ON BREAKUP RULES, SELF-HELP, AND FORGIVENESS
Welcome to another weekly newsletter, lovingly named the "Beyond The Breakup Newsletter." I think it sounds cooler. I hope you do too.
It's the newsletter that provides you with big ideas on how to grow and improve as a person and build better relationships so you can avoid a future breakup.
sign up and join the adventure!
Along with the fancy weekly newsletter, I'm also going to give you access to 4 exercises that will help you stop obsessing over your ex as soon as you sign up.
Today we're talking about the following topics:
- On forming smart breakup rules
- On self-improvement overwhelm
- On forgiveness - of yourself and your ex
Let's rock and roll.
setting smart breakup rules
A great way to bounce back from a recent breakup is to make a heap of tiny yet smart rules that will help you recover rapidly.
What is a smart rule? Well, it's simply a pattern of behavior. Here's one way to put it; when I think/do/say X, I think/do/say Y.
For instance, whenever you feel like wallowing in your tears, let yourself do it. And when you're done with the waterworks, make it a rule to switch gears and do something you enjoy. Be that exercising, reading, playing video games, or just about anything known to man.
The same process applies when feeling lazy:
Whenever you begin to feel like laying on the couch for hours, go for a walk. Don't let yourself plunge into feeling sorry for yourself.
The same process applies when having nightmares:
Whenever you have a nightmare about your ex, just know that it was only a reaction to your post-breakup trauma. It could mean whatever you want it to mean, including nothing at all.
The same process applies when feeling lonely and needy:
If you begin to feel lonely and start leaning toward sending your ex a message or calling them, stop yourself, and instead contact a friend, per se—someone willing to listen to your problems and empathize with you.
Ultimately, you have to learn how to set these kinds of mental rules for your behaviors and eventually turn them into a habit. As a result of doing this for numerous events, experiences, and areas of your life, you're going to recover sooner.
So what are you waiting for. Grab a piece of paper, or open up a fresh notes document, and start brainstorming. What smart breakup rules can you think of and implement in your life right now?
IMPROVE YOURSELF, BUT DON'T OVERWHELM YOURSELF
It's no surprise that after a breakup, many of us reach rock-bottom. And it's even less of a surprise that many begin to seek self-improvement after a period of grieving.
But here's the tricky part about self-improvement. People often overwhelm themselves with it.
What I see time in time again are breakup survivors who want to do it all to recover and grow into a better person:
They engage in five different daily meditation practices with the addition of doing qi gong after each. They write all kinds of journals, all from gratitude to dream journals. They exercise each day, go on juice cleanses, do intermittent fasting, invest 1000+ dollars in coaches and self-help seminars, take cryogenic baths, and read a ton of shit they don't even want to read.
Relax. Self-improvement is not self-overwhelm.
And by the way, the more desperately you chase recovery or personal growth, the farther it's going to seem. As a result, you're never going to be happy.
This is a bit of topic but, I mean, the sole act of chasing happiness is what makes you unhappy.
I know you want to become a better person, and I know you want to squeeze out all the juicy potential from yourself. But to do that, you don't have to push yourself into 20 new hobbies—most of which you don't even enjoy. Just focus on 1 or 2 that resonate with you the most.
I mean, we're in 2020. The age of hyper-multitasking and doing everything is now over.
At first, yes, try everything out there. But don't stick with it. After some experimentation, pick the few challenges or goals you're truly willing to struggle for - a few that you find meaningful and that you enjoy. Then let them take you to your recovery and beyond.
That, my dear reader, is da way.
forgive yourself - THEN QUICKLY FORGIVE YOUR EX
Forgiving your ex for everything that happened before, during, and after a breakup means deciding that you won't let those things affect how you live your life. At least not forever. But, that still doesn't mean you pretend as nothing happened.
Rember, forgive, but don't forget.
And as soon as you forgive your ex, forgive yourself too. Yes, even if the whole breakup was solely your fault. Boo-fucking-hoo. We all fuck up from time to time.
Look, you have to make amends with yourself, or else you're going to torture and burn yourself out emotionally. One way to do this fast is to practice self-compassion. (as described in a previous newsletter)
The primary purpose of forgiveness is to help you let go of all your stuck negative emotions surrounding the thoughts about your ex and about the breakup.
The sole decision of forgiving your ex and yourself makes it way easier to function in your day to day life again. And it's just that - a decision.