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Break ups are hard. I have been through quite a few and I have finally learned how to gracefully heal, forgive, take the lessons to grow and move forward. It took me many years of therapy, inner work and just the willingness to try something different to get to be where I am today. Trust me, I had my share of tears, anxiety, guilt and negative self talk. Am I perfect? Absolutely not! However, I do have the consciousness and awareness that breaks ups can be a bit less traumatic if we follow certain steps:

1- Feel The Pain

Break ups are hurtful. It doesn’t matter who broke up with who, it still hurts. Sometimes the pain is so intense you feel you are going to explode. The excruciating pain is something we try to avoid because we never learned how to deal with it. Sorry to break it to you but, if you want to heal, you need to feel the pain. Yeah, you are going to cry and feel miserable but you need to allow yourself to feel it. Pain, like anything in life, comes and goes. You are allowed to grieve. Breaking up is a huge loss and the grieving process is painful. Don’t pretend you are ok. Who are you trying to impress? Why? Just feel it and allow it to pass through you. From pain comes a lot of awareness and clarity. Plus if you don’t give this a try your next break up will be like the previous ones. So it is times to try something different if you want to get different results.

2- Avoid Alcohol, Drugs and Anything That Blurs Your Mind

What’s the first thing we do when we break up with someone? We try to disguise the pain in whatever way we can. Most of the time it is through drinking, using drugs, hooking up, and getting on dating Apps to find someone to fill the void. Now, who am I to judge? I have done most of these things. But, my latest break up hurt me to my core and I knew I needed to do the opposite of what I had always done. I stopped drinking alcohol, coffee, going out and doing all the things I usually did to distract myself from myself. It was horrible but by doing this I allowed myself to feel everything I had to feel. Was it easy? No way. I wanted to go for that glass of wine. I wanted to go out and dance my pain away. I wanted to be busy and not have time to think and feel. But guess what? I had committed myself to going through it all with a clear head… I cried, I didn’t sleep, I had ups and downs and sometimes I felt I was not going to make it. But you know what I didn’t do? I didn’t go into that loop of back and forth with my ex. I was finally acting with a clear head and I knew that, even though I had loved him very much, we were not meant to be. With this awareness I worked on myself and found this inner strength I didn’t even know I had.

3- Forgive Yourself

There is no healing without forgiveness. First, we have to forgive ourselves for anything we may have done or any harm we may have caused. Let’s be honest, it takes two. We have to admit we had our share of participation in the break up and second, we have to forgive ourselves. It’s easy to blame the other person. But, can you stop and introspect on what your contributions were? Maybe you didn’t do a thing and that was your contribution to the end of the relationship. To me, this was the hardest part of the healing process. I blamed him and I could not admit to myself I was controlling, insecure and not willing to do things if they were not done my way. I mean, my way was the best way… The realization that I had to forgive myself for what I had done, consciously or unconsciously, was a huge step. I did hours and hours of meditation on forgiveness. And the first one I worked on forgiving was me.

4- Forgive Your Ex

Now, the hardest part, to forgive your ex. For anyone who has been through the hurt of a break up you know how difficult it is to even consider forgiving. I could not for the life of me think of him in a good light, let alone forgive him. I didn’t want to be spiritual. I wanted to hate him. So, there I was, sitting in meditation, day in and day out telling myself I was forgiving him and sending him love when my heart was not having it. It felt fake. It sounded fake. It was all fake. But as the monks I learned meditation from used to say: “even if you don’t feel it, do it anyways.” And that I did.

Months and months meditating and trying to forgive. Months and months sending him loving kindness. Tears would’t stop falling and, sometimes, I would sob like a little kid. But I continued the process. Eventually there were less tears, less anger, less hate… Eventually, I forgave him. I put myself in his shoes and I experienced a sense of compassion. What was happening? I cannot explain but with time I forgave him. And now I look back and am actually grateful for everything that happened. Had things not happened the way they did, I would not be who I am. I would not be writing this post. I would not have found this inner strength and wisdom that existed inside of me. It’s been two and a half years since my break up and, even though him and I are not in touch, I always send him love and kindness through my meditations. And guess what? Because I forgave, I became free.

5- Learn Who You Are Without A Partner

Some of us have never spent time alone. After this break up and after hours and hours of contemplation, meditation and journaling, I realized I had not been alone since I was fifteen years old! I always had a date, a friend with benefits or a relationship. I went from one guy to the next. I had fun, don’t get me wrong. But I never knew who I was without a man. I thought that to be happy I had to be in a relationship. That’s what Hollywood, society and religion tell us. So, I bought into this idea that for me to be whole, I had to be with someone.

When I got my second divorce I knew I had to spend time learning who I was. Keep in mind I was not drinking, going out or filling my time with anything. I became an avid learner. I started reading books, meditating more, taking yoga, I got myself a life coach and I started traveling alone. I started this 30 Days Of Yes challenge where for 30 days I would do something that I probably would say no to. I was pushing myself to get out of my comfort zone. Not only that, I posted a video for every single day. Sometimes the “yes” was to just get out of bed, to be honest. This challenge became my thing and it exists to this day.

Through all the books I read, all the videos, audio books and podcasts I listened to, my mind started to expand. A new world started showing up for me. I started figuring out who I was and what my mission was. I started spending more time with my kids and not just taking care of them. When I decided to start going out, my likes had changed. I wanted to meet like-minded people so I joined a yoga studio, I went to the meditation temple every Wednesday, and I started meeting people who were seekers like I was. Because I had stopped drinking and going out, I stopped going to clubs or bars. I had learned to sleep early and that felt awesome. I didn’t want to go back to the party life I had before. Nothing wrong with partying but my priorities and my life had changed.

7- Learn To Enjoy Your Company

I never knew how fun I was until I started spending time with myself. I did a lot alone. I confess it was weird at first. I would go to restaurants alone and sit at the bar so I didn’t feel weird sitting at a table by myself. I would go to movies alone and then I started traveling alone. After a period of discomfort, I started loving it. It was awesome to have time for myself. I didn’t need anything or anyone to make me happy. I was happy and that happiness was coming from within. I tried different places, different foods, I would go for long walks or hikes. I was having the time of my life. Having a 50/50 custody was great because when my kids were not home, I was doing me. When they came back, I was energized and ready to be present with them. Even to this day, I like my alone time. I love people but, sometimes, I just want to enjoy my own company. Never in a million years did I think I would be this kind of person.

8- Create Good Habits & Live Them

Now I see break ups as an opportunity for growth. They don’t hurt as much as they used to. I am no longer afraid of the pain because I know it will pass. I have created morning and evening routines and I have adopted habits that support my well-being and this new person I have become. The best habit I have adopted has been using less screen. I turn my phone off at 9pm and only turn it on the next day after I am done with my journaling, meditation and breakfast. The other great habit that has worked for me is going to bed early. I know now how a good night of rest can affect my mood and my day. So yes, my kids make fun of me and say I am a grandma but I go to bed at 9p or 9:30p. Most importantly, the habits that have supported my mental health have been yoga and meditation. If I don’t meditate, I feel off. I love the time I have with myself quieting my mind and sitting still.

9- Try Again

A lot of people who go through break ups don’t want to get back out there. They are hurt and afraid they will go through suffering again. Don’t be afraid. If you take care of yourself and your priorities, there is nothing better than meeting new people and seeing how you show up for yourself and for them. We can’t avoid suffering but if you have a good understanding of who you are and what your boundaries are, there is no better way to learn about relationships than to be in one. Only by trying again will you know how you will feel. If triggers are still there, work with a therapist or a counselor. The work never ends but make sure you have fun in the process. There’s nothing better than going on dates, going to new places, meeting new people. Just try not to attach to an outcome. If anything, you may make a friend. And if you notice you are going back to your old patterns, notice that. That is a sign you need to continue working on yourself.

I hope wherever you are in life, you give yourself a chance. I will be here sending you love and kindness and I hope you do that for yourself as well. Remember that your inner energy creates your outer reality.


Simone Santos

I am Brazilian by birth, American by heart! I created Cool N Chic with the intent of spreading the message that we are all "cool" in our own and authentic ways. Cool N Chic was created to bring people of all backgrounds together through mindfulness, self-development, healthy living and the desire to be fearlessly authentic. Even though I created this blog, it is not mine. It is ours and I welcome you, your wisdom and your energy.

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