Oftentimes, individuals come to see me as a therapist after they have experienced a break-up or divorce. Break-ups can be traumatic. They can lead us to adopt beliefs that keep us in fear, make us feel like we will be alone forever, and lend us thoughts that lead us from one bad relationship to the next. We begin to believe that what we want is not possible and that we are on our own in this world. I know what you are going through I've been where you are. You're not alone.
I have been lied to, cheated on, deceived, coerced, cajoled, tricked, cast aside, seduced, corrupted, convinced, and manipulated. I stayed in my victimhood relationship after relationship, attracting the same kind of men over and over again. All of my princes turned into frogs. I was living in La La Land believing that some day I would find a prince who whould stay a prince, only to be let down time and time again.
That I chose these men, or let them choose me, was not their fault. At the time, I was unable to see the relationships for what they were and my part in them. When enough was enough for me, I decided to allow the Sleeping Beauty within me to wake up and recognize that I had been repeating the same patterns over and over again. The only reason I was living in a romanticized fantasy of what the relationship coulda, shoulda, woulda been. I was driven and bound by my emotions, which distored the reality that kept me off balance. I realized that by living in my victimhood I had been disempowering myself. I felt my gut telling me that there was a way out of feeling the way I did and it was time for me to get it together.
I had to break up with the idea that I am not enough. I had to determine that I deserved better than the type of men that I was attracting into my life. But first I had to experience a solid relationship with myself. How can you possibly know what you want out of life if you don’t know who you are?
My client, Katie, experienced the same thing. She originally came to me to heal her broken heart after another tragic break-up. She wanted to start changing her beliefs and patterns and start attracting a different type of man into her life. She didn’t know how to go about doing this and wanted my help.
These are the tools that I share with my clients to help them through a difficult break-up. Even if you are not going through a break-up in a romantic relationship, you might be going through one with a friend, a job, or something personal. These tools can also work for you.
Nine steps to go from Break UP to Break THROUGH and Beyond:
1. It's a Break-UP not a BreakDOWN
• Your relationship ending does not mean that your life is over. It means that it is just about to begin.
• Get yourself a journal or small notebook, which I call YOUR BOOK. Write a gratitude list of at least 10 things that you are grateful for. This will help you to focus on the positive things in your life and take the edge off the heaviness that you might be feeling.
2. Stop Looking At Their Social Media
• Do not go on your ex’s social media pages. It’s really not worth it. There is absolutely nothing you can gain. Nothing.
3. Spend Time Alone with Me, Myself, and I
• Many people ask the question, “Why do I need to spend time alone?” The answer is simple: because it is essential for your growth and well being.
• A lot of times when a relationship ends we are left with a lot of emotional clutter. Spring cleaning doesn’t just have to come once a year. Sometimes relationships fail in the fall. So, cleanse your environment. Don’t just sweep things under the rug. Get rid of things that negatively remind you of your past non-constructive way (i.e. pictures in picture frame, his favorite t-shirt that you hang onto and sleep in every night.)
• And remember all work and no play make Jack and Jill a dull boy and girl. Write down your Top Ten List of things to do alone. Now, do them! 4. Stop Tripping Out and Let Go of that Baggage
• Stop blaming everything in your past and grow up. You can’t change your past, but YOU can change. Connect to your past but don’t let it rule your present life and future. You can’t change your past, but YOU can change your future.
• Start taking care of your inner child so that you can start letting the adult in you take charge. You can start by writing your inner child a letter. Write from the perspective of the parent you want to be. Write it from your heart.
5. I’m Free to Do What I Want Any Ol' Time. So, Get Up and Get Out!
• Start reconnecting to your life and have some fun.
•Go out and have some fun -- either alone or with friends and family. Just do it. Get involved in social activities you enjoy (visit new places, concerts, museums, take a class, travel). Make a list of 10 things that you have always wanted to do with your friends. Now grab a friend and go do it.
6. Say, “Thank You. Thank You. Thank You”
• It may seem harder to find gratitude in times of trouble. But, if you do you will be giving yourself the greatest gift of all.
• Know and remember this: each and every person you allow to enter your life is a mirror reflection of something in you. This is a gift for you to understand and get to know more parts of yourself. Write a list of the gifts that you have received from your relationship.
7. You Are Here. Start Map Questing Your Future
• You gotta see it to be it. So, be it.
1. Write down your goal.
2. Write down the steps that you need to take to get there.
3. Now take those steps.
8. Love Yourself
• Bottom line is you must love yourself first before you can ever love anyone else.
9. Date Consciously
• When you are ready to move forward and start dating again, go for it! Be sure to do your research on the person and yourself so that you don’t continue to repeat the same behaviors and patterns the next time around.
For more information on how to heal your broken heart after a breakup, check out my book, Break-Up Emergency. A guide to transform your Break-UP into a Break THROUGH.