Wednesday, April 27, 2011

7 Day Rule and Other Stuff

My close friends and family know I have this 7-Day Rule. Seven is the perfect number; it means completion. God laid the foundation of its meaning when He introduced this number in the context of His finished work in the book of Genesis. The word translated as finished is the Greek teléo which basically means to bring to a close, to complete, to end, to fulfill.

I believe that in 7 days time you should be able to get over the initial shock of an ended relationship and get back into life. Yes, healing takes longer than that, but the actual activity of your life cannot stop because your spouse walked away or you gave them a road map and bag lunch and sent 'em packing.

If you can make it through the first 7 days after a break up, you will be well on your way to staring anew. God created the heavens and the earth in 7 days, surely you can conquer one heart ache.

Day 1

On today, you can whine, cry, mope, pity yourself - all day long. Take the day off, stay in the bed, eat comfort food, cry it out. Read something inspirational. Start reading Proverbs according to the day of the month. This is your day to revel in your misery - but only for 24 hours.

Day 2

By day two you should be up and at 'em.  Be sad, but be active. If you lived together, clear your home of every reminder of him. Don't throw away anything important - put that all in one box to give to him later. March everything else to the trash like a paid City employee working weekend overtime. Men leave little stuff behind when they move out. I think there are two reasons for this:
  • He is just damn lazy and doesn't want to bother with getting all of his stuff; after all you have been cleaning up after him for how long?
  • He wants any other man who comes into this domicile to know he  was here. It is kinda like a wandering dog marking it's territory by peeing on bushes and light poles along the path. 
Maybe there is a yet another reason:
  • he believes he is coming back as soon as this blows over.
Unless you believe that as well, put on your favorite 'he's gone' music and clean your house.

Once, a good friend of mine was feeling sad about a break up and I had just encountered the Winan's 1990 CD, Return featuring the song "A Friend". I brought my CD to her house and I must have played this song about 10 times. The next two songs on the CD are "Gonna Be Alright" and "When You Cry". Yeah, I wasn't cheering her up much, but I was oblivious to her state of mind at the time. She revealed to me years later that she had been trying to hold it together and  here I come with this dag on CD and this song. We laugh about it now, but she recorded several of the songs off the CD before I left that day.

These songs became some of our favorites, and they also nurtured her at a time when she needed it most. They have nurtured me through some things as well.

Day 3

Get up early and talk to God. Keep up your Proverbial reading. Listen for God, too. Today, get out of the house. Do your hair, put on something presentable, and go spend time with your friends and family, or see a movie. Go shopping or get a pedicure and manicure. Take your kids out on a date. Just don't sit around the house feeling pitiful.

Day 4

Midway through the 7 day process. This may be a really hard day. You may be wondering what and who he is doing. You sure in hell know it is not you. Do not skip your positive activities today. Definitely keep your daily routine of work and home life.

Write him a letter (one that he will never get) and describe your angst and disappointment in all of it's glory. Write down what you think happened and when the relationship became irreparable. Be honest - write down the things you blame him for and why. Maybe you shed some tears, maybe not. Hold on to this letter for later when you are going to forgive him and ask God to forgive your part in the destruction of the relationship. You are also going to forgive yourself. You can destroy the letter after that. Do not, I repeat, do not give the letter to him, even if you get back together.

Day 5

Yes, you will still have sadness in your heart today. If it hasn't happened yet, he may contact you, or you may call him. You shouldn't, but I know how hard it can be not to make that call. The thing is, you spent a lot of time looking at the reasons this relationship fell apart. You know that breaking up to make up is the fodder of songs, not a way of life. Maybe you can talk it out, if you are not so angry with each other you want to rip his knee caps out and tell him to stand up like a man. Remember that first you were friends. Oh, you weren't? Well, that is a whole 'nother topic. It is called Courting 101: Longer than one date.

Day 6

Today your heart just hurts. You may be thinking about all the time you put into this relationship; how many other relationships are connected through this one; the friends and family members you will lose; the intimate relationship that is gone. Go do something with yourself. You are right now about to get on my last nerve. I can deal with love-lost looks, but not with every sentence being about how much you miss him. You do not. You hated every minute of the last 8 months. What do you miss about that?

This evening, write out a tentative plan for getting what you want out of life, spiritually, economically, physically, emotionally. Write down the kind of atmosphere you want in your home, all the endeavors you hope to undertake, all the moves you plan to make. Join a social group like meetup where you can start a group meeting around a similar interest, or find an existing group to join. It won't cost you anything and you will make new friends.

Day 7

This is it. The last and final day you get to visibly mope over this man. Get up, get dressed with the confidence of a woman, smile at yourself in the mirror. Say 'this too shall pass because God promised me, in His word. He is not a man that He would lie - He keeps all of His promises.' Go to work and focus intently on doing your job as if you are doing it unto God. When you get off, go out to dinner if you can. If you can't, make dinner special at home. If you have children, take the time to fully see them. They are life. Hug them and appreciate who they are and to whom they belong. Go ahead and reflect on the past one more time, because when you put yourself to bed tonight, you are going to put that relationship to bed as well.

Of course, your 7 days may not go exactly as described. Those first 7 days are like a gestation period before the rebirth of your single self. The basic premise is that after some measure of time, you have to actively get up and get back on the job of living. In the midst of this journey, you are going to learn how to forgive and forget, how to release someone else of the burden of fault for your perceived failures, how failure is a set-up for success if you keep getting back up; how he is not the enemy, but you are indeed the victor. You are going to learn that nothing is wasted if you plan to triumph.

Day 8 - Let the healing begin. Girl, put your records on....

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