Those days when you are in the pain it’s hard to find the joy. Your eyes flutter open and you hope it was all a bad dream. But nope, there is is. The pain. It stings as it moves up from the center of your body towards your head. It stops and is heavy on your chest, pinches at your nose, and finally bubbles hot from your eyes.
I am not here to say you should stuff it away. No, in fact I believe you should feel it fully.
Heartbreak is some of the deepest pain I have ever known. You feel lost and wonder if you should even bother getting dressed. The loss of love is almost excruciating. This loss can come in the form of a lost love, a miscarriage, divorce, death and much more.
Having experienced a fair number of these dark days in my life I have found a recipe for moving through it as quickly and effectively as possible with success.
1. Feel your feelings fully.
Sometimes we tend to try to stuff it away because the fear of the pain is actually worse than the pain itself. Stop. Ask your soul/body what it really feels. Close your eyes and feel it. All of it. Let it come out of your body anyway it wants too. Moaning, crying, sighing, screaming, let it out.
Do this periodically though the day or at times you feel you may be numbing yourself. Seek to really feel it instead of covering it up with: food, sex, alcohol, people, work, shopping, drugs, over exercising, or any other vice you may be tempted to numb with.
2. Letter writing/burning
It helps to write it out physically with a pen. Write a letter to that ex, that friend, that unborn baby, that parent, that lossed loved one. Write out everything you want to say and more. Write why you love them, hate them, miss them, are angry, sad, lonely, or afraid. Then burn it. There is something satisfying about watching it burn up and letting it go. Do this as many times as it takes to feel some release.
This is a technique described by the author affectionally known as “Mama Gina”
Get a playlist of songs that bring up the emotion for you. Wear black, put ash on your face, and just do it. Be alone and let it out. Throw yourself on the floor and cry, Scream at the top of your lungs, smash a pillow against a wall, or just sob. But physically express it in your body. We can learn a lot from toddlers here. They haven’t been imposed on what is socially acceptable when it comes to their feelings. They just freakin feel. They throw themselves in a heap on the floor over a banana that is cut in half wrong. They feel it then they get up and are on their merry way. (ok maybe not quite that simple.)
But I can tell you this 20 minutes later they are not still carrying that sh*t around with them.
There is something so good about getting out of your head. I like to hoola hoop dance, or just turn on a song and dance crazy in my living room. This is even better an amplified if done with a friend or a child. You will find your self smiling ear to ear.
5. Look for whats good.
Write out gratitudes and what is good in your life. Your mind can only have one thought at a time and after you have felt your feelings fully it is good to put a good thought in that brain. I love the app the 5 minute journal and it has helped me focus on gratitude,at the beginning and end of my day regularly.
6. Do something for someone else.
It helps so much to serve and care for others to get our minds off our own problems: buy a homeless person a coffee, or heck buy the person in line behind you a coffee. Volunteer, visit a sick and shut in, listen to an elderly person talk for a while, bring a friend who needs it flowers. Just do something for someone other than you.
7. Enlist support
Not everyone wants to hear about your problems every day but enlist a few people up for the job and probably a 3rd party such as a therapist or coach that you can talk to if you need help. I have a team of people who are in my life right now I can reach out to for support. So important so I can show up fully with my friends, co-workers, and daughter and not bog them down with my stuff. I am a verbal processor and I have learned through my divorces I can loose friends if I don’t have this support system in place, because I put too much on them. It’s taken me a while but I finally have the support system I need.
Most of all just know this won’t last forever. Sometimes I forget that as a person who is very in the moment. This too shall pass, and the harder you work to actually move through it the faster you will. I am right with you in this love. In fact I’m in the middle of my own dark day and fighting for the joy. But you can believe I am doing all the above and will move through it fully, very very soon.