We got you, girl.
When a loving relationship ends, our intellectual self knows it's over for a reason. We may feel satisfied... until the shock settles. Then the pain starts to kick in — emotional pain that devastates the heart, mind, and body.
The feeling of loss kick-starts a cycle of emotions. One moment we are crying, the next we are angry, and then we're in denial. We cycle through these thoughts in no particular order and our survival mode seeks a solution to feel better.
It feels like we have been through an emotional boxing match, and we reach out to friends, family, self-help resources, maybe a therapist. This support helps in the moment, and we oblige when told to block our ex from our social media and our phone.
Making it through each day feels like a major accomplishment. And then our coping mechanisms begin to fail.
With limited sleep and energy, our brain is running on adrenaline. Our tactic to remove him from all of our technology has backfired because this was done too soon in our healing process. We begin to wonder if our ex has been trying to reach us and we've missed it. Now what?
During this cycle we slowly begin to lose ourselves and our dignity. We begin to reach out to him or her with false expectations. When they don't respond, or we hear something different than we had hoped, we begin to feel ignored or angry. This is when obsession begins.
We become focused on gaining their attention, but under our own pretenses. Our actions at this point are why we are labeled the awful stereotype of "psycho-ex." We are not crazy. We are in pain and don't know how to heal ourselves.
It takes tremendous strength, energy, and mindful balance to recover from loss, and a breakup can be a significant loss. This may prevent us from accepting and letting go, therefore remaining stuck in false reality.
We all wish for some kind of magical advice on how to win him or her back. There ain't no such thing. But for this moment, I'm hoping that some strategies may resonate:
1. Be still.
Feelings are frightening. They can be paralyzing, confusing, and consuming. Just breathe. We need to allow these powerful emotions to flow through our mind and body. It can help bring clarity and further awareness. Natural tears represent our capacity to feel. We are not numb; we are tender human beings. Our mind and body have intentional messages to share.
2. Set intention.
Rebuilding strength is essential for our whole being. We may have a self-care routine that isn't offering any release, and setting a new intention could be the rebirth we need.
Yoga and meditation are tremendously effective at rebuilding emotional and physical strength. Taking in fresh air and drinking water replenish oxygen and can help us breathe more deeply and intently. Being kind and having self-forgiveness can feel re-energizing.
A wide array of thoughts may seem to race by; allowing them to enter and exit may bring peace. The reflective practice of keeping a journal can be fruitful in many ways, both now and later.
3. Keep your dignity.
Use positive self-talk to keep yourself in the present moment. We may need regular reminders that our relationship is over for a reason. Regardless of who initiated it or if there was a specific cause, it happened. Understanding the reason isn't important in this moment; taking care of ourselves is.
We cannot control anyone or anything, except for our own mind and body. Reaching out to him/her now has potential to set us back and we may then become angry with ourselves for doing so. We are stronger and smarter than our reactive selves. The reactive self wants an immediate and affirming response.
No one can give us this, and attempts to get it will only cause frustration, embarrassment, and deeper sadness. In this moment, remaining focused on our well-being is all that matters.
4. Set a personal goal.
Setting a time-frame to allow healing to take place can give us back the power we need before confirming any decisions. The healing process is different for everyone, and setting small, attainable goals can feel rewarding. The need to check in with our heart, mind, and body may be needed often now, but will lessen as times goes by. A personal goal may be permission to contact your ex at a point in the future.
Trusting the healing process can also help us rebuild self-trust and the belief that we have the strength needed to get through this. We have all had to break a habit in our lives and we know it takes at least 90 days to break.
Following these guidelines can create knowledge and understanding, empowerment, endurance, and self-trust.
It's believed that developing these attributes will foster healing and clarity — both of which are needed whether we choose to re-enter the same relationship, or choose a fresh and healthy new relationship.
We all deserve to feel confident and in control of the choices we make, and in doing so we will feel deeper happiness.
This article was originally published at Elephant Journal. Reprinted with permission from the author.