Although breakups tend to be incredibly painful, even when we initiate them, a lot of times they are a gift.
When we separate from someone we love, the feelings can be very overwhelming and most of the time unbearable. We really do go through the five stages of grief:
For anyone who has lost someone I am sure you recognize each of these stages very well. I find, from my own personal experience – denial – is the stage that lasts the shortest period of time. It is the – bargaining stage- that is the most painful, in my opinion, because it is in that stage that I find you start to justify the things that supported the breakup like “maybe I was wrong” or “it wasn’t thaaaaat bad” and you might even engage in a little self blame since the reality of the situation is starting to kick in and fear is rising. If you can control it, you can fix it, right? “If I had only” or “maybe if I wasn’t so“. Wrong. You broke up for a reason, you are simply trying to avoid the hurt.
Anger is truly my favorite of all the stages because it fuels the power that starts the healing process. Anger can be a very helpful emotion when you are dealing with a breakup. Anger keeps you focused on what didn’t work and helps support the very reasons why you ended the relationship to begin with. The rose colored glasses aren’t just off, they are shattered on the floor. *However, excessive anger is not helpful, it is actually a detriment to healing because you can get stuck there and you may even get so caught up in your anger you do things you regret.*
Depression is a stage that is almost impossible to avoid. Once the anger fades and the reality of the situation unfolds you are now left with the feelings of loss. This is where you focus on the good things, those rose colored glasses are now taped back together and on your face and all you see are the moments where you were happy. Do not get stuck here! Relationships have their ebbs and flows and there is always good and bad, even in a toxic and unfulfilling relationship. Know that each relationship brings us what we need at the time and if it ends, that’s because it was meant to.
Process the loss, and move forward!
Acceptance means indifference, you are neither happy or sad, you are simply understanding that the relationship has ended, and most of the time for a good reason. You no longer think of ways to get back together, you have stopped googling “30 day no contact” and you simply respect the time you had together but know you need to move forward. Life keeps going and new and wonderful things are ahead of you, even if you don’t see that.
Breakups can be hard but there are gifts and lessons in there that are so valuable if you can be open to feeling and seeing them. If you are open, breakups give you the opportunity to learn about yourself and over time you will most likely see that the relationship mirrored many things that you need to personally work on so that you are ready for your next relationship.
Below are some of the gifts we receive from loss –
- Time with yourself to reflect on who you were in the relationship and who you are outside of a relationship. Do they match and if not, discover why you change when you are in a relationship.
- Space to determine who you really are and how to be that person when you enter a relationship.
- Time to develop interests, be creative and rebuild relationships that might have been neglected when you were with your ex.
- Space to heal from things in the relationship that might not have been healthy for you. Sometimes we don’t realize how unhealthy something is for us until we are out of it. We may think something appeared normal but with a little space we are able to see that things weren’t as great as we thought.
- Time to set expectations and must have’s for your next relationship. It is important to setting standards and keep to them which will help you to attract partners that want what you want.
- Space to become your best self. Practicing a self love / self care routine will not only rebuild your confidence but it will also help you to prepare for your next relationship by knowing what you want going forward (this is huge).
- Time to rediscover and even reinvent yourself, especially if you didn’t like who you were in a past relationship. Were you too needy, did you give up a bit of yourself. Now you have time to work on what caused you to behave that way so you can avoid those behaviors in future relationships.
- Space to heal and just be…..take a deep breath and enjoy the space and freedom to be yourself without any drama, worries, chaos or fear.
Being alone is not the death of a person, it is a rebirth.
A lot of times people see breakups as the worst thing that can happen to a person and at the time it really does feel that way. There are so many clichés out there that drive people crazy but they are so true. One that is overused but is very true is “when one door closes, another opens” and that really is the case, you just have to let it happen. Unfortunately, people tend to cling to what they know out of fear of the unknown. They would rather be with someone, anyone, than no one at all. It is then that you settle, accept less and struggle because you know you don’t belong in the relationship but sadly, fear has you paralyzed. Its such a horrible place to be.
One of the gifts that you can give yourself is time alone. So many people refuse to do it as they look for validation and solace in others. I find, from experience, that when you are ok with yourself and happy on your own you literally refuse to settle.
I am someone who was terrified to be alone, starting from childhood. When I got divorced that was my top goal, get over this fear. It took years of intense therapy, coaching, EMDR, and a forced amount of time by myself but over time it became easier and easier and now I LOVE IT! I crave it. When I am with people for an extended period of time I crave my alone time. It shocking to me, the little girl who would hide under her sisters bed just to avoid being alone is now craving alone time. Amazing!
The ability to be alone also ties into inner bonding, which is a whole other topic and one I will discuss in my next post.
Until then, if you are going through a breakup I highly suggest shifting your perspective to see the gifts that have been given to you. Learn the lessons and start working on the them so you can move forward and find the love of your life (after you have fallen madly in love with yourself).
Coach with me and start healing from your breakup, rebuild your new and exciting life and be the best YOU !