Break down, break up, break through

Samantha Philpot

When ending a relationship, you can go through a tough emotional time… It’s an opportunity to reflect on learnings and reinvent yourself for the future. But to get to that point of reinvention, there is usually some kind of break down, on some level, first.

That got me thinking… why is a ‘Break up’ different from a ‘Break down’. These words literally mean the opposite (up and down) but the context is the same; a break down and break up both involve a challenging time in your life where you can feel lost in ways, with resistance in moving forward, and that there is some kind of feeling of the ‘end’.

Perhaps in a relationship, there needs to be a first step of a break ‘down’ of what was previously functioning (like a car) before you can really realise it needed working on in the first place. Then is the second step – the break ‘up’. This is where two people split ‘up’, as in, move on from where they were, separate, and go up and out, to become two individual units again.

During this time, when the break down and then the break up occur, what is truly transformational is that it leads to a break ‘through’. Once it goes down and up, it goes through. There is something visually symbolic in these stages (down, up, through) as I now imagine something almost like a H symbol. It really describes a full journey, and connecting two parts together. Maybe H is for Happiness.

All in all, to get to the exciting point of an enlightening breakthrough, you first have to go on that roller coaster (with ups and downs). You can’t be rewarded until the journey has gone through the motions, and that is the magic of it all anyway. In nature, the water lily emerges out of the billabong floor completely clean and beautiful only after it surges through the mud and weeds first.

After my own experiences with relationships’ ending, this realisation gives me great new focus during tough times, which is simply the excitement for the journey, so I can be the new me tomorrow.

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