The First Step To Getting Over A Breakup
Author: Michael Myerscough
Lately I've had a run of clients having a very hard time getting over the end of a relationship, so let me share some secrets with you about how to heal.
I have a client called Dorothy who's struggling to let go of a relationship with a guy who she'd initially thought was perfect for her. When we first started working together Dorothy was really angry and frustrated that, yet again, she was going to have to re-build her love life. The one good thing about those feelings was that they removed any temptation to get straight back into dating.
The first step for any client I work with in this situation is to have them feel their feelings which is an essential part of the healing process.
Some people really struggle with feeling certain feelings. Some of us are easier with anger, others with grief. Dorothy was more than comfortable with being angry but was very reluctant to admit that her anger was masking her feelings of hurt and loneliness. Those feelings made her feel vulnerable in a way she resisted furiously. I encouraged her to explore all of her feelings by writing a 'grief letter' to her ex.
The Grief Letter
To write your letter take the time to explore what you are going to miss and what you aren't going to miss.
- What are you angry about?
- What are you sad about?
- What do you fear this break up means?
- What was your part in the break up?
- What are you always going to love or appreciate about your ex?
This is referred to as a ladder of emotion and it's great to write your letter in the above order. Feel free to use those questions as headers. That said if you need to keep coming back to anger then please do and then work your way back up the ladder again.
It's important that you realise that you are never going to send this letter, this way you can explore being totally unreasonable and maybe even, what would previously have been, unbearably open about just how hurt you feel.
Explore these questions in such a way that you can feel all the things you suspect may be true even if you'd rather they weren't. Write the letter as if you were writing it to someone who really cares about how you feel.
It's really important that you take time to do this. Every time you leave a relationship there is a danger that you will suppress your emotions due to the pain and disappointment. That suppression continues after the breakup and makes you less attractive and can begin to limit your ability to love.
If you go through this phase of feeling your feelings properly then you'll be able to reconnect with at least some of the love you felt for this person you've parted from. Not in a way that eats at you but in a way that nourishes your sense of having a life worth loving. If you've loved deeply once, then you can do it again. It takes work to keep your heart healthy and open but it's very valuable work.
This is the first step in a process that can take anywhere from days to months and it's a good solid first step. When Dorothy first began to be honest about how sad and lonely she felt she got scared about how overwhelming it felt. As if somehow she could become lost in the feelings or she'd never feel good again. This process requires you to acknowledge that your feelings are not something to be afraid of. If you're feeling sad you are only sad. It doesn't necessarily mean there's something wrong with your life that must be fixed. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to just acknowledge that you do feel sad.
The end of a relationship is often the death of something you found to be beautiful for a while. That said, no matter how big your grief is, you're going to get through it. You are far bigger than your worst feeling.
Two months on Dorothy has learned a lot about her self and one of her unexpected breakthroughs is that being alone at home no longer makes her feel like there's something wrong with her. Suddenly being alone isn't so scary and from this place she's in a much better position to think about who she'd actually like to make a part of her life.
Feeling your feelings is the quickest route to healing and the only way out is through. Just remember that even your darkest minute is only 60 seconds long.
For the remaining 6 steps in healing a broken heart visit http://www.therelationshipgym.com/how_to_get_over_a_break_up.htm
About the author
Michael Myerscough is a 16 year veteran of counselling and coaching people to have great relationships.
Copyright 2005 The Relationship Gym. All Rights Reserved. May be freely copied and distributed as long as you include the following information: "By Michael Myerscough, professional speaker and relationship success coach. Michael has lots of great tips, tools and articles on his website that you can use. Visit him now at http://www.therelationshipgym.com and get access to 22 ways to Find Your Life Long Partner or Improve Your Current Relationship"
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