Some years back I suffered a cut in the palm of my right hand doing pull-ups at a fitness competition. Every time I pulled myself up, friction generated between my hand and the metal bar caused the outer layer of my skin to become weaker. I was twenty or so pull-ups in when it finally split open. Talk about pain.
The burning sensation that immediately followed caused my eyes to water. Despite spectators cheering me on and coaches shouting words of encouragement, all I could think about was keeping my hand in a loose fist to keep the pain from intensifying.
That injury impacted my life in a profound way for days afterwards. Handshakes became fist bumps. Routine activities such as opening doors and brushing my teeth required more thought and maneuvering than usual. What took place in a matter of seconds on the pull-up bar that day, would end up influencing just about everything I did for a lot longer.
Much like my physical injury, the wounds we suffer from a broken relationship impact us the most in the beginning. Whether that’s the intensity level of our emotions, the degree in which our attention and focus is consumed or how much disruption comes into our lives, the experience carries with it various hurdles that can be a challenge to overcome. This holds true regardless of the reason for the break-up, or the types of wounds we endure.
It’s also in this initial stage of breakup that we tend to be highly unstable and vulnerable. It doesn’t take much, if anything, to send us into a tizzy or invoke mood swings. We’re liable to say or do things that go against the core of who we truly are. A social person can become someone who’d rather be alone. Someone who was once very confident and secure about love and life, may suddenly have a bunch of questions and doubts.
As time passed a scab began to form. I did my part to help with the recovery process by keeping it clean and bandaged, and out of harms way. Things were progressing well until I prematurely went back to the gym and re-injured my hand. Not as bad as the first time, but enough to tear off the scab and partially reopen the wound.
In my haste to get back into a workout routine I didn’t give my hand enough time to heal, which is similar to what people who jump into another relationship too soon do. The scab is there to protect; to allow whatever’s working on the inside do its job. Your time alone, focused on self, is the “scab” that’s protecting you mentally and emotionally. If you’re not fully healed, if you’re still dealing with unresolved issues from your previous relationship then you’re interfering with the healing process by stepping out too soon. By acting out of loneliness or physical desires you run the risk of reopening those wounds, or creating new ones in both you and the person you’re dating, so be honest with yourself before moving forward with your heart.
Although it’s been some years since that injury happened I still remember it like it was yesterday. Not just because of the experience, but there’s also a small scar that serves as a reminder. I now where hand protection anytime I do pull-ups to help prevent that injury from happening again. Use whatever scars you suffered from your broken relationship to serve as a reminder of what happened and how you got there. Protect yourself by trusting your instincts and not ignoring the warnings signs. This will help prevent you from going through the same thing with someone else.
To that end I say this. Trust the process. Give yourself time to heal by focusing on self rather then someone else. Take inventory of what’s inside to make sure there are no residue wounds before jumping back into another relationship. It may not seem like it, but what you’re experiencing is divine by design.