How to feel loved even when a relationship ends
7 days ago I made one of the hardest decisions of my life.
A decision made for love, but a choice that really seemed to be set up to take love away from me.
7 days ago, I helped my best friend of 17-years, my heart companion, my soul dog, die.
She wasn't sick. Just old.
Her body no longer worked the way it needed for her to
Be the vibrant, jubilant, beautiful being she had always been.
And although I didn’t know it at the time,
inside I became very afraid that Love was going to leave me… again.
Love had certainly felt like it had left before – when my father died, when my engagement ended abruptly, and in the times previous best friends became people I no longer talked to.
Through my previous experiences with love and loss, I had come to believe that when people leave, so does the love. Which has also caused me to believe that as humans, we will do most anything to avoid feeling the pain associated with feeling the loss of love. Or sometimes we will do everything to run straight into and sit in the pain, suffering to make ourselves feel alive and connected to the one that has left.
As I made the choice this time around to let someone I love go, what I found were two beliefs around love and loss – one that served me and one – a love lie -- that just caused me great suffering, that I thought we all could benefit from getting to the real truth.
The thought of losing love is one of the scariest things we face as human beings.
This is true.
When a relationship ends or a person leaves our lives, the love dies. The love leaves with them.
This is totally false.
It is true that if you input a belief into your mind that tells you “Love is gone! Love has been taken away!” you will feel pain, excruciating suffering kind of pain.
Because just like we need air to breathe, we need love to live.
Anyone who has had the experience of losing someone they love deeply can attest to feeling like the wind was knocked out of them, because it was.
And yes, losing someone we love, hurts, a lot. There is no way around the grief but through it. However, it’s been my experience that avoiding the pain or festering in the belief that love had been stripped away, brings loads of unnecessary suffering. Because the truth is that while the physical presence of that person ceases to be with us, and we will grieve that physical loss, there is evidence everywhere that the love doesn’t die, and in fact, the heart, while it may be breaking, has the opportunity to as it mends, open up to even more love.
3 Ways to Open To More Love In Times of Loss
- Make the choice to Surrender. Surrender your expectations of what and how you should feel… and when. Surrender the belief that love could ever be stripped away. Surrender your fear of letting love go. The less you struggle and the more you surrender to love, the more ease you will have. When I am having a hard time surrendering, I take a “Surrender Plunge:” Put your body a cross-like position, or if that weirds you out, assume the body position as if you were floating on water. Arms out to the side, creating a T shape. And say out loud, over and over, until you feel a shift, the words, ‘I Surrender. I Surrender. I Surrender.”
- Find Evidence of Love Everywhere and Open your Heart to Receiving The Love. Remember, you need love to live, so take it everywhere you can get it… and seek it. Hugs, smiles, considerate acts of kindness from strangers, all great! Surround yourself with people who love you. Ask for their help, and let them (not expect them) to go above and beyond for you. Plan dates with friends where you don’t have to ‘do’ anything but be with each other. And in the moments you find yourself alone, reach out to nature, the sun, a book or a bath to soothe you and connect you to the fact that you will never leave you.
- Create physical touchstones that bring love to your body, heart and spirit. Having something or someone to touch you helps you feel the love still present. I have put these two love generating tools to the test: A. the Love Pacifier – a physical object that reminds you of that person or that relationship in a healthy way. My pacifier for Nanook, my soul dog, has been a white faux fur blanket that feels like her shiny warm coat I used to love snuggling up to. B. Body and energy workers working on you! In the past 2 weeks I have received Acupuncture, Emotional Freedom Technique, Reiki, Cranio-Sacral Therapy and Massage, and I am heading to a week long retreat with natural mineral salt baths this week. Grief gets stored in the body and you need to release it. Any of these forms are great release techniques. If you aren’t familiar with them, get familiar by googling them. Open minds lead to open hearts!
If you have other ideas to share on how you have opened to more love as you’ve experienced the ending of a relationship with someone you loved, I’d love to hear about it! Post it here or visit my blog http://www.daretoliveyou.com/blog/2011/04/love-never-dies.html where you can also watch a video I taped called Love Never Dies.
Popular author of the book, Choosing ME Before WE, and co-founder of Inner Mean Girl Reform School, Arylo has been dubbed the Queen of Self-Love. A recovering m.b.a. achievement junkie and doing addict, she speaks, writes and teaches women how to find the happiness and love they want by loving themselves first. To get her free Self-Love Kit, visit www.ChooseSelfLove.com