After the initial trauma, so that the pain of a breakup can turn into wisdom and leap forward, there are steps that can ease the grief.
1. EXCHANGE A GRUDGE FOR GRATITUDE
As Buddha said: ” Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intention of throwing it at another person, the only one who burns is you.” As long as we feed resentment towards the other person, the accumulation of painful emotions will not let us turn the page. We will be anchored to negativity.
If we exchange anger for gratitude, acknowledging the good things that happened and all that we learned, the bitterness will be transformed into a positive experience.
2. WISH YOU THE BEST
Even when the breakup is caused by the appearance of another person, after the initial anger, it is very therapeutic to dismiss the other with good wishes, even from an inner level.
As Otto Scharmer”s Theory U postulates: “If you don”t let go of the old, the new won”t come.” Anger binds us to the other person, so practicing the opposite, even wishing him luck with his new partner, will be highly liberating.
3. PRACTICE THE KINTSUGI
Just as Japanese artisans do not try to hide the breaks, but highlight them with gold paste, being aware of our past empowers us to live better thereafter.
To do this, instead of sweeping what happened under the rug, it is worth healing it through conversation with good friends or even with a therapist. Writing our history is another way of understanding what happened and why, who you were then and what you can be from now on.
4. MAKE SELF-CRITICISM
The so-called “prayer of serenity” by Reinhold Niebuhr asks “serenity to accept everything that I cannot change, strength to change what I am capable of changing and wisdom to understand the difference”.
This implies stopping looking for culprits and working for our own evolution. By recognizing our imperfections, we can do better from then on, starting with the choice of our life partners.
5. WRITE A LIST
I myself, the author of this article, after a period of loneliness, followed my therapist”s advice to put on paper what qualities I would like my future partner to have.
In a magical act, I folded that sheet and put it in an envelope along with two tickets to a Lang Lang concert that would take place six months later. I put it under the lid of the piano and told myself that I would be accompanied by the right person for me.
And so it was, and although it did not correspond to my “robot portrait”, this previous exercise highlighted what I did not want in my life.
6. GIVE VALUE TO LONELINESS
In one of the most revealing scenes in the movie Boyhood, Ethan Hawke comforts his teenage son, who has just been dumped by his first girlfriend, saying, “You do something of value and there will be a line at your front door.”
A person who feels proud of himself does not need to find another partner in any way, as a crutch, and, paradoxically, without this anxiety it is much easier for love to arise.
7. STRENGTHEN FRIENDSHIPS
At the end of a romantic relationship, it is very healing to seek the support of friends to compensate for the emptiness we feel. It is not about using them as a patch, or even less as a garbage can for reproaches against the “ex”, but rather they give us the opportunity to cultivate human relationships in a deep and selfless way.
In that sense, being a good friend is a good preparation for, when the time is right, to achieve a solid relationship.
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