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How can a breakup become a break through?

By Deb Klugger
February 01, 2011

Are you struggling with a recent relationship break up and would like some ideas on how to move through this challenging time?

Surely divorce or the breakup of a long term relationship is one of the most difficult emotional experiences we have.  

Recently, I was working with Carrie Ann who had just painfully decided to end her 5 year relationship to Peter.  She loved Peter very much. However, she had reached the realization that her values and Peters’ had grown to be very different, almost at opposite ends of the spectrum.  Carrie Ann was committed to her personal growth, her career, wanted to get married and start a family within a year or two.  While Peter had verbally expressed the desire to work on the relationship, his actions were not evidence of that. He was often using alcohol, began staying out late with his friends and would not commit to wanting children anytime soon if ever. While Carrie knew she took the loving action by ending the relationship, she was struggling with how to go forward amidst the pain.

Having worked with others whom, like me, had to end a relationship with another we still deeply care for can, I know this to be one of the most difficult things we do. So here are a few tips to surviving a breakup that I shared with Carrie Ann.

1) Don’t romance the past. 

Have you ever noticed vacations, food, or anything fun seems to get bigger and better in retrospect, you know, kind of like a big fish tale? Well, we can also find ourselves doing the same around a past relationship. Often, when we first break up we focus only on what was enjoyable about the relationship and what we loved about the other person. Somehow, we can easily forget about the pain or the lack in the relationship. So when you find yourself beginning to romance the past with your ex, make a conscious effort to shift gears by recalling some of the disappointments and the upsets that his relationship brought.  Open up to the truth of who your ex partner was and is and perhaps not the imaginary person that you made him or her to be. This is a great time to actually take out a pen and paper and list all the things that you did not like about him or her. Also, list the hurt and disappointments that you experienced while you were a couple. By writing out the painful experiences  you will begin to step into the reality of the relationship and see it from a different perspective.

2) Embrace the sadness, heartbreak and disappointment as it comes up.

Have deep compassion for the part of you that misses the relationship. Keep reminding yourself why you are no longer together and all the ways that the relationship was not an ideal one. Ask your source of Guidance to come into your heart and fill you with love and peace around the loss. 3.) While it is easy to find yourself ruminating over your ex, questioning what could have been different or wondering what he or she may be doing is certainly counterproductive.  Intentionally shifting your thoughts to a different subject as though you were changing the channels of the TV or getting up and moving your body can be momentarily helpful. The real healing begins as you are able to surrender to the fact that you are totally and completely powerless over your ex and anything they say or do.      

3) Get moving!

Start a new sport, walk, dance, or join a gym. Anything that gets your body moving at a good pace will help your serotonin levels come up and you will begin to feel good again both physically and emotionally. Take a class, learn a new language, re-engage in an old hobby or start a new one. Really challenge your mind by doing or learning something new.

4) Move into gratitude for the wonderful people or things you have in your life.

Gratitude can be a very cleansing and healing emotion. If you struggle for ideas of what to be grateful for, be grateful for nature, a sunrise, a butterfly, a child’s smile, a pet's faithfulness - anything that is beautiful to you. Shifting into gratitude raises your vibration and will enable you to heal quicker and open to life’s limitless possibilities. 

5) Make this a time of rediscovery.

Get to know you on an even deeper level and find out what brings you joy and what you truly want in your life. Begin by writing out your values around life including work, relationships, child rearing, money and any other important issues that you can think of. Next, journal how your most ideal life would look, sound and feel. If it’s a new house, well then imagine the floor plan the colors of the walls, the comfort you would feel and the wonderful smells of a great meal cooked by you or someone you love. Perhaps you are thinking of a new job or a career change, write it down. Think big. If it is a new relationship you would eventually like to manifest, then list all the redeeming qualities this person will have along with the things you will share and do together. Getting really clear on your heart’s desire is a big help in getting exactly what you wantMost importantly, get ready for something wonderful!  I, like many others, can attest that while ending a relationship is almost always painful, it can be the breakup that leads to the break through that results in the growth and healing that make your life better than you could ever have imagined.     

Deb Klugger is a Holistic Life and Relationship Coach helping people recover from the drama and trauma of life so that they can have the relationship of their dreams. Deb works with clients and conducts workshops domestically as well as internationally, via phone and Skype and in person. Visit her website @


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