How to get through it
Many people believe that once you are healed you don’t have to go through the pain and struggle anymore. Like somehow you learn how to never again let anything bother you, and you can walk around happy and positive all the time. That somehow, everything simply rolls off your shoulders and you can greet every single negative occurrence in your life with a big smile on your face. If you get upset or are in a funk, then that must mean there is something wrong with you, and you have somehow fallen a thousand steps back in your healing process.
Well, it simply just isn’t true.
No matter how far along you get in your healing process and no matter how joyful and free your life becomes, you will still go through difficulties and challenges. You will get angry, upset, frustrated, and even get down on yourself. You will have moments where you want to scream and even end up in the occasional funk.
Throughout the rest of your life, you will continue to peel back layers of yourself and grow as a human into the person you are created to be. This process will straight up suck sometimes, no matter how evolved your spirit is and how on point your mindset gets. So, when you find yourself in a funk or having a bad day, it does not mean that you are going backwards or that you are “never” going to heal, it just means you are human!!
Do the details really matter?
I remember what it felt like to get caught up in the details after my marriage ended. I would zone in on every single thing that my Ex would do, break it apart, analyze it, and come to a conclusion of why whatever just happened was the reason that I was in so much pain. I would think to myself, of course, I am struggling to move on so much, look at the details of my story.
Why did I believe that my story was so much worse than your story, or even my Ex’s story? Why did it matter so much to me that I own and commit to that story and share it with anyone who would listen?
When we get so far inside of ourselves, it becomes really difficult to see things from any other view besides the pained and rejected lenses we are viewing the world through. We commit so fully to the details of our story that suddenly it is all we can see. Think about it, if your narrative is that you have been abandoned and thrown aside and that your Ex is heartless and uncaring, you are only going to see actions that prove your story right. Your mind will not allow you to see otherwise, even if it is staring you right in the face.
Then, your next step will be to share the details of your story with the world so that you can receive confirmation and validation that you are in fact right. This is because there is a part of you that is urging you to see that the details of your story don’t matter quite as much as you think they do. A part of you is pulling you toward opening up to love and being willing to see everything, including your Ex and the situation, through the lenses of love and kindness. This part of you knows that this is the only way in which you will ever be able to grow. The only way for you to one day truly claim your joy. Yet, you are committed to your story and the details provide you with just enough fuel to keep your fire burning.
“But I love him….”
How many times have you heard yourself think this statement? How many times have you spoken it out loud? You picture in your head all the things that were not okay in your relationship and remember in your heart how emotionally unsafe and unseen you truly felt. You know in your gut that you are better off continuing to move forward and never look back.
Yet, you can’t seem to stop obsessing on that one sticking point, you love him.
It’s the thought that keeps you up at night. The feeling that grips at your heart threatening to tear you apart. The obsession that keeps you confused and unable to truly let go and begin a life that is truly your own. Your love for him seems to overshadow every single truth and knowing you are aware of. That voice in your head keeps telling you that love is supposed to conquer all. That you simply should not let it go because to love someone this strongly is rare and doesn’t just go away.
Does this sound familiar to you at all?
For those of you that were engaged in a relationship with any sort of emotional, physical or mental abuse or even a relationship in which you simply didn’t feel emotionally safe or respected, what you are feeling is not actually love. What you are feeling is a detox from the addiction that was helping to fill the empty space within your heart.
If you are still pining over a past relationship filled with pain, then I am asking you to look within yourself and wonder why you are longing for a return to that pain and calling it love.
You are going along day by day and feel like things are really great. You can honestly look at yourself and say that this has been the best week of your life since the divorce. I mean, you really feel like you are getting it. All that reading, personal growth, and yoga has really been paying off. This must be it…this must be what it feels like to finally be free of the awful emotional burden of divorce. You are smiling, you are joyful, and believe it or not, you are actually feeling hopeful. Maybe your life is actually about to be normal, maybe even great. You are ready to scream it from the mountaintops and then….. BAM!!! One unexpected interaction with your ex and you are suddenly spiraling down a black hole into the abyss of heartache again.
You feel disheartened and immediately question what the heck is wrong with you. How many times can you actually let this happen, and you reason that you will never move past this pain in your life. All that joy and hope quickly turns to despair and you question all that work you have been doing… the reading, personal growth, and yoga doesn’t work at all. What’s the point of doing any of it when you end up right back in this awful pit of pain anyway? Life is not normal, and certainly is never going to be great.
Does this cycle sound familiar? Is this a pattern you tend to repeat over and over? And do you wonder if it is ever going to end?
Well… you may not like what I am going to tell you here, but I am going to tell you anyway…
One of the things I remember most from the years after my divorce was this sense of feeling stuck. When my marriage ended, I truly found myself on a mission. I was in pain, overwhelmed by more feelings than I can count, heartbroken beyond all measure AND I was determined to get through all of this in a way that would allow me to grow and expand. So, I jumped into the most intense personal growth journey I had ever been on.
Sounds great, right? I mean, isn’t this exactly what you are supposed to do? Not jump into a new relationship, not just shut down and close off, and not numb your pain in any possible way. Instead I was doing yoga, meditating, journaling, reading, going to therapy. I was doing chakra cleanses, energy work of every kind, and I even did a ceremonial burning of certain memorabilia from my marriage as a way to cleanse my heart.
I was doing all the “right” things, so why the heck was I not healing? Why the heck did I continue to feel so stuck?
How many of you feel this way? You follow all the advice you are given, read the books, have the therapist and yet you still spend each day feeling completely stuck and unable to pull yourself out to get where you want to be. And what’s worse, the more time goes by, the more stuck you seem to get. That tightness around your heart, weighing you down and pulling you backwards is there, even in your happiest of moments every day.
If you are anything like I was, you are beating yourself up about this now as well. Wondering what the heck is wrong with you and why you can’t just move on. Your inner critic is having a field day and confirming every single doubt you have ever had about yourself. How the heck can you be doing all of this work and still not be moving on?
Because deep down inside you are choosing to be stuck, and here is why…
There are so many reasons that people choose to make health and fitness a defining factor in their lives. Each and every person has their own story for starting, and their own reasons for continuing. The common thread that unites us all though is that health and fitness in some ways propels us toward being a higher version of ourselves.
Almost three years ago I suffered the loss of my father. He became sick unexpectedly and then after a very strong fight, he passed away two months later. Absolutely nothing in my life prepared me for this moment. I was quite honestly devastated and paralyzed with grief; the guilt, anger, and sadness almost too much to bear. The days following found me laying in my bed, oscillating between sobbing, staring blankly at the ceiling, and sleeping. The chasm in my heart felt an ocean wide and I wasn’t sure how I was ever going to fill that space again. Other than being present for my son, nothing else mattered enough for me to even try.
After approximately two months of this, I managed to listen to a voice inside telling me that I needed to get up and move. If nothing else, I could head down to the gym and then go right back to sleep. I begrudgingly pulled myself out of bed, put on some workout clothes, got myself out of my home and through the doors of the gym. I’m pretty sure that process took a record breaking hour to accomplish. I managed to make myself move, doing some weights and some cardio. Exhausted, I trudged back up to my home and straight into my bed. It wasn’t much, but I had left my bed and done something for me. I fell asleep with a small sense of accomplishment in my heart.
After coming out of relationships, one of the many things that I hear from women is that they don’t love themselves. I know for me, when my marriage ended, I didn’t even like myself. Scratch that, I was a stranger to myself, so I didn’t even know who I was to even like what I saw. What I did know was that I needed to go on a journey to falling in love with me.
Falling in love with yourself is a beautiful journey that involves a process of discovery, growth, healing, and forgiveness. There are moments that are painful and moments that are joyous, and all are necessary to bring you home to yourself.
How many times have you have been told after a divorce or a breakup, that it takes time, or that time will heal your wounds? I am going to guess that you have all heard these statements at least once since I pretty much hear them every day.
I am calling bull on this popular belief because quite honestly, I think it’s a myth that you readily buy into that allows you to remain stuck in your pain for unnecessarily long periods of time. After all, if time is supposed to do the job, then what is the point of investing all this time and energy into healing yourself? You have to wait for “time” anyway right?
After any sort of trauma, and yes divorce is a trauma, there is a natural period of time for grieving and mourning that occurs. During this time, you tend to lose it in some way. Life becomes sort of blurry, or as I like to refer to it, feels like you are the walking dead. There are emotions surfacing at every turn, and it is all you can do to attempt to make sense of them and somehow be in society without looking like a complete and total crazy person.
After a divorce or breakup, there is a natural period of grief and mourning that I believe everyone must go through in some shape or form. It is a time when you feel stuck, when it seem impossible to live life, and doing even the simplest of things can feel like climbing Mt. Everest. The process looks different for everyone, but in my opinion, this period of mourning is fair game and well, you do what you need to do in order to get through the pain.
There comes a point though when you begin to see slivers of normalcy returning to your life and you start to realize that it’s time to pick yourself back up and move forward. Except, you have no idea how. You can feel this pull within you, this subtle knowing that there’s so much more for you up ahead, but you simply have no idea what that is or how you’re supposed to get there. You find yourself caught between the grief of the past and the uncertainty of the future. You find yourself stuck.
For anyone who has felt stuck before, you know exactly the feeling I’m talking about. It’s like you’re trapped under this huge weight and every step you take, that weight becomes heavier and heavier. Your mind gets clouded, your heart grows confused, and finding your way seems close to impossible. Time ticks away and nothing seems to change. If you are being honest, the more time goes by the more stuck you seem to become. You wonder why you feel this way and can’t seem to move forward and leave the past behind.
It is often said that experiencing a divorce is similar to experiencing the death of a loved one. I can tell you from my own experience that this is exactly true. Although, I sometimes think that it was even worse, because with divorce you have to continue to watch the other person living life separate from you. As a result, you question so many things about yourself and about your own abilities to function in the future. I remember questioning my worth, whether or not I was ever loved, and if I would ever be lovable again, wondering if I was good enough, debating fault and if my actions had been the cause of the break up, and feeling unsure how I would ever figure out how to survive.
I didn’t know how to answer these questions and had no idea of a path that would lead me toward healing and freedom. So, I tried anything and everything I could, just hoping and praying that somehow one of these methods would eventually make me feel better. I spent a ton of unnecessary time, money, pain searching and struggling through these unchartered waters. I spent years taking one step forward and three steps backward, a dance that I definitely did not enjoy doing and don’t plan to ever do so again.
Through my own long and painful journey, I learned great lessons and as a result, have a clear vision of my purpose and my path. One of the many lessons I learned and now subscribe to in every area of my life is coaching. No matter what endeavor I choose to take on, I now know the value of finding an expert in that area to show me the way and to impart their hard-earned wisdom on me so I can avoid the unnecessary pieces on my way toward my goals. What my coaches have provided me has been invaluable, and I am filled with gratitude when I think about how much they have served me and altered my life. Among the many reasons, this is why I’ve chosen to coach others and love what I do.