All relationships will and must end. Even the best of marriages only last until death parts the couple. Best friends separate when one moves to a faraway place. Sometimes the relationship no longer sustains itself and it fades away.
Generally, one person hurts more after the final “goodbye” is said. I’ve designed this personal journal assignment to work out the pain and frustration when relationships end. Get your personal journal and favorite pen and let’s work.
Take Care of You
Among the lines that grabbed me in the movie, Pretty Woman was “take care of you”.
If you’re suffering the end of a relationship now, or if you’ve buried the pain of a parting, isn’t this the best time to take care of you?
In order to move through the discomfort and, if appropriate, resolve similar issues in the future, it’s critical to put yourself first. In your personal journal, please write out your feelings and/or answer any questions that apply.
1. What happened to end the relationship?
2. How are you feeling at this moment? (sad, angry, confused, etc.) Elaborate about your feelings.
3. Excepting death of a loved one, could you have changed the outcome of the breakup?
4. If you could change the outcome, what would you do? If you had it your way, what would have happened instead?
5. What are you doing to take care of yourself? To put yourself first?
After the Good-Bye
When both people are at choice, how do you handle good-byes when a relationship is ending? Do you isolate? Do you grovel? Do you blame the other person, even if you had a part in creating the end of a relationship?
In your personal journal, answer the above questions and consider the following:
1. It is a metaphysical belief that things happen as they will and must. Even if the desired ending did not materialize, write your views in your Personal Journal. Do you believe that things are predestined to happen?
2. Have you experienced a gracious “goodbye”? Did both of you terminate the relationship knowing “it was time” for it to end? Write about the beautiful things the two of you experienced. Later, as the memories dim, you will appreciate having done this exercise.
3. If you believe in the circle of life, all endings segue into new beginnings. How have you grown from a relationship’s end? Did you come away with something that helped you later in life?
4. Do you need to say a final goodbye to someone? Perhaps, you were an abused child and the abusive parent is deceased. Did you breakup with anyone without proper explanation? Did you let a friendship fade without facing the friend? If it feels right and appropriate, write them an “unsent letter”. Knowing that you will never send the letter frees-up any guilt or shame. Do not skip this important part of the healing process. Even if you can’t do it today, you may find the courage tomorrow.
Personal Journal Assignment: When Relationships End
I hope you do not need to work the entire assignment now or in the future. If this is so, please consider writing in your personal journal about number five – What are you doing to take care of yourself? To put yourself first?
All your relationships will grow and prosper when you “take care of you”.