It does not matter who you are, we will all experience some sort of heartache, heart break or unexpected unrequited love!
So how do we get over an ex? A potential boyfriend/girlfriend that seemingly screwed us over or has no real interest in pursuing or having anything with us?
It’s not easy and each person will be different in how they deal with the pain. Some deal with it by issuing a strong vengeance, others cry it out, others simply move on and don’t look back, some will accept it wasn’t meant to be and then there are the ones who never get over it and new potential relationships suffer (and so do they).
Think about this for one moment. Someone has or has not intentionally hurt you. You don’t move on, you never forgive and you never let anyone into your heart. WHO is actually standing to lose here? Who wins?… is that person worth you losing your forever spark for?
The first step is acceptance. Accepting the reality. The minute you can accept that this other person for whatever reason is not on the same path or level as you, will be the first step of acknowledgement, or even that the person is NOT right for you (for whatever reason) therefore giving you the green light to move forward with healing.
Be completely honest with yourself. REGARDLESS of their reason, excuse or lack thereof – actions speak louder than words and if your needs are not being met, then this person IS NOT on the same level or path as you!
1. Allow yourself to go through the pain, the ups and the downs.
The first important point, is to allow yourself a grieving period.
Anger, tears, hurt, wanting to seek revenge to any person you feel was involved… all perfectly normal reactions but ones that should be contained somewhat ie the revenge part. Speak your truth always, where you are able to. Out is better than in BUT DO keep your dignity. Not allowing yourself control over your emotions and containing some sort of dignity will only make you feel worse later on. So remember that.
You’ve probably spent your life with people telling you to get over it, or keep yourself busy… and yes you will need to do those things but acceptance and allowing yourself to feel whatever emotions you have at the time, will ultimately help you get over it.
2. Ask questions, but don’t over analyse. DO write it all down. Getting it OUT, HELPS!
As yourself, why did he dump me? Why does he not care about my feelings?
Allow yourself those emotional moments. Write down what you think his answers would be.
In this list, write down all the things this person did to hurt you and next to it, write down, why you disliked that treatment. Chances are if someone broke your heart, there was a lead up to it OR just the mere fact they ignored your calls since ending it with you, is what will need to go on this list.
Refer to that reality checklist when you are feeling weak and potentially wanting to move back into a situation that is actually no good for you in the longer term.
In a couple to a few months time, I want you to consider tearing it up into little pieces, burning it and thanking the universe for the experience and to visualise, letting that part of your life go forever away.
3. Detach emotionally, when you are ready.
Do begin to get back into the world. DO NOT RUSH into a new relationship and DO NOT try to win your ex back. If it is meant to be, and the other person is genuine, they will find a way to make it work… If you felt as if you were the one in the wrong and you tried to make amends but it got you nowhere, simply accept the person is not ready and may never be. It is important you make the effort to move forward as best you can.
Accept and decide that it is time to move forward with life and love again.
4. View your relationship from the outside.
The following exercise will help you look at your circumstances from different points of view. You might find it helpful to write these down too actually.
1. Think about the break-up of your relationship. What are the judgements or generalisations you have made about yourself and your ex?
2. Now think of someone you admire – a character from history or a real friend. Imagine they are watching a movie of this part of your life, and step into their shoes to watch it instead. Imagine what their comments would be and what judgements they would make.
3. Now imagine that a neutral observer is watching the movie of your life. Step into their shoes and watch it from there. Write down wha you think they might think.
4. Notice the differences that you see from each point of view. Which ones are helpful? Which ones make you feel better? Use these perspectives to view your relationship in a new light.
People who get over difficulties well rarely see what has happened to them as a disaster. They frame it as a challenge or accept it was a life lesson or simple experience. It is a matter of a point of view. It is not what happens to us, but how we interpret it that determines the outcome for us.
Allowing yourself to remain attached, will only cause you harm. Ask yourself this: Will your deep love for this person hurt you? Hurt the person? Will the person care? Has the person got on with their life?
5. List your strengths.
List all your strengths and good points. What you are, who you are, what you bring to any table. On this list, also include all the things you and others like about you.
Think about all your achievements in life. Did you give up smoking or drinking? Did you get through a rough patch in life? (another time).
Read the list daily for a few weeks. Perhaps even leave a reminder in your bathroom, bedroom or fridge.
6. Allow some fantasising.
Grief wouldn’t be the natural process that it should be without some yearning for the person you just lost. If I was to suggest to you that you should not fantasise about the person you just lost – you’d probably fantasise about the person you just lost.
So do what you need to but don’t obsess and DO TRY to fantasise about other things you WANT or NEED to come into your life instead!
Daydream about what was, experiences together etc but then move onto how you want your life to be in the future.
7. Help someone else.
Yes help someone else! EVEN if you think they aren’t needing it as much as you feel you do.
When you turn your attention to another person. Sometimes when it is someone who is struggling with the same kind of pain, you forget about yourself for a split moment. And that split moment can suddenly become a minute, 10 minutes, 1 hour and so forth until finally one day, you realise you are starting to let go of your pain!
8. Laugh. And cry.
Laughter truly does heal… and do you think it’s just a coincidence that you always feel better after a good cry? Nope, there are many physiological reasons that contribute to the healing power of tears.
Emotional tears (as compared to tears of irritation, like when you cut an onion) contain toxic biochemical byproducts, so that weeping removes these toxic substances and relieves emotional stress. So go grab a box of tissues and cry your afternoon away. After you are done crying, chuck a good comedy on the idiot box or invite a funny friend over for a couple of drinks, chinese & play a humorous board game.
9. More lists – pros, cons, good and bad.
I want you to write another list. A list of things that you potentially make you feel good or bad.
You need to know which activities will make you feel good, and which ones will make you want to toilet paper your ex-lover’s car or home (don’t try that though).
You won’t really know which activity belongs on which list until you start trying things, but I suspect that things like checking out his wall on facebook and seeing that he has just posted a photo of his new girlfriend is not going to make you feel good, so put that on the “don’t do this bad jive stuff list”, along with emails and phone calls to his buddies fishing for information about him. Each of us is different though – maybe seeing a new love, will help you dislike him and therefore help you let go!
On the “feels peachy as punch list” might be found such ventures as: deleting all of his text msgs and voicemails, sell any gifts from your ex or give them to people who will ensure you never see them again… hang out with someone who does not know your ex.
Write down what was crap about the relationship and or him/her. These reminders will only serve to help you.
10. Work it out of you.
Working out… yes exercising the crap out of your grief quite literally… by running, swimming, exercising, walking, or kick-boxing… these things are going to give you immediate relief. On a physiological level because exercise increases the activity of serotonin etc and stimulates brain chemicals that foster growth of nerve cells but also on an emotional level, because you are taking charge and becoming the master of your mind and body. Plus you can visualise the person who is responsible for your pain and you can kick him in the face (kickboxing please lol). Now doesn’t that feel good? Taking charge of your body, helps us take charge of our minds!
11. Create a new world.
This is especially important if your world has collided with his, meaning that mutual friends who have seen him in the last week feel the need to tell you about it ANNNNND you don’t want to hear about it or their presence remind you of him/her.
Create your own safe world, full of new friends who wouldn’t recognise him in a crowd and don’t know how to spell his name or where he is not allowed to drop by for a surprise visit. Take this opportunity to try something new as well like scuba diving lessons, an art class, a book club, a blog, meditation, so to program your mind and body to expect a fresh beginning… without him (or her).
Remember though you need a healthy balance. You don’t want to cut all of those friends off, for various reasons. BUT the ones you deem toxic or are hurting your safe space just try to cut them out. You could simply let them know you are struggling with it etc. Don’t isolate yourself or totally try to avoid it. Hiding and or running away is not good advice and could also hurt the feelings of mutual friends who actually care about you and genuinely like you – so be super honest with everyone, where you feel it is safe to do so.
Those that respect and understand, keep them around. So in other words, if you tell one of those mutual friends you don’t want to hear about the ex and their new life and they continually do it without any concern for your feelings, those are the ones, you do not want to keep around. Remind them once, reprimand them twice, 3 times your out. Avoid for you, if you feel the need to.
We live in a world now where we are continually told to think of ourselves, to a point where it just becomes straight out selfish and inconsiderate of others feelings – try to have that balance of courtesy.
12. Find hope again and try to forgive.
To forgive is to let go… to let go, is to be free again. To be free is to live again. To live again is to love again.
What is hope? Hope is believing that the sadness can evaporate, that if you try like hell to move on with your life, that your fake smile, won’t always be a forced smile.
What hope means: a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen. A feeling of trust. Want something to happen or be the case.
To forgive means to let go of anger and fear and helps you find that inner peace again. Forgive is to stop feeling angry or resentful towards (someone) for an offence, flaw, or mistake. You are no longer feel angry about or wish to punish (an offence, flaw, or mistake). And to cancel (a debt).
Know and believe that hope exists, we just have to find it and to find it, we have to forgive. Forgiving DOES NOT mean you forget, you can simply accept the person was an ass and did not deserve you anyway… that it would not have mattered who you were, they would have done the same thing to the next person. Forgive them because they are only human too and we all make mistakes. BUT LEARN from that lesson. Don’t look back.
13. Again, accept the pain. Yes I am repeating myself…
Accept that you will have to go through some pain. It is an unavoidable truth that if you loved enough to be heartbroken, you have to experience some suffering.
When you lose something that mattered to you, it is natural and important to feel sad about it: that feeling is an essential part of the healing process.
The problem with broken-hearted people is that they seem to be reliving their misery over and over again. If you cannot seem to break the cycle of painful memories, the chances are that you are locked into repeating dysfunctional patterns of behaviour. Your pain has become a mental habit. This habit can, and must, be broken.
This is not to belittle the strength of your feelings or the importance of the habits you’ve built up during your relationship. Without habit, none of us would function. But there comes a time when the pain becomes unhealthy.
When you enter your bedroom at night, you switch on the light without thinking. If you obsess about your ex, and feel unhappy all the time, it’s likely that your unconscious mind is ‘switching on’ your emotions in exactly the same way.
14. Change your habits ASAP!
Turn off the music that reminds you of your ex. Make your home look and feel different from when your loved one was around. Move the furniture. Dust everything down and cleanse your house and you!
See my other blog about spiritual protection.
Applying these techniques to your home and self will go a long way.
Without realising it, you have programmed yourself to feel a pang of grief every time you hear that tune you danced to, or see your ex’s empty chair across the kitchen table. So if you both ate at the same restaurant for the last 2 years on a Friday night, stay home or eat at a friends house instead. Mix and change things up – create a new routine!
Even things you did on your own like the gym straight after work… go after dinner or before work if it is suitable.
15. Change your thoughts too!
The next step is to do the same thing on the inside – transform your habits of thought. In a relationship, we build up a huge array of such habits. When the love affair ends, these patterns can still be running.
To change your thinking habits, you need to understand a little more about them.
Have you ever witnessed the same event as someone else, and later found out their account of it was completely different from yours? Each of you saw the event through a ‘frame’, made up of your personal beliefs, feelings and internal habits.
If you are finding it devastatingly difficult to handle the end of your relationship, you may need to change this ‘frame’. You will need to “re-frame” your heartbreak. Stop seeing it as the end of your happiness. Instead, turn it into a challenge; view it as an opportunity. See it as a life lesson or experience you may or may not have loved at the time but that it is what it is/was.
Being heartbroken can make you feel worthless and hopeless – but that is because the frame you are using is too narrow. Learning to see your situation with a different frame is a wonderful liberation. You are seeing it through the heart break frame… instead perhaps look at it like a bullet dodged or list down (pen, paper or mentally) what you learnt from it ie you learnt to ride a bike. Apply what you can to your new life and let go. xo
16. Change how you see yourself and him or her! Chances are he/she isn’t even anything special!
The next stage is to focus on your mental picture of your lost love. By changing how you represent your ex in your mind, you can greatly reduce or even eliminate your distress.
You must learn to control your ‘visualisation’. Every single one of us makes pictures in our imagination (visualisation) – and we can all learn how to change the pictures. It is important to learn to do this, because our bodies react to what we imagine in the same way that they react to what is actually happening to us. Memory and imagination affect our feelings in the same way as reality does.
We are constantly altering our state by the pictures we make in our imagination and the way we talk to ourselves. So it is vital to control those pictures and not let them run away with our feelings.
See the truth for what it really is… not what little picture you’ve made up in your mind.
17. Change how you see your past.
1. Answer the following question. Which side of your front door is the lock on? To answer, you have had to make a mental picture of the door. You have made a visualisation.
2. Now try to imagine what your front door would look like if it was bright orange or had yellow stripes down it. Make it bigger. Move it away so that it is smaller. Move it further away and down a bit so you are looking down on it. Make it open. Change it in different ways.
3. Think about your ex now. As soon as you remember what someone looks like, you are using visualisation. What is the expression on his or her face? Observe what your ex is wearing and what he or she is doing. Where do you see the picture of them? In front of you, or to the left or the right? Is it life size or smaller? Is it a movie or a still image? Is it solid or transparent? Now, as you keep that image in your mind’s eye, notice the feelings that arise. Make a note of those feelings.
4. Now you could remember or imagine them differently. You can imagine you are a great film director. You can re-shoot the scenes of your memory and imagination in any way you want. You can change the action, soundtrack, lighting, camera angles, framing, focus and speed. Change how you are visualising your ex and notice how it affects your feelings.
5. Bring to mind the picture you had of your ex.
6. Notice where it appears and how big it is.
7. Now drain the colour out until it looks like an old black and white picture.
8. Move the image further away until it is one-tenth of its original size.
9. Shrink it even further, right down to a little black dot.
10. Notice how your feelings have changed and compare how you feel now to the note you made earlier.
You will notice that some changes have a bigger effect than others. Images that are closer, bigger, brighter and more colourful have greater emotional intensity than those that are duller, smaller and further away.
Standing outside your memories and watching as if they were a movie helps you distance yourself from them. It makes them seem like they are not a reality, therefore assisting you in disconnecting emotionally.
18. Fall out of love with your ex.
Now you are ready to tackle the central problem using the visualisation technique already mentioned. Part of being heartbroken is the fact that you still feel in love. It hurts because part of you is still attached to your ex. This exercise helps that piece of you release itself.
1. List five occasions when you felt very in love with your ex. List them so you can easily call them to mind.
2. Start with the first of those memories. Play with it. Move the image away from you so that you can see yourself in the picture. Make it small.
3. Drain out the colour so it is black and white, then make it transparent. When you look at your memory like this, it will seem as if the event is happening to someone else, and the emotional intensity will be reduced still further. You are starting to re-code your memory.
4. When you have finished re-coding the first memory, do the same for the next one. Work through them until you have done all five.
5. Remember in detail five negative experiences with your ex-partner, where you felt very definitely put off by him or her. List the five experiences.
6. Take the least appealing memory and fully return to that moment. Try to relive it.
7. Now turn up the colour and the clarity. Make the memory as bright and clear as you can, and experience the feelings more and more strongly.
8. Go through each of the other four negative memories of your ex-partner, and relive them. Carry on until even thinking about them puts you off.
When you think about the bad experiences again and again, the negative memories begin to join up so that there is no space between them for the feelings of love, yearning and regret.
Concentrate on the exercise and do it methodically. Some people have found that doing this just once makes them feel different. To make sure the effect sticks, do it every day for two weeks.
19. Understand your emotions.
The next stage is to learn to understand your emotional reactions better. Your feelings of heartbreak are unlikely to disappear unless you cope with what they are trying to tell you.
An emotion is a bit like someone knocking on your door to deliver a message. If you don’t answer, it keeps knocking until you do open up.
Opening the door to your feelings means learning to understand them. This can be hard, because heartbreak is complicated by other feelings: anger, fear and shame.
20. Believe that you will fall in love again (even though you might not want to).
You could fall into the trap of remaining convinced that your ex is the only person you could ever love. This is unlikely to be true on a planet with six billion people.
So why do you believe it? Can it be because you are desperately trying to avoid accepting that the relationship is over? Or are you afraid that the bad feelings associated with heartbreak will never go away?
That fear makes you anxious, and keeps you feeling bad for longer. The burden of your heartbreak has grown heavier, and a vicious circle has been established.
If you aren’t ready to copy with this idea, just acknowledge that one day you will most likely find love again when you are ready or the time is right.
21. Living happily ever after, AFTER your break up!
A good way of giving yourself a boost – and coping with complicated feelings – is to imagine a bright future.
1. Imagine the future as a corridor in front of you. Imagine walking down it, away from the present, towards a door.
2. Open the door, and see beyond it a world in which you have recovered from your heartbreaking relationship.
3. See what you look like, what you are wearing, where you are going, whom you are seeing.
4. Now step into this new world and into the new happy you. Imagine the whole experience from the inside, seeing what you would see, hearing what you would hear, and feeling how good and happy things are now.
It is not a matter of believing the image is real: just imagine it as vividly as possible.
In heartbreak, there is often a backlog of emotional learning to get through. Do one bit at a time. Your unconscious mind will protect you, and give you a rest so that you can deal with the next bit. You will learn to step out of the memories, leave them behind, and start a new life.
And remember to love again…
Once our hearts are bruised and burned from a relationship that ended, we have two options: we can close off pieces of our heart so that one day no one will be able to get inside. Or we can love again. Deeply, just as intensely as we did before. Like everything, you get back what you put into it! So don’t expect someone to love you wholeheartedly, if you are holding back.
PS I have helped many a person get valuable insight, answers and advice on getting over an ex through my gift… if you feel you need an extra boost, some assistance, do not be afraid to speak out.
Readings with me, can be purchased through the shop.
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