This weeks post comes straight from the heart. A few weeks ago my fiancé/partner of 4 years and I decided to go our separate ways. It’s never easy to part with people, especially the ones we love the most. Which is why most of us hate goodbyes. And especially those times when we know it’s not a ‘see you later’ kind of goodbye. Even if you try to part as friends.
One thing I know (having been far away from my family during another breakup many years ago) is that when the heart aches, you need your support crew there. And after a breakup, the hug is sometimes the most vital part of comfort in a time of absolute emotional turbulence. With half a globe or at least a few hours travel to that hug, it can sometimes feel impossible.
I’ve noticed a few things over the past few weeks that I trust will be helpful for anyone out there that’s going through something similar.
- Allow yourself to be sad. Cry the tears you need to and take time to grieve what ended as well as feeling that you’re too far away from what matters. It’s ok to grieve in whatever way works for you. You don’t have to be strong or have all the answers.
- Ask for help. Over the past few weeks I’ve received love and support from more people than I would have ever imagined. Friends, colleagues and family members. Even if you don’t feel like talking, ask for help with the basic things you don’t know how to cope with. Moving house. Borrowing someone’s car for an errand. Someone keeping you company just to watch a movie and say nothing. Dare to reach out for support and the universe will repay you. Hugs (both real and virtual) are always available for those who ask for one.
- Get creative with temporary solutions. You’re far away from many people who would be your obvious backup solution, so get creative. Can you stay with a colleague for a week or two while you look for another place to live? Can you sublet your spare room to someone for financial help and some piece of mind while you go through the sadness? You don’t need solutions that last forever, they just need to work for now and a little while.
- Take the time for you. It’s easy to want to run away or rush into something new to just stay busy. But things end for a reason (even if it does not feel like it right now), so make sure to give yourself time to grieve as well as time to digest the learning of what happened. A great way to connect with self is to practise daily gratitude. If you’re not sure how to go about it, just send me an email and I’ll send you my online gratitude journal for free. It might sound trivial, but it’s the single best daily routine that’s gotten me through the past few weeks.
- Remember where it began. When things end it tends to be a roller coaster between the good moments and the disagreements and sadness. Many expats and travellers move to another country or place far away to be with the one they love. So when it ends, it hurts even more. When you feel ready, remind yourself of why you came to the new place. It may have been because of him or her, but what else compelled you to move? Pay attention to all the other things that inspired you to take on this journey.
- Decide where to head next. Even if you feel like locking yourself away in your bedroom and watching movies and escaping the world for another few months, there is a tomorrow waiting for you. When you have your short term solution in place it’s time to get curious about your vision. Only you can decide what that vision includes and that’s probably both the best and the most frightening thing about being on your own again. Don’t move away or back home unless you truly feel it’s what you want. Don’t stay put unless it serves you. If you’re feeling lost you might want to chat to a friend, mentor or coach to help you get started on how you can shape this next chapter of your life.
In the midst of misery lies great learning and opportunity. Grieve what you lost for as long as you need to. Then honour yourself and create your journey beyond the sadness and into your compelling future.
Have you been through something similar? How did you get through it? Leave a comment here to share or hop over and join the conversation on our Facebook page. If you’re in a challenging situation right now and would like to have a confidential chat – contact me directly for a chat!