Lately I’ve been reading a lot of advice aimed at people going through a break-up on the web. Not only does everyone have a pint-of-Hagen-Daz /2 box of kleenex story to share with their girlfriend, everyone has advice to help you get over him/her. Cut up his picture, burn every letter he ever wrote you, delete his contact info on BB, de-friend him on Facebook, un-follow him on Twitter, remove him from Instagram, un-square him on Four Square (OK that last one shows my age and digital unhipness, but you get the idea.)
The purpose of girlfriend advice like this is to remove the temptation to stalk his Facebook Page, in an anxious ball of pain and rage as you read the status update that proves “relaxing with an ice-cream cone” was more important than crying his pitiful eyes out over losing you. (Who is he eating that ice-cream WITH? Why didn’t he tell me he wanted ice-cream?!….. he used to tell me all those things before… oh I remember when we used to have ice-cream together… we always got tutti fruiti…… )
Your girlfriends and cyber-gfs want you to get a grip, move on past this guy who hurt you, and move on with your life with a minimum of pain and a maximum of self respect. They mean well. Heck I even tell clients to tie a boat anchor around their laptops and drop it in the nearest bottomless pit to get a break from Facebook obsession. The trouble is, hiding reality from your Ego-self doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have an easier time and sometimes these techniques won’t be instant fixes. Defriending on Facebook might help for those who cut ties with their ex - but for those who must carry on that relationship in a new form in the future (you have a friendship you choose to maintain, you have a business together, you have kids together, or your families are more enmeshed than a faction of the Mafia) erasing him out of your life with digital deletions is impossible or impractical and acceptance is unavoidable. Somehow you have to know him, be partially updated on what’s going on in his life, AND get over the expectations and potentials you’d hoped for so you can move on with your life at the same time. (in that case, and I speak from experience, new friendship and acceptance can bloom where the old relationship grew and great friendships can be forged)
Even if you do cut ties with your ex, hiding your ex’s status updates will not hide your attachment to him in your heart and your consciousness INSTANTLY. You can shred every picture ever taken of him back to the 3rd grade, but you cannot erase the memories that you hold in your heart nor abdicate your responsibility on how to put those memories and into new emotional context so you can move on with your life. After all, it’s not the status updates or ice-cream cones that are the problem – it’s our THOUGHTS and what we believe and what we nurture… all of those things exist in our minds not on any hard drive or in any photo box. “he should be with me, not her” or “We should still be together” or “ I NEED him to be a full person” are conscious or unconscious beliefs we can’t delete by pressing a button. Believe me, it’s perfectly possible to delete a guy in every way imaginable and still be held captive by his memory, and to still hold on emotionally, refusing to let new experiences blossom. Removing all the temptations to give our energy away into activities that demonstrate or express our holding-on doesn’t always help us release any more than throwing out all the liquor bottles in the house will cure alcoholism once and for all.
Getting off Facebook, or deleting his phone number might be a GREAT idea depending on your situation …. but it also might not get rid of that desire to look towards the outside world for affirmation of your worth, or your need to get love from someone else instead of yourself. At the end of the day – your relationship with yourself is the most important one and the best piece of advice I can give you is to think about your connection to yourself. That way, whether you can stop following your ex on Facebook or not, you have a new focus for your perspectives and energy in a way that can release you from obsessing about what he’s doing and allow you to focus on what YOU’RE doing!
So sit down, let’s have a pint of Nada-Moo ice-cream and an Ab-Fab Marathon. You can release your old relationship lovingly and open up your heart again so that you YOU have a life that doesn’t revolve around someone else. It’s not one instant fix ESPECIALLY if your ex is your friend, the father of your kids or someone you work with … – but a daily process of making big and little choices, – forgiving yourself, your partner, and the past and allowing yourself to face a new “what is happening” ……(he’s not with me!) allowing yourself to see and ACCEPT your ex in a new form allowing yourself to move forward by focusing on yourself, the truth and your connection to yourself/(spirit). These are internal decisions and these are choices that you make to move your will/intention towards healing and harmony again. Give yourself time and time to practise. Only you know how much cry-time or “remembering” you need. You might grieve the tutti-fruitti…. even if your loved ones want you to “get over it” (fast!) to spare you pain… allow your feelings and experiences to occur. Facing pain is the way to move through it.