(Photo overlay: from a Blue Morpho Butterfly breeding station at Chaa Creek Lodge, Belize.)
My aunt once told me “I feel sorry for who you are with.”
As an astrologer known for her biting humor, she was joking (…maybe?) as she eyed my birth chart, pointing to six planets in Libra clustered in the place of communication. That’s a lot of Venus lovin’ and emotion, and having something of depth to say.
Even before I knew my stars, life had revealed this challenge. I learned my cup of tea is lovely but the flavor is strong (I’m no Celestial Seasoning).
I am starting to LOVE this potency in myself, and having fun with it! And even though it hurts every single time it doesn’t work out with a Hopeful, and I think for a moment that I cannot go through this ever again, I still recover.
So. Why not learn how to kick ass at the process of letting go and thriving if I have the option to do it repeatedly?! (giggle) Of course!
To risk loving is to accept the inevitability of loss.
Whether through death or breakup, this is reality. We can fear it, ignore it, accept it. And use it as a passport to passionately love while we still can.
And when inevitability strikes… how do we move on? How do we nuzzle the Divine through the skin, scent and heartbeat of our Beloved, and then let go?
The following are ways I use to move through loss and grow from it. With time, I might add more. Hopefully not (wink wink).
Thank you to the amazing men who risked holding my hand for awhile. Your generosity was wonderful, your enchantment with me was appreciated, and your inner strength is seen. Peace be with you.
A List to Get My Dignity off the Floor and Back into Life:
1) The End:
When you are done, be done.
Make a clean, clear, unambiguous ending, with integrity, dignity, and in a good way for both people.
Be kind. (We can go to war, but there’s always damage. So, why? )
2) Reduce Contact:
Make changes in social media.
Change the phone sounds. Consider call and email forwarding.
Every time contact or reference to the former partner is made, it flares up the bonding/attachment wiring in the brain. This creates actual pain and longing and prolongs the time it takes to let go.
Prolong as needed, or get it over with already. Choose your own adventure.
3) Feed Yourself:
Get good complex carbohydrates, quality dark chocolate, protein.
Why? Science. These foods boost dopamine and seratonin levels in the brain; two chemicals made en masse when the Other touched, talked, loved you. The loss of that stimulation means the loss of these chemicals in high levels, and addiction withdrawals begin. (Look here and here for a list of healthy foods promoting these neurotransmitters.)
These foods buffer the loss. Eat these after separation, when withdrawals are most intense. Then wean off the sugary ones or suffer the waistline consequences.
Get hugs. Daily! Repeatedly! It’s soul food. They increase oxytocin, the bonding hormone… another one of those natural highs that drops off after breaking up.
Get frozen dinners on hand (in case the brain slump/fatigue of processing is too much to cook.) Eat 3 times a day!
Get vitamins. We need extra nutrients to heal the nerves and adrenals during stress.
Do not go into failure to thrive. If you do, reach out and talk to someone. Failure to thrive is a form of soul loss, and may require spirit level healing.
4) Body care:
Get a massage. It creates more yummy seratonin and dopamine as well as reduce stress hormone, cortisol.
Exercise. 30 minutes gets endorphins going… another biochemical which reduces pain and elevates moods out of depression.
(Are you seeing that breaking up is a biochemical change as well as an emotional and social one? Yes.)
Clay and salt bath. Followed by exfoliating lymph scrubbing helps detox lymph and reinvigorate.
Stay on the couch until you have had enough, but no longer. Depression can be seductive.
To get out of depression, get creative. You’ll find your energy lifts up. I have literally cooked, cleaned, painted, and written my way outta some really hefty sad aftermaths.
Give yourself space to recover and be with the process. It will center you. You’ll be stronger later on if you do.
5) Emotional releasing:
The road back to happiness is letting yourself feel: denial and isolation; anger; bargaining; depression; acceptance. (Not necessarily all of them, in order, or one at a time.)
Keep emotions moving. If emotions are constipated, get acupuncture or exercise vigorously to get them moving. Allow allow allow.
Grief releases the ‘partner contract’ out of the body. Let it happen. It’s not a problem, it’s necessary. Bodies have their own intelligence and realignment processes. This is one of them. Spontaneous tears are healing.
How to ride the Waves of Grief: Don’t fear the overwhelm. When we are overcome suddenly with an upsurge of emotion and feel the need to cry, let it happen right then and there if you can. It will peak and then die down again, within minutes. Trust it will pass. Let it just be a wave to ride. Try not to make up a story about what the grief means; stories can cause more suffering. If a story comes with it, just observe it.
Other Emotional Support: Flower essences, naps to calm your brain down. Call friends to help digest the experience. Listen to them when they validate you. Tape to the mirror: “It is your destiny to be loved.”
6) Clear your Energy
Healing from relationship trauma is, at it’s root, an act of gathering our energy up, and focusing our Will and Spirit to move forward. We choose it. Our whole being comes into alignment around it. The following internal exercise can help!
This was given to me by a traditional Mexican healer I respect. Because I see it’s needed in the world, I pass it on to you. Warning: this works. So, do it only when you are ready to move on. Follow it to a T. And do no harm with this. You may find your resolution to move on clarifies and strengthens as you progress in this.
To separate out entwined energies and energy cords:
Close your eyes, while lying down, undistracted.
See yourself standing in front of your former partner, in a safe place.
Look down at your body, and see the energies your Ex left with you.
Reach down to your pelvis, pick up your Ex’s energy there, and say “I give you back your sexual energy”, and hand it back to him/her.
Reach to your upper belly, find his energy, pick it up, and say “I give you back your power”, and give it back.
And to the heart, same thing… “I give you back your emotional energy.” etc.
Now, do the same for the energies you left in your Ex’s space:
Reach over to those same three places, pick up your energy and bring it back to you, saying “I take back my sexual energy” , my “power” and my “emotional energy”.
You might want to give your energy a healing before reintegrating it.
Look for any other energy cords that you share with your Ex, which can be plugged anywhere in your body. Find them, unplug your end and release them out to the sky, gently.
Repeat daily for 40 days. It will really be over.
There’s much more that can be done at this level, but this is a great place to start.
7) Mental reorganizing:
“When someone whom I have helped or in whom I have placed great hope harms me with great injustice, may I see that one as a sacred friend!” -Dalai Lama XIV
Consider what was learned; where did I abandon myself, what did I do well?
For a surprising exercise, make a list of all the things you had issue with your partner. Then, go back and substitute ‘I’ everywhere you wrote ‘s/he’ in each complaint. Does it fit? See and own your projections… take responsibility for your part in creating the turbulence. (In the future, might wanna do this before the breakup as it can be a game changer, for the better.)
‘Resolution’ is not a guarantee of peace. Therefore, don’t depend on the Other to provide it. Get the Will muscle flexing. Our Will and making decisions for what is healthy for us is what moves us forward. Swapping stories for resolution can distract from this.
It’s really, actually, truly, NOT personal. It feels personal, and hurts. Yet, it’s not. Whatever pain is happening is inner exploration material. Seeing this in hindsight is a big-girl-undie’-wearin’-moment. More on this concept here.
We are able to receive the kind of love we can give. Let that free you. Let it guide you to become the kind of person you want to partner with.
You actually have people in your life who DO love you and DO choose you and DO want to know you. Be with these people; they can show you your worth and loveableness and also a way to reframe the experience.
By having someone you trust witness your life and suffering, it’s possible to feel lighter and happier.
Watch funny movies!!
9) Free your spirit:
“Peace I give you, my brother, that I may have peace.” – A Course in Miracles
The ultimate goal is a return to the expansive, generous love in your heart that was always there, but not about one particular person. (That kind of love doesn’t orient around a person or a circumstance. It’s the amniotic energy of your soul’s Source.)
Gratitude gratitude gratitude.
Do the spiritual life. Throw in a few extra blessings for the Other. Everyone suffers, and kindness/generosity of spirit helps both.
MAD LIB: As appropriate, bring it all together now and create a new story about your experience with the Other: “I had an experience with you which showed me….. and in which I learned…. and in which I was able to do ….. for the first time. Thank you for….!! I’m so sorry for…. Please forgive me. Love and godspeed!”
Or some version of that, addressed to their soul, not their mailbox; it is for you. It’s one way the deeper work is done.
Hint: do the deeper work.
Why? It would be a bother to deal with this in ten years. Even harder to carry it that long, taking up daily energy to keep its festering repressed. (What percentage of your current energy is caught up in the past/resentments?) It’s simply not good life force management. Do the math. Free up vitality.
When am I done?
When you know it.
Here’s how I know it: when I can say thank you and mean it, with a light heart and little inner resistance, and I’m happy and creating again, I’m done.
Clean and clear. However you do it, get back to clean and clear.
Taking time for your process is freeing. And, it’s necessary for baggage to unload, patterns to change, and life to expand.
And expand they must; science shows that cells have two behaviors: ‘protection’ or ‘growth’. This mirrors our daily life.
Choosing inner growth (instead of protection) in whatever we are doing, enables our body to thrive and adapt.
Who doesn’t want to thrive? Adapt and Roll on…
May all, regardless of their emotional species and skillfulness, know the beauty and capacity of genuine love. ❤