We’ve all been there or heard the stories about evil exes, or toxic friends, or even family members. I’ve talked extensively about my breakup with the Jehovah’s Witness community recently, because of the involvement in an upcoming book. But would it shock you to discover that it’s possible to have a positive breakup? Let’s explore how.
Start with the ending.
Ending something that may have been part of your life for a long time is hard. You’re out of your comfort zone (which may seem weird, because even though the scenario you left may not have been best, it’s still what you knew). You feel vulnerable, and lost, and may even start to question if you made the right choice. Is a positive breakup even possible right now?
The answer is yes.
Start with letting yourself grieve. This is a loss, be it a friend, a family member, a spouse, or even a community. You may feel like you’re losing part of your identity, that your world is crumbling, and
I want you to know – this is perfectly natural. Make sure that your grief isn’t consuming you, though, and reach out to trusted friends, other family members (NOT YOUR CHILDREN) for support during this time.
This isn’t the time to make rash decisions (please, don’t burn anything!) but rather a time to reflect on what has happened, and what direction you want to take. You can take social media time out, and you can put away things that remind you of what you have left behind, but use this time to care for yourself and lick your wounds.
My tips for this time:
- Think about why you decided to end the relationship and remind yourself it’s ok to feel lost and hurt.
- Start a journal and record your feelings.
- Honor the happy memories – don’t get rid of those. Don’t discredit those happier times – they made you who you are.
The next phase in your positive breakup is moving into the neutral zone. This is where you start to adapt and grow into your new life. It’s seriously ok to feel a bit lost at this time. You’re learning a new curve and a new way of looking at things, and sometimes freedom can be overwhelming.
Stepping out on your own is a big thing. You’re beginning to create your own identity and become a newer version of yourself. You may not feel comfortable here, and probably feeling a little in-between spaces as well.
Use this time to enjoy new experiences. Find a new place to get coffee, explore new places, or even go on that trip you always wanted to do! This is the time to find your unique identity and begin to grow.
During this time, it’s also reasonable to feel resentment about having to make the change, and you might find yourself feeling a bit low and like you don’t want to do things. You might feel anxious as well, and even skeptical.
This is a great time to get creative and renew your energy, though. Surround yourself with things that make you happy, start a new hobby, and, most importantly, people who boost your morale and give you energy. Maybe it’s the time to also do a little Marie Kondo magic 😉. This stage is the transition to having a positive breakup result.
My tips for this time:
- Try new things, and challenge yourself
- Surround yourself with people who lift you up
- Embrace the change, and don’t dwell on the negative feelings.
On to New Beginnings!
The final step to your positive breakup is new beginnings. You’ve started to embrace the change, and see that you can move on and function in your new role in life. Things can still be overwhelming and frustrating, and you might see yourself stumbling back into old habits.
You will probably feel a lot of energy when you hit this phase and ready to learn new things. The main thing is to remain open and curious about this new stage of your life.
This is the time also to celebrate your changes and your new beginning. Now’s the time to get that new hairstyle, buy the shoes, take the course. Celebrate this new you in style, and enjoy the positive break-up experience. Self-care is always important
During this time, it’s also essential to review what you journaled in the beginning. There may be some open doors that you need to close with someone as well, and that’s why I think it’s essential to have open, honest discussions with those who may have hurt you, or when you need closure.
A simple adaptation of the “Pathway to Peace” exercise can help you do this. Of course, this may not work in every situation, but in some places, it may help you bring closure. Reach out if you want to learn it.
- Be open-minded and ready to communicate – don’t bring the baggage of the past.
- Take a few minutes to sit down and open up about your feelings. Be clear on how this makes you feel, and why this makes you afraid. The other person should acknowledge this by repeating your concerns.
- Take responsibility as well – every story has two sides.
- Acknowledge the good times together, and recognize that while things have changed, you will have memories and shared experiences. This can help with closure.
A new beginning doesn’t always mean closing off the old connections. There are times when having a positive ending to your past is essential, and I genuinely believe excellent communication is part of this.
When all is said and done, it’s easy to read an article about having a positive breakup. There are so many ideas and things you can try and many different ways to deal with ending your relationships.
There are times, though, when you can feel lost and insecure, or even unsure of direction, and this is where coaches or a mentor can come in handy.
One of the most powerful methods I use in my practice to quickly get insight and direction is called “Family Constellations.” We start with as much of your family’s history you can remember. Without stories or judgment, we look at the past, and where often the roots of trauma are hidden.
Together, we explore what we find and come to a peaceful and loving resolution.
Interested in discovering how coaching and or a family constellation can help you? Get in touch. I’d love to be your guide.