This is the first guest article of hopefully more to come by our dear reader and contributer Aaron Brook (4Get).
Do you feel defeated by your break-up?
It is a loaded phrase to say you have been defeated because the notion is a powerful concept as you strive to heal from what was inevitably a very difficult time in your life. Things that defeat you seem to jeopardize your whole life’s framework whilst eroding the sum of your emotional security to the barest and frailest of cores. It is defeat that drives you to the point where you cannot help but feel like a loser. But, if just for the next few minutes as you read, I would like to discuss defeat as objectively as any of us here can.
Much like my own healing journey here, chances are that you too at some point have felt the slings and sorrows of defeat. Time and time again I used to tell myself that I just was not good enough. I imagine the lies I told myself will sound familiar to those of you feeling defeated. My ex-partner was a winner, she was the victory party, and she came away unscathed in my eyes. I thought it was helping to feel this way, but all that blame and defeat served to do was to continue to saturate me in guilt, suffering, and total anguish.
So what is it that we are calling defeat exactly? Were we really even defeated?
Let’s take a good look at what is really going on here.
If just for a moment, I want you to reorient yourself as you read. It may have been minutes, days, weeks, or months since your break-up, but please follow me through this shift of perspective because it could just be one of the most important developments in your healing journey.
Perhaps defeat comes to you in feeling inferior, feeling like a loser in some sort of sporting match, or in groveling in what little integrity you think you have left in your life. It is a natural reaction that attempts to disturb a very delicate process of reconstruction. But that does not always make it a useful exercise, because it is the heart’s way of transferring emotion from one place to another.
Many of us have lost someone special, but that in and of itself does not make us losers. The distinction between a loss and a defeat is very important. After all, whether you yet realize it or not, you are exactly the same person you were when you and your ex-partner were at the height of your relationship. All of your feelings, all of your joys, and all of your victories are all things you still hold within your hands.
So what exactly is my point here? I would argue that what some of us consider defeat is actually one of the most commanding psychotherapies through which we can opt to discover more strength and power than we ever thought possible. Through telling ourselves terrible lies under deceptive circumstances to make sense of our experience, we undertake a very influential process.
It is not defeat so much as reflection. And this reflection is so important to the feeling and healing process. What it actually means is that you have a level of awareness within yourself. What it actually means is that you are a caring person, an emotional person, and a very special person as well.
That right there is what you are calling defeat. These feelings of attachment will fade over time as you desensitize from your challenging experiences, but what will remain is this power I describe.
Thus, loss does not in and of itself make one a loser. Instead, it makes you human to feel defeated and to often wonder why you cannot progress and move forward with your journey. From another person’s perspective, the scene of defeat is very scientific and incredible to observe. It is for this reason that I often said that sadness is beautiful around these parts. What you may think is defeat gives you strength to carry forward that comes in a variety of forms.
For some, defeat will precipitate dedication to one’s own improvement. My own tale of defeat triggered new interests, and because I had told myself that I was not good enough, I thought I knew that improving my own life would help to not feel defeated. I started to put myself first again as I improved my diet, started running four days a week, and revamped interests in music, poetry, and photography.
But it was not these things that helped me to see that I was not a loser and a defeated and broken man.
What helped me was to realize that I had the motivation and the control to do these things for myself. Defeat was a voice within my head that, at least for a short period of time, gave me guidance and direction until I was able to regain control of my life. Do not discount the power that defeat can have if you realize what it truly can do for you.
Always remember that there is only one person in your life who can influence your decisions, choices, and feelings.
This is true under all circumstances – including break-ups.
When someone walks out on you, it is your reaction that causes you the pain that often leads you into feeling defeat.
Further, it is not my words here that influence you, but instead how you relate and interact with them. But if my meditations have been of any utility to you, I hope you can see the means by which you can reorient yourself into reconsideration of your state of defeat.
You must always believe in yourself and trust your judgment under all circumstances. As a result, I hope you can be fully aware of the influence that your feelings of defeat have over you. After all, these feelings of defeat are not probably accurate, and you can use them to your betterment and advantage if you are willing to take the vital step in accepting what has happened and who you are.
So I ask again: do you feel defeated?
You may feel very hurt, very wronged, and very angry for whatever has happened to you in the recent experience of your life. But ensure that you now know the difference between these feelings and those of defeat. Any person who can make this distinction will realize that you are never defeated by a break-up, merely impaired emotionally as to the reality set before your feet. You cannot be defeated because you continue to fight through the struggle of accepting what has happened, what you need to do to take care of yourself, and where you need to go to continue in the future.
(Photograph is a courtesy of darkpatator)