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What You Can Learn When Someone Breaks Up With You

What You Can Learn When Someone Breaks Up With You

Going through a breakup is never easy — especially when you’re the one being broken up with. It can make you feel empty and unworthy of love and connection. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way if you don’t want it to be. I’m not saying that you are not going to feel pain from the loss you are experiencing, but I am promising that if you look at the glass as half full instead of half empty, you will open up the door for joy. Instead of allowing yourself to wallow and play the victim, let’s take a look at some of the lessons you could be learning from this experience:

1. Acceptance

Learning how to accept that change is a part of life and that nothing lasts forever, you will be able to overcome and easily move with the ebb and flow of life. When we learn to accept life for how it is and understand that there is a beginning and ending to everything, we will be able to clearly see when an experience is coming to an end and let go gracefully. Acceptance will allow us live the most fulfilling life possible — without trying to control and change people and situations — resulting in more fulfilling relationships.

2. About Who You Really Are

This is the time to practice self-love and compassion. It is time to dig deep, wrestle with those internal demons and ask yourself two questions:

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  • What was I not getting out of this relationship that I need in my next relationship?
  • What was I not doing for myself in this relationship?

Take the time now to identify your needs and learn how to ask yourself first “what do I need in order to take care of myself in this moment?” Ask yourself why this relationship ended:

  • Is it from a lack of boundaries?
  • Is it from a lack of communication?
  • Is it from a lack of understanding?

Do not finger-point and blame, but instead ask these questions to try to learn from this experience and become a better you. This is part of the process of learning how to truly love yourself. Until you learn to truly love yourself, you will not know how to love someone else. You can only give what you have, after all…

3. How To Deal With Grief

There is nothing easy about going through the cycle of grief. It’s like an emotional roller coaster ride — tons of highs and lows, and you cant get off until the ride is over. It’s not a pleasant experience, but it is something we must learn to deal with. We are given the opportunity to try out different tools to figure out what works best for us and helps us get through these highs and lows with as much ease as possible.

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Through this process of grief, we will learn how to bounce back and prove to ourselves how strong and resilient we really are. We will also learn that self-love and compassion go a long way.

4. Who Your True Supporters Are

I think it’s pretty normal to question the loyalties of your loved ones from time to time. But have you ever noticed that when things really hit the fan, there’s no need to question who is going to stay by your side? They just show up. This is your support system — take the time to thank them and be present with them. These are the moments that make us feel connected, important and loved; it is also the time we need it the most.

5. Over Time, All Wounds Heal

Pain does not last forever. Neither does heartbreak. Practice leaning into the discomfort and allowing yourself to be present in whatever you are feeling. One day at a time, things will get better and the clouds will lift.

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6. Forgiveness

This is a biggie, and an important virtue to learn if you want to lead a happy life. Holding onto resentment and anger is only destructive to you – no one else. There is an immense amount of freedom that comes with being able to forgive. The first step in forgiveness is to be able to accept things as they are and let go.

When I talk about forgiveness, I am not only referring to forgiving your ex. I suggest you begin by forgiving yourself. Again, you can not give something you do not have, so how can you forgive others if you can not forgive yourself? Let go of the guilt and those thoughts of “shoulda, coulda, woulda,” and forgive.

7. Gratitude

If you want to feel joy again, you must learn how to will gratitude. It may be hard, but gratitude makes the space necessary for miracles happen. Take the time to tell your loved ones you are grateful for their love and support. Also, take the time to thank your Higher Power for the lessons you are learning. One of my favorite daily meditations, by Melody Beattie, reads:

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“Are you hanging on to a resentment for that ex or a friend from days long past? Are you still harboring bitterness about a job or business deal gone bad? Are you holding on to a part of your life that was painful with bitterness and resentment? Are you holding on to a particularly good time or cycle you had with someone, afraid that if things change and you let the past go and come into now, things won’t be quite as good?

Maybe you needed that relationship to teach you about a part of yourself. Maybe you learned compassion or more about what you wanted from life. Maybe that friend, even though he or she isn’t in your life anymore, helped you open up a part of yourself that was shut down and needed to be activated and set free. What about those painful experiences? You learned something, probably a lot, from them, too. And that experience that was so fulfilling? That, too, needs to be let go of if we’re going to open our hearts to the new.

Apply a dose of gratitude. Thank the experience for being in your life. Thank that ex, or that friend, or that business, or that boss. Thank them over and over again in your mind. Deliberately sit down and figure out what the lessons and gifts were. If you can’t see them, ask to be shown.

Move a step closer to letting go and becoming free by being grateful for how that person or experience enriched your life.” –Melody Beattie

Featured photo credit: EliJerma via flickr.com

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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