A Valentine’s Day Relationship Healing Challenge: Getting Closure (Part I)

A Valentine’s Day: Getting Closure & Calling in the One (Part I)

Guest Post by Selina Pagan

As Valentine’s Day nears, I’ve been considering how to face it and wondering how many people are in the same boat as me – slightly heart weary but hopeful that love is just around the corner. So many of us have experienced some kind of heart break and have gone through the waves of grief and confusion only to come out on the other side of it, stronger than before and wiser for the journey.

But what about that “in between” phase?

How can we truly heal our hearts, leaving no residue from the past?

How can we make sure that we don’t get caught in the same pitfalls of our last relationship?

We must pause and take a moment to reflect. What better time than the month of love to do so!

With heart-shaped candies, flowers, and cuddly teddy bears that plead “Will you be mine?” chances are you’ll be inspired to think about romance in one way or another – either why you don’t have it or how to get it! So instead of starting up a personal crusade against all things lovey dovey, make the month of February a time to experiment in letting go of what no longer serves you and preparing for the love you deserve! What have you got to lose? What could you gain?

Part I: Getting Closure

“If you want to learn to love, then you must start the process of finding out what it is, what qualities make up a loving person and how these are developed. Each person has the potential for love. But potential is never realized without work. – Leo Buscaglia, Love

When my relationship of nearly 5 years ended suddenly last summer, I found myself in a tail spin, desperately looking to cling to some explanation of what went wrong.  I felt that I’d failed and I entertained a web of unending negative chatter in my mind until I decided that enough was enough.  I needed to understand the entire scope of the relationship in a way that would provide me with real answers, not just continual fodder for my pity party.  It was time to get it together so that I could move forward in an intentional way.  It was time to do the work because even though the relationship was “over,” I was still in its wake.

We all have the ability to bring consciousness to our healing process (notice that I said “process,” not “event”) by choosing how we want to experience it and by taking responsibility for how we define the experience.  Though we live in a culture that celebrates the beginnings of relationship and paints a grim picture of the rest of the natural cycle, the completion stage, we have the freedom to form our own conclusions about “breaking up” and what that means for us.

What if completing a relationship could be held as sacred – a learning opportunity unlike any other?  What if we allowed ourselves to really mourn, to release the tears that ache to be released, to let ourselves come apart, melting our defenses, appreciating what once was so that we could come home to the fullness within us that has always been there, waiting just beneath the old stories we were telling ourselves?  Would we dare have the courage to take an inventory of the past and lay old hurts to rest in service to doing love’s work?

Are you ready to leverage your experience so that you can clear a path for new love, learn from the challenges so you’re less likely to repeat them, and gain an appreciation for your history of loving?

Challenge: Get your journal, take a deeper look at your relationship and consider this…

1) The Good Times

A. What did you love about your partner?

B. What are your favorite memories together?

C. What was it about you two that worked?

2) The Challenges

A. What were your biggest challenges?

B. What (if anything) do you regret – things said/unsaid, done/undone?

C. What do you miss most about your partner and/or your relationship?

3) The Opportunity

A. What did you learn? What did your partner teach you?

B. What are you thankful for about this relationship?

C. What do you want to create in relationship going forward?

Once you’ve laid out the truth of your experience, you’ll have a more insightful perspective on the purpose of having gone through it in the first place, and then you can choose what to take away from it and what to leave behind.

If any resistance to this process is popping up, just let it be and do the process anyway.  Find a quiet place with no chance of interruption, maybe light a candle and set an intention, center yourself in your heart, and take the leap!  Don’t be afraid of what you might uncover.  It is all for you, for your highest good, and for your most valuable learning.

As the authors of Conscious Loving, Gay & Kathlyn Hendricks say, “It takes a special kind of courage to face and deal with our past incompletions. Often these incompletions are the most significant barrier to expressing our full creativity in the present.  Go on a hunt for any areas of incompletion…and you will not be disappointed.  A burst of creativity will often follow the completion of some long left issue.  Clearing up an incompletion gives you a feeling of aliveness that you can get nowhere else.”

Trust that taking the time and energy to bring closure to your relationship in a conscious way is well worth the effort and may just be that boost you’ve been looking for to help you move on in a healthy way – leaving the baggage in your rearview mirror once and for all!  You have my full support and remember: love is on your side! 

Stay tuned for part II coming up Valentine’s day!

photo by: Alex

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