“Don’t be afraid to start over.
This time, you’re not starting from scratch, you’re starting from experience.” Unknown
At the start of 2020 I experienced something I never saw coming.
Almost 10 years on from my divorce, I was breaking up again.
I’m telling this story today because, 6 weeks in, I’m just about in a place where I can talk about, write about and feel the break-up without tears.
Break Up and Shine has always been about the real me sharing the genuine processes that changed my life, in order to help you to change yours too. It has felt strange for me that you have not known about this significant episode in the journey and I’m grateful that I now feel able to share.
In January this year, I lost an 8 year relationship with a man I deeply loved; I cannot deny what a painful blow this was. Having rebuilt a really great life from the emotional wreckage of my previous marriage, life suddenly felt cruel and unfair. I had healed, grown, shared, supported others and taught them how to move on and be happy. And I was now experiencing deja vu in the most awful way.
Except, I wasn’t.
There was a big difference this time: as deeply as I had loved my partner in this relationship, I had never lost myself the way I had in my marriage.
It’s Not How Much You Loved Them
Back when my marriage ended, I felt like my world was over. I had to scrape myself up and learn so much in order to move on. Regular readers will know that the inner work was deep and painful, and at times, it felt like it would never end (if you are new to Break Up and Shine, my blog shares those lessons). But doing this work brought me to a new level of myself; one where it felt impossible to be crushed like that again.
The growth is what enabled a very different response to this second break-up, and it surprised me. I have been questioning how I am feeling so ok in such a short space of time. Is it because I loved this person less? No, because I actually loved him more deeply and fully than I loved my ex-husband.
The difference is that this time round I love myself more.
Can You Really Find Peace In 6 Weeks?
Of course I have been grieving; yes, I still miss him. I feel the loss of what we had and could still be to each other, if things were different.
But the peace, acceptance and optimism which took many, many months to reach after my divorce, has happened in the space of weeks this time. This is because during this relationship, I never stopped making myself a priority.
I had learned from my marriage that making your partner your whole world, disconnects you from yourself. Throughout this relationship I always kept an awareness of my own inner source of joy and purpose. I had shared my heart willingly and openly, but not given it away completely. As much as breaking up hurt, I was able to regroup and come back to myself so much more quickly than before.
So what’s next?
Well, I still adore love and always will. I will never let a break-up make me cynical about relationships. Just because this one didn’t last, it doesn’t mean that I won’t get to have the love I want and deserve again. Life is ripe for wonderful connections.
But for now I am taking all of my own advice (and it’s good to have first hand evidence that what I teach others actually works!):
- Allowing grief emotions when I need to express them
- Taking stock, looking for the lessons
- Shifting my perspective
- Always expressing gratitude for what I still have
- Forgiving and letting go
- Focusing the majority of my thoughts on what I can control and not on the things I can’t
- Practising deep self-love and self-kindness
- Allowing myself to be supported by my amazing friends
- Continuing to support others going through their own challenges
Do the inner work
It’s been a unique and beautiful process to work with those going through their own break-up pain while I’ve been experiencing it too. What my clients and readers are feeling is often reflected right back to me, and my response to them has a more acute empathy right now. I feel more strongly than ever the importance of doing the work to move on from a broken heart.
The main purpose of writing this today is to leave you with this comfort: Doing the deep work to heal from your break-up does not guarantee that you won’t go through it again. But it strengthens and grows you as a person. Doing the deep work will also help you heal more quickly and fully. And if your heart is ever broken again – oh, how differently you will move forwards from your new vantage point of self-love.
With love and support for us all,
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