As I go through time, I get the harsh reminder that progress is not linear. As much as we would like to think it is and as nice as it would be to keep progressing. Most times, we relapse. We go back to our old ways. We relive the pain we thought we had gotten over. A lot of times we mistake progress to be a systematic process. Once you feel like you’re “over” something – it shouldn’t be painful right? It should get easier and a bit better? I have been finding that it isn’t always the case. After going through a terrible heartbreak this past summer, I went through a moment of peace around the end of October. I felt good. I felt zen. I felt super proud of myself for being able to let go and see the other person happy….or I thought that was the case. Yesterday, I found myself going back to the painful place. I kept picturing this person happy and it tortured me. It made me feel horrible and helpless. I kept picturing them with their new person and it made me feel worthless. I kept reliving our memories and it made me feel heartbroken all over again.
I thought I was over these feelings so, why were they resurfacing? Why was the pain coming up again? Why was I moving backwards?
I don’t know the exact answer but, I think it has to do with progress not being linear. Sometimes we go back to our old ways because that is what we’re used to. Staying heartbroken is EASIER than working through the mess and getting better. Being broken allows us to create excuses for other areas in our life. We can justify our failure and blame it on our heartbreak. We can justify our lowly efforts and blame it in this other person. But, our life is our responsibility. We don’t get to show up at the end of life and have excuses. We have to work through our heartbreak. As messy and painful it is, we have to keep going. Sometimes, we will relapse and go back and that is okay. The goal is to keep making progress in some way. It doesn’t have to always be linear and forward. It can be messy and backwards. It can be opening and closing of the wound – as long as the end result is healing. We can keep going.