In going through a breakup, we spend a lot of time thinking about what could have been.
Come to think of it, you don’t even have to be breaking up to get stuck in “what could have been.”
Allowing yourself to think about what could have been is just as dangerous as The Fire Swamp in The Princess Bride. Going in, you tell yourself, “I’ll be safe in The Fire Swamp.” Even though there’s a little voice of protest saying, “We’ll never survive there.” The “what could have been” part of you says, “Nonsense! You only say that because no one ever has.” Entering The Fire Swamp, you say to yourself, “It’s not that bad. The trees are quite lovely.” All the while, you are ignoring the menacing music of impending danger. You’re even willing to ignore the flame spurts burning your skirt and the lightening sand that nearly drowns you. The next thing you know, you’re battling the Rodents Of Unusual Size.
Why go through all of that terror? Why do that to yourself?
What happens when you go there is that you are entranced with thoughts like, “We were supposed to….” and “It was really good in the beginning…”
You’re thinking, “How can he move on so easily with his life without me while I’m stuck with all the feelings of what could have been.”
The vision of your perfect future is not the problem.
The problem is that you are so committed to that vision of your perfect future with him that you don’t think there could be anyone else that could take his place in that vision.
Understand this: that vision of the perfect future is yours, not his. You can create and shape it any way you want. The only essential ingredient in that vision is YOU!
It’s time to rescue yourself from The Fire Swamp.
First of all, just for now, just for this exercise, accept that your ex is your ex because he was not the one who fit that perfect future. After all, it makes sense, doesn’t it. If he was the perfect future, the perfect future would be what you are living. But you never have lived that perfect future with him, have you.
You are not living that perfect future because he wasn’t and isn’t the right ingredient, the right fit. If he was, you’d be living it. You’re not living it. That means that he wasn’t the right fit.
You still get to have your perfect future IF you replace what doesn’t work with what does.
Make a list of all the things that you didn’t like about your ex.
Now, make a 2nd list of exactly the opposite of each of the things on that don’t-like list.
The 2nd list is your key to success.
Now imagine a partner with all of the qualities on the 2nd list. It feels good, doesn’t it!
That list, that vision, is now your perfect future.
Your job, and it’s a fun one, is to hold your vision of your perfect future.