Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, But It Can Suck Less With These Strategies
We all know heartache. And even more, we know the urge to end the suffering by any means possible. How has this ever worked out for you? Have you ever sent that text that you convinced yourself just HAD to be sent and actually changed someone’s mind? Did sending that gift or standing outside with a radio like you were John Cusack really make them realize how lucky they actually were?
It doesn’t work that way. And neither does blinking your eyes and hoping it goes away. Getting over someone takes work. And the more you know, the easier it can be.
1. Tap On The Hurt
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or “tapping” is an evidence based practice known to decrease anxiety and depression and can be used in conjunction with other treatments. In Chinese medicine, meridian points are thought of as areas of the body that energy flows through and when the energy is disrupted, we feel pain and suffering. Tapping, also known as psychological acupressure, focuses on restoring an energy balance by naming the source of discomfort, speaking it out loud, and releasing it. “EFT helps get our conscious and subconscious mind on the same page”
First, acknowledge what you want to focus on and come up with a phrase like, “Even though I feel hopelessly alone, I still deeply and completely love and accept myself.” That’s the key. MYSELF. This is about you and your healing process. The beginning of the phrase can be whatever uncomfortable feeling you want to work on and the end is always the same. Loving and accepting yourself.
You begin by tapping the karate chop point (soft part of the palm under the pinky) while simultaneously reciting your setup phrase. Then, tap each of the following points, moving down the body in this ascending order: eyebrow, side of the eye (temple), under the eye, under the nose, chin, collarbone, ribs (under the arm), top of the head. Some choose to add the karate chop point in for the entire exercise. Some only use it at the beginning. Either way, you tap the sequence as long as the feelings are flowing and you stop when you feel some relief.
There is no recommended time. There are no other prescribed words besides the set up phrase. You say what you need to say however you need to say it as long as you need to say it. It is your stream of consciousness. You will end by tapping on the top of your head and taking a long, deep breath.
It can also be helpful to enlist a trusted person who knows what you are going through and ask them to guide you through the tapping and talking exercise while you repeat them.
You may feel resistance to this unconventional technique. If you feel silly, that’s ok. And when you feel lighter, you can rejoice and tap again and again!
2. Feel All The Feelings
Most of us are guilty of trying desperately to win someone back. Even if we didn’t actually want them. But when that ego is bruised, it is strong and very very convincing! Take a moment. Think of a time you used a so-called pain relieving measure, and then remind yourself that you’re no longer with that person.
It didn’t work. And the longer and harder you tried, the more grueling the break up was.
What if you just paused, felt it all, and cried? What if you let the feelings wash over you and then CHOSE to let them go? Leaning into them takes away their power.
Listen. This is not an easy task. And the broken record in your head guaranteeing you that it’s a good idea to call again and explain why they’ll be sorry they left, will play over and over. But, put your convoluted, brokenhearted ideas away for a minute and just feel like crap about what’s happened. It’s ok.
No one ever died from a bruised ego. Remember that feelings, like waves, promise to come AND go. They do not stay. Sitting in the moment and then choosing to let the feeling pass without hell bent attempts to make it stop will help them fade away until you have power over them and not the other way around. Your ego is trying to protect you from suffering, but no quick fix ever made it stop hurting long enough to make it worth it.
3. Find Ways To Say Thank You
There is gratitude to be found in the ending of any relationship, so thank it. It might sound like emotional torture to picture that person,who you feel so many ragey things about, and find something good about them. But, yes, you read that right.
Get quiet. Take some deep breaths. And find at least ONE thing to be grateful for in that relationship. It can be as huge as how they helped you make your kid(s) or as minute as remembering that one time you both laughed at that bug stuck on it’s back. Not only will this exercise soften your heart, but it will allow you to meet yourself where you are with less pushback from your protective ego. There is so much to be learned from your past painful experiences and turned into gold if you’re willing to shift your perception just a bit. The road is being paved for an even more perfect future, which will show up to guide you on this soul journey we call reality
4. Look In The Proverbial Mirror
Everyone we attract into our lives shows up as a mirror, whether we like it or not. They are reflecting something we need to see, to acknowledge, and change in ourselves. When we wonder why our partner doesn’t love us enough, it’s a great opportunity to ask if we love ourselves enough. If they don’t believe in your dreams, ask if you believe in your dreams. Our partners can only reflect back to us what is already there. They are showing up just as we cosmically asked them to. Now it’s your job to grow.
That is hard work, no doubt. It’s not easy to see the shadowy side of ourselves. The parts we don’t love, don’t support, don’t think are worthy. But what a gift it is! These fleeting encounters with others, no matter how long or short they actually are, show us how to shine our light and love ourselves more fully!
Once you can see that person, who you may very well still be cursing from heartbreak, as someone you let into our lives for a very specific purpose, you can shift your perspective.
Thank them. Thank yourself. See your growth and your new and improved self in the mirror.
Breakups are hard. They suck no matter which side you’re on. And if the “time heals all wounds” adage just isn’t cutting it, get some tools to deal with it in a more productive, less self-destructive way. Then the heartache can suck less and the light at the end of the tunnel will look, and indeed, be closer.
Feel those feelings. Let them go. Say thank you. Keep on moving forward.