As I broke up with my fiancé he said to me “why would I marry you when I don’t even like you.” Although I was the initiator in ending the relationship, and a part of me knew he was only trying to hurt my feelings, he succeeded. He also reinforced a belief of which I was unaware: that men would be attracted to me, but that they would not want to form a commitment. It took a lot of personal work, introspection, journaling and EFT to even realize how deeply I had already believed this, based on past romances. I eventually reached an understanding that when the words were uttered, they triggered the old belief-driven emotions, heightening the intensity of the new incident.
My broken heart was the product of earlier experiences, compounded by the new emotional pain. I can look back now after over 30 years of a successful marriage, and realize that had I not uncovered and faced that belief, the very marriage I now treasure would always have had an undercurrent of doubt running through my soul. That belief could have caused unreasonable jealousy, fear, insecurity, and a sense that I lacked self-worth.
Facing the emotions of a broken heart, delving into historical antecedents and actual words said is a wonderful way to prepare for your future, and any new romantic attachments you may form.
Part 4: “Stepping Stones for your Future.”
In the earlier Blogs of this Series, we examined how to work through such a process, freeing your heart for your future. And what a future it can be for you – having faced and worked to free yourself of the heartbroken pain! It may need to be an on-going process, but the release and healing can continue now while you build a future you deserve.
It is inevitable that the kind of life crisis deep heartbreak brings will destabilize various parts of our life. And the best goal, for our greatest well-being, is to live in balance. It makes sense, then, to take a look at lessons learned as well as the various aspects of your life and give some thought as to whether either the heartbreak or other factors have left some areas in need of growth and attention, a righting of relationships or a financial retrenchment. So, here are some areas for self-reflection:
The immediate family is most affected by a break up followed by heartbreak, and this is the first place to turn your attention to healing. Are the children well informed? Have you inadvertently or intentionally communicated your heartbreak to them? Can you consider now the relieving them of that burden? Finding ways to let children, parents and siblings know that you’re on the way to being fine, or are there already, can help these other people begin their own healing process, as they’ve also suffered a severance of a relationship when you did.
‘Fences may need mending,’ in that our immediate family may not understand, and while some things can feel private, sharing the reasons for the break-up leads to better communication and ideally, the eventual move to forgiveness on the part of all involved.
Your Health and Well-being
It is often the case that when we feel sad or depressed we stop eating or eat too much – food is seen as a primary comfort. Trips to the gym or yoga fall off, and long periods lying in bed or on the couch are not uncommon.
With the healing of emotions, the path becomes clearer to take self-care in hand. Begin to pay more attention to nutrition – not a diet but eating more only when you feel hungry. Your body craves exercise, so even if uncomfortable and unfamiliar at first, begin to find ways to counting stair steps, releasing shoulders and building arm and leg strength; it doesn’t take a high cost health club membership. There are many videos on YouTube. Follow your own instincts, but take your health, nutrition, and general physical wellness in hand now. Are there physician follow-ups that have been let slide?
Your Financial Life and Job Situation
For many women, a divorce or even a long-term relationship break-up can be financially devastating. With clearer emotions at this point, give your situation an honest look. Perhaps a job or new job is in order. More education might be the right move for you. Be clear and honest with yourself about your present financial needs and your goals. Seek help in this area if you are truly at sea or in need; help is available and again, no grand prize for going through this alone.
Additionally, evaluate your conduct if you were working throughout the break-up and ensuing heartbreak. Was your work up to standard? Did you burden co-workers with extra work or emotional baggage? Again, this is the time to ‘mend fences,’ to begin working at your regular efficient level – even if it’s a huge effort, and you don’t think people have noticed. Often we spend more hours with our co-workers than our own families. Let folks know that you’re doing better now. It will vastly improve your present work environment.
A Tribe / Your Support Network
If you don’t have a support network, now is the time to build one. For many, their true ‘family’ is their ‘intentional family,’ and is essential for their emotional health. All of us need friends, and in divorce or break-ups, friends can fall away if they were ‘couple friends’ and you suddenly have less in common.
Take active steps to get yourself into ‘people situations.’ Clubs, from service organization to special interests like biking, hiking, writing groups, art circles, dance groups…..in most areas there is something for everyone, if you take a little effort and think about what pleases you. It might even be bird watching!
Are there any other areas of your life you would like to rebalance?
A new life is best built on a solid foundation and yours has been cracked with the trauma of heartbreak. Actively lay your new foundation and consider the lessons you’ve learned, so that as far as you are able, family, health, work and relaxation with friends all have a place, or will have as you execute your plans.
You are almost through to the other side of your five steps to reclaim your happiness. Give yourself big, big hugs for doing some very hard work! From this groundwork, we’ll take a look next week in Part 5 at where you would like to see yourself, and send that message to the Universe, so that you’ll have an open heart, a clear mind, and a rose covered path for your Future!
Love to you,