The break-up of a love relationship can be emotionally devastating. As I shared, I recently joined the ranks of the heartbroken when an important relationship I was in ended abruptly and unexpectedly. Life in the void is an important opportunity to let go of an old paradigm and prepare yourself for new possibilities to enter your life. The past few weeks of my life in the void I've been noticing and letting go of all those little reminders and hooks to the past. Deleting all of our emails and text messages. Taking his number out of my cell phone. Having a great moment in my day and wanting to share it with him, then remembering that we're not together anymore. What are some of the little reminders you may still be holding on to from your past relationship?
In part one, I discussed the importance of working with your feelings, instead of resisting them (if you missed it, you can see it on my blog at www.thriverafterdivorceblog.com). The next piece is to take action to solidify your footing so you can eventually climb back out of the emotional abyss after a relationship ends.
1. Give Voice to the Stories You Tell Yourself
Relationship breakdown is a fertile time to identify your core beliefs and unconscious programming. Tune into the dialogue you have about yourself. Are you not good enough? Do you not deserve real happiness? Are you undeserving of love? The beliefs you hold that limit you and sabotage your success readily reveal themselves when our hearts are aching. These beliefs will be the same ones that show up to sabotage you in other areas of your life as well, like career, finances, or your personal health. Become aware of them and write them out in your journal. This is the first critical step to bringing them to light and breaking yourself of the trance that these beliefs are "true." With that awareness, you can start to make more conscious choices and break free of the power of old, limiting stories.
2. Take it One Day at a Time
Falling into the void I feel like a cat, twisting and straining to be sure I land on my feet. In the void it's important to keep it simple and take life day-by-day. Celebrate each simple win like you just won the Super Bowl. There will be moments in each day when you feel the loss more acutely, so be prepared. For example, between 10 and 11 at night is when my former partner and I would always talk. Without him in my life, that time slot has now become the "witching hour" when the operator of my emotional roller coaster goes on extended coffee break to leave me hurtling through the void. To manage the witching hour, I plan a writing session, or a call with a friend, or a date with a good novel. Over time, the sense of loss will ease. It's important to practice strong self-care when you're living in the void.
3. Take Your Own Advice
If you had a dear friend struggling with a broken heart, what advice would you give him or her? Would it be easy for you to find tenderness, compassion and patience for your friend? Now, start taking your own advice. The THRIVE Principles(TM) of Trust, Honesty, Responsibility, Integrity, Vision, and Expression, have been true guiding lights for me and for many of my clients and students. For a quick shot of inspiration, I encourage you to take 2 minutes to watch The THRIVE Movie at www.TheThriveMovie.com. I know I will! In future articles I will share more in detail about the THRIVE Principles(TM).
4. Restructure Your Environment
Take the time to clear some space in your environment. At some point it's important to let go of some of the physical reminders of your past love if at all possible. For example, I recently deleted all of the text messages I had saved on my cell phone between my former partner and I. When we were together, I would sometime read them over to savor the love and connection I felt with this man. To hold onto these messages now, while living in the void of our relationship break-up, no longer serves me. I realized I had been holding onto them as some kind of proof that the love had been there, that it had been real.
My phone's memory has only so much capacity, so these old messages were inhibiting my ability to receive new ones. I deleted the messages, feeling gratitude for the heart connection I had felt with him. I am sending the signal to the universe that I am ready and open to the possibility of new messages. What are you still holding onto that may be blocking your ability to attract something new in your life? So, put those happy pictures of you together out of sight. Create a ritual and burn the old love letters, intentionally releasing the old ties for the wisdom the relationship brought you and welcome in healing and new relationship.
5. Count Your Blessings
Relationship is the most powerful teacher there is about who we are. Each relationship comes bearing gifts that bring you a new piece of yourself as you dance in relationship. What have you learned about you from this relationship? What worked for you? What didn't? What would you do differently in future relationships? For those of us who are divorced parents, a clear blessing is the children. Anchor those blessings by speaking them aloud or writing in your journal.
Counting your blessings will help you find your footing in the void. Take the time to explore the void. The lessons you learn there will grow your heart and set you on the path to healing.
Author and spiritual divorce coach, Carolyn B. Ellis, founded Thrive After Divorce, Inc. to help separated and divorced individuals improve relationships, increase self-confidence and save time and heartache. She is the award-winning author of the best-selling The 7 Pitfalls of Single Parenting: What to Avoid to Help Your Children Thrive After Divorce. If you want simple life-changing tips for single parenting, visit http://www.thriveafterdivorce.com now to receive a FREE report.
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