Breakups are some of the hardest moments in our lives. I think they are harder than job loss. And close to the death of a family member. It’s like the death of a loved one and best friend all at the same time. Depending on how long you’re relationship lasted, there is going to be a period of recovery.
My Heart Breaks
“You are going to be fine,” I whisper to myself each morning. My heart doesn’t know that. But my brain can explore the mantra and see what thoughts come next. Here are some of my heart/soul reactions to my positive affirmation.
- “Fuck you.”
- “I’m never going to find another lover as good.”
- “Oh fuck, I just want to go back to bed.”
- “I’m going to be single for a long time.”
- “What’s the point, I suck at relationships.”
- “I am not fucking fine.”
- “The coffee is not working this morning, maybe I need something stronger.”
Pain and Self-Soothing
It’s important that you listen to these angry and scary responses your brain jumps to. Each one must be redirected. You can explore each one. “Fuck you” is especially destructive. That type of anger is directed inward. Are you feeling like you were 100% responsible for the breakup? Did you behave badly? Are you carrying shame about the events that led to your split?
“Oh fuck!” It was my common self-derived morning mantra. I talked to a friend about it.
“I wake up each morning with an ‘oh fuck’ on my lips. Sometimes I even say it out loud several times as I’m trying to get motivated to make coffee and start the day.”
“Does that help?”
“Um, fuck no.”
“Why do it?”
“I’m just letting out some frustration, anger, and sadness.”
“Maybe you’re affirming the hopelessness you feel.”
“Oh fuck, that’s exactly right. Crap. That’s not good.”
What I learned by my “oh fuck” exhalations is that they were like deep sad sighs with a hopeless kick. There was anger behind them. BUT, the anger was directed at my dumb (shame) self.
Turn The Pain Into A Journey of Discovery
Why did I steep myself in this negative affirmation upon waking up each morning? Was I punishing myself for being a bad person? Did I feel more comfortable being self-defeating? Was the anger behind it pointed back at me? Why would I blame myself for the breakup? What purpose was my “fucked” greeting serving?
It’s as if I was saying, “Good morning John. Everything is fucked. So fuck you for causing this dark period in your life.”
Obviously, this behavior and meditation on pain, shame, and self-defeating obsession were not doing me any favors. I still wake up with an “Oh fuck” these days, but now it’s usually about some task I’m dreading or some pain that haunted my dreams. Here’s my new response to that bad mantra.
“Oh, hi, shame. I see you’re up before I am. I appreciate you trying to get my attention. I’ll give you some time this morning as I write my morning pages. I appreciate you. I know you (I) am still in pain from the loneliness and loss. We can move ahead today and release a bit more of this pain.”
You Are Going To Be Okay
The energy provided by a positive morning mantra and meditation/writing session can lift your entire day, build towards a happy week, and support an UPWARD SPIRAL.
Here’s my mantra for you.
You are going to be okay.
Today I feel the pain and sadness and I welcome the aliveness of my heart and soul. As much as I long for a partner, as much as I long to be loved, I know this pain is the result of old hurts and ruminations on painful events in my life. This morning I ask for my higher power to help carry and release this negative shame that is affecting my joy and happiness. Today, I will focus on each present moment, and when I feel the “fuck you” coming on, I will pause and pray or meditate (breathe) for a brief moment to release the old blood and oxygenate my blood with the incoming and relaxing breaths.
- Dating Again After Divorce – the archives
- What Do We Learn When Things Fall Apart?
- Is Someone Getting the Best of You?
- Dear Love, I Want Everything Right Now
- Online Dating Update: Breathe It All In, Love It All Out
- Real Love, The Art of Mindful Connection – Salzberg
- Real Love: The Truth About Finding Unconditional Love & Fulfilling Relationships – Baer
- Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples – Hendrix
- Keeping the Love You Find: A Guide for Singles – Hendrix
- Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love – Levine
Here are a few of my books on Amazon:
- Single Dad Seeks: Dating Again After Divorce: Advice and Strategies on Learning How to be Loved Again
- Fall of the House of Dad: My journey through divorce, from loss to joy, again and again
- A Good Dad’s Guide to Divorce: One father’s quest to stay connected with his children
- The Sex Index: Getting Our Love Languages Right in the Bedroom
- Here Comes the Darkness: Surviving and Thriving After a Mental Illness Diagnosis
- The Third Glass: When Drinking Becomes an Issue
- The Storm Before the Divorce: When One Parent Wants Out, That’s the End
- Dating 2.0: Aiming for the Love of Your Life