How to Make Your Breakup a Breakthrough
The secret to finding more love than loss in your breakup.
-Christine Arylo, DivineCaroline.com
Without a doubt, breakups are sad. They always include pain, even in the most agreeable splits. Pain is part of the deal, but the struggle, drama, and misery are totally optional.
In this article I am not going to tell you the secrets to avoiding pain all together. That would just make me a liar and a bad friend. Because the truth is that if you don’t feel your pain, it will still be there, lurking in the darkness, waiting to pounce on you at some unanticipated—and usually unfortunate—moment. (Do you really want mascara and tears streaming down your face in the grocery line?) Or worse, throwing you into not good for you relationships and activities—such as the rebound date or cocktail binge that seemed like a good idea before you realized that while they numbed the pain for a while, more pain just came later.
Yes, you do need to mourn the loss of the relationship … because something has died. But, you do not need to wrap yourself up in the über painful belief that somehow this ending equals a loss of love. That line of thinking only leads to one place: the pit of misery. The truth is that you haven’t lost love.
Love is indestructible, when you remember where to find it.
As a woman who has experienced the devastating blow of a breakup of a fifteen-year relationship two hours before her engagement party (Ouch!), I can share with you the real secret to breaking through to happiness and hope after a breakup: self-love. It’s always there. No one can take it from you. And it’s free.
The biggest difference between people who blossom from the experience of breakup and the people who just keep making the same mistakes or never move on is the anchor point they choose. Do you anchor in pain and the other person? Or do you keep yourself anchored into self-love so that even on the bad days you can pull yourself forward out of the muck and into happiness and hope?
It’s your choice as to whether you want to touch the pain or live in it. Whether you want to transform through this experience or regress because of it. The people I’ve seen—including myself—who have transformed themselves into a person who is even more true to who they are because of a breakup, have created more love not less.
These people took these seven daring acts of self-love — I invite you to do the same:
1. Turn your focus and energy from the other person to yourself. Stop reaching out to him or her for love, and instead reach inside you for love.
2. Remember that yes, while there are no longer two people in this relationship, there is still one, and you are not going anywhere.
3. Realize that this breakup, while a loss of connection, is not a loss of love.
4. Know that there is an abundance of love in the world for you. Surround yourself with healthy love—a lot of it!
5. Remember you are never alone. In the moments when you feel lonely, remember you have you.
6. Remember that you are going forward, you are not being left behind. Something in you is pulling you forward into something new. Keep an eye on what that something is, and move toward it.
7. Be completely honest with yourself, no matter what. No story telling and no illusions. It is a deep act of self-love to have unwavering honesty with yourself.
Most of all, remember that loss of any kind is hard, so be gentle and compassionate with yourself. Love yourself extra. Reach out and ask for love—in a healthy way—often. Get hugged. And be with your feelings. It is possible to feel both loss and happiness at the same time. Your loss does not define you. Love defines you.