Have you had memories that remain touchy after a breakup, maybe even well after you get over your ex? Wouldn’t it be great to be done with feeling sensitive? Whether it’s been weeks or years, it’s possible to put a stop to lingering strong reactions about an old relationship.
The sting you feel from a past relationship might be grief. Grief after a breakup is different than grief you feel when a loved one dies. Through my coaching, I’ve connected with hundreds of people getting over breakups and separations. I know how rare it is for us to recognize that we are experiencing post-breakup grief.
Even when we see the grief that’s there, we are ill equipped to work on it. We are not taught how to grieve. A common fix people resort to is suppressing feelings of loss. Suppression takes energy you could invest in a new relationship instead.
This article will explain why it’s worth rethinking the suppression strategy and opening the lid on grief. I used to suppress my own breakup grief, but once I revisited lingering grief, I got past those sensitivities for good. Heres the top 5 advantages I experienced from working through post-breakup grief. My younger self would have wanted to know what was in it for me, and I want you to benefit from what I’ve learned.
A PERSONAL CASE STUDY FOR WORKING ON POST-BREAKUP GRIEF
I’ve worked through the remnants of post-breakup grief for more than one past relationship. However, I’ve also worked on another experience that involves the same kind of grief (but wasn’t a breakup): for a decade, my mother declined with dementia. Like a breakup, the loss that people experience when a loved one has dementia involves dealing with a painful paradox. You lose the person you love, even though that person continues to be physically present.
I faced ongoing ‘breakups’ with mom, because of her dementia. With each decline in cognition, I lost the relationship I knew and relied on. Yet there she was, still part of the world, but not part of my life the same way.
Several months ago, mom passed away. It was thankfully swift. She was comfortable and had family with her. It was her time to leave this earth and I’m glad she got to pass in a way that she would have preferred.
Now that I’m on the other side of losing her physically, and I can see how tremendously beneficial my ongoing processing of my grief has been. Thanks to regular <EFT / Tapping>, I arrived at the end of mom’s life with a feeling of resiliency.
Using my coaching tools, I didn’t need to suppress each layer of loss as it unfolded. I was able to make peace with all my emotions as they came up. Consequently, what was left for me to confront after she finally died was much more manageable than I expected.
Losing someone to dementia happens over decades. It’s like a hundred different breakups. I’d worked on plenty of post-breakup grief moments in my life, but the work on mom gave me clarity about what those clearing out post-breakup had done for me. I could see the direct connection from the work I did to how much better off I was for the effort I’d put in.
I want to share the what I’ve learned because I know that it’s in store for you when you work on your post-breakup grief, also.
5 BENEFITS YOU CAN LOOK FORWARD TO AFTER WORKING WITH POST-BREAKUP GRIEF
Are you sitting on the fence about working through your own grief? Here are the top 5 benefits I noticed were there for me. These were results of having worked on grief, and you’ll benefit from them too.
1. You allow your full self to be expressed
Whatever feelings you have are valid and worthy of exploration. Using EFT, it is possible to figure out what is happening underneath the surface. You’ll even be able to accept feelings that are embarrassing or taboo. By acknowledging all your emotions as they are and getting to know the reasons behind why they happen, you won’t abandon yourself. Therefore, you’ll maintain wholeness.
2. You are able to receive more support
Grief is a tricky thing. Grief can be masked by other emotions like anger or frustration. Thinking of what went wrong can propel getting angry or complaining or another negative loop. This drives away support. When you work on grief, you connection to what is beneath those surface emotions. It’s less less scary connecting to your sadness and your understanding helps you express what’s going on inside rather than defaulting to raw, surface emotions like anger.
3. You’ll move on
A lot of us have internalized the old adage about grief: ’Time heals all wounds’. It implies that all you have to do is wait out a period of time before you feel better. Versions of this are said after breakups all the time.
As a relationship coach that specializes in working through emotional underpinnings of a challenge, I can assure you that time deserves very little credit for healing. Plenty of people still express pain about some part of an old relationship 20 or 30 years later, to the point where that old pain is as fresh as if it happened days or weeks ago. Time allows the busyness of life take your focus off a wound that was never healed.
Some of us decide to not process grief, but end up stuck because of it. You may be on guard against a repeat performance, or even overtly reject the prospect of looking for love.
4. You’ll get better at life
Did you know that making meaning is considered a final stage of grief? Whether or not you subscribe to ‘things happen for a reason’, you can learn from an experience and make it meaningful to your life. This is how you grow from the experience. Once you work through and let go of the emotional reactions that are happening, a bigger picture of what this experience means can emerge. That perspective and meaning that gets imbued into the tough situation you faces is what character is built from. It will serve you in your next relationship, and in life.
5. You’ll be able to appreciate hold space for the good and the bad.
Losing an ex can feel like a double-edge sword. There were things you loved and appreciated that disappeared, but there were things that you really wished were different. All the feelings that are coming through, whether ‘good’ or ‘bad’, need to have a voice. Good grief work means that you are able to be left with a well-rounded picture of the way your partner/relationship was: both good and less than ideal. Seeing all sides and have a balanced memory of the past is empowering. When. you make peace with all sides of the story, it may leave you more room to look backwards with appreciation.
GET STARTED ON YOUR OWN JOURNEY
The 5 payoffs listed above give a feel for the kinds of benefits you’ll been able to cultivate through grief work. This list is my own personal one, and your’s won’t be exactly the same.
You can aim to reach a place where you can look at the past and feel the love you felt, without suppressing the flaws or ignoring the frustrations. That brings a fulness/wholeness to what happened.
In your journey to enjoy theses benefits for yourself, there are more resources here to help. This article that explains the uniqueness of grief that happens post-breakup. It’s not easy to examine grief and to help us approach this work, read about the <5 key mindsets you can hold to work on getting over your ex>. If you know you have post break up grief (new or old), I invite you to do the work for yourself. I have a <free downloadable guide that offers a roadmap EFT for processing breakup grief>.
Work on relationship grief can be uncomfortable. It can be beneficial to have a practitioner help you hold space as you work through the feelings showing up and guiding you through the process. If you’d like to know what EFT/Tapping could do for you in processing grief about a breakup, book a complimentary chat with me. I can share ideas on how to do deeper work on your own, and ways that working with me as a practitioner might help you go further.