by Vishnu | Sep 25, 2020 | Divorce, Letting Go
I was a hermit for years of my life as I struggled to make peace with letting go of my ex.
I wasn’t one of these people who said live and let live after my divorce was over. I was going to hold onto that relationship to the bitter end of time while my ex moved on with her life, started dating, and got married within a few years.
I wanted to ruminate endlessly, re-live the pain, and beat myself up for all the things that I had done to screw up that relationship. I wanted to suffer and criticize myself for all of my misdeeds. I wanted to punish myself for every single thing that I had done wrong.
When you’re not letting go of your ex, you see yourself as a criminal and perpetrator and see your ex as an innocent bystander and victim. I did all the misdeeds, and she was perfect, or so my mind thought. It never considered that she might have been as much at fault as I was in the relationship. My mind didn’t entertain the possibility she contributed half to what went wrong.
The comfort of not letting go
I didn’t intentionally plan on living in the past for years of my life. I was looking for answers and trying to find a way to let go completely. It took me years to do this, and I tried coaching, spirituality, personal development, church, and so many other kinds of practices. Some of these worked, and some didn’t.
Yet I think the thing that was keeping me stuck for a long time was that deep down; I didn’t want to let go at all.
Huh? You may be scratching your head. Why not?
It’s going to be odd for me to say this, but I didn’t’ want to let go because if I let go, I would have to start on a new life, and that was scary as hell.
I wanted to be protected by the past. I didn’t want to venture out into new relationships. I didn’t want to be vulnerable again. I didn’t want to date again or meet new people again. I didn’t want a new life because the old one felt so comfortable.
Do I regret this decision? Absolutely! I wasted years of my life when I could have just moved on, found a new partner, and enjoyed the next few years of my life post-divorce.
Instead, I stayed home and out of having a social life to mourn and cry for a lost and broken love. I suffered, grieved, struggled. I took Eat, Pray, Love adventures, found myself in spiritual retreats, and went all over the world looking for ways to let go of my past.
Maybe a part of me was punishing myself for my misbehavior in the relationship too. I didn’t feel worthy or deserving of getting my life back. So, I stayed stuck in the past, ruminating about the pain and sadness of that old relationship.
You’re here for a reason.
If you’re reading this and having trouble letting go of your past relationship or letting go of your ex, consider if you’re not letting go because it’s much more comfortable to remain in the throws of your past relationship.
If you’re stuck in heartbreak and loss, you don’t have to go out. You don’t have to date. You don’t have to learn how to date. You don’t have to ever open a dating app account. You don’t have to move forward. You don’t have to open your heart again. You can stay stuck and comfortable for years. Forever maybe.
You can stay stuck in the past, marinating about what had gone wrong. You can blame your ex, blame yourself, and blame everyone else in between. You can analyze, criticize, and examine every part of your life in the past.
It may not feel great to rehash your life, but it sure the heck beats venturing out and starting a new life.
Except if you’re here on this blog, then you know that you’re not trying to stay stuck and angry with what happened. You’re trying to get out. You’re trying to break free of the past and get your life back.
Yes, if you’re reading this, no matter how much your desire to keep your heart closed and remain comfortable, I am assuring you that you want to let go. You want the life that’s available for you. You don’t want the pain that comes with it.
A plan to let go
You’re also not letting go of your ex. What do you to let go? If I was to simplify the process, here are 4 things that you must do for letting go of your ex:
- Grieve the relationship, process your emotions and find closure for the past
- Get to the root issue that’s keeping you stuck and work on healing it
- Release the self-blame and guilt that you may be carrying around from the past
- Rebuild your self-worth and have a life plan going forward.
You can keep reading blogs on heartbreak and grieving, but if you don’t do the work, you’re going to be here forever. I would love your friendship, but I love you more, so I want you to stop reading and get on with your life.
I want you to have a happily ever after, and I know that you want that too. You don’t have to find that in another love, but you can fall in love with your life.
Life is short. The pandemic is long. Don’t wait for the pandemic to pass. Don’t wait for another year of your life to go by. Work on letting go now.
I want to help you if I can. Let’s do the work. My first coaching session with people usually involves identifying the root of what’s keeping them stuck in the past. After the root ritual, we work on finding healing, closure, and acceptance that the relationship is over.
It’s time to stop reading about letting go and actually let go once and for all. Your future will thank you for it.
If my words have resonated with you and you’re ready to get your life back, please reply to this email or sign up for coaching here.
by Mahevash Shaikh | Sep 6, 2020 | Breakup, Divorce, Letting Go, Love and Relationships
Divorce is never easy, irrespective of whether the decision is mutual, the marriage was abusive, or the relationship was short-lived.
Things are much harder when kids are involved, but being child-free, it is not my story to tell.
What I can tell you is how I learned certain life lessons when my marriage ended, lessons I would never have learned otherwise.
So if you are going through a divorce, have been freshly divorced, or are simply considering one, take a look at what you stand to gain from your loss.
5 unexpected life lessons I learned from divorce
1. Divorce is empowering
Of all the things in the world, empowering is a word one would never think to associate with the failure of a relationship that is supposed to last forever.
However, that is exactly what it is, especially if your marriage was not healthy. In my case, I was unable to be true to myself when I was married.
Even something as personal as coloring MY hair was a problem for my partner. It goes without saying then that writing about mental health, a topic dear to me, was not something I was encouraged to do.
So guess what I did after my divorce? I started blogging about mental health and dyed my hair red.
Uncoupling is what enabled me to be true to myself on every level.
I used to be a directionless writer, today I have found purpose as a sociocultural and mental health blogger.
2. Anyone can get PTSD
It’s a common assumption that only certain people can get PTSD, like soldiers back from war, or survivors of violent crimes. However, anyone can get PTSD because the definition of trauma varies from person to person.
An event that barely affects me might scar you for life, and vice versa. And I learned this personally because the way my marriage fell apart caused me Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder aka PTSD.
A therapist diagnosed me with it after a suicide attempt and low-functioning depression landed me in her office. It took a while, but I’ve learned to function pretty well in spite of my deep-rooted trauma.
Some days, I’m surprised I’m able to even breathe, but it never fails to astound me how far I’ve come along in my recovery. Trauma can be reduced and managed with the help of therapy and coaching.
3. You can learn to be resilient
If anyone had told me I would lose my life partner and survive the heartbreak, I would have laughed in their face.
I am a highly sensitive person and honestly, struggle with codependency issues.
So when I was officially single again, I didn’t think I had it in me to heal my heart and rise from the ashes. I had crumbled and I thought I was always going to be broken.
My psychologist proved me wrong by teaching me how to build my resilience, that is, my ability to bounce back. And if someone as weak as me could become emotionally strong, so can you.
Given that I also have traits of Borderline Personality Disorder, a condition that makes it hard for one to have emotional stability, there could be no better proof of the fact that over time, resilience can be learned by anyone.
4. There is no such thing as undying, unconditional love
Like most of us, I too used to believe that true love is unconditional.
This is nothing but a toxic lie perpetuated by pop culture, and I snapped out of it only because my marriage failed. We all know marriages end and divorce rates are on the rise, but for some reason, we all think we will be the exception.
Psychological reasons aside, I think the primary reason behind this is that we have romanticized till death do us part to an unhealthy degree.
It’s unrealistic to think that love is unconditional and marriages should last forever — every relationship is built on the foundation of some condition or the other, and it’s perfectly normal for a relationship to run its course.
Like me, once you see the illusion for what it is, you’ll be thankful for this much-needed reality check that will change your entire life for the better. Of course, true love exists, but is it conditional? Yes, and that’s a good thing.
5. You are not your relationship status
Just like your job, your marital status doesn’t define you. Your self-worth does not rely on whether you are single, married, separated, divorced, or widowed.
The most important thing you need to remember is this: you are not divorced, you have been divorced. It is an event of the past, not a label that you need to define yourself in the present. I learned this empowering life lesson not in therapy or from personal experience, but by reading a piece of writing of the inimitable Bhavana Nissima.
The second I realized the truth in her words, I felt powerful and back in control. There’s no denying that it hurts to get a divorce, but sometimes, the best thing we can do for ourselves is accept reality and do our best to work with what we can.
No matter how bad it gets, life goes on and time heals most wounds. At the end of the day, you are all you have, and the most important relationship you need to work on is the one you have with yourself.
I have learned to put myself first without feeling guilty about it, and I hope with all my heart you learn to put yourself first too.
Are you ready to turn one of your hardest times into your greatest achievements?
My name is Mahevash (pronounced Ma-hey-vash) and I am a blogger, author, and poet. I talk about culture, society, and mental health so that you and I can help make the world a better place — and be whoever we want to be. You can find me at https://www.mahevashmuses.com/.