Gratitude, Breakups, and the Holidays


It looks like I'm making it a yearly tradition to write about gratitude. In my years as a therapist (and a human) I've noticed the holidays tend to be the most difficult time of the year for people enduring hardships, especially on the relationship front. The marketing that surrounds us creates an image of "normalcy" being solely about togetherness, a heightened state of being in love, and eternal partnership. It is more realistic that people will at times experience loneliness, isolation, and a yearning for something more at different points in their life, but somehow these images capture some unconscious ideal and beckon our attention.  

What I want to focus on primarily on this year is the sense of urgency that naturally follows a life altering event like a break up, divorce, or finding out your partner is cheating on you. Not only am I proposing this should not shatter your sense of gratitude and spiral you into negativity, but that this sense of urgency can be the very thing to be grateful this holiday season.

Anybody who has experienced a life changing event is probably familiar with the sense of urgency that follows. How can a break up, divorce, or infidelity and the pain that comes along with it be something to be grateful for? This urgency can provide the very opportunity you need to make a definitively positive change in your life, if you choose to harness this energy. 

Like everything good in life, this sense of urgency is only temporary. Once it is gone it is gone. This is prime time to take advantage of that sense of urgency your mind is in because it is only through failure that our mind and emotions go into this state of urgency which allows your mind to be open and receptive to learn something new. It is this urgency that is going to be the driving force behind this change you make in your life, if you choose to take advantage of it while it is there.

You can either let this emotional state completely overwhelm you, or you can use this energy to launch yourself forward into a new chapter in your life… Sure you could sit around the house only mastering the new Angry Birds Star Wars game, but then when you're over the pain and urgency you'll be at exactly the same place you were at when were hit with that life altering event, just now without any energy to do anything about changing it.  

"When in the midst of all your fears and old hurts you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere, the voice inside your head cries out – 'ENOUGH!'" If you've had enough already, ride the crest of this wave of urgency. Use this energy to pursue new interests, meeting new people, making new friends, discovering new activities for yourself will  ultimately you might not really be ready to launch into a new relationship, but by focusing on the other things I mentioned you will be laying a solid foundation for a new and better relationship when you do find one.


Photo Courtesy of D Sharon Pruitt (Pink Sherbert: