You dear soul, this sucks. There is nothing that will make this suck any less. You are experiencing a small death in your life, and as with all loss, you need to mourn. Your insides will scream and grasp at the ghost that your relationship has become. But slowly, and through a process of grief, you will lay the relationship to rest. Pain is fleeting, and you can make small choices every day that lead you toward healing. Give yourself an affirmation each morning. Allow yourself to smile. Contrary to popular belief, unless you’re getting angioplasty or something, the heart can’t actually scar. Be tender and allow yourself to go through it.
During a breakup, you may think wine is your friend… and, well, OK. Wine is a sweet, sweet nectar sent from the breakup gods to help nurse you through this terrible time. But only when you’re sharing a couple of glasses with friends. Nothing good can come from sucking down a bottle alone in your bedroom covered by a mess of used Kleenexes. Do you want to be heartbroken and hung over? No. And that ice cream section at the grocery store? It is going to tell you lies of comfort that will only end up on your ass.
Pointing the finger is the absolute worst, most joy-sucking thing you can do when going through a breakup. Maybe it feels easier to make it the other person’s fault or maybe you were clearly done dirty and you want retribution. Maybe you were the one who really messed up. Save yourself and deal only in facts and in the present. Forward motion is all you have, so put your energy there and create a new space that is positive. Speaking of space, take it. Do not call, do not text. Think of yourself as an athlete in Hell Week. You need the no-contact period because you need to do the necessary work to gain your strength, whip your spirit back into shape and ultimately become a bad-ass.
Stay far away from the rom-com! If you need some tuned-out tube time, put on Gladiator. Watch Amistad. Rent Die Hard. You don’t need Bridget, you need Braveheart. You need a battle cry, not some blithering betty fretting over Mr. Darcy. Better yet, spend your time doing something productive. Don’t fall into the trap of badmouthing or obsessing over the general evilness of the opposite sex with your girlfriends. Get up and go serve in your community. Share a piece of yourself with someone less fortunate. Learn that your suffering, while valid, is small and impermanent in comparison to the grand suffering that exists in the world.
In a time when you are feeling so much pain, you need to stay busy. You can reconnect to the things you love, the people you love, the things that make you wonderfully you. This breakup could be the impetus you need to discover that trapeze artistry is your true calling or — dare I say it — that your true soul mate was just down the street at your local dog park.
It’s not obvious or easy to swallow, but there is a reason you have arrived here. Sure, it’s uncomfortable. It may be painful, it might feel all wrong. But you need to look closely. Somewhere along the way, you made a choice that led to this moment. Find it and learn from it. Embrace the present as your most significant teacher and adopt higher levels of honesty and acceptance of yourself.
Darling, above all, know this: No matter what transpires, you are a precious being. You are beautiful and your soul is full of light. Know that you will not perish, and for every bit of darkness and pain there is brightness and warmth tenfold beyond it. Love is always looking for a beacon to lead it, so put it into everything you do and it will find you again.
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