How to Bounce Back After a Breakup

Of course I am hurting. Breakups are not fun. Not for me, not for anyone. Broken trust, crushed hopes and dreams, just sad times all around. If you have ever gone through a serious breakup, then you can totally relate to what I’m referring to. It sucks. As if the life is literally sucked from your entire being. And all you know to do is cry and be sad, then cry some more. Trust me, I know.

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But you know what else is sad? Losing your identity and self in a relationship that seems to be happy, but in reality, is actually very detrimental to your health. If you pause and think, what is it that is actually hurting inside us during a breakup? Well, for starters, our ego is the first piece to shatter. We had all these future ideas and plans and wedding boards on Pinterest, then one day, it all becomes just a memory. Nothing to look forward to except loneliness and the single life. Our ego idealized a beautiful future based on words and dreams, nothing actually tangible to fall back on. Instead of cherishing what is already there, we find comfort in the hopes that one day life will be perfect and secure and awesome and married to Prince Charming. If only life were that easy.

Similar to our egos, our identity is gone. We invested so much energy and time and passion in another person, letting go of our true selves and livelihood in the meantime. For me, I was most upset about losing my identity as perfect girlfriend when I had my own entire life I had left on the backburner. Where’s the real Madeleine? Who is the real Madeleine? Without even realizing it, I was letting all my hopes and dreams pass me by, telling myself I had my whole life to do these things, that right now it was fine to slack off a little. How could I devote all my attention and love when in the midst of a relationship I was crumbling inside? How could I give my true self and energy to the universe when I was living in the past, hoping that things would get better like they always did? Well, the answer is you can’t. But I think you already knew that.

The funny thing about breakups, too, is that it’s usually never even about the other person. I think I was most upset with myself at the fact that I tolerated being unhappy for so long. No one wants to rock the boat, but we have to learn to respect ourselves and know when it’s time to end things. I was changing and growing, a much different girl than I ever had been before. Much like sweaters and shoes, we often outgrow the relationship that used to provide us so much comfort and happiness. And that’s perfectly okay. We as human beings are dynamic creatures, prone to adapt according to variability of our environments. Yeah, it’s pretty scary at first, breaking the status quo, letting ourselves feel and explore the world around us, where before we were fine being comfortable and safe. There just comes a point in time where we have to be honest with ourselves. We must be sure to constantly ask, “Is everything okay? Am I completely and totally 100% happy with where I am?” If the answer is no, then you have some reevaluating to do!!

The reevaluation is the scary part. If I’m not happy, what am I supposed to do about it? Is there even anything I can do?? OF COURSE THERE IS!!! I think we have all forgotten that we are independent beings and make our own decisions whether we want to accept accountability or not. Yes, people can influence our decisions, but they do not control our actions. You are in control of your own life, and you can’t blame the world or another person for your insecurities or problems. It’s 2016, time to be accountable. Take responsibility for your actions. You’ll build character and learn to love yourself more in the process. And just like they don’t control our actions, they don’t control our feelings either. This one is probably harder for people to come to grips with. I know personally it was really hard at first. Of course it’s easier to blame someone else for your bad mood. But look at it this way? Are you really going to let yourself answer to someone else? Live a life subordinate to someone else? Take control of your mind and your emotions. They are yours, no one else’s. You are responsible for your own happiness. So go out there and get it. No one is stopping you!

So, I’m sure you’re still asking, how in the heck do I get out of bed and take a shower and face the world? Well, you already know the answer. It’s simple. Just do it. What are you waiting for? Yes, it’s good to sit and listen to your feelings in the beginning. Validate everything you feel, whether it’s anger, shame, fear, hatred, or guilt. Sure, these emotions aren’t exactly pleasant, but they are necessary for our growth. The sooner you learn to embrace and accept your feelings for what they are, the faster and easier your breakup will be. However, you must be careful not to return to the black hole of your blankets and tears!!!

Another huge thing for me was to find meaning in my life and my breakup. Understand that relationships are there to teach us more about the world and ourselves, whether these are friendships or romantic relationships. Every encounter we have with one other is a learning experience. I realized that a lot of my unhappiness was rooted in my deepest insecurities, like never being good enough, having a low self-esteem and image, and countless more. I had created some weird and distorted version of reality and what was once a beautiful time of my life, I had created a living hell for myself. So ask yourself, “If anything, what has this experience taught me? What has this breakup shown me about myself?” If you actually take the time to reflect and journal, you can find out so much about yourself. I was looking for love and attention in anything and everything in the universe, when in actuality, all I ever wanted was deep in my soul, waiting to be embraced. You’ll bounce back in no time when you see that you are an awesome person on your own.

Do things out of love and respect for yourself, because you know in your heart that you are worthy and deserve to be loved, no matter what anyone tells you. Give yourself a little extra TLC, paint your nails, go for a run. Keep occupied. Hang out with friends, visit your family, discover your true passions and find new hobbies. Understand that life is about balance, times will be hard and they will be easy, your moods will fluctuate from happy to sad, everything comes in flows. This is a time of grieving, but also a time of rebirth. There is a wonderful soul waiting to come out into the universe to share love, but only if you allow it to emerge. Take these rough times as a lesson to learn about yourself and your wants and needs. Trust me when I say that things get better, and the sooner you allow yourself to receive the love you deserve (especially from yourself), the sooner you will be on your way to loving your life and the universe you are a part of.

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