Seven Ways to Heal from a Breakup That Don't Involve Ice Cream
Seven Ways to Heal from a Breakup
That Don't Involve Ice Cream
It’s no surprise that something I see a lot at my tarot table is the pain that comes from the end of a relationship; especially when it wasn’t our choice, or when we didn’t see it coming. This is a pain that is familiar to most of us. In life, it is practically unavoidable. Breakups happen to everyone – young people, old people, straight people, gay people – everybody.
After more than twenty years of professional tarot reading, I can see some common themes that emerge from the cards when helping people handle their grief and upset after a breakup. Here are seven things the cards often suggest that always seem to help. Whether or not you use tarot or have a reading to help process a breakup, these strategies reflect universal wisdom that anyone experiencing a breakup can find helpful.
1. Recognize that connection, chemistry and coincidences do not determine nor predict healthy relationships.
That you share a birthday or have great sex or feel some sense of spiritual connection does not necessarily mean that you are destined to be together. Very often people have a hard time getting closure and moving on because they spiritualize the relationship, and tell themselves a story that they belong together, or are fated to be together.
Truly, if there is such a thing as a “fated” relationship, no force on earth will keep you apart. You can get closure now and know the Universe will bring you back together if it is indeed meant to be. In the meantime, stop telling yourself stories that suggest your breakup is somehow wrong, or impossible, or against some greater spiritual plan.
2. Be willing to consider that you are not truly in love with this person, and maybe never have been.
Very often we fall in love with our idea of someone, rather than the reality of who they are. We see the potential, rather than the reality. Focusing on the reality of who the person actually is, or how the relationship actually was, can make it much easier to let it go.
3. Don’t worry if your ex has a bad opinion of you or blames you for what is clearly their fault.
Sometimes we are ready to let the relationship go but hate the way our ex perceives us and our actions. We worry that they will trash-talk us to our friends and family, or that they are walking away believing bad things about us, unable to see their part in the problem.
The trick here is recognizing that we can’t be responsible for what other people think and believe, and that if someone can’t see our side of the situation that makes them an a-hole, and we can’t be upset by what a-holes think.
Also recognize that if they do trash-talk us that will make them look like bigger a-holes than we do, no matter what they may say, or to whom.
4. Allow yourself to see now what you wouldn’t allow yourself to see before.
In a relationship we try to focus on the good things and ignore the bad, right? After the breakup it’s important to review the things we didn’t want to look at during the relationship. When we do, we will very often come to the conclusion that we’ve dodged a bullet.
5. Erase the negative mental tapes.
Chances are, over the course of the relationship, and perhaps especially during the breakup, your ex has said some critical or negative things about you or has cast some blame your way. It’s important to own your part and learn what you can from the experience, but don’t let your ex’s perceptions, deflections, projections or angry words define who you are or how you see yourself going forward.
6. Know that love is possible, that hearts heals, and that it’s okay to be open to something new.
It’s easy to tell ourselves stories that we don’t want anyone else, that love isn’t worth the risk, and that we are better off alone. And, it’s okay to embrace being single and enjoy the beauty and freedom of the single lifestyle. But remember that love was never the reason for your relationship’s failure. Love still exists, is still possible for you, and is still a reasonable goal.
7. Do a Cord-Cutting Ritual
Whether you see this as an actual energetic healing or simply a psychological exercise, the act of physically cutting a string that represents the connection between you and your ex can be extremely helpful. You might need to perform this more than once. To learn more about how to do this, you can read my earlier blogpost on this topic.
Healing from a breakup is hard. The standard wisdom offers us little more than ice cream, shopping and spa days. A bit of self-care and self-indulgence can go a long way to help in healing. However, true healing comes when we change what we’ve been telling ourselves and reframe our perspective.