Wow. Just when you thought you were over it, you accidentally walk into
the restaurant / bar / coffee shop / linen outlet superstore where you
once were together – in love. You were there together, before you had
the talk about what you really wanted… before the big fight… before
the reconciliation… before the next big fight and then that really big fight… when you finally broke up for good.
Why do you wonder if you did the right thing? Why do you miss your ex? Why is closure so hard to close? As the song suggests, breaking up is hard to do – and closure might be even harder to come by. Next time you face this dilemma, try these steps to finally let go.
What is really bugging you about the breakup? If you don’t have some idea of what really happened, it’s going to be a lot harder to move forward. Write out what this relationship was for you, from the first day you met to the day you broke up. The universe supports loving relationships of equality. Was this relationship an equal, loving relationship? Did this person bring out the best (or worst!) in you? Was this a love relationship or an addictive attraction?
Ask the friends you trust, “what did you observe in my relationship?” Often the people who love us can see what we can’t – but they won’t open up unless you ask. It’s so much easier to idealize the past than to accept the fact that your relationship had some real flaws, and that these would have erupted, given enough time. Sometimes the questions can be answered by meeting with your ex – but be careful! No sex with your ex… Also, beware: you may be on different timelines of grief and it can be painful if it appears that your ex is “over it” and you’re not.
There’s a reason that people sometimes sell the house after they get divorced. Shared space is intimate space. If your place looks like he just left for work ten minutes ago, or her toothbrush is still hanging in the bathroom, you’re wallowing. Buy new sheets. Paint, move furniture around, have a “newly single” housewarming party. Your environment reflects your state of mind. If it’s a shrine to a past relationship, how can you heal? It’s not about denying your feelings – it’s about letting your mind rest in your own home.
Forgive, Forgive, Forgive
Even if you can’t forgive your ex, forgive yourself! Relationships don’t fail – they change. You may not be ready to forgive your partner for any number of things (like cheating!), but you must forgive yourself. Closure isn’t possible without accepting and loving your own willingness to love. If you are waiting for your ex to say something you want to hear, or return your DVDs, you’re giving them power over your process.
Honor your feelings. Resist the temptation to run out for a replacement person in the first few months. If someone told you their grandmother had died, you wouldn’t tell them to go out and get another grandma. You would give them all the time they needed to think about their relationship with the loved one, and what it meant to them.
It’s okay to grieve
Grieving is a process of going deeper into consciousness. Therefore, grieving the end of a relationship opens you up to a deeper experience in life. Pain is a necessary part of growth. Have a memorial. Take a treasured object that represents your relationship, and set it free. Perhaps you can donate a piece of jewelry you received to a charity, or release a love letter into the ocean. By marking the end of this important person in your life, you are honoring the time you had together. And you are honoring yourself for having the courage to love.
Closure happens when you arrive at a place of rest and acceptance. It will come. Trust the process, and experience your pain. It will conclude into clarity. It will lead to peace. It is a beautiful gift from the universe!
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