Just got this great question from a girl named Nikki and figured I’d share my response to her with other girls who may have been wondering the same thing.
I broke up with my bf and I thought I would feel relieved bc I lost my romantic emotions for him, but instead I’m the one bawling my eyes out. It just sucks because I do care about him, he just wasn’t “the one” and I feel empty and sad. I feel like I should feel so relieved. Is it normal to feel sad even if I’m the one who left him?
Dear Nikki –
Of course it’s normal – you’re mourning a loss.
Even when you make a choice that supports your best and highest good… that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a time of grieving. Not so much mourning the loss of him… but mourning the loss of what you thought you were gonna have with him.
Feel it and cry your ass off.
Tears allow us to heal our hearts. Honor your feelings and don’t try to shove them down or push them away. Many girls misread the signals these feelings are sending and think that they should get back together with the guy or settle because it temporarily feels worse without them. But what they don’t realize is that anytime we deny our feelings, they are just trapped inside, lying in wait and will always come back to bite us in the ass and cause us to explode at the exact wrong moment, or make choices that don’t serve us. The only way to get through something is to go through it and feel it all.
Stop “shoulding” all over yourself.
There is not a certain way you “should” feel in any situation. There is only the way you actually feel. The pain will continue and fester the longer you resist it and tell yourself that you should (or shouldn’t) feel a certain way.
Avoid the “that must mean” mentality.
Shakespeare said “Things are neither good nor bad – but our thinking makes it so.” Many girls, after a break-up, (whether they are the one who did the breaking up or the one who got dumped) slip into this most damaging behavior and tell themselves the absolute worst lie in the world –
That must mean…
That must mean I’m not good enough.
That must mean that there’s something wrong with me.
That must mean that I should get back together with him if I’m so miserable without him.
That must mean that I’ll never find “the one.”
That must mean that I’ve just wasted the last six months of my life.
Understand that there is no time limit or expiration date on grief.
It takes however long it takes. I’m not suggesting that you wallow in pain and stay stuck in self-pity, but we absolutely must give ourselves the time and space to fully feel our feelings in order to be able to let them go.
You can’t have the rainbow without the rain.
We live in a quick-fix culture that sets us up with unrealistic expectations for getting immediate relief from our feelings and emotions. Yet, the more we cut ourselves off from really feeling them, the less we are in touch with our own internal guidance system that is always trying to lead us to our divine destiny. Following the path of joy is the way to get there – but you’ll never fully feel joy or know how to intuitively follow that path until you’ve allowed yourself to feel it’s opposite.
The very best part of this is that you honored yourself and made a decision that you weren’t gonna settle for anything but the best. You can’t rejoice in that yet because you’re still sad and grieving. But I promise you – once you give your feelings and emotions time to come up and out and express them fully – you open up the space for all the good feelings to come flooding in.
It is better to want what you do not have than to have what you do not want.
Never settle. Be willing to pass up good for great.
Feel it all baby girl and trust that “this too shall pass.” You made the right choice – even if it doesn’t feel that way yet.