The Hardest Person to Break Up With

The hardest person to break up with is…ourselves. Each of us, in our own ways, becomes practices behaviours and espouses beliefs that while once upon a time served us, no longer do.

Perhaps we had a difficult childhood and the only way we could have survived was to bottle up our emotions, put on a brave face, and pretend everything was going to be okay. Or, perhaps we grew up never feeling quite as safe as we should have, so we learned not to be too outspoken or to even voice our concerns.

However, life is not like that anymore. Whereas once upon a time it would have been unwise if not downright dangerous to speak out about how you were feeling, today you are surrounded people who understand and care for you. The scary childhood is no longer around, but the scared child is. The self that you once were is no longer the self you need to be. In a way, you need a divorce: a divorce from the old you.

This painting bears a powerful message. The wilting leaves and rose were once crucial parts of the plant, fine examples of the plant being in good health and proper shape. But now the plant has matured. It has stronger roots, healthier and more numerous leaves, and is flowering majestically. For this to happen, the older leaves and flowers have to die off, to provide the space for new growth to occur. What was once crucial to the plant has now become unnecessary, dying off to create space for the plant to flourish.

The beliefs and behaviours we adopted at earlier stages in our lives were there in order to help us live. Once upon a time, we needed to be closed off or avoidant or even a bully in order to survive. However, things have changed and so must we.

It is hard to break up with ourselves, to let go of the aspects of our personality that once served us but now no longer do. We must accept that we do not need to be the person we once were and in letting go of those parts of ourselves, give ourselves room to grow.

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