What I Learnt When You Pulled Away (lessons from heartbreak)

Aloha! I’m Krista Aoki. The post below is from my public notebook. My pile of unfinished essays started growing quicker than my reading list.  Instead of continuing to let my pile of drafts grow, I now work in public to develop my ideas. The post below is an example of drafting in public.

If you feel inclined, leave a comment with any questions or thoughts you have. Your thoughts will help me take my ideas to the next level!

With love, 

I remember the days you would lean in and pull me close. I remember the days feeling at home in your arms, the way our fingers would brush along each other’s bodies as if we were painting the galaxy.

I remember not understanding why when I got too close, you would push me away.

Being pushed away, I wondered if I was so focused on the idea of you and who you could become that I forgot to pay attention to who was in front of me.

Have you ever been stuck in a push/pull cycle of pursuit, closeness, withdrawal, repeat? If someone who lets you in suddenly pulls away, it can be confusing.

Here’s what I learnt from heartbreak.

Things happen that you can’t control

Sometimes the best healing happens when we accept there are some things in life we cannot control.

It’s human to want to assign reasons to things. But we have to be cautious and ask ourselves if we are doing that as a way to avoid accepting the reality of the situation.

“By blaming ourselves, we hold onto the hope we will be able to figure out what we are doing wrong and correct it – thereby controlling the situation and stopping the pain.” – Women Who Love Too Much

One of the most essential parts of healing is reminding ourselves that things happen that we cannot control.

Ask yourself: “What is in my control right now? How can I give myself the love that’s missing right now?”

Don’t chase love

Sometimes we let someone’s character blind us from the reality of the situation. We get so focused on being chosen that we abandon ourselves in the process. Why do we hold onto relationships that hurt us? Why do we sacrifice our emotions? 

You deserve someone who chooses you.

We can’t expect others to meet us where we are. 

Learn to walk away when people can’t match your energy.

If someone isn’t making you a priority, don’t make excuses. Take them as they are. 

“If you can love the wrong person so much, imagine how much you can love the right one.” – Matthew Hussey

Ask yourself: “What ways am I compromising for the other person? How can I choose myself?”

Do one thing every day that helps you grow

“In order to grow, you must give up the struggle to remain the same, and learn to embrace change at all times.”

Ask yourself: “What makes me happy? How can I do at least three things that make me happy every day?”

You have a choice to be open or closed

“Do not let anything that happens in life be important enough that you’re willing to close your heart over it.” – Michael A. Singer, The Untethered Soul

If you’re not ready for a new relationship, experience intimacy in other ways.

  • Open yourself to make eye contact and smile at strangers.
  • Open your heart and be vulnerable with a friend or acquaintance.
  • Open yourself to experience something you wouldn’t normally do.

As I healed from heartbreak, I learnt amazing things happen when you open yourself up to friendships and opportunities.

I chose to give strangers a chance. I chose to connect deeper with the people around me. I chose to challenge myself to… 

Ask yourself: “How can I open myself up to connect with others?”

Do “no contact” to get yourself back (not your ex)

Sometimes, we exit relationships only to realize that somewhere along the way, we lost ourselves in the process.

After a breakup, make it a priority to get yourself back.

  • Stop checking on what your ex is doing, or if you’ve received a message from them
  • Go “no contact” so that you can reconnect with yourself
  • Make time to focus on yourself and your healing instead

Ask yourself: “Who am I trying to please right now? How can I love myself?”

The journey of loving yourself is a gift

One of the greatest tragedies about love is losing yourself to try to keep someone else.

It’s okay to love and be loved. It’s okay to seek community outside of yourself. The journey towards healing and loving yourself is a gift.