When I broke up with my ex, I thought, “How the hell am I going to get through this?” I was crying every day for nearly two months. I would cry at the drop of a dime. I was drinking every day and luckily I wasn’t blanking out. I had never experienced these types of emotions before in a break-up. It was a rollercoaster of emotions. I felt like I was out at sea. It was a title wave of emotions.
I recall being at work and the song “Praying” by Kesha came on the radio, and I ran out of the building. I could feel the wave of emotions starting to build in the pit of my stomach and as soon as I got outside, I burst into tears. I had never experienced a break-up like this before and I thought….
When is this going to end?
But I remembered this promise I made to myself.
“Whatever happens, do not close your heart, you will remain open in order to heal and learn and grow.”
That was the best decision of my life.
I remained open to all the lessons that I learned and what I learned was “That I am worthy of great love AND I am capable of cultivating great love.” His fears were not mine and I don’t have to blame nor shame myself because I know now that that past relationship was showing me where I needed to grow. Even though I wanted him back so badly, I knew he needed to grow too and he can’t do that by being with me. He has his own journey and I have my own journey to grow in love.
Here is what I’ve learned from therapists, coaches, friends, and love and being a relationship coach myself.
1) Cry, cry, cry cry- You want to get it all out. Allow yourself to feel all the feelings of the loss of a breakup but don’t make sure self-wrong. Let yourself feel your feelings because you don’t want to supress them,” You should also be sure to talk through any grief that you have so that you can work on moving past it instead of holding on to it.
2) Stay away from trashing the other person on social media. It serves no one.
3) Be careful of the language you are saying to yourself like “why me? Why this is happening to me? I f*cked up or they f*cked up. Why didn’t I see this coming?” etc. This type of self-talk gives you no access to the lessons you need to learn from these relationships. It’s psychological abuse to yourself. Instead, ask yourself questions like “What is this teaching me about me? What do I need to learn from this? And it’s never “I don’t trust men or women. or Men ain’t sh*t. Women ain’t shi*.” These are damaging beliefs. These beliefs will unconsciously run your future path for love. The lessons that we need to learn has to do with us. Like, “I need to learn how to be vulnerable. I need to learn how to speak up, or I need to set boundaries.” Whatever comes up for you don’t wait until the next relationship. These lessons are meant to be practiced with the people in your life.
4) Cut off communication if you need to. This is hard, I know, but to move on, you need to honor yourself at this moment. It’s learning to break free of the attachment. If it helps, you may need to set a boundary with the other person and say, “I need no communication from you at this moment. I am not cutting you out of my life, but I do need time to heal and take care of myself.”
5) If you were in an abusive relationship, this might be an excellent time to seek professional help. Often, we have been traumatized, and we need professional help to help us process this painful past. Men are quick to repress their emotions and they feel embarrassed but there is nothing wrong with seeking help and talking about your experience. This is probably where you really need to go to work the most. In order to cultivate healthy relationships, it’s learning to identify those emotions and know how to articulate what’s going on inside.
6) Give yourself time and structure your days. You want to keep your life moving, and at the same time, you want to give yourself room to grieve.
7) Take care of yourself because you’re going to be emotionally rundown,” Sherman, Ph.D. says. This is the perfect time to focus entirely on yourself and make sure your needs are being met. “Focus on your self-development and your self-esteem because sometimes that takes a hit, whether that’s through exercise or some hobby, something you like to do or learn. So you feel like you’re becoming your best self, and you feel confident again.”
8) Forgive yourself. Most people spend so much time beating up on themselves after a breakup that they set themselves up for emotional failure in the next relationship, or they create blocks for themselves for the possibility of new love.
9) Remain open. Do not close your heart. It is at this moment that you are growing and learning. Be open to growth and learning from this breakup
10) Make amends with the other person both mentally and outwardly (if you are ready). Most people never make amends with the other person. You don’t have to do this in person or over the phone physically. You can bring this person into a visual mediation and make amends with them. One of the biggest growing lessons for me is when I made amends with my ex two years later. We sat down over coffee, and after months of personal growth courses, I finally became aware of my beliefs about love and relationships and how those negative beliefs helped sabotage our relationship. I owned my part, and he owned up to his part. At that moment, we closed the chapter, and all my negative thoughts about him melted away.
11) Make a list of all the things negative beliefs you are willing to release and give-up. Please write it down and burn the list.
12) Make a list of all the things you are ready to embrace. Where do you need to grow?
13) Do things that make you happy and surround yourself with people who make you happy.
14) Don’t get rid of any physical things like clothes, items just yet. You want to store away anything that brings you down or send you into an emotional spiral. Hide them. After a few months of grieving, then you can decide to throw them away. In the book, “The life-changing magic of tidying up.” She suggested that if items from an old lover still bring up painful emotions, then it is time to thank the item and give it away. Only keep the things that bring you joy and get rid of anything that triggers sabotaging emotions.
15) Take responsibility for your 3% of the relationship. One of the biggest lessons I learned and the most significant growing moment was to own my part. We are not perfect, and we played a role in the relationship.
16) Give up blaming and shaming yourself and the other person. It will give you no power, and it will not heal your heart.
17) Be with people you love. Allow them to love on you and stay away from talking sh*t about the other person. It will do you know good.
18) Know your worth. Remember that a breakup doesn’t make you unlovable or undesirable. Internalizing negative beliefs about yourself is damaging. Instead, turn your focus to your best qualities. “Write down 25 things that make you a great catch,” says Sherman, Ph.D. “[You] can read that over before [you] start dating again.”
19) Rebound: This scenario varies from person to person. “It’s important to be a little careful of the whole rebound thing,” Sherman cautions. “First of all, you can hurt the other person, but also maybe your mind-set is not ready to deal with more emotions when you’re already upset. For some people — if they can handle it, and it’s something they’re conscious of — it can help them get back out there without getting too intense.” It is essential to be upfront with people if you date or hook up so soon. It saves you from hurting others, and it lowers all expectations so no one will get hurt.
YOU GOT THIS!
Previously published on jimmyallencoaching.com and is republished on Medium.