What is it about romantic love that can throw us off our path, steer us away from all of our best efforts to be the best we can be, and devalue our beliefs in the bigger, move evolved picture of what life has to offer us?
I know that I’m not alone when I share with you, that although I have experienced many great moments of love, inspiration, and the feeling that life couldn’t get any better, I have also experienced moments of complete despair in the area of love, despite my best efforts to never let relationships come between myself and my happiness/spiritual path.
Perhaps there are people out there who don’t share my opinion that romantic love can be one of the most powerful lessons on our life journey, but for me it continues to surface as such. Even so, I can also say that inside the pain of a relationship ending whether my decision or theirs, something within me wakes up. It’s during these times that I always make the most profound changes to my life that put me back on my path, sometimes a path I didn’t realize I had swayed away from during the relationship.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not an easy task, but the alternative of sinking into an extended period of sadness, depression, self-criticism, anger, irritation, and lack of motivation that so many of us experience during times of heartbreak or loss is equally as unappealing as the ending itself. Pulling ourselves up and looking at how we grew from the relationship and how it changed us and contributed in profound ways to our lessons in life is a skill that takes practice and muscle. However, if one is committed to an extraordinary life regardless of having it go exactly as they would like, they can overcome and grow from the most difficult experiences whether related to love or any other area of life.
So if you, like me, have experienced a loss in a relationship, what are some things that you can do to keep yourself on track to ensure that you don’t lose site of your wishes, dreams, and desires for not only love, but for your own life’s purpose as well? Here are some of my own personal recommendations.
1. When the relationship ends, don’t beat yourself up for feeling the pain. Throw yourself into it. Experience the emotions that come up fully, but then equally practice letting them go. Remind yourself that what you are experiencing is short term and that “this too shall pass”. If you don’t let yourself feel the loss, many of these emotions will get lodged into your subconscious memories and physical body and resurface in undesirable ways. In my view, it’s best to experience them all so that you come out of the experience open and free.
2. Once you are feeling a bit stronger and more positive, remind yourself of the things that matter to you most. What are you passionate about? What do you enjoy doing more then anything else in the world? What lights you up and gives you energy? What brings you peace? What is something that you’ve wanted to do, but have put off? What can you be grateful for? What can you be proud of yourself for up until this moment of your life? This is a period to really rebuild yourself and focus on what’s great about you, outside of anyone else’s assessment of you. This is also a good time to read or listen to inspiring messages, meditate, journal, reflect, be in nature, enjoy good friends, and really just focus on uplifting yourself and remembering the joy of life.
3. Once you have repositioned yourself and your life and are feeling content with you, I find it very valuable to think through the growth I experienced in the relationship and the lessons it taught me. Prior to the previous two steps, it can be very difficult to see clearly. But, once you are feeling connected to your inner being again, this can be very valuable for not only providing closure, but also opening you up to love again in the future. Many people spend years or even a lifetime feeling wronged or angry towards someone they have been in a relationship with, but the person that loses this battle is always you. It takes more energy to hold onto these feelings then to let them go and to forgive. Even if you don’t want to, put yourself first and know that by working through the residual leftovers of these negative thoughts, you will be opening yourself to the fulfillment of your deepest desires and even more importantly avoid repeating relationship patterns.
4. Lastly, when you feel completely free of the past and ready to fall in love again, it’s a great time to create intentions for what you desire. Make a list of what you would like in a relationship. Be very straightforward with yourself and don’t be willing to compromise on those things most important to you. Once you have them written down, its great to look at the qualities or feelings that having that ideal relationship evokes in you and then make a list of affirmations to remind yourself that everything that you are looking for outside of yourself already exists within you. The only one responsible for your happiness is you and by standing there, you open yourself to all of the surprises that life has to offer without being attached to a particular person or outcome, allowing yourself to enjoy each experience with every part of your being.
Never give up on romantic love. The opportunity to be loved and love someone is an intimate way to learn about yourself, to connect to your own divinity and to experience the deep emotions and lessons that come with romantic love. Even though the notion that there is one soul mate or love for us out there is romantic in nature, it limits us to the infinite number of people who can surprise us and teach us about love in ways we never imagined. New love and new experiences are right around the corner, and when we open ourselves to that possibility and believe in it fully, we are delighted by what comes our way.
Published On: June 12, 2012