One Way to Let Go of the Past

I’m writing this from a hotel room from Chennai.

India, people, India!

I’ve had a picture about how I wanted to live my life ever since my divorce.

Before my divorce, I had this vision of a dream life that I thought was absolutely nutty.

Nutty in the sense that I never thought it would be possible.

I didn’t think I could spend my time inspiring people, write, coach, and get paid for it.

I didn’t think you could actually pursue your dream career and make it work.

I didn’t think that you could create your dream lifestyle and make that work!

My dream life is essentially to do my work around my life.

Not my life around my work.

I saw most of society putting work first and doing their life outside of the 9 to 5.

I wanted to live life between 9 to 5 and work when I felt like it.

Also, I wanted work to not feel like work.

I wanted it to be pure passion and purpose.

I made big leaps and took small steps.

I transitioned out of the legal profession.

I took a job with much more work-life balance that allowed me to prioritize writing.

I took months and years off from regular employment to build my coaching practice.

It feels like I’m finally getting there.

I’m back in Asia and doing slow travel and work from this part of the world.

Every day, my life revolves around friends and family, visiting spiritual places and meditating and trying to stay healthy. Oh and working, of course, but that happens early in the morning or late at night.

I write for this blog for people who have experienced divorce and heartbreak.

I write on Medium for people who need some motivation.

I write on Amazon and get paid when people purchase one of my books. The best way to support my work by the way is to pick up a book on Amazon (aff link).

I also am going to launch a series of courses about letting go of the past and overcoming heartbreak in the coming month.

This is the dream that I’ve been working towards for years and feels like it is finally materializing.

I work for myself and have the freedom to live my life on my own terms.

If I had looked back on the past, which I have a bad habit of doing, I would have thought about how great my legal career was and how I should have stuck to the known and certain path to financial security and career stability.

But screw that!

Here’s what happened post-divorce!

I realized how fragile life is/was.

I realized that if nightmares could come true, then for sure, dreams could come true.

I realized that life’s short.

I might as well spend the time doing what I want to do instead of what society wanted me to do.

So I envisioned a life that I wanted to life.

I saw a future life in my mind that seemed way out there but got clear about it.

And have spent the last few years moving towards that future.

It’s unfolding as we speak.

Seeing your future vividly is one way to help you let go of the heaviness of the past.

When your mind is replaying past highlights and memories, train it to see what it is you want it is you want now.

What is your vision for your life?

What does that life look like? If you’re on my email list, please reply and let me know what your dream life looks like.

If you need some support and guidance in this process, check out my coaching page here. There’s no better way to start 2020 than envisioning what it is you want out of life.

Why The Broken Hearted Are Better Travelers

Liz Gilbert has been on my mind ever since Eat, Pray, Love.

The book came out around the same time of my own divorce.

It was about one divorced woman’s journey eating, praying and loving around the world.

She finds herself in the book, finds her man and pens a book that sets up her future life as a writer.

Initially, I wasn’t a fan of the book.

I don’t know.

Something about a woman who had it all and had so much going for her didn’t need a world-wide vacation to find herself.

How trite!

How clichéd.

How privileged.

Things were not so bad, Liz, I had wanted to say.

You had a degree and a professional career.

You lived in New York.

You were doing your life’s work.

Divorces happen.

Life goes on.

But does it really?

I think for some people, yes, life does go on.

Everyone responds to divorce and breakups differently.

I have met people who are dating multiple people after their divorce, having the time of their life and marrying their soulmate soon after.

I’ve also met people who are stuck for years on end after divorce.

This is  was me.

These are the people who I coach.

This might be you.

Some people feel physically alive but emotionally and spiritually dead post breakup.

Some people believe only their past contains their best life.

They believe their future is sad and hopeless.

We are people who saw the life that we knew crumble right in front of us.

We survived the wreckage but are still left wondering, “why us and what now”.

“Why me” is what led me to leave my career as a lawyer. (It also made me write this book Is God Listening)

“What now” is what led me to Bombay and Kerala, to Burma and Sri Lanka, to Guatemala and Costa Rica. (I should probably write a book on that…oh, wait…)

I now get why travel is so attractive to the broken-hearted and divorced.

I’m going to urge you to do more of it too.

You know what’s different about us?

Our entire lives fell apart.

Everything we had known to be true no longer is.

The life that we had created vanished right in front of our eyes.

Our marriage, our partner, our schedules, possibly our jobs and where we lived, where our children live, etc etc.

Our lives crumbled. Everything changed and nothing made sense anymore.

Which in many ways is like travel.

Imagine waking up in a foreign country that doesn’t speak the language you’re used to, has completely different customs and traditions and appears totally foreign too.

You and I are already used to this!

If you’re experienced in unfamiliar places, foreign surroundings and where nothing makes sense, then travel is perfect.

Except unlike our romantic breakups, travel is welcoming and pleasant.

We welcome in new foods and hospitable people.

We don’t understand languages that are filled with romanticism and adventure.

We see people and places that are unfamiliar but beautiful.

We find ourselves in situations where we might be by ourselves but seem connected to the people around us.

I’m not exactly saying that divorce is a like a trip to Paris but maybe I  am

And those of us who are divorced will excel at it.

And those of us who are divorced should do more of it.

Once you see the world you’re familiar with disappear, you adapt and try to make sense of the new world in front of you.

If you’ve done it in divorce, you can do it in travel.

In travel, novelty and unfamiliarity is pleasant and welcoming.

Newness doesn’t mean waking up by yourself in a huge bed in a huge house.

Your newness is waking up in a quaint hotel overlooking beautiful lakes you’ve never seen in your life.

Or trying to buy unpronounceable street food from people who don’t speak the same language as you.

The divorced are experienced in the novel and unfamiliar.

We are trained to start over when everything in unknown.

We didn’t go out for a weekend seminar to learn this.

Divorce taught us to navigate the unfamiliar and uncertain.

It taught us to stand strong and step up when the rug was being pulled from underneath us.

So, travel more often.

Travel to more unfamiliar locations.

Have your external circumstances change regularly until…

you realize that the external can change frequently and often but you still remain the same.

Underneath all the change and unknown is you:

Known, truthful, expanding, growing, soulful.

Hey are you subscribed to the blog? If not, sign up today so I can email you on the regular 🙂 with words of insight and inspiration. 

Keep This Dirty Divorce Secret To Yourself

I need you to keep this a secret for God’s sake!

Don’t ruin it for everyone else, please.

The more married people come to know about this, the more lives are going to be ruined.

This must only stay here between us.

Divorce is sad and hard.

One day you’re grocery shopping together, strategizing about the tofu wraps you’re going to prepare for your dinner guests at home.

The next day you lose your spouse, your friends, your home and all desire to eat tofu.

Other people are going to work and living their everyday lives but you want to curl up in bed, wrap yourself in a blanket and just permanently stay there.

Don’t we get 3 chances at life just like video games? Or 9 lives just like cats?

Anyway, I was in your shoes.

I thought it was over after divorce. I was looking forward to a peaceful life and old age.

This whole married thing and looking normal to the rest of society was fun and normal.

We had jobs and friends and family and vacation time and professional degrees.

What the heck else could we ever want?

I mean sure we could ask for real love, happiness and a life of our dreams.

Or we could have dinner, put the dishes away and go to bed so we could go to work the next day.

We could go to Ikea and Christmas parties.

We could send out annual greeting cards and post happy Facebook photos of ourselves even if we weren’t.

This continued until the divorce at which point it all came to a crashing halt.

And you know what it has been.

Divorce sucks. Sucked.

You’re alone much of the time.

Society doesn’t really see you.

Most people think there’s something wrong with you.

And everyone deeply desires you get married again so you can be happy and normal like the rest of everybody else.

Which brings me to this dirty little secret about divorce.

Since divorce, I’ve been living the best few years of my life.

  • Every damn day, I live the life I want.
  • I see who I want, I do what I want and live the way that I want.
  • I don’t give a hoot about what anyone thinks about me or the way I’m living my life.
  • All the negativity and toxicity has been out of my life.

I wake up happier knowing that my life is truly in my hands. I experience freedom, happiness and joy often.

I write and share content online for other people who were in the same situation as I was.

I write books for those people and encourage them to live their best lives.

I travel to parts of the world that I want to travel to but never had time to.

I go to events that I want to go to.

I meditate and chant mantras on the daily.

I slowed down my life and live a life of quiet existence doing whatever the heck I want.

From the outside in, my life looks like a total disaster and going all downhill.

People I intimately know are praying for my salvation and hoping I wake up soon and join the ranks of regular society: marriage, kids and real estate.

I continue to wake up every day looking forward to doing what I want: spirituality, writing and helping people.”

Who would have thought that I can live this life !?!

God dang, this is the best.

Screw marriage (the bad ones, of course).

Celebrate divorce.

Please don’t share this information with anyone else. Especially not with the married folk in your life.

Don’t ruin it for them!!

Don’t tell them that divorce might make them happier every day and give them the chance to create the life of their dreams.

Don’t tell them that divorce means peace, happiness and living life on your own terms. It might mean the best thing that has ever happened to them.

Don’t tell them that it means finding true compatibility and having a reals shot at love.

You and I must do our best to keep the gory details of divorce a secret.

Let us enjoy in secrecy while the rest of society is marching to prescribed notions of what a good life is.

Don’t share this blog post with any unhappily married people you know.

Don’t ruin it for us in this private, exclusive, happy divorcees club.

Don’t buy my books either if you’re contemplating divorce. If might push you over the edge and convince you to get one.

Or celebrate your post-divorce life like a champion.

Photo by Alina Kovalchuk

How to Get Out of a Toxic Relationship

In a toxic relationship?

Or find yourself in a pattern of toxic relationships?

How do you break out of one and find healing?

Check out my interview above with author A.G Billig.

A.G. writes about her experiences with toxic relationships in her book, 5 Easy Steps to Ending Toxic Relationships: Unplug the Negativity Cord and Jump-Start Your Emotional Healing.(affiliate link)

Three powerful take-aways from the book are:

1. Look for the patterns in toxic relationships.

She writes that “patterns are recurring situations that are woven into our lives, often with different people.” If you don’t learn the lessons with this partner, you’re going to have to learn it from the next.

2. Unplug the negativity cord so you can break out of the toxic relationship you’re in.

Surround yourself and cultivate more positivity in your life. Seek positivity and healthy interactions in all areas of your life regardless of the relationship you’re in. Start seeing and engaging with the life outside of the relationship you’re in.

3. Take your power back.

If you are blaming yourself for your misfortune and bad relationships, it’s time to take your power back. Stop blaming the person you’re in a relationship with. “See every person who challenges you and pushes your buttons as a teacher or mirror.” Look for the lessons in situations instead of focusing on how bad the situation is.

Now is the time to make changes in your life by exiting the toxic relationships you might be in. Change starts with learning, self-awareness, observing patterns and consciously making changes.

A.G. speaks at an emotional, spiritual and conscious level to help you realize that you don’t have to live with this kind of negativity forever.

If you’re in a toxic relationship or want to avoid getting into more of them, check out 5 Easy Steps to Ending Toxic Relationships today on the Amazon store here (affiliate link).

The Bright Side of a Broken Heart by Michelle D’Avella

This book by Michelle D’Avella is powerful and healing. It is poetic and soul-touching.

She speaks of a painful breakup in her life and discusses all the bright sides she discovered from this past relationship.

Read this book today. Pick it up at the Amazon store here (affiliate link) on your healing journey. Learn the profound wisdom and practical benefits of a broken heart which she shares.

Hoping Your Ex Comes Back?

You may be a romantic.

An idealist.

A hopeful optimist.

These are wonderful qualities in life and terrible qualities in love!

Normal people treat relationships like they treat books and movies. Some are good and some are going to be so terrible that you walk out half way or stop reading.

All of here reading, including yours truly, treat relationships like the sword we are going to die on.

We are going to go down for love.

We are going to be prisoners of war in this battle.

We are going to spend way too much of our lives and our time doing the right thing.

What is that right thing?

Believing in love.

Dying for love.

Holding onto hope that love will work out and staying faithful for years on end.

It may not matter that our ex remarried and moved on to live their best life.

We are going to stay in this place, waiting and hoping that they come back into our lives!

I did this for years of mine.

I didn’t date.

I didn’t move on.

I just waited and hoped that my person would come back into my life. It would be similar to someone waiting for Santa Claus to show up on Christmas eve and introduce himself.

The sad news is that she didn’t show up.

(Neither did Santa now that I think about it but I’m holding onto hope.)

Well, maybe she did show up years later but we both decided that we were not the right people for each. We had different lives, interests, values and were different people who wanted different things.

I mean I should have known that in the 7 plus years we were married but better late than never I guess.

Now, your turn.

Has your ex moved on?

Are they dating and living their best life?

Are you still waiting, hoping and praying your ex comes back and chooses you again?

Instead of holding onto hope for your ex, move on and cope with the sadness and grief of it being over.

You know the relationship didn’t work and hasn’t worked for years.

There are too many unresolved issues between both of you to try again.

It’s time to get off the “hoping your ex comes back” train and hop along to the partner who is waiting for you.

6 Steps to Give Up on Hope On Your Relationship Working Out and Move On With Your Life

1. Choose to see things as they are, not how you want them to be.

Look at the relationship for what it was and what it is today.

Look at the situation as objectively and realistically as possible. Avoid possibility thinking of what it could be today or dreamy thinking of what it was in your dreams!

2. Don’t over-romanticize the past.

Evaluate the situation like a regular human being, not like you’re writing a Shakespearean play or like you’re writing a screenplay similar to the Titanic.

Don’t add dramatic music and recall overly-sentimental scenes from your past relationship.

3. Don’t focus on the length of time you were together.

Know that the length of time has nothing to do with the quality of that past relationship. Being together 20 years is not a sign that your ex is your soulmate and you were destined to be together.

It could simply be a sign that you made the wrong decision for a long time! You were together much longer than what was healthy for both of you and moving on is the best way to preserve all those life events that you did share with your ex.

4. Don’t focus on your ex’s strengths and good qualities.

They may seem like the world’s great husband or world’s greatest human today but it’s really unfair to overlook all the hardships and struggles of the past. You can paint them as the saint they weren’t or choose to remember them as the people they were. They had good qualities, bad qualities and qualities that were not a fit for you. Don’t stay fixed to their positive qualities.

5. Bring yourself to the present moment.

Know that you can live through grief, pain and uncertainty of the present moment.

Often, we like to take ourselves to the future so we don’t have to live in the present moment.

The present moment might contains grief and heartbreak. It can contain sadness and pain so you’d rather hold onto the future of hope of possibilities of tomorrow.

Bring yourself back to right now. You’ll get through this as hard as it may be. The more you let go of the false promises of the future and live for today, the easier it will become to move on from that past relationship.

6. They are not the ONLY one.

You might be holding on to them for dear life because you feel like you won’t find someone like that again. They are so good that you can’t risk finding someone lesser or finding no one at all.

This is another mind trick that makes you believe you’re not good enough. It creates scarcity for you and tells you that the only person who could possibly love you doesn’t want you anymore. It tells you that if not them, then no one. Your mind makes you believe that you only have one soulmate and they were it.

Contrary to the poets and writers of our time, you can have more than one soulmate in your life. There’s not just one person for you in this lifetime no matter what Hollywood says. You’re compatible with many people. You just have to do the hard work of meeting many people to find them.

It’s time to give up hope on getting your ex coming back and to put your hope in finding someone who’s compatible for you. To help you on this process and for ideas on finding a new partner, pick up my book, Does True Love Exist? 15 Simple Ideas for Finding Your Life Partner

If You Feel Like You’re Going to Be Alone Forever After a Breakup

The first and most common thought that strikes us after a life-shaking breakup is that you’re going to be alone the rest of your life.

You believe that because one person rejected you or one person ended the relationship with you, then everyone is going to have the same reaction to you.

You may feel like there’s something fundamentally flawed with you.

Your ex didn’t want you. Or you ex cheated on you. Or your ex didn’t want to continue the marriage with you.

Whatever happened in the past, you are putting too much emphasis on it.

I believed that because my marriage ended and our relationship ended, I would never be able to find someone again. I believed that I would be alone forever after the breakup.

I put so much emphasis and attention on my ex, believing she was the only person who could love me or complete me.

I’ve since realized that simply isn’t true but we believe it at the time of our breakup.

When our mind is preoccupied with rejection and self-sabotage, it tends to spiral into this place of sadness and negativity.

Here are five reminders if considering love after a breakup.

1. There are plenty of people out there for you.

You just believe that there’s no one out there or worse, all the good people are taken. They’re not.

You’re either not meeting enough people or you’re meeting people in the wrong places.

There are so many people out there from your neighbor to your people on your online apps.

It’s not the people on the other end that are missing.

You may not be trying very hard or at all.

You may have a pattern of chasing the wrong people who are not meant for you.

There are plenty of people out there who are suitable for you.

Your job is to get better at filtering and discernment to figure out who is right for you.

2. You attract who you are.

Instead of focusing all your time on dating and trying to meet the right person, consider the possibility that you might have some work to do.

Maybe you’re meeting all the right people but….

you’re pushing them away because you’re afraid of intimacy.

you run when you notice that someone is open, healthy and available.

you keep self-sabotaging so people will run away from you.

How about doing a little less work on finding the right person and a little more work on becoming the right person for your person?

3. Your beliefs affect your outcome

Just like everything else in life, the way you think about something affects the outcome.

If you truly believe there’s no one out there for you, there’s seriously something wrong with you and you will be alone the rest of your life, you are likely right.

If you believe that you had to go through the wrong relationships to find the right relationship, you are likely right as well.

You get to choose your thoughts and your outcomes. You get to choose your beliefs.

You have more power than you believe you do.

4. You can’t be found if you’re hiding.

If you’re not putting yourself out there and you’re not trying to found, you’re succeeding!

Your prince is not going to come looking for you in the woods.

Help him out a little and put up a smoke signal so you can be found.

If you think you’re putting yourself out there but still not being found, trust me, you’re not.

We all think we’re doing enough but simply uploading your photo on a dating app is hardly trying.

Like anything else we want in life, relationships take work and effort.

It takes other people knowing you exist.

5. Be happy first.

You believe you’re going to be happy when you find love.

Doubtful.

You’re likely going to be as happy as you are now so why not get happy now.

Don’t put your happiness into the hands of your future partner or your love life!

Cultivate your own happiness.

Be happy today.

Own your happiness.

It becomes much easier for love to find you when you’re in a happy place.

If you still feel like you’re going to be alone forever after your breakup, you have no choice but an encouraging read from yours truly. Pick up my book, Does True Love Exist? today.

That One Time I Fell In Love With My Instagram Crush and the Case For Love

“may love find you. even. when you are specifically. strategically. hiding from it.” Nayyirah Wahid 

She liked my quote about finding love again.

I liked her post about her recent trip.

The exchange of heart-shaped likes filled our Instagram pages.

This was the beginning of a modern romance.

She was on a mission to travel the world and said she was an independent woman.

She also had 10,000 followers on Instagram!

I’ve never had had hundreds of Instagram crushes.

Well, I’ve had plenty of Instagram crushes but I’ve never actually engaged with an Instagram crush.

What was so intoxicating here was not only was she beautiful and from the homeland but she was spiritual and loved helping people.

A match made in Instagram heaven.

We exchanged messages and continued to become each other’s Insta fans until I decided it was time to share my feelings for her.

How do you tell someone you like them?

Normal people, “Hey, you’re cool and we should talk more to see if we have more in common?”

Me:

“Hey, the universe has parted ways, the divine has awakened and destiny has called upon me to initiate this conversation. We have known each other for life times and we must speak to discuss our future marriage, where will live and how many kids we will have together.”

This is a fantastic first message, if I do say so myself.

Also, a good way to never hear from her again.

I turned the woman I thought I had been waiting a lifetime for into a woman I would never hear from again.

The love of my life had gone silent on Instagram.

We were both on the Titanic when she just pushed me off the ship into the stormy waters to find myself, to fall into an emotional thunderstorm and to frantically search for a rescue boat.

Now, what’s the moral of this story?

Well, first, don’t fall for Instagram influencers on the internet.

(Oh random – have we connected on Instagram? Let’s connect on Instagram here – you could be the next internet crush I fall in love with)

But here’s the bigger point here.

Love.

We rise in love and we fall in love.

This mini modern romance was not of much consequence. It was likely a romance in my mind than in reality. Maybe she didn’t even think twice about me before I sent her an essay professing my love to her.

Yet those real romances that we have gone through in our lives and have fallen hard in are like those violent thunderstorms that took down the Titanic.

When a relationship or the marriage hits the sea floor, you’re likely dead. Or if alive, bruised, battered and can’t breathe by the time you get your head above water.

You don’t need a reinvention.

You need a resuscitation.

You don’t need a recovery.

You need a revival.

The worst breakups take us down and put us out for the count.

You will never feel like getting into the boxing ring of life again after one knockout.

You will never feel like dating again after one hard-fought, knock-down, dragged down breakup.

Please dear God never torment me and try to kill me like this again.

Yet, I am here with a message for you on why you need to get the heck up and give love another try.

No matter how much you were hurt and no matter how badly the other person did you wrong, I want you to know that it is worth giving love another shot.

As much as you have suffered in love, fell in love, drowned in love, knocked down in love, died in love, be willing to give love another chance.

The love that you desire is waiting for you on the other side of the love that destroyed you.

Your job is to heal the wound, forgive the past, rebuild your self-worth, find yourself and show up for love again because love is worth it.

Love will help you become the person that you were meant to be.

Love will help you expand and grow as a person.

Love will help bring you connection, joy, affection and intimacy.

Love will help break down your barriers of what you believe to be possible and break down the walls that are keeping you from fully experiencing life.

Even if love doesn’t show up, keep going in love because I am convinced that the journey to love is the path to love. You are not going to get to the final destination in love until you go through all the stops along the way.

Keep moving forward in love, keep falling down in love, keep getting up in love.

A broken heart is an open heart.

Falling down is an opportunity to rise up.

What’s possible is out there if you can stay focused on the path and stay open to the possibilities.

You and I are on a love journey.

Keep going.

If you haven’t even started, start.

If you haven’t considered the possibility yet, be open to it.

Don’t swear off love because that one cosmic relationship you were in devastated you.

If you don’t know where to start, reach out to me for some support in this process. I’m going to be unveiling some coaching options soon that will help you on this journey to overcoming heartbreak.

In the meantime, check  out this book that I wrote. It’s a good first step to finding love, Does True Love Exist? The short answer is yes but love requires your participation.

The Problem of Dating When You’re Stuck in the Past

Photo by Aditya Saxena

“There’s no greater battle in life than the battle between the parts of you that want to be healed and the parts of you that are comfortable and content being broken.” Iyanla Vanzant   

We had a phone conversation 3 years ago.

At the time, I was thinking she was the nicest and sweetest person I had spoken to.

Yet after one phone call, I went against my intuition, and thought this would be too complicated.

She too lived half way across the world.

It would be so hard to get to know each other.

It would take forever for her to move here.

It would blah blah blah

So I left it at that and went back into my happy world of trying to understand heartbreak, learn how to overcome breakups and learn the steps of letting go.

Little did I realize that it were these very things that was heartbreak and not being able to let go that  was keeping my stuck in my own life of dating and meeting new people.

While I was learning about letting go and trying to actively let go of the past, I also found that being stuck in the past does nothing for your love life.

In fact, you could meet the right person and you wouldn’t be interested or care because you’re still caught up with your ex.

You’re still wanting the old relationship to work.

You’re still blaming yourself for what you did.

You’re still hoping the old person comes back into my life.

3 years ago, this was where I was at.

Fast forward to 2019 (the year I wrote The Sacred Art of Letting Go) and this wonderful person who I met is coming to meet me.

We’ve been talking since the new year and I’m curious as to how this visit is going to go.

She’s a simple and spiritual person which in the Indian world of meeting people is a rarity.

She works in helping children in poverty get educated.

I’m wondering how someone so right for me could have fallen off my radar?

And it’s as simple as this.

When you’re stuck in the past, you’re wearing lenses that make you look at everything in the present as something in the past.

You view everything today from a perspective of what happened before.

You lose interest in today or tomorrow because of this weight that is holding you back.

The problem of trying to meet new people when you’re stuck in the past is that the new people and the right people for you may seem like the wrong people for you!

You’re so blinded by the lenses of the past that you can’t see things as they are.

I have no idea where this is going but I can tell you this.

The relationship you want and the person you want might be around you and might be closer than you think but if you can’t let go of the past, your view of relationships might be skewed.

You won’t be able to find the very person you’re looking for if you’re stuck in the past.

The solution?

Do the work.

Walk through the 12 steps of letting go.

Yes, I have a book on the topic 🙂

Practice actively letting go each and every day.

Similar to grief, not letting go means unprocessed emotions and holding onto something that once was.

The longer you hold onto what was, the heavier it weighs you down in life.

You can’t be open to what can be when you haven’t let go of what once was.

I’ll let you know how things are unfolding on my end.

Where are you in the process of letting go? Hit reply on email or sign up for the blog to join me on my journey from heartbreak to love. 

The Familiar Habit People Stuck In the Past Know All Too Well

I’m sad to confess my favorite song of all time is a song about being stuck in the past, called Nobody Knows.

I’m even sadder that nobody knows of this song.

It was a song that I played over and over and over in my life before I ever felt a pang of heartbreak.

It’s a song by a profoundly sad Tony Rich (at least I like to think so) regretting his broken love for a woman that he regrets not having in his life. He sings about how nobody knows the pain of his breakup except him.

You can watch the song here to know the depth of his pain and know what kind of a weirdo I am.

You might find this weird only because I had listened to this song thousands of times in college. It was the one song on repeat. The one song I played over and over and over again.

I listened to this song while I was up at night studying for finals. I listened to this song while I was sleeping. While I ate. While I talked about the meaning of life with my roomie James. What was even odder was that this was his go-to song as well.

Yet this post isn’t about what two single college-aged men were doing sitting around listening to a profoundly sad love song by another sad man.

Instead, it’s about putting something on repeat and listening to it over and over again.

You hear something, you like something and you choose that repeatedly instead of turning off the song and listening to something else.

Unfortunately, I came to find out a few years later in my life, as someone who was going through a divorce that I also tended to do this in another area of my life.

Since the marriage was over and the relationship no long existed, I fell into this sweet longing and remembrance of the past marriage.

I stayed stuck for years by continuing to repeat what had happened in the previous marriage.

I also reflected on the sadness and pain of the heartbreak and I enjoyed being in that place.

See, a powerful habit forms when we go through heartbreak that keeps us stuck.

You have these negative painful feelings of the past that over time become familiar and comfortable.

You become attached to the these feelings in the past and continue to ruminate on them.

Becoming familiar, comfortable and used to the pain of heartbreak can keep you stuck for months and years.

Holding onto past pain can keep you stuck and stop you from letting of the past relationship.

Pain can actually become addictive if it makes you feel good because it is a known and familiar feeling.

The habit of ruminating on past pain can become a habit that keeps you stuck for years.

You just want to hold on to this thing that is unpleasant (pain) but also feels good (familiar and known pain).

You feel connection and familiarity.

You feel familiar emotions.

You put it on repeat, turn it into a habit and become stuck in this place for years of your life.

The solution out is to acknowledge that this is in fact what your mind is doing.

To let go of the past, you have to be willing to let go of the known and the familiar.

Once you realize that you keep going back and taking comfort in the pain of the past, it’s time to break this habit.

To release the addictive habit of holding on to the past pain:

1) Acknowledge that your mind is replaying the past repeatedly.

2) Pin-point the thoughts that are creating these addictive feelings of pain and sorrow in your life.

3) Get clear on the underlying story about your past relationship that you’re telling yourself.

4) Work on changing the story you’re telling yourself about the past relationship.

5) Re-frame the past or generate new thoughts about the past that are healthier for you and cultivate more positive feelings.

6) Practice immersing yourself in new and unfamiliar feelings of peace and happiness.

If you’re addicted to past hurtful feelings, you might have no idea what healthier emotions and feelings may feel like.

I’m suggesting you try those on ahead of time, feel those feelings even if you’re not quite there yet.

If you’re good at feeling bad feelings of the past, it was because you’ve practiced it for years.

If you want to break free and move on from years of feeling bad and feeling stuck, try on a new set of feelings. Explore, experiment and try out something you’re not used to.

If you need some support in letting go and working through the insurmountable negativity of the past, I’d be happy to support you in this process.

If you’re tired of living in the past and feeling stuck in the past, check out my Awaking coaching sessions or Letting Go coaching sessions.