Feel it so you can heal it...
Recently, one of my close girlfriends’ boyfriends broke up with her. There I was, ready to hand her the tissue box, enjoy a good venting session about what a jerk he really was, and preparing for her to hide herself away for a while from the social scene.
Boy, was I in for a surprise. I like to think of this good friend, let’s call her Monica, as my new hero for how to handle a break-up. Sure, she was heartbroken. Sure, she was frustrated. But, she wasn’t lost to the grief over losing him.
We were sitting, chatting about the situation, and she made a remarkable comment. I use ‘remarkable’ because this is usually the statement you tell your friend to help heal them amidst the pain of their breakup; instead, she was her own best cheerleader in this situation.
The scene: We have been discussing the break up over lunch, and she tells me how he keeps contacting her to "hang out" even though he was the one that ended things.
Me: He seems to forget that he was the one that let you go because of your differences. So, maybe it was for the best to find it out now, then further down the road.
Monica (and her remarkable statement): Oh, I know that. In fact, I know that if I talk to him at all it will only block me from finding the right person for me. If I am putting all of my energy into him, I am losing out on finding a great guy. Ya know?
Me: (mouth wide open) Sing it, sister!
To top it off, she has been going out with friends all week, not doing anything self-destructive, and staying entirely upbeat and optimistic about the future.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I know she is hurting and feeling shaken by what happened, but it was so refreshing to see someone really take control of their feelings and channel them into positive things like furthering her career, spending time with her friends, and doing activities that make her feel good about herself.
So, if you find yourself in the middle of a bad break-up and refuse to get swallowed up by the sadness and self-loathing that so many of us wallow in post-relationship, here are some tips (inspired by my good friend) to help you get through the rough patch so you can move on with your life and enjoy the life you are living.
Step One: “Feel It So You Can Heal It”
I wish I could take credit for this clever phrase, but I can’t. However, it is a great catchphrase and perfect for these tough situations. You can’t avoid the pain of a break-up, and if you try, it will rear it’s ugly head in other ways. So, allow yourself time to feel sad. Allow the tears to flow. Allow yourself to feel any emotion that comes your way. Accept it, experience it, and then, you can let it go.
Step Two: Talk It Out
Having a support system of friends or family can make a world of difference when you are struggling through a break-up. Take the time to sit with your close friends and allow them to give you comforting words. Allow them to love you. Right now, you need to feel the positive energy from those around you to remind you that not all is lost. In fact, this door closing means another will soon open, so take heed.
Step Three: Get Out of the House
Sitting around in your pjs and watching sad movies may seem like a really great idea (after all, misery loves company) but all it will do is make the pain worse. So, put on some pants and go out. Go out to a restaurant. Go to a movie with friends. Go for a bike ride. Do something fun that inspires you and excites you.
Step Four: It’s Okay to Go on a “Pseudo-Date”
Has that girl or guy that works at the coffee shop down the street been asking you out for a while but you always had said no? Why not say yes? Some would say that dating right after a break-up is a bad idea, and while rebounding can lead you into bad decisions at times, there is nothing wrong with changing up the energy. Eventually you are going to have to go on a first date, so why not make it a low pressure situation? You don’t have to take it seriously, so what’s wrong with flirting with the future?
Step Five: Take Comfort in the Fact that Life Goes On.
You are an adult. You know the sun always rises. While being in the midst of a break-up can mess with your sense of reality, remember this. In time, this break-up will seem small in comparison to all the things that will happen in your life, both good or bad, so keep it all in perspective. No one is worth making you feel as though your life is over, because it isn’t. You still have breath in your lungs, the ability to live your life, so do it. Embrace the feelings, enjoy the ride, and anticipate all the wonderful thins that will happen in the future.