Healing Through Your Heart During a Breakup
By Noelle Davis
It is human nature to desire love and companionship. Research shows happy relationships improve health, longevity, and quality of life. None of us consciously move into a relationship expecting it to end in heartache. Yet, so many unions do. It is hard to overlook that 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce.
Breaking up or going through a divorce can be traumatic. If this is happening to you, it’s not unusual to be feeling unsafe—even with your own emotions. Perhaps the one person who could make you feel better—the person who has left or whom you left—is also the person who is the least safe to be around. This makes total sense because when our relational bond is broken, we are not emotionally regulated. When we are in the middle of a breakup, which is a rupture in attachment, it’s normal to feel like we are going crazy or like we have been flattened and can’t move.
Increased self-awareness, and learning to self-sooth, become paramount to self-regulating what you are experiencing, which in turn will lead to emotional freedom. When big emotions are swirling throughout your body, mind and soul one useful practice is to become still and truly be with your experience. Connect with the part of you that is witnessing your thoughts, emotions and feelings and from that center ask the hurting part of you, “What are you feeling right now?”
Do your best to name the specific feelings you are experiencing and notice where in your body you are feeling them. You might feel betrayal burning in your chest. Your head might feel like it’s spinning in repetitive negative thoughts. Or maybe you feel heavy with hopelessness pulling you down in your gut. The act of labeling feelings helps in regulating and not allowing those feelings to control or paralyze us.
Once you have labeled your feelings and identified where they are in your body, you might take the extra step of engaging the powerful Buddhist practice of Tonglen. Begin by intentionally opening to each feeling and breathing it deep into your heart. Then, on the exhale, breathing out a blessing to all beings, including yourself, who are suffering with each feeling in this very moment.
The moment we open ourselves up to turning toward our pain and extending blessings to all the others who are suffering at this moment, we may experience a moment of grace where we realize even with this pain, how good we have it in this life in relation to the experience of others around the world. This context can contain us and connect us to the whole of humanity. Our pain then becomes bearable as we learn to hold it from this deeper, more centered place.
Channeling your big feelings into a commitment to your own life will aid you in making something beautiful out of this shattering experience. If you are feeling shattered by this loss there is tremendous pain, no doubt. Yet, at the same time there is an opportunity to break open and break free of old stories and old patterns in relationships. This kind of breakup only needs to happen once. This is your turning point!
Noelle Davis is a certified Conscious Uncoupling and Calling in “The One” coach. For more information, visit BraveNewLoveCoaching.com.