After the relationship is over and we are used to the companionship and we are in the dark, all alone. This is the worst of times. We are still experiencing rejection and not knowing if we will ever find love again. The last thing we can consider is that it is time to connect with ourselves. We are always seeking another person to make us feel whole.
I was used to have my wife beside me. Even if I was on my own in my thoughts, I always had her beside me when I came to bed. I used to feel security from having that. It was a sense of control and normalcy in a world that contained so many challenges. It was the most thing to get used to when she was no longer there. It took a long time to realize that she was just a comforting thought. I never considered what I would do if she was gone. When the divorce happened, I obtained an apartment when my house was being built. It was a choice for mew of where to live. I loved it when daylight was present. When the dark of night set in, I had an unbearable feeling that this was my reality forever. I dreaded night time. I tried to go to sleep as quickly as possible so I didn’t have to think about the divorce.
Over time, as I moved in to my house, I realized that loneliness was in me, not her. She was done with me. I would guess that her feelings at night did not match mine. I knew that I was just focusing on the wrong things. I realized if I focused on my passions and projects I would be focused on what matters to me. This realization saved me emotionally. I made a list of all the things I wanted to do in my ideal life. Once I engaged in activities that meant something to me, I noticed the evenings were much more enjoyable. I realized my focus was everything. I was investing in emotions that were dead. I went to being fully engaged in life and suddenly I knew that I had great things coming in life that had been hidden for so long.
You were whole before the relationship, whether you felt it or not. Social conditioning makes us feel that something is wrong with us if we are not in a relationship. This makes people move from one relationship to the next without ever considering what they want for themselves.
Start focusing on what you have versus what is missing. Life responds to our wants and visions. Have faith and trust that something around the corner will add to fulfillment. Always know that life continues. There are billions of people on the planet to connect with. Be in tune with yourself and loneliness fades out. A relationship is not meant to wipe out a sense of self. It is meant to have somebody there who compliments us, not replaces us. You complete you. Another person doesn’t complete you.
When the pain seems unbearable after a breakup and we feel like we are caught up in a sea of negative emotions the situation can feel hopeless. I was there and I felt like it was an out of body experience. I just had night after night when I went to bed alone and saw myself deteriorating and felt there was nothing I could do about it. It was needless suffering and it took a lot to get back into control.
There was a distinct point when I remember the shift. I noticed that the majority of the situations causing me negative emotions and pain came when something triggered me to feel that way. As human we tend to attach to times we experience really powerful positive emotions or extremely negative emotions. For example, did you have a certain song that you attached positive feelings to in a relationship? There are endless examples of people who told me that a song was “their song” in a relationship. It used to be euphoric each time the song came up on the radio or Spotify. After the breakup the same song, when it comes on, now causes pain and loneliness.
There are at least a handful of triggers of this type that rule our subconscious minds each time the trigger shows its ugly face. We react like a monkey reaching for a banana and then the pain starts. To make matters worse, we tend to see these triggers everywhere. It can be in the form of an activity we did with our ex. It can come when we see a picture. It arises with places we used to frequent with our ex. Valentine’s Day was painful. Thanksgiving and Christmas were difficult.
One of the best things I did to move past the pain of my breakup and dealing with the loss of my 14 year old son was to sit down with a pad of paper and I listed every trigger I could think of that would lead to pain. I brainstormed exhaustively until I had an extensive list. Under each trigger I wrote two ways I could react differently when I experienced each trigger. The obvious solutions were to avoid the places and scenarios that caused the most pain. I came up with new hangouts. I set up new music playlists on my phone that ensured powerful emotions versus songs that caused loneliness or depression. Though the exercise was an investment of time, it has paid huge dividends. Since we have thousands of repeated thoughts daily, many negative, it is best to set up some new patterns that will create emotions by design versus knee-jerk reactions.
Try this exercise and email me at email@example.com and let me know what works for you. I love to hear the success stories.
At the beginning after getting abandoned from our partners, we have the intense desire to fix the relationship. The problem is the other person doesn’t share in your desire to make it work. After you try multiple times to reconnect and all they do is block your advances, it is natural for the rejection to turn into anger and resentment. Just remember this is also a normal reaction. It is the first step in moving toward getting back in control of your life.
There are only two words I can offer for people who are considering acting out during their time of anger and resentment. The words are, “Think first.” Once you say something or do something you cannot take it back. I have witnessed people who state that they will never see the ex again, so they don’t worry about burning the bridge. Letting go has more to do with your benefit than theirs. If you leaving a destructive path behind you because of anger toward your ex, remember that they can react and post on social media or speak to others about your irrational behavior. It is too easy in today’s world to slam a person’s reputation. What you put out negatively, or positively, will come back to you. Think first!
The most difficult place to reach in your mind is knowing that you have your own life to live. When you tie your emotional energy to another person, it is stealing from the progress you can make toward your own future. Think in advance of where you are spending your energy. The partner wanted the relationship over, so let them have their way. Make your life the best it can be and stay in control of your own direction. Self care is always the answer.
After my wife mentioned our divorce for the first time, a scarcity mindset kicked in and fear was dominant. I hung on her every statement and emotion for months with the wish that I could save our marriage and family. I committed to the point that I was angry when things didn’t hope and when I felt like I was the only one investing in “until death due us part.”
I noticed I was more angry in general and would be shorter with people than I was prior. I was creating an outcome and expectation in my mind about how the wife and family relationship needed to be and it was adding a lot of stress and pressure for me. This was because my expectations and reality were not lining up. When we get our hopes up and things don’t happen the way we think they should, we tend to be unhappy or lacking peace.
With all of the events that were adding to stress, one night I just took off in my car without even having a destination in mind. It was like when Forrest Gump started running and just kept going. My story wasn’t that drastic but it was key because it was the first night I started to build in some separation from my divorce mentality and it allowed me to start breathing a little bit. I drove through some of my favorite places around Denver and then into the mountains for a few hours. I played my favorite music in the car and just forgot about my problems for a while. I didn’t have to discuss the topic with anyone and just took some well needed time for myself. I started building that into my routine to help me let go easier.
Even if you are still fresh in the emotions of a breakup, try to create separation. It will be a while before you can fully let go, but short breaks from it can make a huge difference to how much pressure you feel. Just let off steam and take a compartmentalized time frame.
Also, lighten your expectations up. If somebody broke up with you and your happiness depends on that person calling or texting you, it could set you up for failure. The best focus is to release and surrender and start taking care of yourself. Many people want to get the attention of their ex partner by showing them what they are missing out on. They chose to be gone, so make the direction all about you. Soon enough life will step in and show you what is great about your new direction.
I remember when I was in a place where rum and cokes were a focus and I was counting the hours and days since the divorce. Time dragged, my emotions were all over, yet I had the trophy of counting the days since marriage and trying to make myself feel better because of all of the independence I had. I then would have thoughts of the family breaking up and the days away didn’t seem to matter. It was miserable.
It all changed when I focused on enjoying the process of my life. I made each situation and experience sweeter and did proactive planning of where I wanted my life to go. Suddenly the days stopped mattering. When I stopped drinking I was advised by a friend who was a past alcoholic that it is best not to think about the hours or days since drinking. He said that it keeps your mind on what is missing (the alcohol). He was so right. Instead I just focused on reprogramming my life for what I want and had my own list of exactly why I was stopping (the negative consequences I was ridding of) and the rewards of how much better life would be without consistent drinks.
I remember the day I received my blood readings on my liver after the several years of rum and Cokes. It was not good. I immediately dumped all the alcohol from the house and replaced it with tea and coffee. I have had a couple of beers since in select settings but the hard alcohol is gone. My thinking is clearer. I have more presence with my family and friends. My health is better. I am more productive.
After a breakup it is easy to keep the mind on the breakup and the time that has elapsed since it was ended. Use this time instead to place all of your mental faculties on what is going right for you and the direction you want to head. The person who dumped you will not be watching the clock and worrying about you. It is time to live your life and enjoy all the experiences that make your heart light up.