Finding a way to move on after a marriage or long term relationship breakdown is sadly something many have already experienced, or will experience.
Women are pretty resilient and have an innate sense of how they can re- construct their world when it has been shattered. But that makes it sound easy and it so isn’t.
It takes hard work, self-belief, oodles of energy and the ability to keep getting back up if you get knocked down again.
This is where having a strategy helps. Having a sense of direction, having goals and having a plan B is an enormous help when it comes to recovering your rightful place as the woman who takes life by the scruff of the neck.
Here a just a few suggestions that may help you recover your sense of self and could mean that moving on after a relationship ends, if seen like a project, might not be as hard as you think.
Choose your friends.
That saying, ‘you find out who your friends are’ really strikes true after a break-up. It’s not as simple as seeing which friends are taking sides, or who is the first person to appear at your door with a bottle of wine.
I’m not suggesting that you ditch anyone who you don’t think has reacted in a way that helps you. It’s worth remembering that they probably don’t really know what to do, what to say, how to behave. But listen to your intuition. Is the friend asking you to tell her all about it just helping you to get it all off your chest? Or is it a case of schadenfreude? Has your other friend not called because she doesn’t care, or could it be that she wants to give you space – or maybe that she has problems herself that you know nothing about?
The point is, you need the very best people around you now – the crème de la crème – the ones who you can call in the middle of the night if you need to talk. You need the ones who make you feel loved and valued, the ones who try their best for you even if they sometimes get it wrong. Keep those people very close now.
Look after your body and soul.
If you have a vice, now is the time to police it. You may not want to be too goody-two-shoes because you probably need to let your hair down. But when you are vulnerable, that’s when occasional habits can become an addiction. A few drinks and some junk food in the (very) short term are unlikely to do any lasting harm any may help you chill. But you would benefit more from being as clean and well as you can possibly be. A fitter, healthier body and a clear head are valuable weapons in the armoury of a warrior woman, and you will feel more energetic and ready to be better than ever when you emerge on the other side of this crisis.
Your beliefs, whatever form they take, can also take a battering at this time. If you follow a particular faith or simply feel a spiritual connection with the world, a major life catastrophe may cause you to doubt the principles on which those beliefs were formed. But try not to feed those doubts. They are part of who you are but what has happened to you is external. Don’t let someone else’s behaviour make you question your identity.
Not just surviving, thriving.
If you have ever read books about the survivor personality type, you may have noticed the writer remark that in life and death situations, it’s not always the fit, confident person that copes the best. In fact, in a book on the subject I read recently the author noted that having been in such situations (as an extreme sports and survival specialist) that it was often quieter, seemingly less confident women of the group who stayed calm, weighed up the problems and worked out the best and safest solutions. Never underestimate yourself. Never never never.
Sometimes, when you are still reeling from shock, when you still feel as if you are in an earthquake zone waiting for the ground you are standing on to be rent apart yet again, you may think you are not coping. But this simply isn’t true. Every morning when you get up, every one of life’s chores and necessities that you deal with – however small – are testament to the fact that you are surviving. And when you look back after a few months, you won’t see a straight upward line of progress; you’ll see a roller coaster track. But at some point you will realise that where you are now is a much higher. You’ll have survived. Then one day, you’ll be looking down from a new pinnacle and know that you have thrived. And it will feel incredible.
These are just a few thoughts on getting through. There are so many other tips that I think I’ll write another post with bullet points so you can pick out the ideas that will work best for you.
If you are going through a break up at the moment, I know it’s hard and you may well have read this and thought, ‘well, that’s easy to say but I’m on my knees at the moment and don’t know how I’ll go on.’
But you will. It will be difficult but often the things we really have to work for in life bring the greatest pleasure when we finally succeed. And meanwhile, I send you thoughts of love, peace and inner strength.
© 2018 Linny Bartlett for Karma’s Footsteps