Recovering from Heartbreak: Taking it to the Next Level

Healing from heartbreak can be a drawn out and difficult process. It can seem to take forever because we don’t like feeling hurt or that we are broken. Often we suppress our feelings and try to rush the process in our desire to feel “A-OKAY” which can further prolong the process.

Idealizing the person and the relationship keeps us stuck and from moving forward. These thoughts become an addiction. It is up to us to choose when we no longer wish to ruminate, when we would like to move forward. Just as with changing any habit, to be successful, we must replace our old habits with new ones. Initially, this takes effort and near constant redirection. Here are some of the tools I have found helpful in breaking the habit of idealization:

  • Burn Letters – This can be very transformative. Pour out your emotions onto paper. Say whatever is on your mind, or that needs to be gotten off of your chest. Then place the paper into the fireplace, or fire pit and let your feelings be transformed. The stronger the feelings, the more times this may need to be done. For some, it may be one and done. For most, it may require repeated efforts.
  • Sh*t List – List out the things you did not like or that went wrong. Yes, focus for a little bit on the negative. When we are idealizing someone or something, then we are avoiding the negatives.
  • Gratitude – Each time you think on the ex lover or relationship, mentally thank your ex for showing you what you want in your next relationship. In relationship, we experience examples of what we liked while learning through contrast what we do NOT want again.
  • Wish List – List out all the things that you want in your NEXT RELATIONSHIP. Feel into as many items as you can as you list them out.
    • Additional suggestions:
      • Make an A to Z list. Challenge yourself to find at least one thing for each letter.
      • Read and feel this list everyday.
      • Record the list in your own voice. Listen to it daily.
      • When you start to think about the ex-lover or that relationship, look at the list.
      • Share the list with a trusted friend who will NOT ridicule you.
      • Allow this list to live in your heart.
  • Radical Self-Care – What have you not been doing for yourself? Were there good self-care habits that fell to the wayside when you were in relationship/grieving?
    • Some ideas:
      • Love & forgive yourself more. The Ho’Oponopono Prayer* is amazing: “I Love You. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.”
      • Change your schedule.
      • Tidy your home, office or car.
      • Drive to work differently.
      • Exercise your body. This helps to get the emotions moving, too.
      • Fast (safely).
      • Eat foods that are right for your body.
      • Meditate.
      • Take a salt bath.
      • Go to the spa, get a massage, or have some energy healing done.
      • (Re)Connect with friends.
      • Journal.
      • Seek counseling or hypnotherapy.
      • See an Acupuncturist.
      • EFT

Making Sense of it All

There are times in our lives where events, that are often traumatic, lead us to want to “wrap things up” and put a bow on them. Senseless deaths or murders, such as school shootings or other acts of violence leave us grasping for understanding. Yesterday, I was almost involved in an accident in which there was a fatality. Hours after the Adrenalin wore off, I sat in silence as the various images raced through my mind. The speed at which the images flashed began to crescendo, and it was then that I realized that this was not my mystery to solve. It is not my place to make sense of it all. Instead, it is my place to do what I can to help others out. It is my place to be the best I can be in these situations that test my faith. My “small mind” cannot grasp the big picture here (nor anywhere, it seems). This realization has lead me to re-examine how I am living my own life. I’m asking myself: where am I unhappy? Where do I need to shift my focus to allow more joy? Where do I take life (way, way, way) too seriously? With these new thoughts in mind, I am beginning to mentally redesign how I view my life: it’s time to really appreciate all that I do have and to laugh more. A lot more. May you be well. May you find more joy today in the simple things. Namaste

Is anger easier to feel than love?

As I drove to work this morning, I noticed my thoughts were honed in on the areas in which I have felt wronged. In fact, looking back further, I see this has been the primary pattern I have held this past week – and beyond. My fist and jaw muscles were clenched while I seemed to hover slightly out of my body. The still, quiet voice within softly whispered, “focus on your heart.” Immediately, I let out a slow, long breath that, before that very moment, I didn’t realize I had been holding onto. I felt the back of my body again, no longer hovering. My muscles softened, appropriately (afterall, I was still driving). In the same moment, I felt the healing glow of my heart light open and warm the restrictions in my throat and stomach.

Within seconds, I saw where I felt so much better just by changing my focus from my grievances to my heart. One of my next thoughts was, “why didn’t I just do this sooner?” I did see where, overnight, I would turn the focus onto myself to see where I was contributing to the problem, AND by doing this, I was still focusing on the problem. Now, my focus was fully on my heart and I felt complete and whole again, where once I had felt completely broken.

After recognizing the internal battle that ensued overnight, I began to ask myself: “is it easier to be angry than it is to love?” Immediately, I began to see where, indeed, our anger helps us to feel justified, gives us the feeling of power and protection. We feel armored, and it also separates and disconnects us from others. In other words, anger keeps us stuck in our own thoughts, actions and habits.

On the other hand, literally, the open hand of love versus the closed fist of anger makes us feel incredibly vulnerable. Love means we are open, to some degree, to whatever is to come.

Anger disconnects and love connects. To feel love and compassion is to see life from someone else’s perspective. Love is scary because it means we need to change how we view the world, ourselves and how we relate to others. Now love doesn’t seem so great now, does it? (just kidding).

Here are some heart meditations that I have practiced this week while working through the muck that a few times threatened to keep me forever stuck. Trust me when I say that pushing away the anger and frustration is like building a bulkhead along the ocean, the waves dig out the sand in front of it and the waves just return bigger and angrier. Here are some strategies to side-step the building up of anger, by opening up the heart light.

Gratitude

Gratitude is such a powerful tool for opening the heart and seeing life from a different perspective. Sometimes the greatest challenge is just beginning. It may be best to start with the basics. The other day I began my list with being grateful for being warm (I don’t like being cold), for my cozy bed (that I was still in at the time), then my home, running water, water heater, my kids, my Jeep, my Job….

Write the list if this helps to solidify things for you. When we focus on the things that ARE going well, it helps us to gain perspective a higher perspective and rise above the things that close our hearts. Gratitude is infectious, be careful! (wink)

Heart Meditations

Imagine the parts of yourself that are hurting, for whatever reason, in bubbles in front of your heart. Remember a time when you felt love, or ask Your Higher Power to give love to these parts of you (in the bubbles). See the bubbles filling with love and see the various part of yourself, within their individual bubbles, transformed. When ready, allow these bubbles to rise up to the heavens, or see them reintegrate with you. Or follow what your heart tells you to do.

This same technique can be used to help someone else who is suffering in some way.

Digging Deeper

What are some ways in which you can each open your heart to a greater depth of love?

How can you tell when you are being closed to others? I personally find that my muscles go into hyperdrive

Where has your focus been this week or what thoughts are you running away from?

Gratitude Heals the Heavy Heart

Gratitude-in-Heart-Quote

Last night I was working through some past hurts by writing them out in a burn letter. I was having a challenge keeping my heart open for myself as I thought of the individuals with whom I was still holding grievances. In my mind I kept hearing one of my favorite sayings, “The open heart heals what grief closes.”

Gratitude can only open the heart. I knew this and yet it can be a sideways pill to swallow; to find gratitude when we are feeling our hurts. Yet this is where our strength and power lay, in our ability to change our perception and rise above something. So how could I climb that hill when my heart was laden with the heaviness of my hurts? I struggled to find the magical key to crack open the door to my heart.

After airing my grievances off and on for most of the day, pouring out my heart into the written pages of my journal, I simply wrote and felt the following phrase that freed and unlocked it all for me: Thank you for being you ______, so that I could be me. Once I recognized that these individuals were in my life to help me to find that my strength was within me all along, I was able to fly freely.

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So please, find a way to air your grievances. Get the yuck out and then find a way to see it all in a different way. What about that situation or relationship allowed you to grow? What can you be grateful for?

Here’s another one that comes up when a potential beau exists stage-right, “Thank you for saving me the trouble of dating you.”

Our freedom from our own suffering is within our grasp. We always have the power to choose to see life differently. 

Namaste

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Images: Google

Gratitude Changes Everything

It was Monday morning and my household had a severe case of the Mundays (See the movie Office Space for the full reference, caution: it will make you laugh). For most of the morning there was much bickering and it reached a peak on the way to the bus stop. It began to shift when I clearly remember thinking that what we were doing was not working. Then we turned a corner, both literally and figuratively.

The rays from the rising sun streamed through the fence boards as I was filled with the inspiration to share with my children the things about them for which I was grateful. Following my lead, we each began to heartfully thank one another instead of bickering. I wish I could remember the words we each spoke that morning (it feels so long ago). Truthfully, the words did not really matter; it was the feeling of the words that mattered most: gratitude.

That night and the next morning, I continued to share my gratitude with my children for their behaviors; things shifted even more. My 9 year old daughter noticed that the dishwasher was filled with clean dishes and she began to put the clean dishes away. She also packed her lunch without my imploring her to. I was astounded and a warm smile spread across my face and heart. Of course I shared with her that I was grateful for her help. I may have even held back a few tears.

In feeling appreciated, my daughter went above and beyond what I expected of her and she did the things that I usually have to nag her to do in the morning, without my need to do so. It’s amazing how much such a small token of appreciation can do! Her brother may need a little more time to catch on, however, we get what we pay attention to. So now I will turn on more gratitude for when he does well and helps us get out the door on time.

I will add that this gratitude shift did start a bit ago when, instead of asking my children about their days, I began to ask them what they were grateful for that day. There have also been other times where, when they were bickering, I interrupted the arguments by asking each of them to state things they were grateful for about the other sibling. When they each heard that they were appreciated for being themselves, they opened their hearts to love instead of closing them in lack, fear and anger.

Gratitude opens the heart. The more open the heart is to love, the more we can find things for which we are grateful.

Namaste

The most amazing part of this was that last night when picking up my children my daughter shared that she purposefully left their tablet at their father’s house that morning because she enjoyed being tablet-free the last time they were over. They will not have the tablet again for another 5 days, when they return to their father’s home. For me, that was a parenting win! There is SO much strife over the tablet. To hear both of my kids say that they enjoyed last week without the tablet made my heart grow 3 sizes. I shared with them that my heart was smiling and very grateful!

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Celebration Time

All work and no play makes for a dull life. Each day is filled with accomplishments that remain unrecognized. 

Tonight I’m celebrating a year of changes. Doing my best to focus on the good I’ve accomplished this year of being single, while letting go of the things that didn’t go so well. Endings precede beginnings… 

I’m far from perfect and it’s easy to focus on the imperfections…like in the pen and ink drawing above, my eyes are immediately drawn to where the pattern is rough, or the errant pencil marks left behind. Yet this is a habit that’s time has come to be broken. This year I’ve climbed mountains and conquered many fears, along the way I’ve shed many tears. Through my vulnerability, I have helped others to find their own power; both here and at work. No more will I ruin my day based on a few errant marks. The overall drawing  and the day are still beautiful…

What about your life can you celebrate today? Gratitude opens the heart that grief closes. 

Namaste 

Shake It Out

It can be a real struggle to move out of grief during this time of year when the overarching myth is that everyone should be happy and celebrating. 
Wednesday, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, changes the tide from outgoing to incoming light. Today, we have the opportunity to look into our own darkness to find our lights, for it is only in the darkness that we can most fully appreciate the stars.

Personally, the holidays have become a reminder for me of what was. Interesting to look back and see where I have painted Pre-divorce winter holidays in a golden light that is only partial truth. In elevating the past, I devalue the present. Now I’m changing the tide by allowing myself to feel gratitude for all of the beauty I do have in my life. This gives the present moment a greater sense of wholeness.

So please join me, “shake it out” so that we can all more fully appreciate who we are and what we do have, even when we believe more is never enough, when we celebrate what we do have we open ourselves more and more to love. In the presence of gratitude the closed heart opens what grief has “stolen.” Let’s shake it out! 

Perfection’s Anger

“Little girls are sugar, spice and everything nice.”

How destructive this belief becomes to girls and then later to women. I believe it also affects men. This type of thinking is our undoing for it takes away a child’s sense of ability to feel anger. For years I suppressed my anger, as many women do. The only times I would show anger were in passive aggressive ways or when the pressure peaked and I would blow off the steam, then go back to percolating behind the scenes. Never learning that anger is part of the spectrum of human emotion, I suppressed it, pushing it deep into the shadows, hoping it would never return.

In PT school I was telling my therapist about an event and I was cool, indifferent. While I cannot recall the event, I remember her reaction very well. “I would have been very upset about that. That would have made me very angry.” I remained aloof and couldn’t figure out why she would have been angered. Soon, i began to see.

The past few months, I have been allowing another pressure cooker to slowly build its steam. Last night, the pressure within was too much. Instead of studying for my certification test, I spent the evening – even waking slightly during the night – to mentally call up every person in my life for whom I have held – and masked – anger. God and self were included in the call outs.

Yes, there were precipitating events that brought about this hot walk through the hell of anger. The trigger is not important. The anger that I held was where I needed to focus my attention.

Through awareness, allowing and just breathing,  I dropped many hot coals last night. The work here is not done. Yet I have recognized how deeply I was hiding my anger – most harmfully from myself. 

Today I emerged with new eyes (well, still a little swollen from all of the angry crying releases), yet my heart and soul are so much lighter. For many years, I’ve hidden my anger behind the mask of veiled perfection. Last night I took huge steps towards removing both the veil and the mask. 

Being the rainbow means accepting all parts and colors; including the anger. Feeling anger does not mean we strike out nor attack. While i penned a letter to the ex, I burned it. Interestingly, after I finished my “FU” letter, I found myself feeling gratitude and then penned a letter of gratitude. This may seem counterintuitive, yet I was reminded that just as it is the wind that helps the mighty oak to find its strength, I found gratitude in the lessons I had learned. 

Today, I encourage you to look within to see where anger may be hiding. Write, cry, and otherwise be with the pain. Allow the pain to move up to the surface to be seen, this will allow you to be free of it. Feel free to write me and I will request additional healing and prayers: tiffanybeingfree through Gmail dot com.

Hurt people hurt others. It’s time to heal our anger from within so that we can all find our way back to the inner peace that dwells inside. 

Namaste & Metta

Waiting for the Bottom to Fall Out?

The sun is shining and I’m doing my best to soak it all in. Yet I’m ready to run on a moments notice as the winds pick up and the dark clouds lurk at a distance. Waiting for the bottom to fall out.
For the past few weeks I’ve been riding a relative high. Yes, there are things to do and yes, I’m still single. Yet, things have been going relatively well and it’s as if I’m waiting for the bottom to fall out.

So now I’m taking some time to refocus and shine my light on what is going well, being grateful for the clear skies – and the rain that is soon to fall, for water is needed for cleansing and for life. Waiting for the bottom to fall out.

And so it goes with soaring, the higher we fly the deeper we must dig to heal the once hidden beliefs that hold us back from the next level. I see where I fear things going well, because that could mean that one day, the bottom may just fall out. So why am I waiting for that to happen? It makes no sense.

Counting my blessings, being grateful for the rays of light, the updrafts that hold me in flight, acknowledging the potential pitfalls while the shadows from the trees dance on my legs and knees. No longer waiting for the bottom to fall out. I send my wishes for continued peace on the gusty breeze, while Summer’s insects sing to me to be free of such worries.

Namaste 

Image: pinterest 

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