The dos and don’ts of thinking about an Ex
Unless you are still together with the first person you ever had a crush on, or you’ve stayed single your entire life, you’ve got an ex.
Some we forget exes immediately. Either the relationship was short, or the impact was minimal and unless something comes along that triggers a memory, they don’t occupy a single square inch of our psychic space. A friend discovered this when turning over the pages of someone else’s photograph album, only to be confronted by an ancient photograph of her with someone she’d dated. She’d been absolutely heartbroken when it ended, but she’d one hundred per cent forgotten about being with them (and there’s a profound message just in that story!)
Other Exes frankly haunt us. Being preoccupied with an ex is probably one of the biggest psychic drains we can put up with. It can be a fast route to pain and a guaranteed way of eroding our potential for happiness in the moment.
Toltec wisdom says that we should stalk our thoughts, be aware of what’s going through our heads and operate a strict door policy on what we let in and what we firmly usher out.
Thinking about our exes isn’t a psychic crime. But the way that we think either helps us move on or depletes our psychic energy. So here are a few dos and don’ts.
Don’t go back there. Spending hours reliving the happy or unhappy moments you spent with them as if it’s all happening now is a huge psychic drain. It’s a pull back to the past when your power comes from being in the present. If you catch yourself running the last argument you had for the seventieth time, show it the door.
Do take a detached visit to the past to retrieve something you needed to learn. Looking back at the end of one particular relationship, a friend of mine saw that she had overlooked warning signs that should have made her get up and walk on the second date. So the important thing about that relationship was that it taught her not to overlook the warning signs. Once she had what she needed to learn from it, there was not reason to go back.
Don’t idealise them. They may have been fabulous, gorgeous, amazing and intelligent, but it’s unlikely that they are the only person in the world who has any of these qualities.
Do put things in balance. If you catch yourself mooning over their stunning eyes, make sure you remember their staggeringly bad morning breath. Thankfully, as none of us are perfect, there should be plenty for you to work with. It’s not about being deliberately mean, it’s about ensuring that we paint a realistic picture of who they were.
Don’t mythologise them. We do love to tell stories. Some people say that all we ever really have is the story we tell. But if you catch yourself telling stories about them or the time that you had together in a way that borders on mythic proportions, you’re in danger of creating a template that makes them a hard act to follow.
Do continue to write your own story. If you realise that the stories that you tell about the time you had with them are all about the adventures you shared, plan and have a few of your own to give you different stories to tell.
Don’t tell fibs. Watch out for you saying things like, ‘They are the only person I ever loved’ or even worse, ‘They are the only person I will ever love’. Can you see how hard it is to tear yourself away from statements like these? Actually, they are nasty little spells that will keep you in a horrible trance if you’re not careful.
Do tell the truth. Carrying on from the above, chances are they aren’t the only person you ever loved. Or are you going to allow yourself to undermine all of the amazing people you’ve met and shared time with in your life? So be accurate. ‘I’ve loved a lot of people and a lot of people have loved me’. As for the idea that they will be the only person you will ever love – my goodness, that borders on a bad psychic prediction! One that has the power to make sure you don’t! The truth is, you could meet someone tomorrow who blows your socks off, or who you start a quiet friendship with that grows into an incredible passion and what turns out to be a lifelong partner.
Part of the joy of life is that we really don’t know what’s around the next corner. That’s why creating conditions that mean we are facing forward, keenly anticipating what’s going to happen next, is hugely important. Mostly because it makes us feel good about now, and the future that we have comes from this present moment.
Loads of love,
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