Breakup Is Torture! Can I Please 'Eternal Sunshine' My Mind?

Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind
Love, Heartbreak

It turns out there IS a way to remove thoughts of your ex from your mind.

Tammy recently went through a bad breakup. Though a couple of months have passed, she can't seem to shake it off. "I am so tortured by thoughts of my ex that it is just killing me," she said.  "I really relate to Jim Carey in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. If there was a way I could just erase this whole relationship from my brain, I'd be so relieved. Is there any way to do something that drastic?"  

The answer is: kind of.

There is a technique that I teach as part of the release work I do that helps people let go and refocus their brain. It actually is possible to retrain your thought patterns to flow in another direction, so the self-torture will cease. This process doesn't completely erase the memories, but it does take the sting out of them. The process rewrites what you remember, how you remember it and, more importantly, changes your focus to help dissolve any lingering attachment. Your reality is re-calibrated so that you can move past this hurt and get on with your life.

Most of the pain from breakups comes from obsessive self-defeating thoughts:

  • Self-Defeating Thought #1: I was rejected. 

    The Truth: There is no rejection, only the wrong fit.

  • Self-Defeating Thought #2: It's hard to find love and now I'm back at square one. 

    The Truth: People find love every day—at every age, at every weight and in every life circumstance. You will, too. There really is no starting back at square one because, you probably learned a lot during this relationship, and you'll use that knowledge as you move on.

  • Self-Defeating Thought #3 This person is the best that I'll ever find. I blew it. 

    The Truth: If it's torturing you so much that you want to erase your brain, no doubt you will find better. This is not your last chance for love, and remember: you can't blow it with the right person.

  • Self-Defeating Thought #4: I blame myself for everything. How could I do that?! I will beat myself up until the end of time for this one. 

    The Truth: You were doing the best you could, and some people bring out the worst in us. It's all water under the bridge now, but you will have another chance at making a relationship work.

  • Self-Defeating Thought #5: I will never forgive my ex. (S)he betrayed me and did inexcusable things. 

    The Truth: You have to forgive. Otherwise, you're giving your ex the power to mess up your present and future. Carrying that baggage will only prolong your suffering and delay moving on with your life.

If you are serious about moving on and leaving the trauma and attachment behind, there are certain things that you can never do again.

One example: telling your sad story repeatedly. You can't have it both ways. If you really want to move beyond this, you can't keep beating that old drum and remain a victim. Changing focus, straightening out your wrongheaded thinking and taking the sting out of traumatic memories rewires your brain so that you can move on, even if you've suffered from attachment issues for years.

One of the most important steps in letting go (and something often overlooked in popular release techniques) is the "replace" step, in which we that the hurt self-focus and attachment to pain we personally feel and substitute it with a broader worldview. Those attached to hurt have a tendency to narrow their reality down to focusing on just that one person. Everything is in reference to the ex. (By the way, your friends are sick of hearing it.) Recognizing the uber-focus on the ex and flipping a switch to change that erroneous view does the trick to help the broken-hearted finally move on.

So, let go of your pain and move into the sunny days (and state of mind) that lie ahead for you once you let go. The best is yet to come!

Kathryn Alice is known for her release technique, which helps to dissolve the attachment responsible for an inability to bounce back after a breakup. Her Releasing a Person CD and ebook address this specific issue and give you tools to move on more quickly and end post-breakup suffering.


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