Breaking Up With Grace
Hello Lovely Humans,
Apparently COVID-19, quarantine, the economic fallout, climate grief, and homeschooling have had another combined side effect: 2020 has seen a 34% increase in divorce applications. A lot of people are in the throes of a break-up. How do you care for yourself (often while caring for others) during such times?
It really is possible to get through heartache with grace: not blaming, not shaming, feeling it all, holding your center, and loving yourself in the process. I guarantee you this: If you take the time upfront to move through this transition with care, the ouch will heal faster, and leave less trauma residue.
What does this self-care look like? It includes feeling and releasing your anger, grief, fear, and sadness—all the common emotions of loss—and getting clear on what you are about right now in your life. It can also include giving yourself a lot of compassion treats!
On the YES list:
Body: Movement that gets you sweating. Short daily dates to bike, walk, dance, hit little round balls, anything to move and express that beautiful body of yours. This is also a time for authentic nourishment. If we have disordered eating, stress can cause self-starvation, overeating, or a bias toward comfort foods, none of which feel good after a couple of weeks. Break-ups can also drive us into a sudden burst of self-improvement. There's nothing to improve! You can love yourself just as you are, with no radical diets or brutal fitness regimens. Just be kind. Treat yourself like you're recovering from a serious illness, with extra tenderness and fresh, healthy food. And of course, cultivate that oxytocin lift, through animals, touch, self-pleasuring, and/or self-anointing.
Mind: Hold your beliefs lightly. You might be 100% right in how you see the situation— but there are greater forces at work here, and everyone has blind spots. See if you can give the other person safe passage through your thoughts. And, if you start to dwell on the past, switch channels to this moment. What are you about now? What is the great and central work of your life?
Spirit: Take at least 30 minutes each day to be quiet, and possibly journal. Breathe deeply. Let whatever is coming up move through you. If you're a meditator, meditate. If you're a praying person, pray. One thing that can be helpful is to feel your connection with every other person in history who has ever faced heartache. Know that you are not alone in this experience, and that it won't last forever.
Community: Embrace positive friends. Make little phone calls to talk with people about what they are up to in the world, to connect and commune. This will help you remind yourself that the relationship you are leaving (as valuable as it was) isn't your whole life. AND YES to therapy, and/or spiritual counseling. Lean in and learn about yourself while you're cracked open.
On the NO THANK YOU list:
No stalking, no ruminating, no revenge fantasies. No binges with sex, drugs, or alcohol. Be careful with your energy during this transition time. Choose uplifting people to be with.
Getting things off your chest is helpful. But in the long run, it's a good idea to hold your breakup details in closely. Allow selective expressions of your inner landscape to people you can trust and who will listen. Such people will help you parse your process, but won’t encourage or inflame the less evolved parts of you. Time sets all records straight, and who you truly are shines through; be about being your best self.