourself and change.

One last thing: finances. It’s important to save money, even if you can only afford a small amount out of each paycheck. Even putting $10 or $20 aside each week is worthwhile. It’s another way of practicing self-care and, when done well, it can enhance your freedom. For example, if you need to leave a living situation or job, you have the means to do so. Otherwise, you are likely to remain in relationships and jobs longer than necessary in an attempt to avoid having to do things like move back home with your parents.

Meditation of the week
Watching Michael Moore’s new documentary, Sicko, at the Tower Theatre, I suffered a petite longing for Paris. But since I’ll be attending this weekend’s French Film Festival at the Crest, I turned my attentions to the “we are family” response of the French, English, Canadians and Cubans when Moore questioned them about why everyone deserves free health care. Do you think the New Thought idea that we cause our own illness infects American’s willingness to provide health care for all?

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