Accepting a Breakup – 5 Tips From Pandora’s Box
These tips for accepting a breakup are inspired by the parable of Pandora’s Box, and will help you heal after breaking up with someone you care about. Complete acceptance after breaking up may not be achievable, but you will eventually move forward into a happier, healthier stage of your life.
How to Let Go of Someone You Love is an ebook I wrote after experiencing one of the most painful breakups of my life. I was desperate for help accepting the breakup – and I’m a writer, so what better way to learn how to move on than interview experts and write about it?
Unfortunately, there are no perfect secrets or no-fail tips on how to get over a break up and accept that it’s over. It takes different people different amounts of time to accept a breakup and move on – but the underlying thing we all need after losing someone we love is hope.
And that’s what the parable of Pandora’s Box is all about.
The Parable of Pandora’s Box
According to the Ancient Greeks, Pandora was the first woman on Earth. She was created by Zeus, and she was bestowed her with many gifts: beauty, speech, musical talent, and the ability to persuade.
Pandora also received a handsome lidded jar that she was told never to open.
But she could not resist the temptation. She opened the jar and all manner of evil and pain flew out. Deceit and mistrust, war and famine, illness and death – it’s ours now, because Pandora opened her box.
She hurriedly tried to close the jar, but she wasn’t quick enough. Luckily, she did manage to keep the last thing from escaping: the spirit of hope.
5 Tips for Accepting a Breakup
The most important thing to remember about breaking up is that there is no such thing as complete acceptance. Sometimes we just need to live with loss.
And we need to hope that we will heal and open our hearts to love again.
Hold on to your hope for the future
The good news about Pandora’s Box is that hope is not lost. Hope didn’t escape from her jar. It’s there for you, for me, for anyone who has to let go of someone they love. What do you hope for? Not the past. Hope for the future, for inspiration, for confidence and creativity and energy to move forward with your life. Don’t lose the hope that you will love again, you will be loved again, and you will share your life with someone you care about! Hope. Hold on to hope.
Know that getting back together is opening Pandora’s Box
You will open Pandora’s Box if you get back together with your ex. The only reason to reconcile is if something has changed significantly about you, your ex, or your relationship. Accepting a breakup involves letting go of the hope that you will get back together. Accepting a breakup means you know that getting back together with your ex is a mistake that will release unhealthy toxins in your life (as opposed to those healthy toxins).
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Accept that complete acceptance is impossible
“There are certain events that we may never accept fully,” writes Melody Beattie in More Language of Letting Go: 366 New Daily Meditations. “What can be accepted, though, is that we are required to live with these losses and find a way to go on.” I read her book every morning – it takes less than five minutes to read one of her daily meditations, and they help me accept everything about my life! The good, the bad, the ugly. Accepting a breakup is a daily process – it may even take years for you to feel like you’re truly healed and ready for a new relationship.
I’ve experienced so many losses in my life, and I’m convinced that I’ll never fully heal from any of them. All the people and pets and possessions I’ve lost…they are gone from my life, but not from my heart and soul. Accepting a breakup is like accepting death because it IS a death. It’s the death of the hopes and dreams you had for your relationship and future as a couple.
Allow yourself time to grieve the breakup
You may never fully accept a breakup, but you will start to remember your ex and the relationship with less pain. You may still feel a twinge of loss or regret, but you won’t feel raw. Your heart and soul are intertwined with your partner’s when you’re in a relationship – especially if you have kids together. Separating and breaking up is a huge loss in your life. You need to give yourself time to grieve before you can heal.
Accept that life is different now
“There is no such thing as complete acceptance,” says David Viscott in Emotionally Free. “When you can remember a loss with a little distance and much less pain, you have accepted the loss and mourned it fully. You accept that life is different now and move on.”
If you’ve accepted the breakup but can’t let go of your ex, read How to Emotionally Detach From Someone You Care About.
I welcome your thoughts on accepting a breakup. I can’t offer advice or counseling, but it may help you to write about breaking up and acceptance.
The engraving in this post is called “Opened up a Pandora’s box” by F.S. Church.