The second most important thing (the first being to grieve and forgive myself) was to LEARN SOMETHING FROM MY EXPERIENCE
Learning about myself and (even while enduring the pain) what I gained from the relationship was extremely helpful. Some of my lessons were obvious. It was immediately clear that I had moved away from being the kind of person I wanted to be. The disagreements I had with my boyfriend were not worth the frustrations and bad feelings they created. I realized my priorities had been out of whack and my short-term goals and long-term goals didn’t match. There were other lessons I learned that weren’t as obvious to me and took time to discover. Here are some ways that helped me learn more:
Our conscious minds tend to dwell on the negative. Our unconscious knows the whole truth. The quickest and easiest way to access the unconscious is to meditate. Set aside 20 – 30 minutes every day to sit quietly by yourself (even 10 minutes will help). Pick a time of day when you feel pretty good. Spend a few minutes getting into a relaxed state (there are many books on meditation – I recommend Joy On Demand by Chade-Meng Tan). Just put the question to your mind “What can I learn from this relationship that ended?”. Let thoughts bubble up without trying to figure anything out. Your unconscious mind is very good at finding answers, just give it a little time.
Read everything you can on broken hearts. You feel less alone as it becomes clear that many others have been through this experience and you get ideas and inspiration that can make you feel better.
Just writing the story of what happened and how you felt will help. In fact, if you write about it for 20 minutes a day for 3 days helps a lot, according to James Pennebaker, who researched writing about emotional experiences. Putting your thoughts down on paper helps you get some distance from them. Most importantly, spend some time playing “devil’s advocate” with any negative thoughts. Ask if they are really true, completely true. Argue with them.
4. DEVELOP GOALS
Start with qualities, skills and attributes you have, want to keep or expand, then add qualities you want to develop. This will put you at the center of your life (as opposed to centering your life around someone who is not there).
Part I, Healthy Grieving
Part III, Putting the Loss Behind You