The Ghosts of Our Past

Hello again! So, post my previous write-up on moving on from a bad/broken relationship, I’ve received various direct messages with a lot of queries on the next step in the process. That is, of entering a new relationship and how to go about it while you’re still nursing wounds from the previous one. Now, I’m no relationship expert. Heck! I’m no expert at anything. Yet, if so many of you thought I could throw some light on the issue and took the time to message me about it, I believe it to be my blogger-ly duty to set forth my two cents on it.

Having duly made that disclaimer, I would also like to state that no advise or tip of mine has a blanket applicability. Please use them in accordance with the situation you’re in, the person that you are and rely on your own instincts too. Nevertheless, I would do my best to help out and I’m always here to listen to you!

Did I thank you for getting back to me and giving me such an amazing response? If I haven’t yet, I am immensely grateful. There is no bigger reward than seeing people read what you write, analyse it and give their feedback. So I’m in writer’s heaven right now, thanks to all of you!

Moving on with the issue at hand, you’ll see I’ve titled this post as “The Ghosts of Our Past”. Now, while I mentally pat my back for coming up with it, because I’m weird like that and also a geek, I would like you to take a moment for some introspection. During this time, make a mental note of all the red flags that made you escape your ex. It could be the fact that he/she wasn’t loyal and couldn’t be trusted, that your ex didn’t treat you with respect, or was too self centred to pay any heed to your needs, etc.

You see, when we start dating someone new, we subconsciously reflect our previous relationship onto this new one. In effect, we second guess everything that this new person is doing for the fear of having to go through the same thing again. In all honesty, no one can pass such close scrutiny. Moreover, this isn’t fair to that person or to you. You both deserve a chance.

So, I repeat, make a note of the red flags. Then when you meet someone new, keep yourself in check, more so over those very same issues. No one can fault you for looking out for yourself. After all, once bitten twice shy came into being for a reason. Yet, we can’t let anything from the past overshadow the happiness of our future, can we?

It is understandable to have trust issues after having been betrayed earlier. Yet, we need to make a conscious effort to remember that this new person in our life has done nothing yet to deserve our apprehension. I sincerely believe in trusting everyone till they give you a reason not to. The same holds true for all other concerns that you may have. Give yourself a fair, fighting chance. Or you could even maintain a strike card, you know. If this new person ends up doing three things out of the red flags you’d identified, he/she strikes out. But atleast give him the chance to make those strikes.

While writing this post, I’m also realising another grave concern that might marr the prospect of a happy future. Oftentimes, when things go well and like we’d want them to, we are overcome by a crippling anxiety of it all going downhill. The happiness we’re feeling in itself becomes a cause for concern. We keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. The notion of unbridled happiness coming our way seems far too alien to be welcomed with open arms, calm minds and warm hearts. This, again, is an after effect of our not-so-perfect past. Every relationship begins with happiness, that is the basic premise which makes it a relationship in the first place. It’s all hunky dory till things start turning south. Hence, when we experience happiness again later in our life, we view it with suspicion. We don’t trust our luck to be good enough.

Here again lies a struggle with your own self. I wish I had a solution, a sure shot remedy for this. All I can do today, however, is to make you aware of how our own mind works against us when it comes to situations like these. The only plausible path to proceed entails working with yourself to overcome these self created hurdles. To not let them affect your future.

It’s time to bury the ghosts of our past, firmly and surely. Jettison the baggage and free yourself of all shackles. Leave the previous relationship with the person that you left. Begin anew in the truest sense of the word. Make your own new relationship, new mistakes, new happiness and new troubles. At the end of the day, we’re all richer people for it.

I hope this helps. Again, I’m always available to listen to you and to talk. Do not hesitate in contacting me. Take good care of yourselves. Let me know what you think of today’s post in the comment section down below. I would love to get your views on it. I’m sure some of you might have a better solution to this problem. Even sharing can help others see the way ahead.

Thank you for reading!

Love,

Varnika.

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Ten Things I Hate About You – Getting Over a Breakup

If you’ve grown up in the nineties, you could not possibly have missed watching the iconic, cult classic movie of our time – 10 Things I Hate About You. Apart from the fact that it is every girls go-to romcom and holds the distinct position of introducing the world to the wonders that are Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Julia Stiles, this movie is famous too for its sickeningly sweet dialogue in which the ever aloof, ever stony, ever not-mush, Julia Stiles expresses and accepts her love for Heath Ledger. To refresh your memory, here’s how it went –

I hate the way you talk to me, and the way you cut your hair. I hate the way you drive my car. I hate it when you stare. I hate your big dumb combat boots, and the way you read my mind. I hate you so much it makes me sick; it even makes me rhyme. I hate it, I hate the way you’re always right. I hate it when you lie. I hate it when you make me laugh, even worse when you make me cry. I hate it when you’re not around, and the fact that you didn’t call. But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.

What a brilliant way to hold you own while enumerating all the things you hate loving about a person.

So, taking inspiration from it today, I bring to you a method of getting over a broken heart or a bad breakup. Some of you might remember a previous post wherein I talked about the signs of a toxic relationship, how to identify them and then proceed to let go of any such mentally or physically abusive relationship (If not, please click here to read the post). Today, I feel like addressing the next step in the process. On how to move on with your life after the said relationship is over.

I’m sure each and every one of us finds the first few months in the aftermath of a failed relationship to be a painful time. However, the biggest challenge faced during this period is to not fall back into old ways. It is very easy, and understandable, to get back together with our exs. It is what you know. It is what is comfortable for you. It is what your life had been and it feels almost natural to be together. And yet, mostly all of us regret taking that step and making the wrong decision just to get our heart broken all over again. Sadly, by the same person once again. Do not beat yourself up about it though. I believe this tendency is quite akin to Stockholm syndrome where the victims of kidnappings end up developing sympathetic feelings towards their captors. This is true for all kinds of abuses too. Even a relationship that you had voluntarily entered into at one point of time.

Thus, it’s time to take a leaf out of Julia’s book. Make a list. Not only does making lists calm our nerves and gives us a sense of control, in this particular case, it can be quite cathartic. This list, however, will be an actual hate list. Sorry Julia, but your list has lived well past its expiry date. We’re over love now. Everything that has frustrated you beyond your limit, everything that broke you, everything that made you suffer and cry and everything that made you decide to leave should make its way on to your list.

And then, put that list up on your fridge. Look at it daily. Let it be a reminder of what you would have to endure if you make the folly of going back to your ex because, trust me darling, no one ever changes for good. Let the failed promise of your broken relationship give you a new lease of life.

When you’re finally able to trust yourself to think straight again rather than get swayed by your emotions, tear up that list. You’ve suffered a baptism by fire and succeeded. Now it’s upto you whether you want to be on friendly terms with your ex or not. Atleast you’d have the reassurance that your decision now would be based solely on what’s best for you.

I hope this helps you! If you do try it out, let me know how it went, please? Also, if you need help in making the list, let me know in the comments section down below and I’d post my own list for your benefit. Thank you for reading.

Love,

Varnika.

Be Still My Heart

As the dust settled in your wake,

It riled up every past mistake.

I witnessed a fleeting moment of chaotic hell

Followed by a settling feeling of calm,

Unending, assuring and warm.

Tables turned

On the lull before the storm.

I could rest now,

Far from the weary exchanges,

Of bitter words and sour thoughts,

Of ego clashes and compromises.

The battle of the hearts

Was fought and won

And lost and retreated,

All at once and

Once and for all.

I can put my beating heart to rest now.

Breaking the Habit – Getting out of an Unhealthy Relationship

There are all kinds of relationships. However, some of these can be unhealthy and quite detrimental to our overall wellness. Oftentimes, we continue to subject ourselves to the torment of being in an unhealthy relationship. It is quite possible that one of the reasons underlying this habit can be the tendency of human nature to resist change. In doing so, it spells its own doom.

At the cost of sounding selfish, I declare that no relationship is worth being in if it doesn’t make you happy, does not let you grow as a person and if it gives you sleepless nights. You are, indeed, your foremost priority. No, you’re not mean or self-centred if you prioritize yourself. This is so because the main essence of a well-rounded, fulfilling and healthy relationship is that it nurtures you to the extent that you don’t have to invest in looking out for yourself. As a result, you return equal care and affection to your significant other. So when I ask you to prioritise yourself, I’m imploring you to get rid of the shackles of a lovesless relationship and welcome one that’s actually right for you.

Thus, today, I aim at, firstly, identifying the hallmarks of an unhealthy relationship, secondly, prescribing how to get out of one and, thirdly, providing suggestions on how to move on in life towards better things.

If you’ve noticed, I’m going about this in a precise, scientific manner. This is intentional. I am attempting at doing away with all emotional overlays to get to the crux of the matter. This is needed because it’s those emotions that make us forgive the worst of things, that make us go running back to a person who’s only given us unhappiness just because he/she happened to shower some kinds words on us for once and so on and so forth. The decision to get rid of something that’s pulling you down should be logical, calculated and final. I hope you’d appreciate my intent and forgive me my drabness for today. If you do wish to read a short story on the emotional aspect of it, please read my previous post titled Do I Know You? If you wish to read on my own experience with one, please read Is love, love, love alone.

Moving on.

The Warning Bells

Unfortunately, the slow, cruel demise of a relationship that might have once, probably, been a happy and mutual one is never augured by big omens. Yet, on the bright side, there are various lines of queries that can make you reach a conclusion regarding the nature of your relationship. Try answering the following questions –

  • Do you feel you’re not being given enough time, care or attention?
  • Do you feel like you’re the only one expressing love and doing things to make the other person happy?
  • Do you feel like you’re being lied to a lot?
  • Do you feel like you’re always available for someone yet you’re only needed at the other’s convenience and/or whim or pleasure?
  • Do you find yourself having to provide explanations for the littlest of things?
  • Does your partner keep you updated on the going-ons of his life so as to make you a part of it?
  • Are your friends/family apprehensive of the person you’re with and have implored you to leave him/her?
  • Do you have trouble sleeping because you’re left wondering how to make things better?
  • Do you feel lonely, dejected and unimportant even when surrounded by a crowd of people?

    If your response to any of the above and similar questions has been a yes, then I’m sorry to say, you need to retrospectively review your relationship. 

    Sometimes it can happen that two people grow apart over time and yet continue to stick together due to regard for the time already spent and due to having made a commitment once. At other times, they don’t end things in order to not be left alone. It can even happen that people make tremendous compromises just because they’re used to having a certain person in their lives and that has now come to define their comfort zone. Although all these are valid enough reasons, try to weigh out your compromises against the benefits of such a relationship. 

    For example, if you’re feeling or are being called ‘clingy’ then, in all probability, the other person just isn’t giving you enough time. One should never have to ask for things like these. Of course, provided that you don’t expect people to leave work or professional engagements to be at your beck and call. Or to not meet their friends and family, etc. In those cases, you’d be the guilty partner and I’d recommend your partner to go through this post!

    Once you’ve identified the unhealthy quotient of your relationship, move on to the next step.

    Cutting Ties

    If discussing your issues with your partner does not work, if you feel he/she will not be willing to put in an effort, then you need to end your relationship. Don’t fall prey to thoughts like ‘maybe this is the most that I deserve’ or ‘but he/she does claim to love me’ or ‘isn’t life all about making compromises?’. No, my dear, you deserve everything in life, you won’t need to hear claims when someone actually loves you, they’ll make sure you come to know of it in a myriad ways and no, life is what you make of it, and compromising with happiness is not the way to go about it.

    Sadly though, there’s no other way to end an unhealthy relationship other than going cold turkey. You need to get up and packing. Whatever happens, do not look or turn back. They can smell weakness. They can exploit weakness. Weakness is their granola bar, it energises them. Honestly though, it’s in both of your interests for you to move on.

    So once you’ve had enough, just rip off the bandaid. Easier said than done, right? No worries, I have a hack for that too. Appoint your best friend as your relationship monitor. Let her/him ensure that you stick to your decision. Usually when we have trouble in paradise, we tend to hide it from our friends. In this case, make them your confidants. You’ll find out in due course that there’s no one as fierce as a best friend protecting a friend’s heart. (Except for mothers, of course, but then again, they’re all Wonder Women)

    The Journey Beyond

    You’ve chosen happiness. Good for you! Now it’s time to reach it too. Once you’ve broken up with the one false love of your life, it’s time for a good, long introspection session. 

    No, I’m only kidding. It’s time for a makeover! 

    No? Well, fine, it’s time for a lifestyle transformation. Check yourself out and see what all you’ve suffered from. Do you have trust issues from having been fed too many lies? Do you have self-doubt from having been treated like a doormat? Do you look physically changed due to all the stress induced hunger pangs you indulged in or crash diets you went on to earn a little attention? You get the drift, right?

    Well, then it’s time to hop on the wellness bandwagon with full commitment. Fill your time and thoughts with ideas of making yourself better. Emotionally and physically. Read more on the importance of wellness on my previous post on mind and body. Feel your best, look your best. Get to your happy place. Once you get involved in investing in your own self, you won’t even have the time to wallow in despair over the death of a relationship.

    Then, when you feel you’re ready, remind yourself that you deserve all the love in this world. You will love yourself till someone comes along who can love you more than that. And then, finally, you can sit back and make being loved your new habit.

    In case you want to reach out to me on social media for any of the reasons mentioned in my about page, I’m always available a the following links:

    To read more of my posts on wellness, click here.

    To read more of my posts on lifestyle, click here.

    Thank you for reading, please feel free to leave your comments and feedback down below. I would love to hear from you! Especially if you’ve experienced any of the above mentioned issues in life or know of people trapped in unhealthy relationships.