When relationships end, dating back as early as middle school, a common, overly-used and under-expressive phrase when one person ends a relationship (and they are typically the only one who wants to end it) is, “it’s not you, it’s me.” We roll our eyes when we hear this phrase used as we age in life and enter (ideally) into mature relationships in which both parties know how to express their emotions, needs, and desires. But as the real world and time will have it, we do not all mature at exactly the same rate as we age (I know this from first hand experience, we all do quite frankly).
As we grow up, we enter into relationships only to find our buttons pushed by things the other person does and we often let those buttons drive us crazy until we explode. When those buttons explode like a long-dormant volcano, it means that person has hit some emotion or memory from your childhood that is more than likely buried under the years and years of layers of defense mechanisms you have established to protect yourself and these weaker parts of your being from getting hurt, from feeling pain. Once we are sick of having these weak-pain buttons reappear and be pushed time and time again both in a romantic relationship and in any other relationship we have, we realize that these pains need to be confronted in order for us to try and have the most peaceful human existence we can have. That’s what the quote, “the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom,” is all about (thank you, Anais Nin). So when we need to blossom, even though the blossoming itself can be painful, we go to a therapist or enroll in group therapy or do something that will help us work through our hurts of the past that we unconsciously live in the present. Take this as coming from a girl who got so fed up with other people pushing her pain buttons (and herself pushing her own pain button) that she mustered up the courage to find a bilingual therapist in Mexico.
I think the phrase “it’s not you, it’s me” has an absolute truth to it. It really isn’t you that’s doing anything wrong; it’s the other person whose soul doesn’t mesh with something about you. That sounds almost worse, but it’s really nothing personal. And when we distance ourselves from people by either audibly or silently saying “it’s not you, it’s me,” it’s actually a gift we are giving ourselves. We’re saying, “I know myself well enough that this person or situation causes discord within me, and for my well-being and harmony, I choose to distance myself partially or completely from this person or situation.” It’s an act of self-love. Can the distancing be done or stated hurtfully? Absolutely. Does leaving someone or being left by someone leave scars? You betcha it does. But if the other person is saying, “it’s not you, it’s me,” it’s really a blessing from God saying, “this person no longer serves a purpose in your life at this moment in time, and it is time for them to go so you can grow. I’m closing this window, but honey child there are many many more that are opening.” Hear God out. And be open to the miraculous possibilities that can come from the heartbreak. Because wherever there are cracks, there is light that shines through them.