For “Breaking Up is Hard” Second Hand Love, Pt 2

How can you make a major life change amidst emotionally  charged circumstances and maintain a feeling of healthy, viable sanity?  No matter what is changing in your life, there are things that you can do to aid your own resilience to overwhelming stress; to lower “ruminating” or fixating on a problem/breakup and finally, to feel more confident.

“Dear Alison,

For 2 months, I have read this article about once a week. I know what I need to do… To let him go. But it just isn’t happening. I want someone to flip the switch and at that point… I am done. No looking back. Any advice on how to get that switch flipped???”

Is there such a switch?  In a way, the answer is yes. Let’s go a step at a time  and focus on a little of what you’re thinking. Here is some mood music that I listen to when I’m thinking….I’m letting go….

Mary J. Blige – No More Drama

  1.  I know what I need to do. Okay, let’s use me as a semi-bad example.  When I realized that I was not going to love “him” as my life mate, I also realized that part of me would also love him as the girl I used to be.  You see, you’re not letting him go – you don’t have him to turn loose of.  You’re letting go of the possible YOU in the future, the one that had hoped it would all work out.  Truth is, we let go of the “dream” or possibility that was borne in this relationship.  So you know what you NEED to do ~ but do you WANT to do that?  And what, specifically, are you planning to let go of?
  2. I want someone to flip a switch.  Hmmm.  Really?  You’d be awfully indebted to that person.  I love my sister more than I can imagine describing, but she can’t flip that switch in me – same goes with all the people in my amazing support system.  I just got mad at them when they tried.  I still find myself defending him (which is so silly.)  I bet that when someone really runs your former flame into the ground, you’d get really pissed – even if you don’t want to admit it.   The switch is labeled “making my own decision, and I hate doing this.”  

You’re choosing to cut the ties, do the deed, cancel the hope. 

That has to be okay in your eyes.  Letting totally go is HARD. It’s not innately wired in most women.  Here is the hard truth: even when you decide, you’re going to glance back over your shoulder and wonder.  That is okay. It’s fine.  Keep moving forward, the glancing will become less if you will let it.  Yes, we  may hold out to the bitter end.

Important affirmation for you: Change is in your power, belonging to no one else. You are not lost, stuck or even alone – change is in your power.  You hold the keys to the door.  You chose when you walk though.  You have the ability and the wherewithal to choose.

You’re going to have to throw the final curtain. Imagine that switch and what life looks like on the other side of it.  Write a letter to the switch puller and spill the beans, all that you’re afraid of.  Here’s my example.

“I’m not honestly sure that I can do this.  There are moments that  find myself thinking of something else, anything else.  I am me again. I smile, or almost laugh.  I can pretend that my clothes aren’t hanging off of me, and that somehow I am okay.  The world still makes sense. I reach over to my phone to say hello or look to see what he’s said – and there is nothing there.  He’s not there.  I get this overwhelming feeling of being locked in a night mare, a super horrible joke that isn’t funny and is killing me.  It’s killing me.  I found myself on my knees yesterday, hitting the floor with my fist and screaming in pain.  It’s been months since we’ve spoken, even longer since I saw him and I still just don’t understand.  What if it’s like this forever?  What if I never find a way out of the pain?”

Again, the ability to affect change lies inside of you. THM is a place where many people share this thought in some way or form.  They’re staring at the mirror on the wall, seeing the image of the person they were when all was well.  No telling how long ago that had been, or what has happened in the meantime.  It is truly important that when we analyze where we are in life and what we want, that we are HONEST.

I think that the most important thing I can teach you is that it’s okay to let go of someone you honestly have feelings of love for.  In a way, I love my ex.  Always have.  There is no place in my future for him.  I know what we are together, and it’s not healthy for me….and that is what I have to deal with.  I am better off without him in my life – even though I love him.  I wanted the idea of us…I’d gotten so used to having to fight to survive in our relationship….that I forgot who I was, who I am and who I could be.

Important note:  Your life is about you.  Your life is about you.  If you do not care for yourself, be your own best friend, make decisions that aid in your own happiness…you’re going to live an unfulfilled life.  You’re going to model being unhappy to others.  It’s time to take control of that most powerful thing you own…your heart and mind.  I am not saying be a selfish butt – that’s just wrong.  Do follow what you know to be right for you.  That isn’t going to include someone that doesn’t want to be there, or can’t fit into what you really need in life.  Square pegs and round holes…make for a messy life.

The switch flips when you realize that YOU’RE STILL HERE.  I can’t stress enough that you’ve got to stop hating the person that you’re leaving behind and just accept it for what it is.  Maybe I am the psychotic leech that he called me. I sure as hell hope not.  Even though it hurt my feelings, even though I had myself tested with every psych test my clinic could throw at me….I have to come to the conclusion that I am okay  with him being a permanent part of the new me…but not a present part of my life. 

I don’t have to have him in my forefront….he’s my past.

I understand that.

Even if I were single tomorrow…he’s my past.  I don’t want to live in the past.

I don’t want the pain that we knew, even if the love is there. too.

I can’t go back now.

All things being the same, would you want a version of your past that has GROWN in its normative state?  Would you want more chaos and turmoil, more drama and stupidity?  No.  Even given the chance to return, I made my decision – and it’s that I don’t want him, no matter the cost.  It’s not anything about him, it’s about me.  I choose to live out my dreams and to do that with dignity and honor.

Are you ready to make that decision?

If you are, hold you breath, jump into the cold water of being certain and simply Let It Go.  It’s ….f**king hard.  Your life is more than this drama – someone that doesn’t love you enough work it through, to make it into the hard times and past the grey of just not knowing what the hell is going to happen in life.

That is okay. When you’re okay in the questions…you’ve made progress.

it’s okay that he/she is with someone else.  Who gives a rip? You’ve already been through the hell…want to really go back?  No. It’s there for someone else to experience with them.

Let them be happy without hating them for it.  Let them be whatever – miserable, happy, sad…without being involved.  It’s no longer your problem.

What is your REAL  problem?

You need to find your own paradise.

Coldplay – Paradise

How do you find out if that is true for you?

On the day that I honestly thought about marrying him as he asked – and later denied – I have to admit that I sat on my steps, crying into the phone, realizing that I was about to make the biggest mistake of my life.

Yes, marrying him would have been the stupidest thing I would have ever done.

I knew in my heart of hearts that this was not the life for me – and in my emotion, I was to scared to admit that it was not an all consuming kind of lifetime love.  At the end of the day, knowing all that you know – are you really ready to jump off the cliff and KNOW that he’s/she’s going to be there when you need them?

They’re not.

It’s just reality.

Here is an important part to know, though.  If you’re trying to tell yourself all the bad things that he/she did for you to leave them, you’re actually reinforcing your dedication to them.

Yes, that is what I said.

If you’re engaging in negative speak over your former love, you’re delaying your own progress.

Even if your ex was a blithering idiot, you didn’t see them that way.  Ask any woman about their man (or vise versa) and you’ll get a litany of things.  In our ex’s, it’s a little more tricky.  You’re having to see what was good through all the things that made you want to let go in the first place.  It’s like being snow blind.  My ex?  I know what I saw in him – and I was almost the only one that saw it.  I probably still am.  That is okay – you see, I loved him so very much.  Just because I let go doesn’t mean that I hate the guy.  I just don’t want to be “his,” nor is he interested in my being in his life.

So why did it take the both of us over a year to stop longing for one another?

(Yes, stupidity is an answer, but not the right one.)

  1. Fear of being alone.
  2. Fear of finding out they were “the one.” (PS  – there is no “the one.”)
  3. Fear of new relationships.
  4. Feeling connected to a person that you want to be separate from.
  5. Feeling like no one else understands you like they do.
  6. Feeling like no one else will physically entrance you like they do.
  7. Solid soul ties.
  8. Soul ties that you’re not willing to let go of.
  9. Soul ties that they’re not willing to let go of.
  10. Inability to deal with soul ties though visualization and self expression.
  11. Ruminating on the loss….constantly.
  12. Talking about them, and only them.
  13. Depression.
  14. Depression.
  15. Talking about them…constantly.

Boot Camp for Switch Flipping

If – notice I said IF – you’re ready and willing to let go, here are the steps that I put myself through.  Please read the second half of the Secondhand Love article on soul ties for the exercise.

  1. Each day, begin with centering meditation.  Clear your mind and come to a conscious decision that today is a growth day for you.  Take care of your emotions and let all of the cloudy feelings be expressed in breathing.  Let your pain float into the universe.  Imagine that you are cleaned from the inside out.
  2. Write your physical and emotional needs on a paper.  Fold the paper and place it in a safe location at your home or in your bag.  Allow your needs to be contained there.  If thoughts of him/her overwhelm, write them down at they come to you.  Again, place those needs in a little baggie or a safe place.  You can address them later.
  3. Make a bargain with yourself to laugh.  Read a book, see a movie, go to the gym.  Get out and around.  Talk to people – not about your ex.  You will feel hollow at first.  Just keep doing it.
  4. Make a bucket list filled with hope.  Start to take steps toward fulfilling a dream.  Okay – we’re all adults here.  Do NOT make that bucket list about doing things that the two of you wanted to do.  I said you and I meant it.
  5. Confront the past.  I went to all the places that he and I had been.  The first lunch and the first kiss.  The first everything.  I cried, and saw that the places were empty.  I look little stones from my meditation place with me, and left that part of me behind.  I returned the love to the universe, and withdrew my part in it.
  6. Exercise self control.  Redirect your thoughts, your speech and your actions away from the person that you’re leaving – or imagining those scenarios.  Take your power back.  Make your own decisions.
  7. At the end of the day, return to your meditation and think about those needs you wrote.  Did you fulfill them? Acknowledge them, and give yourself permission and dignity to fulfill them for yourself.
  8. Tell the truth, every day.  For me, that was going to see a counselor with a PhD in psychology. I didn’t make excuses, and I won’t.  There is no “he said, she said…”  I don’t participate.  The past is the past and I will not forsake my future in it’s murky image.  I make a decision to tell the truth to myself every day……including the part where I thought that I was going to simply die of a broken heart.  I didn’t.  I am fine now.  Yes, even now, there are days that I am lonely – and I tell myself the truth about that.  I developed an even stronger support network of people who are honestly in this for life.  I am allowed to miss the good times but not to blow them out of proportion.  I am allowed to be mad at him for being such a total ass…but I can’t blow that out of proportion, either. Tell the truth.

Hard things that are permanent switch flippers:

  1. Are you willing to let go?
  2. Are you okay with life as you don’t know it yet?
  3. Do you feel a sense of hope and joy about what is to come? Why or why not?
  4. Can you feel yourself begin to imagine a real love with someone that isn’t a person you wanted to break up with?
  5. Can you imagine the tie between you fading? Will you let it?
  6. If I said – “he’s fine, he’s gone on an honestly wishes you the best.  He’s not coming back.”  What do you feel?
  7. Who is keeping this alive for you?
  8. What are you doing to feel this feeling?  Be honest.
  9. What are you doing to find and flip the switch? Be honest.

In closing, I am posting something that I really did write in my journal that you all have not seen before.  It’s edited, but the jist of it is still there.

“I woke up this morning and the sun had come out.  I can’t believe that the time has passed so quickly by when it used to take a year to live a day.  I made it all the way north before I realized that I hadn’t thought of you at all.  I didn’t.  Now as I sit here in a space you used to be, it doesn’t matter so much that you’re gone.  I’m watching my friends talk, and the world spin, and no one cares that you’re not here.  Outside of me, there is no vacant space you left behind.  Hardest to realize is that I am pretty full now too.  It’s lunchtime, our time, and I have no idea where you are.  More important, I know where I am.  I am happy where I am.  It’s okay that I miss you…I don’t miss me now that you’re not here.  No more pain.  No more drama.”

Go box.

Learn something new.

Scream into the wind.

Be alive.

Be REALLY alive, just for you.

I encourage you, challenge you..dare you even.

Go make a difference. 

You’re still here.

You matter.

Make. It. Count.

02-A Beautiful Lie

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