I was recently speaking with a good friend about the feelings of loss when going through a breakup. She was feeling empty and extremely heartbroken that her relationship had ended with her ex. She wished they weren't in the place that they were now. She was leaving the house where they had a child and built a life in and now that life... was gone. I felt that and it reminded me of the difficult process of letting go of my own marriage.
Unfortunately, the first step of getting through extreme heartbreak is mourning the loss... as if it is a death. Mourn the loss of your relationship and the life you thought you had. It's important to feel those feelings fully in order to move on. The process isn't an easy one and it's something that many people avoid because they don't want to feel pain. But prolonging it only creates more pain and suffering. It's not going to happen overnight because you’re letting go of your previous identity, so grab your courage and let's do this.
For me, it was hard to let myself feel the feelings of sadness, grief and loss. I wanted to be strong in the face of what I was dealing with. I didn’t want to seem weak or broken so I pushed all of those feelings down. I tried to stay busy so that I didn’t have to think... think of my pain. Any breakup is horrible. It cuts you to the bone and shatters your belief in love entirely. It makes you think love doesn’t exist and that you aren’t worthy of that romantic love story you see in the movies. This is why it is important to feel your feelings, it gives you the opportunity to let go of what you think your life should look like, what love is and should be. Shed those old beliefs and allow for new beginnings to grow. If you do not grieve this part of your life and forgive yourself for your missteps, it will hang behind you like the grim reaper. No one wants to have that hanging around causing all sorts of mischief.
Here are 5 steps I took to let go... of the life I thought I had
Grieve the heartbreak by creating a goodbye ceremony. I'm serious. Go get that kleenex box, play some sad love songs, burn old wedding photos and get that sh*t out. Sit on the floor or wherever you feel comfortable and give yourself the space to release all negative beliefs, feelings, and emotions however you see fit. Get all of that garbage out and make space for something new and amazing. You can thank me later.
BONUS TIP: Check
Explore the meaning you're giving to yourself and the breakup. What does it mean to you? How do you feel about yourself? Why? Remember, you are not your relationship and it does not define who you are as a person.
Look at the facts of the relationship with no emotional attachment. As much as you want to blame others, the situation and yourself, there’s always a lesson to be learned. It’s your job to dig deep to find it. It’s not going to be something that sticks out at first glance, you’re going to have to unpack the experience and look at it from an objective level. When we go through a breakup, we overlook things that contributed to the breakdown because we're lost in the emotion. What are some things you may have overlooked? This helps bring closure and understanding to the situation.
Have compassion for yourself and your human experience. Let's get one thing straight, you're a human who goes through human experiences. Not all of them are going to be roses and unicorns, they're going to be hard and challenging. But they are here to teach us the lessons we need to move forward in our journey. Feel them, accept them and embrace them.
Rewrite your story can and erase all shoulds from your vocabulary because they don’t apply anymore. I want you to start on a fresh crisp white page and begin again. It may be hard to realize but life’s giving you a second chance at happiness. It’s going to look a lot different than what you previously were living but the difference is, this time it’s going to be authentically you. I promise despite the giant hole you feel you’re in, there’s a ladder that will show you the way out. That ladder is this brand-spankin' new story you’re writing for yourself. So sit back, take a deep breath, and dream big girl, because you have one beautiful life to create.
Use these experiences as your fuel to push you to learn about yourself and how you can navigate relationships differently in the future. If you hold on to something the shadow of a past relationship it will block you from something more beautiful to come into your life. To be honest, this work doesn't stop after a breakup, it's the beginning of a beautiful relationship with yourself. I continue to work on this step every day as a work in progress. To be honest you’re never really going to be “done”. What you have to engrain in your brain is that everyone deserves the life of their dreams. It may not turn out the way you wanted but in the end, you’ll realize that going through those storms are what brought you to your happy place.
Want to tap into your feelings and don't know where to start? Check out the Feel Your Feelings weekly worksheet here!
Ready to embark on your inner adventure? Let me be your guide...