If you've ever gone through a relationship breakup, you've probably heard something like this:
"It's not you, it's me."
"I've found someone else."
"This isn't working anymore."
Or, maybe something worse.
Whether the ending was sudden or gradual, your life has a different pace now. It has more empty spaces. But unfortunately, you may want to fill the absence of a special person with what you think will satisfy—and it could be an unhealthy way of coping. A false comforter.
Getting the comfort and support is essential to the healing process. It may feel like the darkest time—like it's always midnight—but, thankfully, light always overcomes darkness, and God provides nightlights of hope.
Here are some ideas for getting the comfort and support you need from your breakup:
• Let yourself cry. Crying is a normal and healthy response to a sad situation.
• Pray. Talk to God about your situation and invite Him into pain. Ask Him to heal and show you the way through. Rest in the comfort of the One who loves you more than you know.
• Talk with trusted friends or family members. Telling your story can help to ease your heart's pain. When someone listens, we feel validated. However, be selective about how much you choose to tell and with whom you share.
• Write in a journal or notebook. When your feelings appear on a page (or even typed online), they are no longer swirling inside your head. You can vent your emotions, release your pain and do so in the privacy of your personal journal.
• Be encouraged. This is a time of transition. You're going from a being couple to a single, from a "we" to a "me." Change takes time and we all handle it differently, so be good to yourself in the process.
Grieve your losses. One of the biggest lessons I learned in my season of post-breakup darkness was the importance of grieving losses—going through not around the pain. It was a pivotal point in getting back to freedom and joy.
Here's the thing: The pain won't just go away if you ignore it. It can get stuck inside of you if you don't deal with it. Emotional pain can pile up like garbage, blocking your movement forward into healing, wholeness and joy.
For some people, getting over a breakup takes a few weeks or months. For others it can take a year or more depending upon the level of relationship, the depth of love, the person's emotional past, and how they handle emotions in general.
Everyone heals in their own way and their own timing because love and loss are unique for each person.
Here are some ideas on how to process your pain and release your sadness through grieving:
Acknowledge your loss. Getting through this season of grief and sadness begins by acknowledging that a loss has happened. Whether you left, he left, or it was a mutual agreement, something that was there is now gone.
Ask for help. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you do what you cannot do on your own. With His power, you will be able to express and release emotional pain. In time you will get unstuck, and move back to feeling good again.
Recognize what you've lost and what remains. It can be helpful to make a list of your losses. Losing a significant love relationship is a loss, but you may have also incurred other losses during this time.
For instance, you may be feeling the loss of companionship and friendship, time spent with that person, the loss of affection and physical touch. Breaking up could mean the loss of a dream of a life together with that person.
And then make a list what remains. For example, you could list your life, your health, your family and friends, your creativity and other things. Thank God for those things. Celebrate all you have and you will find that thankfulness leads to joy.
One day at a time, once choice at a time, healing happens.
With God's strength at work in you, you can release the heartaches of today, and come closer to the freedom and joyful days of tomorrow.
When it feels like the darkness is closing in, trust that God is at work in your life—even when you cannot see. He will be with you through the night and lead you to hope, healing and brighter days ahead.
Just follow the Light…