You’d been together a long time. You were comfortable with each other, you knew one another’s strengths and weaknesses. You never thought you’d part company and then you did. It was shockingly and suddenly over. You’d actually moved on. It was hard to believe, yet here you were letting go, choosing something new and it was…well okay.
Until one day, those old familiar feelings re-surfaced…aargh…where in the heck did they come from? You thought you were done with them…after all, you’d given them up, hadn’t you?
Apparently not, for here they were in all their glory…having the cheek to show up, just to remind you that breaking up really is hard to do, especially when you’re breaking up with old, familiar and not very helpful negative thoughts.
They say that confession is good for the soul and herein is my confession of my apparent inability to have a decent and total breakup with said negative thoughts.
For the past two days I’ve been taken over by the gremlins of misery. Who are these little creatures and how dare they show up in my otherwise happy clappy, positive world? Hey I’ve just written about letting go of negative feelings here so what a nerve they have.
I won’t lie and tell you it was two whole days of negative thinking, it wasn’t, but it was enough to get my attention, so I sprung into action. Okay, not much springing actually took place, at least not physically, but I geared up my imagination and I got all my tools out and began to whittle away at these unwanted little critters. I needed to pull myself out of these weeds.
Our starting point is:
It begins with being observant because only by paying attention to what you’re feeling can you see the echo of your feelings running through your day. For me, nothing was smooth, nothing was easy…it seemed as though life was flowing one way and there I was pushing hard to go in the other direction. No good was going to come of it…I was never going to come out ahead of the rushing waters of life…but I damn well wasn’t going to drown either.
And yet, I couldn’t get my blooming imagination under control, my mind was running away with me, dire consequences filled my head, the worst outcomes I could come up with. Ha ha I countered them with affirmations of a happier kind.
But I knew the outcome wasn’t assured – the feelings I was experiencing, of grief and loss and disapproving of myself were still there – tucked away in a corner. I hadn’t let go.
The belief that the invisible will be made visible.
St. Augustine said it better than I could…“For what is faith unless it’s to believe what you do not see?”
I knew faith was required of me. I knew if I would but remain faithful to my vision of the experiences I desired to have and the feelings of joy that went hand in hand with them, that there wasn’t any power in the world that could stop me. Not even my niggling, annoying and very loud inner fears, however much they shouted.
Faith is surrender, abandoning oneself to the fulfillment of the desire. Safe in the knowledge it was done, even when it doesn’t seem as though it can be. And so I persisted.
I decided to move away from affirmations into releasing. It’s a technique I’m in the process of learning, and it was perfect right now because it’s all about letting go of feelings. I needed to release two things, feeling I had to control something and feeling disapproved of.
I began with wanting to control something. It’s pretty simple. You ask yourself if you can release having to control…whatever the situation is and the funny thing is, even if you say no…which I did at first, because the fear was too high…it doesn’t matter, the release begins.
Eventually after persistently asking the question and getting to the point where I could say yes…I actually was willing to let go and release the feeling ~ I discovered that the overwhelming sense of fear of heart wrenching loss just disappeared. Honest, hand on heart it did. I tried to access it…I know I’m nutty like that…but I wanted to know…are you still there…I’m also curious like that.
Nope – it was definitely gone, dissolved, disappeared into the ether. I went through the same routine for feeling disapproved of.
Ultimately, I couldn’t access either of these feelings…in their place was a feeling of expansion, of space and peace and quiet. My mind had shut up and boy was I thankful…it’d been driving me crazy on and off for a couple of days.
I share this with you so you know that if you’re in the middle of any sort of break up and your heart is heavy with negative feelings, or when something turns up to bite you in the posterior…and it probably will…it doesn’t mean the system doesn’t work. It’s simply showing you where you are in the arena of life.
If you find yourself sinking into a sea of negativity, don’t give up on yourself. Keep turning away from doubts and fears and place your focus on what you’d rather experience. And if you have to do it on a daily basis for a while…that’s okay.
Don’t give up.
As we persist in hearing and in seeing what we want to see, we will. We’re creating a centre of power within, making a path that all of us can travel and even though some won’t choose to make this journey, it’s so worth it. We might stumble and falter sometimes, as I did, as you might, but the shadows will lighten and the darkness will be lit by the inner light that is us, you and me. And once again we’ll burst out into the sunlight of a better day.
And it feels blooming good.
What have you given up lately? Are you willing to ‘fess up in the comments? Go on, you might just be the voice someone needed to hear today.
Encourage one another.
23 thoughts on “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do…Especially When It's With You!”
Oh my, we are in a similar place, aren’t we? If memory serves (and mine often doesn’t), hasn’t this happened to us several times before? We must be spirit twins or something!
I learned much from your perspective, especially the first awareness step. In earlier days, I would have just been so desperate to get away from the uncomfortable feelings that I would not have paused to be curious about what was going on. Now I am much more sensitive to those inner shifts.
Then the next steps! That’s what I’m working on now. Thanks!
The book of life definitely has us coming across the same page Galen…often. Must be sisters in consciousness. 🙂 And like you I haven’t always been aware enough to sit with difficult feelings and explore…amazing what a little practice will do.
I was thinking of you, Galen, and your latest post while reading this and then, saw your comment. 🙂 “letting go” is not as easy as it is chalked out to be. But your post, Elle, has some solid points. Awareness is certainly the first step. And acknowledging follows. I find that unless I wallow a bit, I can’t really get things out of my system. And then, when the residue does pop up, I can look it in the eye, with my own visually challenged eyes. 😀 Which is really a good thing, you know!
Hugs, Galen and Elle!
It’s so great Vidya to read the techniques that you use to move into a better feeling, which, as we all know is the only way to get better things! There are times when it’s pretty easy to turn away from intrusive thoughts of a less than lovely kind…and then there are times when we really do need to get out the big guns out of our mental toolboxes. And then there are times when we think it’s all done and up it pops again.
Persistence is the key. Just don’t stop ’till you’re done is my motto. 🙂
I always say that fear and persistent negativity shows up to tell us to pay attention to something else. Wonderful that you were able to break through. Teach us your techniques? I usually just sit with it and have an argument with myself for a while until the real reason behind it finally pops its ugly little head out. Once I know the “what” then the feelings disappear.
Thanks for this input Julie – it’s always interesting how we each uniquely use ‘techniques’ that resonate with us…and end up in the same place. What’s the old saying…all roads lead to Rome. 🙂
Elle….Your honesty is appreciated. I love Pema Chodron’s philosophy that you should ‘lean into the discomfort’ knowing that it will pass. I have found over these past 6 months that getting to know and understand why these ‘negative feelings’ have returned is helpful BUT if they persist for awhile, then I get to work trying to pull myself out of a bad place. As always, great post Elle. xxoo-Fran
Thanks Fran for your take on dealing with discomfort. It’s fascinating how We are all using techniques that serve us best to move onward and upward, different as they might be from one another. We’re all heading in the same direction.
For me, finding ways to reach for ever higher and better feelings seems to work well…with the odd blip here and there. 🙂
Wow, Elle, this is amazing – once again you made my belief in oneness of everything even firmer. I woke up with a headache and a sense of inadequacy within – tomorrow is kind of a big day for me, a day I have been looking forward to it for about a month, and now that it’s so close, I started badgering myself with all sorts of thoughts that I would rather be without. I was just reading my journal and reading some stuff I wrote to myself for days just like this, and the headache gave in a bit, I felt like I took the first few steps in climbing out of the pit I woke up in, but once I read your post, the sunshine really started to shine through, because everything, including climbing out of the pit of despair, is more enjoyable when done with a fellow climber 🙂
Ana, you are such a little ray of sunshine it’s no surprise to me that the sun peeked in on you in your ‘pit’. I’ve always liked the image of people climbing mountains together, holding out hands for one another if they hit a ‘rough’ part of the climb. Nice analogy – thanks for the visual, it made me smile 🙂
Thank you Elle…again you remind me that the theory is one thing, the practice itself REALLY has its ups and downs and is certainly far from a linear path. Therein lies the learning I guess.
Isn’t that the truth Jonathan – how many people do we know with bookshelves full of inspirational ways to live a better life – yet nothing changes in their world? Oh yes, because as you say theory is great, but without the practice we remain the same and so no surprise we get the same old stuff. From my own experience I will say that it get’s easier and quicker with far less negative experiences showing up, as I continue the practice.
And anyway…I love this stuff. 🙂
I appreciate this post so much, Elle as I can resonate with your feelings. It is an uncomfortable place, but if it does persist, work does need to be done to bring yourself back. It does all begin with awareness. Thank for sharing your thoughts in such a poignant way.
great post..! For the first time it seems…i got the actual answer..! Can you elaborate on 3rd step of releasing..?? I mean what questions to be asked?? Its only one question that…can i release this “” feeling..! If answer is “no” then what shud be the next question..??
Will appreciate if you can answer this..
Welcome Napur and thanks for joining in the conversation. The first time you ask the question, you might very well get a no – sometimes the charge is too great…but strangely enough the release has begun anyway. And as you persist, you find the charge diminishes. I’m going to write more about this in an upcoming post – there’s been a lot of interest in this technique. Stay tuned. 🙂
Jumping up and down in excitement. I was attempting this last week! Thank you!
Wonderful Lura..keep us posted on how well it’s working for you. 🙂
I like what you say about awareness — for me, moving through moments of discomfort is about being aware of how the discomfort is showing up in my body, as opposed to thinking about the discomfort and coming up with theories regarding why it’s happening, etc. At the level of the body, I think, the discomfort is purely a sensation, and at that level it is much easier to accept the discomfort than to push it away.
Thanks for your sharing your insight Chris. I have a friend who can totally connect, like you, to the sensation in her body – me not so much – so I have to use different techniques and in this instance, just letting the feelings go was what was the most helpful. I wholeheartedly agree with you that the ‘why’s’ and wherefores should get the least attention…if any. Nicely put, thank you. -)
I tried this releasing technique today, it’s really powerful. I went into a very sleepy state afterwards, which I’m guessing was my brain re-aligning itself after releasing.
Wow Jane, that’s fantastic. What a super experience. I have had a sense of lightness as I release (an ongoing process in my life I must say) but this sounds like a great way to fall asleep too. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. 🙂
Hi Elle, awesome post. Breaking up is really hard to do but being aware and having faith will bring us out of it. I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs in life but what kept me going is faith that everything will be okay soon, it is a process but I know i am on the right track. Thanks for sharing a beautifully written and relevant post.
Welcome noahstjohn and thanks for sharing your thoughts. I so agree that faith in things working out for the best, even when in the moment it doesn’t look that way, is the best way to live our life. Amazing and unexpected things can happen. 🙂