Going through a break-up is a grieving process and it takes time.
The day you realise you are no longer in a relationship can be emotional. If you initiated the break-up, you may feel liberated, empowered and satisfied. You may also feel anxious and afraid even though you did call it quits. If your partner ended your relationship, the feelings you may be experiencing are denial, confusion, scared, resentment, and uncertainty.
It can seem like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, however there are some things you can do to make the transition from relationship to single life easier:
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It's my second Valentine’s Day since my break-up and of being single. I’m not fussed over it, I find it too commercial. These days I spend V Day with my children, we share a little love heart chocolate and this year we went out for afternoon tea. My life is exactly where I want to be. I am living the life I desire. I am empowered every day with my choices and love life.
So why did I have a meltdown this Valentine’s Day?
It all started when I decided to by a blower vac, so I could move the debris from the tree out the front of my house. The thing is I can do anything! I now kill spiders, no worries… even though they scare the heck out of me. I can build furniture from a flat box, done and dusted. I can cook, clean, iron, and call on good ol' Charlie to mow my grass and clean up the yard. You see I will call on the help of professionals when needed, this gives me time to do things I am good at and also spend quality time with my children. But on Saturday I decided to buy a blower for when Charlie isn’t around cleaning up my yard.
The blower made me realise being in a relationship does not define who you are! I know…
Here I was putting the blower together with my son, reading the instructions, purchased the petrol and oil all good to go. Out I went to do a bloody great job of clearing the front yard only to have the blower* not work! Ok try again, and I did this over and over to no success.
Then the tears started, not just a few running down my face, here I was a blubbering mess. Saying to myself, oh I need a man in my life, I can’t do this…
Off I went to the bathroom and had a little sob, it had been some time since I sobbed, I was sobbing for the feeling of being helpless for the first time in a long time, and I was having these thoughts of not having someone in my life right when I needed it, feeling sorry for myself. Once I released my tears and accepted my feelings, I realised I don’t need a relationship to work a blower or whatever else I need.
I was missing a person so he could start the blower… Please!
I took charge and made sense of the moment. I meditated and grounded myself. I flipped my negative thoughts into positive ones. I have choices in life and I have chosen to look after myself and my children. I choose not to be in a relationship right now and it is exactly what I want.
So what I am trying to say, you will have a moments and when you do, you need to acknowledge how you feel, not ignore it. Even someone who does have her shit together can have a moment and that is ok. Acknowledging your feelings, fears and everything in between is something we try to avoid. We were brought up to put on a happy face and deny our feelings, and when we do this we hide them and so they fester and re-emerge into anxiety and depression and we don’t want to be in this situation.
I know the pain from a break-up is real, you have lost someone and it leaves a gap in your life. The loneliness can feel unbearable at times. You want to push your feelings away and hope for them to disappear. We need to feel them though, as hard as that may seem. You need to allow yourself to feel your emotions, cry, scream whatever you need to do to release the feelings.
Today I was telling myself things that were not true. I had limiting beliefs of me and relationships. By having limiting beliefs it limits us from the true feelings. We start to tell ourselves ‘I am not good enough’, ‘I’m worthless’, ‘I’m a loser’ and so on. When you start to hear yourself talk in this way as I did today, you need to ask yourself “What am I telling myself about this pain”, “How do I feel when I believe these beliefs about myself”.
A great tool to try is say out loud your negative beliefs and then imagine your best friend or someone you respect is with you, what would they say to you? say that out loud. The positive feedback, not this victim voice you are telling yourself.
Remember to always be true to yourself. It is ok to feel what you want to push under the rug, lift it up and feel. I promise you when you do, you have this new feeling of empowerment. You start to trust yourself and you realise, life is good.
A relationship doesn't define who you are, you define who you are.
* the blower did survive during today, however it was faulty and taken back to the shop and I moved on with my life in a happy positive way, the way I know, and Charlie will continue to clear my front yard for now!
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I always find Valentine’s Day so commercial, really any day should be Valentine’s Day, right?
But how do you cope, when you see it everywhere after your break-up. You can't get away from it, it's in the shops, on TV, on the radio. When you are no longer in a relationship, it can make you feel pretty lonely. So embrace it and be your own valentine.
I am my own valentine!
Here are 6 ways to cope through the day:
Be your own valentine. Learn to love yourself from within
From ME to YOU - Happy Valentine's Day x
and this is what I learnt...
Helping women go through their break-up recovery, made me think about my own marriage break-up and I wanted to share how going to Italy made me realise your life doesn’t end after your break-up.
My dream for about 20 years was to go to Italy, Tuscany in fact, and as I was coming up to my 40th birthday, I went searching on the internet looking for a holiday to celebrate. A holiday for myself.
I came across EAT.PRAY.MOVE retreats. The excitement within me was full of so much joy! I’d found the destination, the retreat and with yoga. I was getting into yoga and meditation and this was the perfect retreat for me and it was in Tuscany.
I sat on it for a few days before committing, I couldn’t possibly book this in, right? I am a wife, a mother, no it wasn’t right…. Was it? Finally I made the decision to book it only to be disappointed it was booked out.
The retreat booked out within days…
Thankfully Erin, founder of EAT.PRAY.MOVE* decided to do another retreat a month later and I booked it! I believe, I wasn't meant to go on the first retreat, because the women I met on the retreat in July 2014 were amazing and I have made some lifelong friendships.
I had to wait 7 months! 7 whole months!
But what happened in those 7 months... was my marriage broke-down and I left my husband. I remember my father asking “Are you still going away?” My fast response was hell yes! More so than ever, this is what I needed.
Going through my break-up which lead to my divorce was a tough and emotional time, but it didn’t mean I was dead. I needed to keep my dreams alive and that first dream was Italy.
On the outside, the holiday was still the same, but on the inside it was completely different. Here I was, just turned 40 and single. I was numb, numb of not knowing what my future would hold. Numb, numb of not knowing how my children were going to cope. There were tears, there was anxiety, but there was some joy, joy I was going to a destination I had never been before on the other side of the world. I needed an escape.
Everything was happening leading up to this dream breakaway, I sold the family home, I started a new job, the realisation my marriage was over, the sadness for my children… There were so many emotions going on within me and trying to deal with all the changes at times were challenging and confusing.
So the day my house settled from the sale, was the day I flew out of the country
But when I landed in Italy and explored Rome for a couple of days prior to the retreat, the sadness kicked in. I saw couples in love, I saw families happy, and it was really hard to deal with. But then I realised I was not being true to myself. I had chosen this holiday for me, whether I was happily married or not. Yes my marriage was over, I knew when I went back to Australia it would never be the same. So I decided to embrace it.
Meeting Erin Lewis the founder of EAT.PRAY.MOVE retreats changed my outlook on life. Here was this beautiful soul full of so much energy and love. Erin was my angel, my angel of realisation that life doesn’t end. Spending a week with amazing women from all parts of the world showed me we are all here on the planet for different reasons. But what we all have in common... we all wanted to be happy, we wanted love in our life. We needed the best for ourselves.
Over the week, I began to journal and really enjoyed getting to know myself, and what I learnt was I had lost myself a little towards the end of my marriage. I realised now that my life isn’t going to finish the way I dreamed it would with my then husband, my best friend, we were no longer going to grow old together, that didn’t mean my dreams still can’t happen, they are just going to be different.
I see it often when women and men break-up and the depression kicks in realising the future isn’t going to be the way it was planned. We need to remember you have a choice and you can make anything you want possible. You need to release the expectation of what was or what was going to be and embrace what will be.
The transformation to come was empowering
I will forever be grateful for EAT.PRAY.MOVE and the lesson learnt of living my dreams no matter what life throws at you.
Remember during your break-up to give yourself time to heal, don’t be too hard on yourself, and take the time to get to know yourself. You are doing your best.
*check out more about Erin and EAT.PRAY.MOVE yoga retreats at INSPIRED
If you feel you are stuck after your break-up and need guidance and support, book in a call today and see how we can work together to have you move forward into the next phase of your life.