If you’re dealing with a challenge (of any kind), and feel stuck in a negative thought loop, I have a helpful tool. Read on…
A long time ago, when I was in my 30’s, I dated this handsome Ivy League guy.
We ultimately broke up because we were very different people.
I joke – but I’m serious.
Tox didn’t show up as an obvious Toxic Partner. He was charismatic, successful, funny, generous, romantic.
Tox inundatated me with love letters, flowers and candle-lit dinners.
Unfortunately, Tox also had his hidden underbelly Toxic side.
“When you dress sexy, it makes me think you’re interested in meeting other men,” Tox explained.
I wasn’t. I liked to dress sexy to feel sexy for me and Tox. Kaput.
But while dating Tox, I entered into what I refer to as “My Amish Girl Period.”
Basically, turtlenecks became a staple throughout all four seasons.
One time Tox was heading to Chicago for business for a full week. Before he left he handed me a little white box. Inside it was a plastic button pin with the words:
“Don’t even think of sleeping with me.”
“I saw this pin in a store,” Tox explained, “Want to wear it while I’m in Chicago?”
Was he joking? Did he really want me to wear the pin?“You’re joking, right?” I asked Tox.
He smiled awkwardly. “You can if you want to,” he said. “After all, it’s funny, right?”
I chose not to wear the pin – but showed it to my friend, Lisa.
“Tell him I want a pin, too,” Lisa said. “One that says ‘Don’t even think of sleeping with Karen.’ I’ll wear mine wherever I go.”
“Tox would be in trouble if we did wear pins like these,” I laughed. “After all, you know how men can be! Wearing a pin that says ‘don’t want me’ might only make men want me all the more.”
Although Lisa and I laughed, I confess that deep inside me I was not laughing.
I knew that Tox’s jealous and possessive behavior was problematic – yet I could not bring myself to break up with him.
I was in my thirties. I felt like I’d invested a lot of time, love and emotions-of-all-kinds into our relationship.
And Tox talked all the time about how he wanted to have a family with me.
After the “pin gift,” I experienced a “Freudian misread” related to my fear of marrying Tox.
Lisa lent me a book about successful coupling.
I kept misreading the words “LOVE MATES” as “LOVE MATS.”
I wondered: Do I feel like a “love mat” in this relationship?
Soon after, with the support of a wonderful therapist I broke up with Tox.
It was a really devastating break up. My parents were confused. After all, Tox was smart, Ivy League, handsome, charismatic, successful, funny- and I was in my “ancient” 30’s! My parents wondered how I could jump off this relationship when it was sailing towards marriage and babies!
Although I was the one who left Tox – I felt totally heart broken.
So how did I ultimately move on and recover?
I told myself a powerful sentence – which helped me not to view the break up as a Gigantic Life Sentence.
This empowering sentence was….
Think about it.
A break up is just a part of one’s life – it is not one’s whole life.
Nothing is everything.
A break up is not everything.
A challenging event of any kind is not everything.
A challenging event of any kind is merely something going on INSIDE one’s life!
A challenging event is NOT one’s WHOLE life.
It’s just a slice – not the whole!
When I began thinking of the break up as a “mere slice of my life,” I gave myself permission to enjoy all the other yummy parts of my life far more
If you’re going through a challenging event right now, please keep in mind that this challenging event is just a mere part of your life!
It is not your whole life!
The part is not greater than the whole!
Please re-focus on ALL the MANY other yummy parts of your life!
I know this personally.
I now no longer accept toxic people into my life – thanks to this break up.
I could write a whole book on all I’ve learned thanks to Tox! In fact have! I morphed my pain into purpose – and wrote a book called Prince Harming Syndrome – which was loved and recommended on Oprah’s site. I’m now giving away this best selling book for FREE – because I want to help as many people as possible! Click here to get your FREE copy of Prince Harming Syndrome!
Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.
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