5 things you must do to move forward with your life & leave your past behind.
Ending a relationship is heartbreaking. Whether it's a mutual decision or one-sided, navigating life without your partner, especially if you've been together for years, can be very difficult. You will most likely find yourself thinking of him, wishing things could be different, wondering if you made the right decision or hoping that he will call.
Perhaps you were no longer compatible, maybe you brought out the worst in each other. Whatever the reason, just know that your relationship served a purpose. Just because the romance ended does not mean your life has to. You can learn from this experience and you can let go. Dwelling on the past isn't constructive. In fact, it's quite debilitating. It can keep you stuck for days, weeks, months or even years. Of course, I'm not suggesting you can never reminisce. It's vital to be thankful and appreciate all the joy you and your partner once shared.
While it's important to remember the good times, it is equally essential to remind yourself of those bad times without holding onto blame or resentment and recall the reasons you are no longer together. This way, you can move forward. Here are 5 ways to navigate your life after a breakup:
1. Find yourself. Use this time as an opportunity to get to know yourself again. It is super easy to lose a piece of your identity while being in a relationship.
Before hopping into the next one, get clear on who you are. What are your values? What boundaries do you hold sacred? What do you want out of your life? What are your hopes? Your dreams? Your desires? What kind of relationship do you really want?
This is also a time where it is imperative to take good care of yourself. Eat well, move your body, find things to do that excite you. Participate in things you have been putting off. Try something new. Learn to enjoy spending time alone.
2. Practice forgiveness. Letting go of the frustrations, resentment, anger and guilt of what feels like a "failed relationship" isn't serving you. Start practicing forgiveness. Let go of the events that led to your breakup, release those hurtful words you said to each other and choose to shake off the negative energy that surrounded the whole situation.
You do not have to define your life by how you've been hurt or by the fact that you may have hurt someone else. You can forgive him and yourself without denying the responsibility you both played in the demise of the relationship. Remember - "To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness." - Robert Muller
3. Express yourself. There is certainly a grieving process when a relationship ends. Most professionals equate the end of a long-term relationship to dealing with a death, except with a relationship there is a good chance you may still have to interact with your past partner in some way.
Allow yourself the time and the emotional space to grieve. Feel your feelings. Don't deny your sadness, anger, bewilderment, resentment or frustration. Let it out; let those feelings physically take space in your body. You'll be amazed how these feelings will actually dissipate faster if you allow yourself to actually sit with them.
If you stuff them, they don't go away. They will be back to haunt you, and most likely, they will intensify and often you will find yourself displacing them onto someone who doesn't deserve to take the brunt of those emotions.
4. Accept the truth. You must accept that the relationship is over. Stop assuming and imagining that you can rekindle the romance. There is a reason you broke up and why the relationship crumbled.
It's time to move on. Believe in the fact that whatever is supposed to happen will. So if you are supposed to end up with this partner, you may find your way back to each other in 6 months or 5 years from now, but forcing it when it's not ready to happen is never the answer.
5. Build a solid support system. You do not need to go through this alone. Lean on your friends and family. Spend time with people who love you, support you and energize you. Find people you can talk to without feeling criticized, judged or who tell you what to do or how to feel.
Just know that the healing process and the length of it is different for everyone. Don't rush it. Whatever you do, avoid dwelling on who is to blame or beating yourself up.
Learn from this, be kind to yourself, and most importantly, nurture your broken heart. You'll know when it's time to venture back into the relationship world. Until then, take care of you!