Have you ever been through a gut-wrenching break-up? The kind that runs your heart through a blender and reduces you to a bleary-eyed ball on the couch with scarcely the energy or care to change out of your pajamas or do anything more than binge-watch Seinfeld re-runs?
Unless you’ve been isolated from the rest of humanity or particularly over-cautious, odds are that you’ve had your heart broken at least once in your life when a relationship ended.
Break-ups tend to be highly emotionally charged. They are at the heart of romantic movies and sad songs in every language on earth. Often, we cry our eyes out over them. However, they don’t necessarily have to be dramatic.
In fact, a break-up can actually be quite beautiful if you choose to go through it with total awareness. Before you shake your head in utter disbelief, consider the following tips for breaking up consciously…
Is it truly complete?
Spiritually, relationships are tools that help us learn and show us aspects of ourselves that we can transform. Our partners in relationships are often our greatest mirrors because they show us exactly that. Therefore, it is entirely possible that our process with one person can be complete in the sense that we learned what there was to learn, and we are now ready for the next chapter.
It is important to note that you must have absolute clarity here. Does it truly feel energetically complete? Or could it be that, as a defense mechanism, your ego makes you want to run away when someone gets too close? If it is indeed a “flight” response, you will notice over multiple relationships that the same lesson keeps being offered to you over and over again until you have “learned” it.
In contrast, feeling complete with a relationship is a deeper knowing; a deeper sense of readiness to move on.
Have space for your emotions.
Ending a relationship is ending a chapter of your life. In some ways, you could see it as a mourning process, considering that from the moment of the break-up, someone who used to be a constant presence in your life will either be less present or gone altogether.
During the time that you spent together, you shared experiences, friends, emotions, and companionship. You were physically, emotionally and energetically connected and that “breaking of a connection” has an impact on all of your bodies.
For you to fully heal, you must allow your body to feel whatever emotions come up without suppressing or judging them. Anger, disappointment, sadness, and loneliness are all very common. If you don’t cope with these feelings, the process will only take longer, so don’t bottle anything up and be sure to give your emotions the space they need.
Keep in mind that processing your emotions is not something you do out of reaction to the other, but for yourself. You can do it alone or in the presence of someone who can hold the space for you. When emotions are fully felt, they dissolve automatically.
Have space for each other.
If you both choose to experience the break-up consciously, you can also choose to support a part of each other’s process by holding space for the other. Holding space means being fully available for the other with no expectations.
If you do decide to walk this path, it’s important to agree on a few rules first:
- Agree on who will share, while the other will stay silent and receive.
- If either one of you feels the need for it, you can agree on a time frame. You can either choose to share one-by-one, or feel into the right moment for each person to share. Be aware that the intention of holding space is not to use the opportunity to bash and blame the other, but rather to give expression to what is left that needs to be shared in order be complete with your relationship. It is possible that you need to hold space for each other a few times in order for both of you to be complete.
- The person who is holding space must not take anything that is said during the sharing personally and must not react or respond to anything that is shared.
In some cases, your ex may be in a reactive space or not want anything to do with you anymore. When emotions run high, it’s not always easy to stay in creation and not fall back into reaction. But this is also a part of breaking up consciously. If the other person is in a reactive space, you still have a choice whether or not to follow their lead. Ask yourself the question: Who do I choose to be in this situation?
Create a new context.
If you will indeed still be a part of each other’s lives, it is essential to make clear agreements on what each of you expect from the relationship going forward. What is possible and what isn’t? If children are involved, or if new partners have already shown up, this is even more important.
When setting your boundaries, keep in mind that half-hearted compromises will not work in the long run, so make decisions that feel right for both of you. If you are unable to find a mutually agreeable arrangement, keep looking for the right solution. Always communicate honestly, transparently, and respectfully.
Once all words have been spoken and all emotions have been expressed, create space for gratitude. Be grateful for this person, who they were for you, and what they brought to you and your life. Give thanks to your former partner for the journey you travelled together and the lessons you learned, no matter how difficult they sometimes were.
Although break-ups can be painful, if you are able to maintain presence and compassion for yourself and your partner, they can also be incredibly powerful gateways to spiritual growth and awakening.
If you are going through a break-up now, we wish you strength, love, and the light of awareness. Though things may sometimes seem hopeless, trust that there is always a way through.
With love, Nathalie