How long should you give yourself to get over the end of a relationship?
We rightly accept that when we face a loss we must give ourselves the time and space to heal. Grief is valid and vital. To push on through without allowing all the emotions, is repressing part of who you are and won’t help in the long term. But how long is long enough?
Of course there is no standard answer. It’s all relative and personal. It’s a question of how long is long enough for you. But if you wait passively it can be a very long time.
It is possible to move on to a new happy fulfilled life, yet still have fleeting moments of sadness, poignancy or nostalgia years later. That’s healthy and very human.
However, it becomes a problem when, despite moving through and expressing the stages of grief repeatedly, you haven’t moved on from your ex-partner emotionally. Or maybe you are stuck in your thoughts, and your health or peace of mind are suffering for it. Simply telling yourself that ‘time heals’ when you’re struggling years after a divorce, is doing yourself an injustice. If you believe that feeling better is simply a matter of time, and not within your own ability to control, you will eventually give up hope of happiness just because it has failed to “arrive”.
I like this quote because it’s empowering. I’ve come to understand that it’s not really the time that heals us at all. Growth is what heals. And the good news is that how quickly we grow from the pain is within our control. The slightly tougher news is that sometimes it takes a lot of work. You have to really want to heal.
So how do we grow?
Well, from my own personal experience, and in no particular order of significance, this is what worked to turn my life around.
- Learn from the past; don’t let what happened be in vain
- Gain perspective of the bigger picture
- Love and respect yourself; remember your life is still valid and worth living as you, not just as half of a couple.
- Make positive choices based on the present and future, not living in the past
- Listen to your inner knowing and trust your intuition
- Be grateful for the good in your life
Once you begin to grow in these ways, your life becomes not just about healing from your break-up, but about feeling positive and empowered in everything else you do. When you take an active part in your healing, rather than simply wait, the sooner the proverbial tunnel shrinks and the quicker you reach the light at the end.
Do you feel that you have reached your limit of feeling awful and are ready to move on?
What steps can you take today to lift you out of break-up pain and start on a shiny new path?
With love and support