You don’t have to be a nervous person to suffer from anxiety, or a sad person to suffer from mild depression after a heart-wrenching breakup or loss. Romantic or not, there are people — friends neighbors, or family members — on whom you depend for love and stability.
Sometimes it’s the result of failed attempts to fix a problem, but something can end with no warning, and then you’re left stunned, trying to pick up the pieces of your heart and your life.
You may feel so intensely that you’re paralyzed. The thought of not having that person in your life may not have entered your mind till it became a reality. Remembering all the time and effort you put into the relationship, the many sacrifices you made, may enrage you or make you feel hopeless.
The key is to remember that your lowest moments are your biggest opportunities for growth. Here are eight mantras to help you transition into this new, beautiful phase in your life:
1. I am not alone.
Everyone loses people they love some point. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will. It’s a part of your journey and the discovery of your inner strength. You’ll find new friends, teachers, and people to depend on along the way.
2. Sadness is part of the growth process.
It’s important to grieve in order to let go of your feelings and move forward. To chastise yourself for being sad is counterintuitive. You have to feel your feelings in order to overcome them.
3. I can only control my own actions.
So much sadness, anger, and hatred is the result of frustration that you couldn’t or didn’t change things. But you never could have. You cannot control the flow of life, or another person’s decisions. What has happened cannot be undone. All you can control is how you react to it and how you respond the next time you go through a rough patch.
4. There is no way to “make sense of” loss.
Overthinking and rethinking every detail just leads to more negative feelings. When exactly did the relationship change? Why did she or he change? What could I have done better? Why don’t they love me anymore? What are they really thinking? You can never know the whole story, so don’t drive yourself crazy trying. It’s purposeless.
5. Happiness is always a choice.
You may have been very happy with someone at some point, but no one can “make” you happy. It takes two to tango. You were 50 percent of that equation. You “chose” to be happy with that person and you can choose to be happy again with another person or simply without that person in your life.
6. My ability to love is the key to happiness.
It is not the other person’s love that made you happy. It is your ability to love that made you happy. Happiness is not conditional on a particular person. That person just happened to be the recipient of your love. The same way you loved that person, you will be able to experience love again with someone who will truly appreciate you and respect you.
7. Every relationship comes before a better relationship.
Sometimes, you develop a deep connection with someone when you’re not emotionally healed. You’re vulnerable and open to things you otherwise wouldn’t be. Those feelings of euphoria are often something that cannot be replicated. But that isn’t because of the other person. It’s because you’ve changed.
You may miss that feeling or high, but not having it is actually a wonderful sign. You are no longer in that vulnerable place. You are stronger. It’s so much better to build a relationship from a healthy place. In time, you’ll see that what one relationship taught you is what brought you to the one you were meant to have.
8. Be present.
The great philosopher, Maimonides, summed it up more than 800 years ago: “Contemplation alone reduces bad thoughts, anxiety, and distress. Most thoughts that cause distress, sorrow, sadness, or grief, occur from one of two things: Either one thinks of the past like the loss of a beloved one, of money, or of a lost opportunity. Or one thinks of something negative that may occur in the future like a possible loss or injury and one fears that it will happen.”
Thinking about the past is painful, and lack of certainty what will happen only exacerbates our fears. But can we do anything about either? No. The present is the only time frame we can affect.
Time does heal and this experience is a natural step toward finding your true self. You have everything you need within you to create new and healthier relationships in the future.