It was exactly eight years ago when my relationship ended.
Overnight, I’d transformed from a vibrant, happy 30-something woman to a mere shadow of my former self.
The relationship started off perfectly, exactly how I’d have wanted it to, but little did I know that within just a year, it would end. When he dumped me, I thought I would never recover and I never thought I’d find love again.
During our time together, I truly believed that he was the love of my life, that we would grow old together. With my biological clock ticking, I envisioned my future with him; a life that featured marriage and children.
My visions had crumbled into oblivion overnight.
Despite this feeling like the most painful experience of my life, I now see it as the greatest lesson of my life. But, in truth? It didn’t feel like that at the time, quite the opposite!
The process of my healing was long and traumatic, and not something that can be easily explained—but I can try:
Our day begins with a brief moment of pure consciousness, a brief second of inner peace, until it hits us.
We pick up our phones to see that the regular morning texts now cease to exist. Our minds are consumed with an attempt to understand, an attempt to come to terms with the fact that they’re gone.
At first, the numbness is suffocating; it washes over our entire being and throws us into perpetual shock.
We inevitably feel like staying in bed all hours, wondering how we’re going to get through another day without speaking to them. Another day without the feel of their touch, the sound of their voice, and their smile—oh, the way they smiled.
We lie awake at night, churning over the last few months of the relationship. Our bodies propel us into “fight-or-flight,” and obsessive thoughts take over our lives. We desperately try to figure out what happened, why it happened, and we will talk to anyone who will listen—but no one really gets it. They tell us, “time is a healer,” and “you will get over it.” Those sentiments never help us feel better.
Food feels like a poison, and the horrible, relentless churning in our stomach takes up the space that food cannot enter.
Heartbreak shakes us to our very core.
It makes us feel like we are dying inside, and all we could ask is for this horrible, dark, and all-consuming feeling to end. We just want our happy selves back—hell, we wonder if we will find our way back, if we will ever be the same again.
The simple answer to this is no, we will never be the same again.
In fact, when we get through this, we will emerge as magnificent, resilient, and formidable individuals. We will discover a power inside us that we never even knew existed. A power that, in turn, will open up a whole new world.
The heartbreak process is the process of transformation, the chrysalis undergoing its metamorphosis, waiting to hatch into a beautiful, colourful butterfly.
If you’re going through heartbreak right now, I have no doubt that you feel like a slave to your emotions. You desperately want to escape and relive your life again, free from this emotional prison that you find yourself in.
But first, you need to heal yourself, to lean into the pain and allow yourself to grieve.
I became a heartbreak coach and healer because I’ve experienced heartbreak several times, and my personal experiences have taught me that there is not enough help out there specific to heartbreak. The entire process is similar to that of losing a loved one in death, but there are no fellow mourners, there’s no funeral, and no compassionate leave.
I sometimes reflect upon my ex-boyfriend and our breakup eight years ago, and I thank him for waking me up! If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have the fantastic life of travel and freedom that I have now.
I want you to be where I am now—but it takes time and personal development. So, trust in the divine plan. You are being redirected to something beyond your wildest dreams!
With that said, I’d like to share with you my three top tips on how to navigate heartbreak:
Try the “felt sense” practice.
I want you to take three deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. I’d like you to take your beautiful, kind inner eye to the space in the body where you feel the pain—the pain of the breakup, the grief, the fear, or the anger, and ask:
If this feeling had a colour, what would it be?
If the feeling had a texture, what would it be?
If this feeling had a taste or a smell, what would it be?
If this feeling could speak, what would it say?
If you could say anything to this feeling, what would you say?
And then thank the feeling for being there.
Grief, fear, and anger want to be acknowledged like a child who needs attention. If we ignore the child, they get louder, but if we acknowledge what the child is trying to tell us, they simply go away and focus their attention on other things.
Feelings of anger and grief are much the same—they simply want our attention, until, eventually, they subside. Over time, we release each layer of these emotions.
Remember why it didn’t work out.
Sometimes, exes seem a lot more attractive when they aren’t around anymore. If you fall prey to the curse of the “rose-coloured rear-view mirror,” keep a list of the top 5 to 10 reasons why you’re better off without them, and review it on a daily basis. Some people keep a copy of the list in their wallet or on their phone so it’s always handy. Others put the list on their bathroom mirror, where they will see it regularly without having to remember to look for it. If you want to be 100 percent sure that you remember the reasons why the relationship had to end, then you may even want to do both!
Forgiving without forgetting.
This one has a real twist to it. You may have heard that writing a letter to your ex and then burning it can be therapeutic. Well, I highly recommend doing it.
But I want you to try this version:
Begin by writing down all of the pain that you feel, and begin to describe everything they’ve done to hurt you. Make it as long and as honest as you can. Then, write about how you’ll find ways to forgive them—this may be challenging at first! Perhaps there are lessons to be found in the pain. Remember, forgiveness sets us free, it’s not about condoning anyone’s bad behaviour.
This practice relieves us of resentment, which, if left suppressed, creates bitterness and blocks us from opening our hearts again.
When you have finished writing the letter, cross out the name of your ex and replace it with your own name. Ask someone you trust to read it back to you. You might just be surprised at what you find.