Updated: Dec 10, 2020
How many of you are, or know someone, who has only had only amicable romantic breakups that they can move on from with ease? Imagine if every time somebody walked out of your life they made sure to offer a valid, concrete, and satisfying reason that left you feeling ready to move on happily right away? Two things would happen:
1) The breakup song anthems of the world would be no more
2) Tarot readers may go out of the love reading business
Jokes aside, ending a relationship with a lover or friend can throw your life into a tailspin. This tailspin adds gasoline to the flames when the end is abrupt or you do not understand why. You may be left without answers, completely devastated, and drowning
in your thoughts. It is possible for folks to have open and healthy, albeit difficult endings to the relationship. However, this article is for the folks who had to build them selves up with no closure, no answers, and no direction on how to move on.
This is going to sound cliché, but when I say "
I get it", I mean " I GET IT!"
In my particularly insufferable experience with an ex, the breakup itself wasn't even the worst part. The worst part was after the initial chaos, fighting, and physical separation ended. There was only deafening silence and the shattered pieces of my life strewn about. In fact, this person tried to make it so that I wouldn't likely survive without them. At the time of the breakup I had spent my life savings on a home we purchased, my car was broken down, and I was a nursing student working full time for crumbs paying Uncle Sam . Two weeks after we purchased a home and he proposed, he informed me he had an affair with a person he met at the bar and needed me out of the house ASAP. Why you ask? He wanted to move in his new lover and her children from a previous marriage ( After telling me he hated me and would never have children with me) Yikes, I know. The most difficult part of all this madness was never getting an answer on anything. I drove myself up and down mental walls for months. Why is this happening? How could he do this to me? Aren't we meant to be? How do I date again? Why is he still texting me? My days were long, painful, mundane repeats of school, work, wine, tears, and " Gnash" songs.
However, time stops for none. Fast forward several years later, and here I am; a college graduate with my own business, A happy and fulfilling marriage with my best friend, a place to lay my head at night, food in my belly, and my little family and friends. Most importantly, I am mentally and emotionally content and living in a state of mostly calm and grateful perspectives. Bad times still exist, but now I have the coping mechanisms and tools to digest traumas. So the big questions I get, and our blog topic focus,
" How do you move on?" & "How do you get closure?"
1) Closure is often a mirage
Here's an exercise in changing your perception. Ever see the movies/ cartoons where the thirsty traveler sees a cool spring ahead in the hot dessert? They are so relieved to finally see some refreshing water! However, as they get closer to the horizon, they learn their relief was an illusion of light and the desert playing off of each other. Closure, my friends, is really no difference. It's natural as human beings that we want to understand and gather data to digest our reality in wake of sadness and loss. However, I implore you to really sit with yourself and ask what you feel your idea of closure even is. What does closure look like to you? The trap is often in the fact that we sometimes convince ourselves if we just get answers we could move on and heal. However, there often are no words, in all the languages, in all of the world that could actually fully satiate our broken hearts in that time.
The cycle of chasing closure can often be even more difficult when the other party does something extremely hurtful such as cheat, lie, steal etc. The most unfortune scenario is trying to move on from a person who is still lingering around your life with mischievous intention. You know EXACTLY what I mean too... The exes that still try to text, the ones who ghost us but still follow our social media, They will tease you with glimpses of hope for reconnection, or at the very least a humane explanation and apology, but no. You will be left like the traveler in the desert, endlessly seeking your water of closure on the horizon. You must make peace with the possibility that you may never get an answer from the other person you feel is satisfying, and that is ok. You might have to make your own water.
2) Avoid over-indulging in substances
Trust me when I say I had my fair share of wine nights during the breakup. I mean.. I was in college and lonely at home with cats. The obvious diet of the college champion is college in the AM and Wine the in the PM. It's ok to responsibly enjoy some adult beverages, cry your heart out to shower karaoke, and watch some sad movies to deal with the initial pain. There are also plenty of adults now who can responsibly enjoy medical marijuana for anxiety, depression, PTSD etc. Be cautious not to fall into overindulgence. There are obviously many more documented health issues with alcohol that marijuana. However, the problem lies with the constant need to numb your thoughts. You don't want to see yourself months or years down the road still not over your last relationship because you didn't face the work of overcoming and moving on to your next chapter. Take time to reflect and accept with a clear mind that despite the reasoning behind it, your relationship is now over and the only reality is the present and learning to live in it.
3) Light Exercise
I know what you are thinking " Ok Gigi, really unique advice, workout.. not" Hear me out, I do not think it is necessary to have an intense workout program. However, your physical body and mental realm are intimately connected and affect one another. Low impact activity, granted your health allows, helps lower cortisol ( stress hormone) levels in the body which would allow you to think more clearly and objectively. Emotions can feel like physical weight
on our bodies. Consider light activity such as walking, yoga, stretching, dancing etc to release some
physical stress and get your chi flowing through those beautiful chakras again!
4) Hands on activity
I don't practice any longer, but I've held onto a proverb from the church that still reigns true for the restless souls of this world. " Idle Hands make for the Devils work" the nuns would say. One of the few lessons that ever made any sense amongst the dogma and indoctrination, at least in my lowly opinion. I am a true lover of all things quiet and meditation related. However, sometimes folks feel a need for a distraction or way to blow off steam. It's likely now that you're single you have extra time. If you are an anxious person who has difficulty staying still for too long think about what things you can do, as a hobby or pass-time, that keeps your hands busy and allows you to create something measurable and satisfying to your soul. You cannot skip over the pain of healing, you must go through it. Consider taking this time to channel that pain into something new you can be proud of to add to meditation and reflection. These ideas could be ANYTHING:
Journaling, scrapbooking, blogging, vlogging, re arrange your space, volunteering time for a cause you support. Painting, sketching, deep cleaning your living space, playing with your pet, job change, learning something new like a language, soft skill, or trade ( could be anything from a free course online to going back to school), knitting, sewing, carpentry, organizing, video games, pottery, writing to shut ins and lonely pen pals, baking, cooking, exercise, calligraphy, candle making, gardening, the list is endless....
5) Write an Unsent letter (Burn it for release)
This is a great outlet if you enjoy expression through writing. If there are words left unsaid, unleash those chains from your mind and relinquish them to paper. Don't allow your anxious thoughts to live in your head rent free, evict them with every flick of your pen.
Even if there are multiple letters, keep writing. Put down all your thoughts, your questions, and your disgruntled grievances. This letter is not intended to be sent, and in fact if you are interested in cleansing rituals y I like to cleanse or even manifest is to write the information on paper and burn it. ( safely obviously..) This represents a sending of your pain and heartache back into the universe. You are telling the world that you are trying to let go of this pain, and focus on yourself and your future ahead.
6) Avoid prolonged mental isolation
I personally love my alone time, whether single or in my relationships. Sometimes when we are drowning in our sadness we just need an outside person to pull us out. I know socialization with the current covid-19 situation is sparse ( hopefully if you are complying to guidelines) and this makes some degree of isolation unavoidable at this time. However, if you have other members in your home to go to do not be afraid to rely on them for an ear to listen. Maybe your pet is all you have to talk to for now, and that is ok too. Consider facetiming, or calling someone for support and explaining you just want someone to shoot the can with. Even though the internet can be misused it can also be a tool for connection. There are plenty of ways to connect with others now at least until we can spend time again together physically.
Sometimes we really need another persons thoughts to help us see the breakup from a fresh perspective. Plus, investing extra time to invest in people we love is never time wasted
7) Unfollow all social media
Ha, Yeah I know this is an unpopular opinion.. But I'm still shocked how many people I know that stay following their exes social media regularly to snoop. Come on guys, what is your real goal for still checking on them? Do you really want to waste time and energy on wondering what they are doing and concerning over their whereabouts? The big question is how will you handle watching them go on with their lives? What benefit does that have for your healing process? Even if the breakup was amicable, there's no reason to check their information daily to see where they are and what they are doing. Your goal is is re wire your brain to focus on the present, not the past. There's been numerous studies over the years I've come across that express a measurable increase in anxiety, depression signs etc in young people over using technology.
If you're searching for an answer of resolution by staying in touch, please consider it's unlikely your ex lover or friend has anything to say to you at this point to contribute to your healing.
8) Re-evaluate your Connections
This one was particularly hard for me, as I had many mutual friends of my ex partner. We had also been together for so long, that his family were my family. I was equally devastated dealing with the loss of them in my life as well. However, I had to face the reality that it wasn't healthy to stay in constant contact with them any longer. I am a firm believer that people come into our lives for a reason. However, that doesn't mean they are meant to stay forever. It's ok to grow out of people and friendships. In fact, it may be necessary for moving on. This extra time and energy makes room in your life to manifest more people in your life that align with your goals and values. How do they fit into your new life? Loyalty and time are not the only factors to dwell on when considering to let someone go from your life.
This process includes also dealing with the dilemma of "staying friends" with that ex or not. As long as the relationship wasn't abusive, It is a personal decision to stay in contact or not. However, make sure the other person isn't intending to stay friends just to keep tabs on your life. Some folks like to mysteriously pop into your life when you appear to be moving on from them. This is a power move cloaked as an interest in re connection.
9) Journal some shadow work
I am a total geek for shadow work. If you've never heard of " shadow" work. To put it simply, it's the process of reflecting and introspection into the primal or darker parts of your self. We all have undesirable habits, vices, ingrained behaviors that can be improved upon. Putting your words to paper is another tool to allow you to express, articulate, and digest your emotions. If you are struggling to move on from a relationship, it's important to get to the bottom of why this is happening.
You can watch my Youtube video discussing shadow work here: Like and sub if you enjoy
10) Take all the advice with a Grain of Salt
Listen, it's good to have a support system, but you will likely also find that you are getting plenty of unsolicited advice. During my breakup everybody had an opinion of what to do next whether I asked them or not. I appreciated the thought, but it did eventually get to the point of frustration. One person was trying to set me up on blind dates, while another person was in my ear telling me to stay single for " at least a year" as an unspoken rule of healing ?? The only certainty in healing, is uncertainty. It is not a linear or concrete process. You'll hear alot of talk in the spiritual community about how you " must heal to move on" from any major life change or trauma. While that is true, healing isn't a one fits all plan. You also can take steps to move on without " healing entirely". Pain and healing is an ongoing cycle in our lives and it's another difficult journey to embrace and learn from.
If you take anything away from this blog, let it be this: As long as you are not hurting yourself or others do what feels right. The most important piece of sage advice I could give is measure your healing and giving yourself closure by measuring how okay you are with being alone. For example, if you want to get back into dating and you are doing it because you want to socialize, meet new people, and enjoy yourself then it sounds like you are ready to feel ok whether things work out or not. However, if you find yourself seeking a companion out of loneliness, fear, or seeking revenges on another it's time to re- evaluate your readiness to move on from your last relationship.
11) If Necessary Seek help
As always I am a pro modern science advocate and recognize the limitations of mindfulness, spiritual works, etc. If you are in an abusive relationship, or think you even MIGHT be, please reach out for help. Secondly, If you are having overwhelming thoughts or feelings that are affecting your daily functioning it is ok to talk to friend, seek therapy, or ask a doctor if you are a candidate or need medication. Keep in mind I am not practicing as a professional and making any diagnoses, and my writing in based upon personal experience and opinion.
At the end of the day, the secret is just that, there really is no secret. Just as life, closure is a journey, not a destination. It's ok to have hiccups and painful memories, but harness the present to feel your pain, accept the pain, honor the pain, and release the pain. There is a chapter waiting for you when you are ready to let go of the past. It may not be what you expected, or wanted, but the future will unfold with or without your consent. You can choose to stay in the past, or harness what's coming next with the feeling that no matter what happens, you will be ok. That my friends, is closure.
Safe travels in the world of love and romance my friends.