Life After a Break Up Part 2
Last time we touched upon some of the more direct and practical actions you could take immediately after the end of a relationship.
Once those steps are taken, it is time to process and work through the emotions that can linger for a long time after a break up, and how you can best handle the feelings of loss and move onto a state of acceptance.
Try not to think about the time you spend together as lost, it was an experience you can all too readily build on for the future. Do not diminish or underestimate the amazing things you did at that time. Rather focus on what you have gained; friendships made or progress in your career, the idea is to focus on the positives because you need to feel empowered not victimised (by your ex-partner, by yourself or by time itself). Everything that happens in the past prepares you for the present and the future, if we are prepared to learn from past we will have a better future. It is important in this process to remember both the bad times as well as the good. It is tempting to romanticise a relationship and this can become addictive, far better to remember he or she was not perfect and neither were you.
This is probably a good time to revisit your feelings; check them out re-evaluate their importance and their weight in your life. Losing a relationship in a break up can feel like a mini death, complete with its own grieving process. Not surprisingly then you are likely to feel denial (this is not happening to me) I should have done things differently, start bargaining with yourself (if only I'd have done things differently) and of course, anger (why me this should not be happening to me). Usually this is followed by feelings of loneliness as you think about what you have lost. The only consolation here is that you are not alone and everyone will have to go through this process before they can reach acceptance and begin turning the focus from the past to the future with all its possibilities.
It is well worth reflecting on the fact that when you feel you can let go of the past acceptance and peace of mind will follow. One very good way of actively working on your thoughts and feelings is to keep a journal that can be reviewed as and when you feel it is safe to do so. Really the only way to feel peace of mind is to quieten the thoughts that threaten that peace you seek. The challenge that now faces you is about letting go and opening yourself up to new possibilities, someone once likened grief to having your arms wrapped around a huge barrel of water. It is heavy, awkward and probably makes it difficult for you to breathe but most importantly you cannot reach out and grasp the new and exciting things as they pass you by. Change can only occur if you open your arms and remain receptive to things that come your way.
Nothing lasts forever; every experience, every relationship will run its course, that as we all know is the nature of things. Impermanence is nothing short of a fact of life, to be dreaded and embraced in equal measure. Change is a reality however, it is only fear of change that can now hold us back, but what do we do with change once we have accepted it? This can be the true measure of our success. The answer is to translate our acceptance into action, treat each day as life itself, treat each day as if it was your last. We need to find the things that interest us, give us joy and excite our natural curiosity. Start to take pleasure in every thing and every one around us. This is not some airy-fairy nonsense, this will become very real once you start gaining from every thing around you and stop dwelling on what you have lost, your life really can start rebuilding itself on solid foundations. It is worth reminding ourselves from time to time the unknown can be exciting and one big adventure you can be part of once more.
We mentioned this last week, but it is very important to remember to reach out and seek support if you feel you need it. Breaking up is hard to do and it's important to remember you aren't alone. Talk to friends and family; they might prove to be more helpful than you could ever have imagined. If you do not feel like there is anyone in your life you can talk to confidential counselling may be able to help you work through this difficult time in your life. It is valuable to remember that we cannot always control what happens to us but we can control how we respond to it.