How Do You Go On After an “ALTARcation”? with Ericka McCracken
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At times we may feel the need to be strong and not cry or show our vulnerability, but it’s necessary for us to be honest and live with authenticity. Do you want to save the world, at the cost of losing yourself?
“It would have been selfish for me to go through all these revelations and just keep it to myself.” – Ericka McCracken
A person can be physically present, yet emotionally absent. If you had an absentee father, it’s so common to look for a father in a man that we are dating, but it’s a role that they can never fill. It’s unfair to expect them to.
If your father abandoned you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he was a bad person, it means he made bad decisions. If you’re dating a man who has a negative characteristic in common with him, don’t assume that it’s all bad.
There’s a big difference between being alone and being lonely. The former is a state of being, and the latter is a feeling. It’s important to not just be in a relationship just for the sake of not being alone. You can still be lonely even if you are in a relationship or in an environment with others.
Sometimes you may think you want something in a certain way; but what you really need may come in different packaging.
Your sorrows and struggles in life are not just there for you to grow from; you can help somebody else. Your pain has purpose.
“If wholeness is the key, forgiveness is the mechanism.” – Ericka McCracken
Forgiveness is a decision. Just as you have to forgive others, you have done, or will do something where you will need someone’s forgiveness.
What You Can Do
If your partner has serious habits or behaviors that need to be addressed, don’t try to be their therapist. Seek professional counseling from a licensed therapist or minister. It’s not a bad idea to get a mental checkup at least once a year, just as you would go to a medical doctor to get a yearly physical.
If you come across a photo, item or gift from someone received in happier times, but looking at it now brings up negative emotions, get rid of it. Reserve your energy for things going on today instead of re-living or rehashing the past, because there is no future in it. Don’t delay or re-start your healing by dwelling on the past. Ask yourself, “Why am I holding onto this item?,” and if it’s not a good reason, then let it go.
A breakup is a good time for introspection. Do something nice for yourself, like getting a massage. Take yourself on a date.
Do your work. Do the work for yourself to heal instead of immediately jumping into the next relationship. Be patient with yourself, and realize that you will always be a work in progress. Don’t ever think you’ve come to a point where you’ve got it all together. We are constantly learning and growing, and a relationship will make you do just that!
God will let you take the same lesson over and over again until you learn it, so don’t delay your healing but jumping into a new relationship without learning from the last one. People devalue alone time, but being alone is not a bad thing. Everyone needs some alone time—even if it’s just a few hours a day, one day a week—to get rejuvenated and refreshed from the stress of everyday life. You can relax, and you can be yourself, and you can hear from God more clearly because you’re not so busy. Then when you go back to your family, back to your job, back to the responsibilities in your world, you are a better person, a better employee, parent, friend, etc. Journaling is another great way to relax and release emotions in a safe, constructive way.
In your offense and your hurt, take the time to consider that the other person may be hurting or dealing with struggles too. There may have been no ill will against you.
Live in a state of thriving, not surviving. Thriving is when you don’t look like what you’ve been through. We want to get over something without going through it, because we don’t want to feel the pain. “Oh, I’m over that… I’m over him.” Focus on not just getting over your circumstance, but getting through it.
Sow a seed to meet someone’s need. It’s tempting to have a pity party, but you will heal faster if you become busy helping others who have different needs or going through am even tougher situation than you. Remember, it’s not about you! By helping them, you are also helping yourself by taking the focus off your problems and seeing the bigger picture. You will feel more gratitude for what you still have, and your blessing to someone else will also bless you.
Don’t expect the person that hurt you to be the one to restore you. Forgive that person, continue serving and living your life, while staying connected to God—He is the only One who can bring you back to your normal self and make you better than okay.
Connect with My Guest
Links and Resources
Book: ALTARcation by Ericka McCracken
Song: Father in You by Mary J. Blige
Article: 5 Languages of Apology: What’s Yours? http://dareesinsights.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/5-languages-of-apology/
TV Show: Daree and Ericka referred to Iyanla VanZant, the host of the show Iyanla Fix My Life on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network.