Acknowledging your feelings

Throughout the aftermath of your breakup you will feel a wide range of emotions. Some will be more overwhelming than others and some will be less pleasant than others.

Our goal is to process these emotions and learn the lessons they are here to teach us. To accomplish that we must strive to acknowledge our emotions when they occur. It is far too easy to lose awareness, and get caught up in the emotions themselves or in our reactions to them.

When we forget or refuse to acknowledge an emotion, we create more suffering for ourselves.

If we refuse to acknowledge we are angry, our anger will not wane and we will remain angry for a longer time.

We must peal back all the layers of the emotional onion we are feeling.

During my most recent breakup, on multiple occasions I would feel anger swell up. I was aware of all the lessons and technique which I try to teach here, but still I managed to lose my awareness.

I was aware of the anger, but since I didn’t want to be angry, I told myself that I wasn’t going to be angry.

I only realized later that in doing so, I was making a value judgment towards the anger I was feeling. I felt it was a petty, primitive emotion that I shouldn’t be feeling.

I did not see this value judgment for what it was, another layer of emotion on top of the underlying anger. It caused me to suppress my anger and gave rise to a longer-term background level of frustration.

Only when I realized this, was I able to allow myself to feel angry but also allow myself to not want to feel angry at the same time.

Acknowledging your emotions becomes more difficult when there are multiple layers of emotions involved and they contradict one another.

Whenever you catch yourself feeling something, bring your awareness to it. What is it you’re feeling? What label can you put on this feeling? Is there any judgment attached to it? If so, always shine the light of your awareness on the judgment. What label can you put on it?

Awareness

A large part, if not the most part, of our behavior is guided by our unconsciousness. Who we are attracted to, when we get mad, what we think about something — we don’t get to *choose* to do any of those things. Even though we have some control over our thoughts, our default mode is […]

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Take responsibility for your own happiness

One of the natural reactions to adversity is viewing yourself as the victim of some external circumstance. We find ourselves in pain and ask “what caused this?” The answer, invariably, is something external. Often, however, the pain we feel is caused, in part, by ourselves. Or at least, propagated by ourselves. No one is going […]

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Reaching your tipping point

You may be reading this and still very much feel in love with your ex-girlfriend. There may have been many signs that would indicate that the relationship is over and she wants nothing to do with you. Yet you cannot let go. You understand intellectually that it’s just chemicals gushing through your brain, but it’s […]

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The Romeo and Juliet Effect

From Why We Love: Adversity often feeds the flame. I call this curious phenomenon “frustration-attraction” but it is better known as the “Romeo and Juliet effect.” Social or physical barriers kindle romantic passion. They enable one to discard the facts and focus on the terrific qualities of the other. Even arguments or temporary breakups can […]

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You are ill-equipped to deal with grief

Grief is the normal reaction to a loss of any kind. The feelings you are having are normal and natural. However, in a society where we are increasingly conditioned to expect instant solutions — usually pharmaceutical ones — few people know what to do with these feelings, let alone how to help others that are […]

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Addicted to your ex-girlfriend

The dictionary definition of being addicted is being physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance. Typically we associate this condition with drug use, but doesn’t heartbreak display a physical and mental dependency as well? Author of How to break your addiction to a person, Howard M. Halpern, would agree. He identifies four characteristics to […]

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This can be harder on you than on her

Generally, the initiator of the breakup has an easier time getting over the relationship. If you’re reading this, more often than not, you’re not the initiator. So that will make things a bit harder on you. The main reason has to do with breakups not coming out of the blue. The initiator, on some level, […]

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Your pain may be rooted in old wounds you did not know about

Growing up as children we are constantly observing the world around us, absorbing it, and learning what lessons we need to learn to help us to prepare for the road ahead. So too with attachment. We look to our parents to teach us what love looks like and how to participate in it. What we […]

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Feelings disguised as facts

If you say “She is the only one I could ever love,” you feel it is true. This statement is a feeling disguised as a fact. [1] When certain thoughts are played over and over again inside your head, the associated beliefs become deeper ingrained and the association with emotions becomes stronger. The strength of […]

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