After the Break Up

Today, we will talk about how we shouldn’t forget the good times when we break up with our friends or lovers.

Relationships sometimes end. It is the rare person who has never lost a friend or a lover. Some have lost spouses, too. Unfortunately, when relationships end, we suffer from a peculiar type of memory failure. We forget all the good times we shared and all the nice things that happened during our relationship and remember only the bad. Consequently, when we talk about our ex-friend/lover/spouse, we can say only terrible things about them because everything else appears erased. One of the reasons for this is to justify the break-up, especially if we were responsible for it, but it seems sad, doesn't it?

If it describes you, dear friend, a little neural rewiring might be in order, and a story may help. A monk and his friend were on their way to a nearby village. They had to cross a lake to get there, but they got into an argument just before getting into the boat that would take them across. The monk's friend slapped him. The monk didn't retaliate. He didn't say anything, either. He just scribbled a few words on the sand with his staff. "My friend slapped me," he wrote. The friend saw what he had written, shook his head in bewilderment, got into the boat, and off they went.

Midway through the crossing, the boat sprung a leak and began to sink. The monk didn't know how to swim, but his friend, an expert swimmer, came to his aid and helped him reach the other side of the shore. The monk thanked his friend, then, taking a pocket knife from his pouch, carved a few words on a rock. "My friend saved me," he wrote. His friend asked him what he was doing. The monk replied, "Some things should be forgotten, some things should be remembered. The things I write on sand, I choose to forget. The things I write on rock, I choose to remember."

God is like that, writing our bad deeds on sand and our good deeds on stone. It's a good thing, too; otherwise, we'd all be like burnt toast. As people made in his image and likeness, we need to be like that as well, especially when people have often done so much good for us. (If they have always been terrible, it's a different story, but in my experience, most people are generally good until things start going south.) Break-ups are hard to deal with, and we can become understandably bitter, but thinking of the good things that our ex has done rather than the bad will take away some of the bitter taste from our mouths and make us feel better. It will also help us get over the pain of the break-up faster.

God bless you.