A break-up or loss of a loved one can feel like a little death. Regardless of the type or length of the relationship, we grieve. We need extra care during these times to tend to our hearts and hold them closely.
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Here are 5 steps to recovery and healing:
In the midst of the shock when we realize a relationship is over we have the opportunity to remind ourselves that the universe removes what no longer serves. So, whatever life takes away from you (regardless if it was your decision to leave the relationship or not) — let it go.
Relationships are here to be our greatest teachers. Those that come into our lives are meant to help us heal, learn and grow. There are times when those lessons are learned and we are presented with a different opportunity to go to a new place within ourselves.
Know that when break-ups occur something more in alignment is ready to enter into your life.
After a break up we are vulnerable. We question our choices and sometimes doubt ourselves. We may wonder if we will ever find love again. We feel alone. This is when we need to most love ourselves.
The greatest teachings of relationships are those of self-love. We love another in the same fashion we love ourselves. If we cannot love ourselves well, then we cannot create the foundations for loving relationships. The priority is self-love above everything else.
Love yourself by being gentle, kind and soft to what is tender. Go within and spend quiet time with yourself. Meditate. Walk in nature. Buy yourself flowers. Get a massage.
As you love yourself, know and trust this time of solitude will help you grow new skin and become more whole.
Post-breakup is a crucial time for self-care. Sure, you might want to get that frozen pizza or pint of ice cream and cry on the couch.
But here’s the trick: Give yourself a pre-determined amount of time to “let yourself go”. Let’s say a week. Then, when that week is over make a commitment to get up off the couch and get busy.
Put your focus into your work, creativity, friendships, family and community.
Find a new hobby you love or join a new class to learn something new and experience new possibilities.
Get active. Be physical. Moving our bodies helps a lot. Sweat. Release. It’s more important than we realize and can make all the difference in the way we feel.
4. Allow Time
The old adage is true: All healing takes time. In general, 3 months is when we start to feel normal again after a breakup. With a major long-term relationship, psychological textbooks say it can take upwards to 2 years.
Make the break-up easier for yourself by giving yourself permission to take this time.
As a side note: If you stay in contact with your ex—it could extend this time. Be careful about those lonely nights of texting or calls when reaching out for validation. Do what you can to fill those empty places with yourself.
Be disciplined not to hold onto a relationship longer than it is meant. Even if difficult, this will speed up your road to recovery and help you create what is for your highest good.
5. Honor Endings
In every moment of our lives, in each second, with each breath we are experiencing a passing. We are never guaranteed and can never depend on someone being with us forever. When we come to accept that everything that comes into being will go out of being, we are more able to accept life’s transitions.
Honor your endings by doing some inner work before your next relationship begins. Here’s a simple guide:
a.) Be honest with yourself in regards to where you may have blamed another or became a victim and take responsibility for your part in both the relationship issues and the break-up.
b.) Forgive yourself and the other for any hurt or harm caused.
c.) Feel the feelings of loss, sadness and grief that are underneath any anger in order to release and heal.
d.) Get specific about what you want to do differently in your next relationship so you will be ready when the next connection occurs.
May your path of recovery be gentle and loving. May you use this opportunity to grow and heal.