Break Ups are for Lovers
A diary of a heartbreak ~ and how to soothe yourself through it!
“Heartbreak is what happens when love is lost” Brené Brown says on a podcast in the aftermath of it. This soothes me because it confirms something I wasn’t 100% sure of - I did love the person who just broke my heart.
I’m relieved - for a long time I wondered if I would ever love again. You know what they say, the first cut is the deepest - and after a big break up in 2014 I decided to shut down the whole department. No love, not a lot of dating. I wasn’t sure if I could love again. I wasn’t sure I knew what love was any more or what it would feel like - how I would find it - or if I could.
But I did! It took five years, but I was able to open my heart to love and to be loved. After all, isn't that what we are here to do?
My favorite thing about heartbreak is that it’s an incredibly universal experience. It’s possibly one of the worst things, likely the only thing worse is the sudden or unexpected death of a friend or family member.
And it really feels like it's been going around. I think the peri-pandemic, this portal we are walking through is giving us a chance, just like when we entered it, to reassess what gives us life and meaning. In the best of times we will be able to gracefully let go of what no longer is serving us. Sometimes that means we get broken up with, other times we are the heartbreaker. On occasion it's a decision people make together. Never-the-less, it hurts.
The grief bubbles up when you least expect it. I found that most often when I was touching water, washing my hands or doing dishes, pangs of intense emotion would hit my gut and I would suddenly notice my face was wet. The salty water wet my face and flowed around me as feelings flooded my mind and overwhelmed my heart, I felt disoriented in time and space.
Time passes in a different way. In the initial days after the break up. The experience of heartbreak is a great reminder of how the emotional is the physical. Do not overlook this! Please, tend to your emotional self.
What does that look like for you? For me, it's feeling connection. Friends spent hours on the phone with me, I required babysitting in a sense. I needed reminders to eat, to sleep, to be gentle with myself. I asked many people if they had any advice, and here’s the best of what I found to work:
1. Cut the Cord
Ritual has been a mainstay in the post-break up period. Whatever that looks like for you, do it. If you don't have a spiritual practice, consider the following:
Visit the ocean, let the water and salt cleanse you. Give gifts to the water, the ancestors.
Call on your angles and use a ceremonial wand or imagined sword to literally cut the energetic cord.
2. Focus on Yourself
It’s easy to relive the hard moments, the best memories, the break up, the shock or the discomfort.
Take Space - no need to rush the repair process. In fact, the more time possibly the better.
3. Feel The Feelings
Listen to break up songs, on repeat.
Before communicating, sit with feelings, let them percolate. Remember not to react. Our aim is to break patterns.
Cry, it helps.
4. Fill Yourself Up with Yourself
What this looked like for me was committing deeper to the self care practices that I love. This means, meditation, watercolor, tarot, gardening and cooking.
5. Watch a lot of Brené Brown
I highly recommend her Anatomy of Trust video. I might have listened/watched it ten times after the break up.
I added Unlocking Us, Brené’s podcast on Spotify to my morning routine.
6. When You’re Ready, Get Back on the Horse
The break up has brought clarity in so many relationships, even friendships. There are silver linings; it has helped me better navigate what feels good, what I’m ok with, and where my boundaries are.
Dating apps are a thing, you know, when you’re ready for them. Hey, ur single after all!
a. Rhodiola: A supreme being for stressful times, this plant has helped me manage feelings and responsibilities while wading through grief many times. This season, it helped me feel the light shining through the clouds.
b. Rose: Profound Heart medicine. Great as aromatherapy too.
c. Violet: Rub on heart or take low dose/flower essence for grief relief.
d. Datura Flower Essence: You have entered a portal, embrace the transformation.
e. Rosemary: Brings protection, and in my lineage a deep connector to the ancestors of the highest good. Also a perfect balm for clarity.