Are you going through a break-up or just gone through one and feeling not so hot. Read on below for 11 steps you can take to feel empowered and centered and use this experience for the most growth possible.
Why this article?
I know for myself when I was going through break ups, especially if I wasn't the one who wanted to end the relationship, I usually feel pretty vulnerable, at different points there were some hurt, some anger (towards myself or my partner), worry of not finding another as great of a partner, and overall resistance to the situation. There is some level of disempowerment and all sorts of old records playing in my head (different flavors of I am not good enough" and "why did it have to end?"). In the past when I was not careful that dragged me down into some deep sad states for weeks and months on end. My first relationship took me 3 years to get over and open up to start dating other people, my second took 2 years, but from then on through inner work the duration reduced to months and then weeks, and now it takes me days or sometimes even hours to snap out of a bogged down state. I learned that it is possible to go through any experience (including break-ups) with feeling of empowerment and peace in the background, no matter what emotions or thoughts are on the forefront, and how intense or loud they are. My recent break-up with my partner of 9 months was pretty emotional and taught me a lot as well. And I would like to show you how you can too go through break-ups in the most harmonious way, and use them for the most growth possible.
So here you go, 11 steps to empowerment in a break-up:
1. Resistance to acceptance
Unless you were the one initiated the break-up, most probably in one way or another you might feel resistance. Resistance is anything that is not acceptance. It could take the following forms:
2. Victim to responsible/empowered
Often you might feel like a victim, disempowered, asking yourself "Why did this happen? What did I do wrong?". You feel like it happened to you, and there is nothing you can do. Any perspective where you don't feel POWER and GRATITUDE is victim mentality. It's normal. We all do it. How to get out? Ask yourself one of these questions (choose which resonates):
3. Pain to healing
Ask yourself: what is it about this break-up feels triggering? Is that a certain thought? Belief about yourself or life?
If any event by itself is neutral, and we color it with emotions based on how we look at it, what is the story you are telling yourself that you feel triggered and disempowered?
My trigger was "What I wanted was taken away from me". How did I know this was it? Because when that thought crossed my mind tears started to roll down by cheeks and I knew. Use this opportunity to tap in the past hurt and heal it. Most probably, if this situation is especially painful, it probably reminds you of some situation in the past, or "pushes a button" installed in you a while ago. Use this opportunity as a gift to connect to that part of you and integrate it, which will bring you to feel more complete and balanced. Observe yourself, your thoughts and emotions, dig deep into what the beliefs might be that cause you struggle, and be grateful that you can use this situation for your benefit and growth.
4. Feelings to relief
What do you do with emotions? You feel it. Fully, and with acceptance and embrace. Trying to be strong and positive and stopping the feelings won't work, not in the long run. They will come and bite you in the butt later. Remember "what you resist persist". Feel it. And here is the secret: when you accept and feel something fully, it doesn't stay long. You release it, and it's gone, and then there is space. For balance, peace, happiness, something new. The trick here is to do both: feel it fully and accept it. If you try to feel it fully with the intention "to get through it", trying to get through it quickly to feel better, you are still in resistance. If you think about it or being intellectual or logical about it, that's not the same as feeling it. You need to tap into the feeling and feel it fully.
5. Find empowering perspective
As someone smart said, there is no point trying to control the feelings as they are the outcome of the perspective. Change your framework out of which you operate and the feelings will change. If you've always felt miserable at break-ups, try a different perspective. How about the following options to start with:
6. Worry to Trust
Whether you are spiritual, religious or atheist, you have a choice. You can believe God, universe, the world, your higher self, life etc. has always your best interest in mind, or that it's there to hurt you, punish you or take away from you. Which one is true: we will never know, there is no proof one way or another. It's all a perspective. You can choose either. And believe me, living from a perspective that all that happens is for the better, for you and for all, in the long run, life experience is a whole lot more fun than the other way around. Try it for yourself.
7. Isolation to connection
Reach out. In the moment like that it's easy to get sucked into disempowering thoughts and self-pity. And disconnect from the world and everyone around you. But I guarantee you: what will heal you most is connection. People who you're close with, friends or family, showing you that they care. That they love you. Reminding you of all the good things about yourself, the ones that you in those moments forget. Reach out to people who usually lift you up, love you and accept you, remind you of how incredible you are.
8. Emptiness to fullness
As a good friend of mine told me, when you break up and the person is no longer in your life, you naturally feel emptiness (as all the space the person occupied in your life, thoughts, emotions is now vacant). You might feel like you miss them. It's normal. It will take time to fill up those empty spaces in your life by other things you do, hobbies, friends, other people etc. Don't rush it. Take your time. For some especially when the connection and love was deep, to truly move on (and not deceive yourself that you can be friends and still keep all those attachments intact) it might be best to stop communicating with the person for a while until this feels complete. Once that space got filled up (whether it takes weeks, months or in some cases years), you can be friends with the person again, if you want.
9. Logic to Intuition
Stop thinking what you SHOULD feel or do and feel into what you intuitively want to do. Logic might tell you to "be strong", but if you listen to your intuition, it might whisper that you need to go yell in the pillow. :) Follow your intuition to guide you on what is best for you to focus on. It may take practice to still your mind to even hear the voice of intuition. What worked for me is to just take a quiet time, ask myself a question and see what answer comes up. Intuition speak to different people in different ways (for some it through thoughts, for others it's through images, feelings, body sensations or pure knowing). Be open to it all.
10. Nurture yourself
Whatever it is like for you. For me best nurturing is getting a massage and eating delicious raw foods, going for a walk in the nature, sauna, or traveling to warm places. For some it might be manicures, facials, or shopping. Whatever it is that you can do to spoil your inner child and treat your body, do it! By you showing respect and care for you, among other things you assert that you matter, and the world will reflect it back to you!
11. Be kind to yourself
Most important - be kind to yourself. Love yourself with all the emotions, with all the "stupid" thoughts you have or old tapes playing in your head.
The purpose of this first stage is to come back to balance.
To accept yourself and all your emotions.
To feel at peace.
To feel empowered.
To adjust your life to being single again and enjoy it.
The purpose of this stage is not to "get over" or "stop loving" the person (if you try it might not work, believe me). The purpose is to clear the attachment, the dependency part of it.
And it may be an incremental process. One day you feel all good and empowered, and the next day you feel like you are back to resistance. It's OK, this is how life is, like a spiral. You are never back to square one, just one cycle over. It might be layers of healing and growth. Flow with it.
And once you feel whole, complete and centered for a while, you might be ready to attract the next person in your life if you so choose. But that's a topic of another discussion....