L-O-V-E. Four letters that express an undying devotion between persons across the world, of varying ages, languages, and cultural backgrounds. Everyone can love. So what happens when your one-and-only slits the tires on your love-jeep and the walls of Jericho come crashing down? Perhaps a fight. Fights can be healthy and really contribute to the growth of those in the relationship. But they can hurt, and the cuts run deep. Here’s a survival kit to help keep your heart safe, and your mind logical. After all, criticism is only a sign of bad communication.
Workout. The best way to get out aggression and clear your brain is a hard workout. Sweat, grunt, even cry if you’re up for it.
Write about it. If you’re anything like me, the workout will have turned the blender on your thoughts and emotions, and in order to process, a journal might be necessary. Write whatever comes out. If it’s Jane Austen’s perfectly logical prose, so be it. More likely, it will be a stream-of-consciousness that floats between rage, fear, hurt, and questioning. Ask those questions. Get up close and personal with your heart to find out what’s REALLY bothering you. Try having a conversation with yourself… I always think of Ben Stiller’s self-therapy in the classic 1980s movie, Heavyweights.
Watch a Movie. If you need distraction while the questions mull, put on a good movie. Been looking at the shelf for more than 20 minutes? Grab a friend or sibling and make them pick one for you. Then ask if they’ll stay to watch it with you as an accountability partner. Say it with me: We are NOT here to wallow in self-pity.
Make a playlist. We’re not looking for heart drowning, but pick an assortment of songs that can bring you on an emotional journey, out of your over-analyzing. If you’re angry, start with a little Lincoln Park. Ease into some Mumford and Sons, then Adele. Slide into some good Santana, then some Celtic Women or Country genre. Get a little Maroon 5 and Nora Jones in there for a controlled relapse into the softer emo before transitioning into some calming Enya or classical tunes. You can always try the encouraging resonance of Josh Groban. Finish with a happy Jack Johnson, Michael Buble, or Louis Armstrong and start the day anew with a fresh look at love. Don’t exhaust yourself…it’s meant to be a cathartic experience where you can download emotions into the music itself.
Get outside. Even if you’re not up for socializing, a little human observing and minimal interaction will do you good. Get yourself a cup of coffee, and sit on a bench where there are children nearby. Don’t be a creeper, but let the kids’ joy fill you up. Watch them take pleasure in the simple things of life.
Volunteer. Get acquainted with people who are in a worse position than you. If you are alive, healthy, can read and write, and have clean water in a sturdy shelter….you are better than A LOT of people in this world. Give back in gratitude for your blessings.
Know your apology languages. When you’re ready, apologies might have to be made. The quicker the confession of pride, the quicker the healing into joy. That being said, there’s a difference between going out of your comfort zone and forcing yourself to say something you don’t mean. **Caution** ONLY APOLOGIZE IF YOU MEAN IT. Otherwise, it breeds a messier resentment faster than glitter dumped on a ceiling fan!
Happy communicating! Remember: Love endures.