Do you know someone whose heart is hurting because of a breakup? With half of marriages ending in divorce, and most relationships not ending in marriage, the chances are that you do, and that person is hurting. Learn techniques to heal from a breakup to make the process a little smoother, and a little shorter.
The grieving process
Fortunately we have tools and strategies to help the healing process. Simply learning about what to expect as we go through the grieving process can be helpful. The stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance), so brilliantly identified by Elizabeth Kubler Ross back in 1969, are not steps we go through sequentially. When we are grieving, we sometimes feel better, but then may feel worse again. We may feel depressed, and then angry. We may also feel shock, and guilt. Knowing the emotional landscape can help us to be patient with ourselves as we keep moving forward, one (painful) step at a time.
Reframe: a great strategy to heal from a breakup
One of the best strategies to heal is to put our pain in a bigger context. What is it all for? Why is this happening? What am I to learn from this? How is this making me stronger, wiser, better than I was before? What have I gained, that I would not otherwise have gained? These questions help us take a longer view, and put our pain in a bigger context. The result: we feel empowered.
There is a tendency to glorify the past. We look at what we lost through rose-colored glasses. We idealize our ex, and the life we feel we have left behind. This is natural — but it is not necessarily true! If your relationship had been wonderful, you would still be in it. Your ex was not perfect for you; your ex is not the only man or woman in the world that you could ever love. Think about it — the loving feelings you experienced were, after all, YOUR feelings. You can feel them again, right now, if you let yourself go there. Your ex is not needed! And since those feelings are yours, you can bestow that grace on someone else, when the time is right, when you have learned what you needed.
Forgiveness is a choice: a choice that empowers us, and can set us free. Forgive your ex, and you can cut those ties that are binding you to the past. Forgive yourself, and you will have grown by leaps and bounds. Forgiveness puts things in order. Practicing forgiveness is giving yourself the keys to the kingdom. Forgiveness does not mean that nothing was “wrong” or that you are condoning being mistreated. It doesn’t mean you want to continue in the relationship. It means that the wiser part of you recognizes that everyone is pretty much doing the best they know how to do, given their unhealed wounds and traumas from the past. Feeling hurt, we are called to remember: forgiveness is divine.
Heal from a breakup and create a life to be excited about!
When we take our grieving in hand, and shepherd ourselves through the process, we avoid the pitfall of wallowing in self-pity, of anger, of victimhood, of disempowerment. We can turn our pain into something of meaning; we can have more compassion for others; we find out we are stronger and more resilient than we would otherwise have believed. We are able to fill ourselves up with grace and optimism and empowerment. From that place, we can create a life that we can be excited about.
If you know someone who is going through a breakup, please share these thoughts. Having one’s heart broken is awful. It is also common. Knowing that we are not alone, and that someone cares, can go a long way toward healing. For a little extra help, check out my Udemy course, Healing from a Breakup. I explore these ideas and support each module with energy psychology and guided meditations. The video course allows me to “walk beside” people who are healing from heartache, and guide them through their healing process. And when you need more help, you might like to work with me.
With many blessings for peace and healing,
PS- the image is by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash