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Break Down, Breakthrough

I am no relationship expert. I don’t know the first thing or the last thing about what it takes to make a relationship work. I do know for sure that most relationships won’t work out, not forever anyway. Only one really does, right? So that means countless heart breaks, breakups and break downs on the way to getting it just right.     
The other day my friend, Beth, was addressing the aftermath of her recent breakup and said to me, “Friend, that relationship broke me down.” It’s true. How many times have you had the wind knocked out of you when a relationship ended? Maybe that’s why they call it a breakup—because it breaks you. The thing is, I don’t think it has to be that way.
When a relationship goes bad it feels like your world has dropped out from under you. But the good news is it’s only temporary. Picture this: You’re happily cruising down the highway, favorite song on the radio, windows down, hair blowing in the breeze, and all of the sudden your car breaks down. Next thing you know, you have a couple of flats, the hood popped open and steam coming from the engine. This most certainly feels like a break down. But rest assured you will not be sitting on the side of the road for all eternity.
There are options. You can call AAA and wait for them to come and rescue you. Yes, that may seem like an easy fix at the time, but, to me, calling AAA is like jumping back into a relationship before you’re ready. You feel safe and comfortable returning to those old ways, but what have you really learned?     
So here’s my advice: Take a breath and tell yourself “I can do this.” Then grab the jack and get to work on those tires—they’re not going to fix themselves. And so what if you get a little grease on your forehead? It’ll come out with a little soap. After a walk around the car, check that the engine has cooled down, close the hood and get back in the car.
You might be a bit scared at first to put the key in the ignition and shift the car into drive, but life is too short to let fear slow you down. Yeah, the car might totally fall apart again—heck, the wheels could even roll away—but what choice do you really have? Sit on the side of the road and wait? “Beth, sometimes a break down is actually a breakthrough,” I explained. “So get in your hot convertible, put the top down and step on it! You just never know what you’ll find at the next exit.”