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With much relief in my heart, it is time for a secret confession. It's been something that I have chosen to omit for the last few months due to the sensitivity of its nature and the people involved. I will admit that, at times, I felt a bit disingenuous to you, my blog family, but please know that it was with poignant reason. My last love and I broke up a few months back. As you can imagine, it has been quite the journey of sadness, frustration, and crazy and unexpected emotional turns...daily that is. If you read my book, or if you are about to enjoy my book, I am "In Overwhelmdom" -- consciously riding the emotional superhighway. Awareness is a bitch sometimes!
The idea for this blog has been in the making for months. It is now my gift to you. As strange as that may sound, please learn from my experience, mistakes, and feelings that follow.
Break ups are crazy and inevitable. They will be hairy for you and they will be juicy for almost everybody else. This stuff is not easy and it requires your big-boy and big-girl pants. It will be a daily... adventure. I was going to say struggle, but remember, Pain Is Inevitable, Suffering is Optional.
I don't care how you broke up. Amicable. Non-amicable. Dumped. Married with Children. These invitations apply to all.
1. Put You First...and Your Now-Ex second.
I don't know how your relationship has been and what boundaries you have set up. Now, right now, is the time to put you first. Make sure your needs are fully met. No one will take better care of you than you. Then, and only then concern yourself ex and their needs. If you have kids, clearly, they come first. I'm just saying.
2. Logistics Now.
As counter-intuitive as this may sound, feel your feelings but put them on the back burner for now. You have work to get done. If you live together or are married, start making necessary preparations straight away. Time alone will allow you the opportunity to reflect and emote. Keep yourself busy and focused for the next two weeks. You won't regret it.
3. Feelings Later.
I know it probably hurts like hell. This is why I invite each and every one of you to take care of logistics first thing. This allows two important and vital things to occur. You master the logistics and annoyances while simultaneously giving your mind and heart time to digest the traumatic experience, so you then you can focus on your feelings. The feelings will always come. You can be sure of that. Trust me. It works.
4. Walk. Don't Run!
Take one day at a time. Actually, sometimes even that is too much. Take it one minute at a time. There's no rush. There's no time constraints. Take your time through the next couple of weeks, months, or years of your life.
5. It Won't Always End on a Good Note!
I'm sorry this is happening to you. It really sucks. All of these principles apply even if it ends horribly. Learn from my mistakes and my experiences. Always leave with your dignity, integrity, and honor.
6. Friends now? or Break-time?
You will have to breach this decision point after your break-up. I invite you to have this conversation when you both feel ready. There's pro's and con's to both choices. You need to decide what's best for you. The great news is that you can always renegotiate this. Perhaps you immediately choose to be friends, and then you discover you need some break-time. Do what feels best for the future...not how you feel right now.
7. I Don't Need to Know All the Details
If you choose to be friends, set boundaries. If you have joint calendars, request the other person create their own personal calendar separate from the joint one. (I learned that the hard way!). Discuss what is okay to share and what might not be the best to share at this point. Constant honest and sincere communication is key.
8. Never Undermine the Relationship!
This was an incredible suggestion from our couple's therapist. Though your relationship has shifted into a new space, do you absolute best every day to honor the relationship you had with your changed love, your deep respect, and your re-focused honest communication! Some days this will be easier than others. When one becomes irritated, gently remind the other that it is not easy but it will be worth the challenge in the end. Even if it was not your best break up, do your best to honor yourself within the relationship and learn from it.
9. Share With People At Your Own Pace.
This is a "choose your own adventure" experience. In my case, we waited a few weeks prior to telling really anyone. No matter what your decision, I invite you to have this be one of your last amicable decisions together. It definitely requires a mutual understanding and peace.
10. Friends Are Weird Sometimes.Take it from me, friends can be weird. Friends (I'm speaking directly to you), I invite you to be a little bit more embracing, a little bit more understanding, and a little bit less selfish for those first few weeks or months. Reach out and reach out again. No response. Wait a little. Then, reach out a third time and fourth time. Sometimes, people going through traumatic events need a balance of support and time.
I hope this helps. I hope you learned at last one thing from the above thoughts on how to break up like an adult. Whether it's a small event in life or a life-altering traumatic experience that defines who we are, we -- alone -- are responsible for our actions and behaviors. Know who you are. Embrace who you are. Be who you are. Be the better and bigger person whenever possible. Do it. Later, you will be that much resolved in who you are.
1) Thank you for all of your support and love with regard to my book, "How I Learned To Smile From The Inside". After you read it, if you would be so kind as to post a review on Amazon, I would greatly appreciate it.
2) I submitted my first professional blog for the International Coaching Federation entitled, Inside the Session: Intuition vs. Coaching. They loved it! I will keep you apprised.
3) If you want to reach out to me personally and think I am way too busy right now. Think again, I always love hearing from you. In fact, do that with someone else over the next week too!
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