Let’s face it, the bad stuff just doesn’t really feel good at all. It is not appealing to think about facing those feelings that seek to cause you discomfort and heartache. Face those thoughts that dredge up old memories. Look at those deep dark places within you that threaten to expose your most vulnerable parts. The bad stuff starts to surface and the instinct that rises to the surface is to run and find a way to make those feelings go away.
There are so many things we do to run away. There is denial, destruction, avoidance, over-indulgence, and even depression. We find whatever ways we can, whether consciously or not, to avoid having to feel all that bad crap and keep ourselves moving forward.
What makes this worse these days, is the focus on thinking positive. We have gotten to this place where everyone seems to have the same answer for anyone’s problems…”Just think positive.” It’s almost a sign of weakness or something if you make an attempt to go into the yucky stuff that may be surfacing. And yes, focus and mindset are a major component in succeeding at any goal and a big part of what I teach all of my clients.
So that begs the question of what you are supposed to do when the inevitable moments of feeling the bad stuff come up. Can you just positively think your way out of having to face them?
The period after a break-up can be the most challenging for most, it is unchartered waters. No matter who you are and how much you have prepared yourself in life, your heartbreak can be devastating and an experience that feels very heavy and confusing. As I work with women finding their way during this time, there are definite patterns of behavior that are common.
One of these patterns is the 3 most common mistakes women make after a break up:
Mistake #1 – Focusing your energy in all the wrong places.
After a break-up, it can be so easy to focus on all the things that were done “TO” you and convince yourself what a complete jerk your Ex was and is. You can find yourself obsessing about what happened and trying to figure out why it happened. You may start thinking about who or what your Ex is doing right now and feel like shit because he isn’t doing it with you.
Or on the flip side, it can be easy to say “screw it” and just totally distract yourself from feeling anything at all. You might start dating men like they are going extinct, or even jump right back into another relationship, or start drinking and partying to have “much deserved” fun.
Here’s the thing…choosing to deal with a break up in either of these ways is a huge mistake. You cannot actually heal and move on from obsessing about someone else nor can you do so by distracting yourself from the pain. The only way to the other side is to go through it and a break up is actually a freaking awesome opportunity to focus on YOU. To give yourself some extra TLC, learn a ton about who you are and what you truly desire. Take an honest look at what you need to work on, and “level up” in your life so that you can continue to grow and expand into the woman you have the potential to be.
The more time you take to focus on you after your break up, the better prepared you will be for the type of love you truly desire in your heart. The quicker you will truly be living your life of joy!
Do you struggle with knowing how to decipher your head from your heart?
Do you find yourself unsure about the relationships you are in, or the ones you are considering, and have no clue what to do?
Do you ignore those little instinctual feelings, the voice that gives you a warning, talking yourself out of following your own inner guidance?
There once was a time when I would have answered “Yes” to every one of these questions. I struggled in my relationships, unsure of why I didn’t feel like I could fully be myself and questioning what was wrong with me. I didn’t know how to trust my instincts and would question myself at every turn.
As you can imagine, this got me into a ton of situations that did not serve me and kept me invested in toxic relationships for far too long. I was basically sacrificing my own peace and happiness because I hadn’t learned how good relationships were supposed to feel. Convinced that it must be something I was doing wrong, I would expend so much energy and effort trying to adjust and make allowances for the things that didn’t feel good or right in my heart.
And I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt right now, that plan did not work at all. I stayed in a toxic marriage way too long and even convinced myself to attempt a reconciliation. I dated men who didn’t align with me and the journey I was on. I even created and invested in superficial relationships that didn’t serve me or the other person. I was spinning my wheels trying to figure out how I was supposed to decipher between the feelings in my heart and the thoughts in my head whenever something felt off while my mind convinced me that I must be crazy.
As I talk with clients, I see so many women struggling through the same thing when either dating a new partner or considering a reconciliation with a past partner. They find themselves confused and unclear, not sure of what they are really supposed to do.
I tell my clients that the answer to every question they can ever have is:
Learn to listen and have the courage to follow your intuition, even if it doesn’t make sense where it is leading you.
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…
After a divorce or breakup, it is completely understandable that the thought of loving again can be frightening. After experiencing hurt, and for many of you, betrayal, it would make sense that the idea of opening your heart and trusting another man would be the equivalent of jumping off a cliff into a bottomless black hole. Doesn’t sound fun at all right?
As human beings though, we are creatures of connection. We thrive on being in partnership with other human beings and especially with a significant other. For most of us, it is the ultimate human experience and denying this human impulse requires a tremendous amount of energy on your part.
Can you imagine how much energy it costs you to actively close your heart? To build those walls and somehow keep them from falling down?
There is a part of you that is scared, and for some of you, it is a huge part. But there is also another part of you that longs to love again. That part craves it and knows it is more than possible. Can you imagine how much pain this part of you is in, the part that desires love and connection, each time another brick gets laid on top of your walls? Can you imagine how much energy it is taking you to keep that part of you silenced and under control?
Have you ever lost someone you love?
Someone who touched you at the core of your being and in your wildest dreams, never thought about living without?
Have you experienced a loss so painful that you couldn’t imagine how you would put one foot in front of the other without that person by your side?
Suddenly, they are out of your life and you are faced with a reality that never seemed possible, a reality you refused to even entertain in your darkest moments.
How do you continue on and how do you survive?
Many of us have experienced a loss like this. Whether it is through death, divorce, or simply someone walking out of your life. The aftermath of losing someone can be painful and traumatizing.