Find Your Safe Space

Today’s message: Find your safe space and spend some time there this week.

We all need a place where we can exist unfiltered, unmasked, and free. These are moments and places we call safe spaces and they come in many different forms. If you don’t have any, let’s think about how you can find your safe space. If you know what they are, check in with your physical and mental health this week to see if you are craving some time there.

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Why You Need to Embrace What Makes You Different

I’m starting to think that the ultimate goal (and challenge) in life is learning to truly embrace what makes us different. When we are young, most of our teachers, families and even Sesame Street tells us that we are special. Then, we grow up and have to contend with a world that tempts us with comparison. Every day, we have a choice to compare who we are, how we look, and our contributions to the world. Unfortunately, this is where things can become toxic.

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15 Ways to Not Let a Breakup Ruin Your Life

Breakups are horrible. The heartbreak, the grieving of what once was, having to embrace a new chapter of life, and the constant reminders all feel overwhelming and never-ending when you’re in the middle of it. Well, I’m here to tell you that you do not have to let a breakup ruin your life. You will get through this.

The first thing you need to know is that you are not alone. The feelings are painful and those of us that have experienced heartbreak can relate. It’s true that time heals all wounds (or at least reduces the sensitivity), so your first goal is to take it day by day, start the healing process, and let time work its healing power. 

So many of us have had our experiences with breakups. I can vividly remember those times in my life when I called my friends hysterically crying, barely able to form a full sentence, and gasping for air because my relationship just ended. In most cases, it felt like the end, like life would never be the same without that person.

Despite friends telling me “you will get over this,” it was very hard to envision the days when my heart would not hurt anymore in those moments. The truth is I always got over the pain, and eventually, I stopped crying. The breakup did not ruin my life.

The biggest thing that helped me move on was telling myself that I could not allow one unfavorable moment, experience, or chapter to overshadow the rest of my life. I had to live, get better, and move on. I believed it was crucial to my healing and to allow the next wonderful person to come into my life.

Every day I see people, both young and old, living life paralyzed and emotionally stuck because of a breakup. Some people recover and other people remain emotionally stuck in that pain, which hinders them from having new fulfilling relationships. Your better self needs you to heal.

You probably found this post because you are dealing with a breakup or its aftermath. You probably feel like this breakup is going to ruin your life. Whatever the case may be, just know that this breakup may bend you in all sorts of shapes but it does not have to break you.

Here are some thoughts to help you get over a breakup without losing your mind:

  • Keep building up your self-confidence. You are a beautiful person inside and in due time you will not have trouble finding someone else. If you are unhappy with aspects of yourself or your personality, know that this is a good time to refocus and work on yourself for YOU.
  • You can love them and move on. Understand and accept that loving someone does not mean you are always supposed to be in or stay in a relationship with that person. You can always have a love for them, but want a better relationship for yourself. And, that’s OK.

  • Be grateful for the lesson now. Start accepting the fact that things may not have worked out in the long run. There’s no point in holding on to something that will eventually fail. It will hurt more later, so think “better now than later.”

  • Surrender and trust in time. It’s possible that the relationship may work out someday if both parties have space to grow and mature. Or, this might be the end and it’s time to move on. Time may not heal all wounds, but it sure gives them a new perspective. All you have to do is get there. You may not understand everything about the breakup, but in time it will not hurt as much. So, get some rest (literally and figuratively) and believe that eventually one morning you will be at peace with it.

  • Good chemistry does not equal soulmates. Accept that having “chemistry” with someone does not mean that person is “the one.” Yes, the person who is the one will have good chemistry with you, but everyone you have chemistry with is not the one.

  • Feel it, then release it. Give yourself permission to feel the hurt, but don’t let it consume or paralyze you. Tell yourself you are releasing the pain, even if you have to tell yourself that every single day.

  • Accept non-closure. Don’t obsess about finding a reason why it didn’t work out. You may never know. If you are searching for closure, replace it with a search for the lessons this breakup is trying to teach you.

  • Learn the lessons. Identify those things you ignored or put up with that you should not have and learn from them. All relationships reveal something about you too.

  • Prepare for Second-Guessing. One moment you might feel like you’ve moved on and then boom, you start questioning everything again. Once you’re in that place, all it takes is a random text or call to get you right back in that relationship you probably should not be in. I’m not telling you not to get back into a relationship if both parties have learned and addressed the things that caused the relationship to deteriorate. You get to decide if you want to rekindle the relationship. However, if the reasons were MAJOR, keep it moving forward, not backward. (Sidenote: Also, blaming yourself for playing a major role in the breakup does not mean you have to go back and “make it right” or give it another chance. You live and you learn. Move on).

  • Refocus your life. If there was anything or anyone you neglected while you were with that person, go focus on that. Another option is to focus on something you always wanted to accomplish or a new goal. Whatever you do, try not to just sit around ruminating on what went wrong. An idle mind will find something to occupy it. You can’t get over them if you just sit around thinking about them all day.

  • Ask for help. Depression is a real thing. Some of the pain or broken-heartedness can lead to depression, which is common and induced by chemicals in your body. If you feel that you cannot handle the emotions or are having self-harming thoughts, please reach out for help. Talk to someone you trust or go see a therapist.

  • Envision YOUR new life. Sometimes the hardest thing is imagining the other person being with someone else. Truth is, you may not even want to be with that person anymore, but the thought of them being with someone else makes you feel strange and uneasy. So, instead of thinking about how you can’t imagine them with someone else, start envisioning yourself with someone else. Think about all the lovely memories and experiences you will have someday with that new and amazing partner.

  • Take your time. Don’t be so quick to give away your forever. Sometimes people are in poor relationships that repeatedly end in breakups because they are too eager to date, settle down, and get married. I understand that no one wants to be alone, but the rest of your life is a long time (hopefully). Take your time. Grow. Let your life unfold in the timing meant for your life.

  • Create new memories to replace the old ones. Go to new places and do new things with the people you love. In due time, you will see that your life doesn’t end when you go through a breakup. More importantly, you will start to see that your purpose in life is much more than one relationship with one person.

Remember, you are not alone. Many people have felt like a breakup was going to ruin their life and keep them on an emotional rollercoaster. If you have gone through a breakup or are going through one now, what are some other thoughts that help(ed) you get through it?

Do You Need to Forgive Yourself?

“Forgive yourself,” he said. This statement smacked me in my face because I thought I already had.

Learning to forgive yourself is a crucial part of any healing journey. It’s even a critical part of success.

In this life, some days are wonderful and we want to keep them on replay. Then, there are those days that we want to just wipe away from our memories. If you don’t learn to forgive yourself (and others), your past will continue to haunt and torment you. 

There are times in life when people—whether intentional or not—disappoint or hurt us. These instances have the power to leave us emotionally and mentally scarred, and even paralyzed. There are also times in life when we disappoint or harm ourselves by our own actions. When you forgive yourself, you give yourself permission to experience internal peace and healing. 

It’s easy to forgive someone when they give you an honest apology; it’s much harder to forgive when they never apologize or show no regret or remorse. It is even harder when you have no explanations for that person(s) behavior and no possible way of getting those answers.

A little story time…

In my early 20’s, one of my mentors caused me significant emotional harm. At the time, I was looking for approval, wisdom, and guidance in life. Instead, I found myself confused and emotionally scarred. Over the next ten years, this “enemy” lived in my mind. Those initial disappointments turned into insecurity, doubt, and low self-esteem in so many areas of my life. I was emotionally scarred.

In the following years, I convinced myself that I forgave this person. However, at times, I found myself bitter and angry about the harm this person caused. They took advantage of their position in my life and I was still angry. I wanted an apology and remorse. I never received that.

One day, during one of my animated discussions about this person, a close friend said “you really hate [insert person’s name here], huh?” I was flabbergasted and appalled by the thought that I could harbor hatred toward someone. But more than that, the possibility of truth was terrifying. I quickly denied it and said “maybe a long time ago, but I forgave them. I’m good now, really.”

Hate was too strong a word for me to admit. But, my friend’s comment acted as a mirror and it was true. I hated that they misled me. I hated that I lost a mentor and I hated the fact that I was still allowing them to have control over my emotions.

After telling him that I forgive them many times (in my head), he said, “Well, then you need to forgive yourself.” 

At that moment, I realized that I was still affected. In many ways, that disappointment was still impacting my life. Since I never received an apology or acknowledgment from the person, I was unable to move on. I didn’t have closure.

I thought I had moved on. In my mind, I was stronger and more confident than anything anyone could do to me. I wanted to be unaffected. After so many years, I was upset with myself for even allowing this person to still affect me. I thought I had moved on.

Yet, he was right. It was still affecting me.

The good news: I started forgiving myself which allowed me to really start healing. While we cannot always control what other people do to us, we can control how long we allow it to impact our current reality.

Whether you already forgave the person(s) who hurt you or you are working on getting to that point, please take some time right now to start practicing forgiving yourself.

Set yourself free and start embracing your healing.