After a breakup or a divorce, the first thing I tell clients is to love yourself, first, before you even think of dating again. Often, after a breakup, we think we did something wrong. Even if it’s not our fault, we still might think we did something wrong. Even if it was something we did, we can’t dwell on the past. If you dwell on the past, it normally will only bring you sorrow and sadness.
Some people, after a breakup, feel they are not complete and immediately start dating again, or they try to find someone to date quickly. This can be a mistake, because you normally need a little time to heal. Now, I don’t mean to tell you that you need to dwell on the past or the mistakes that led to the breakup, but having a little time to reflect and heal from the breakup normally will make the next relationship stronger. We learn from our mistakes, and we grow.
The next step is don’t be hard on yourself. Breakups and divorces happen, and sometimes, we have no control over it. But all too often, we, as people who suffered through the breakup or divorce, become hard on ourselves. We try to figure out what we did wrong. We wrack our brains, trying to figure out what we did wrong and what we could have done differently, but in the end, it does not matter. It might just drive us nuts trying to figure things out. Just let it go and don’t dwell on it. It really is not good for your health.
When it’s over, it’s over, no matter whose fault it is. The things I try to get people to realize is, we can’t let our self-esteem go downhill. Even after a breakup or a divorce, you are still a great person, and you have a lot to offer someone. But loving yourself first is key to moving on.
I think what helps the most is saying to yourself, “I love myself fully.” I think that statement is key to loving yourself and moving on. I love what Louise Hay has said for years; she says to look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I love you” and give it even more energy by putting your name in there, so I would say, “I love you, Tony. I really love you.” Look at yourself in the mirror and really look into your eyes. This is a powerful affirmation. I love the work Louise Hay has done over her career. I have many of her books and audio CDs. I would recommend her work to anyone interested in affirmations and self-love.
I know all too well, sometimes, during a breakup, our ex will tell us it’s our fault and basically what we did wrong. Now, like I said above, it does not matter if it’s our fault or your ex’s fault for the breakup; it’s over, and it did not work. Forgiveness is a great step to move forward. If you think it’s your fault that the breakup happened, just say this, “I totally forgive myself for everything that caused the breakup or divorce.”
Now, do the same thing for your ex. Say, “I forgive my ex for everything that he or she did during the breakup.” Please remember these are just examples; if you or your ex-did something specific, you can put that into your forgiveness statement. The main point is, forgiveness can be very healing for ourselves.
Please understand forgiveness is not for the person you are forgiving; it’s for you. When you hold onto being upset or mad at your ex, the only person it will hurt is you. Your ex might not care at all that you’re upset or sad, but it will affect you in many ways. Being upset or sad is not good for your healing in the long run. Now, while I say this, we all get upset and sad during and right after a breakup. This is very normal. It’s not normal or healthy to hold onto that hurt or sadness long-term. This is what I am talking about when I say you can’t hold onto being upset or mad at your ex. This is why you forgive your ex for hurting you, and you forgive yourself. Forgiveness will set you free. It will make you feel better, and you will feel differently after you forgive your ex and yourself.
The one thing I want to make crystal clear is please don’t hold a grudge or hate your ex. It will only hurt you, not your ex. The way we feel and treat ourselves will mean more than what anyone thinks of us. Loving yourself can change your life.
I'm a life coach in California. Contact me if you have any questions.