How to heal yourself after divorce or breakup

Healing a past relationship together with healing the wounds that we carry is extremely important in moving forward with life and engaging fully into the new reality. Any relationship has an important impact on our personal journey and it comes with the good and the bad, with blessings and lessons for us to learn so we can grow wiser.  

After my divorce happened some years ago, I didn’t realise that I needed to heal in any way the past relationship. It was my decision to end the marriage I was in, as my former husband was controlling and emotionally abusive. I would never forget the sense of freedom, as well as the self-discovery journey I experienced back then. 

I felt good about myself being able to regain my freedom, however, I was struggling to move forward with my life in a healthy way. I thought to remain ‘friends’ with my ex as we never fought or had an argue, in fact didn’t realising that this would jeopardize my freedom. This is a classical example of being still attached to my ex through the emotional cords that were created between us in so many years we spent our life together. 

My realisation that I needed healing came when I had to sort out the selling of the flat we owned together during our marriage. My ex did not want to be involved in any way, so everything fell on my shoulders, from finding a buyer to dealing with layers and all paperwork involved. All of this while I was in London and the flat in my hometown abroad. I was determined to resolve the situation once for all as we were both paying mortgage for a property that none of us would be ever using again. However, the task of selling the flat seemed easy and achievable, not to forget it was my wish to do it too. But for some reason, something inside me left me completely frozen when I was about to take action. I was completely blocked from doing anything and I freaked out every time when I was about to call my layer. 

If this sounds familiar to you and you ever felt stuck or unable to move forward or do things you wanted to do, either as a result of a breakup but also as a result of other circumstances, I list below what I did to help myself heal the blockage I had and take the actions I wanted to take. 

Here is my list for you: 

Acknowledge how you feel and why

This can take a little time to practice and the more you are connected with your feelings and emotions the easier it becomes. A simple technique to practice: 

Take a couple of deep breaths every time when you feel uncomfortable. Once you feel calmer, close your eyes, bringing your hand to your heart ask yourself: How do I FEEL right now? Am I scared, anxious, angry, sad, lonely, disappointed? We practice this exercise almost every time in our group healing sessions and it is very powerful in bringing to light what really happens inside us. 

Mindfulness of emotions takes time to practice, but once you learn to acknowledge your feelings you have already taken the first step towards your healing. 

The next step is to ask yourself  where these feelings came from and how they influence your thoughts, actions and well-being. Does your sadness or loneliness make you binge eating? Does your anxiety make you always run from responsibility or your fear blocking you to go for  what you want? 

Sometimes this only step can be enough to deal with a mild issue, but when  it comes to deeper wounds, you’ll need to take other extra steps for healing. 

The first and most important thing that helped me move forward was the simple acknowledgement of the problem I had. The moment I realised I felt blocked from simply making a phone-call or contacting someone without any rational justification, combined with multiple negative feelings of being angry, blaming the other side and feeling disappointed made me aware that something inside me stops me from doing what I want.

Ask for help

Sometimes you may not know how to solve a situation and you may need a third party to help you see the whole thing from outside. Asking for help is normal and you shouldn’t be afraid of it, all you need is to find the support that feels right for you and access it. 

I reached for help from my therapist at the time and I found great support to simply talk through things and have a different perspective on what happened. 

You may find it useful for yourself to either read useful articles, listen to inspirational talks, access a healing group or a personal healing session where you’ll receive maximum and undivided attention. 

Write in your journal

Journaling is a writing process that helps you to explore thoughts, emotions, feelings and actions. It helps you to get to know yourself better, make a sense of what happens to you and understand your own thinking patterns. 

To me, this is a continuous process of reflection and transformation. When I write in my journal I feel like I am in a meeting with myself, having a sincere chat and exploring what I need, how to get there and what stays in my way. Journalling is about self reflection, but also about self-awareness and self-healing.  

Journaling questions for healing a past relationship

  • What I feel frustrated and sad about
  • What I am grateful for
  • What I learned 
  • What do I need forgive 
  • What I am ready to release

Allow yourself time to go deeply into your soul and respond to all of these questions in detail, even if for some of them you’ll find it difficult to express yourself. Be kind and allow yourself to feel what it comes for you. Sometimes this process might make you cry, which is beneficial and healing. 

Express your feelings

Journaling is doing its part but sometimes there are feelings that you may not be able to identify. The best way to allow them to come to light is to express and represent them in a physical form. It can be drawing, dancing, exercising, running, singing, drumming, making art, anything that is creative and allows your energy to flow. Important to remember: It doesn’t have to be beautiful, it has to feel good and relieving.

These are all healing methods that help us to express what we feel and release what is no longer needed. The negative stagnant energy from the body will be released through self expression and transmuted into something positive. At the same time, we feel relieved, our pain will ease and discomfort disappears. 

To me this was the moment when I immersed myself into drawing mandalas, so I had expressed physically on the paper with colours and shapes everything that my mind couldn’t figure out.

  1. Forgive yourself

Forgiveness comes from kindness and our own ability to love ourselves and project that love to others. I feel that forgiveness comes so deeply from within as the most precious gift that we can offer ourselves and to the world. It’s about self love, awareness and a conscious choice to feel positive about a negative situation.

The whole process of letting-go and healing is culminating with the capacity to forgive and transform the negative feelings into kindness, compassion and respect.

It comes more as a conclusion of all previous steps, as an expression of beauty and love.

My personal perspective on forgiveness is that we do it exclusively for ourselves. Especially when the other person involved was abusive, violent or behaved badly. Forgiveness does not mean that what happened was OK, forgiveness is about our ability to forgive ourselves for staying in the situation or for not being able to see the truth. It is not about the other person. It is about ourselves. 

The forgiveness process can sometimes be a little more difficult than others as we are raised to believe that all that happens is our fault and we never tried enough. 

This was the step when I needed to go through a healing process and I chose to work with a rose quartz crystal that I placed on my heart with the healing intention of forgiveness. 

In your case you can ask yourself what is one thing that you can do to forgive yourself and how you can release the negative feelings from your body. 

I personally did all this process in one day – but it took me a good couple of hours to go through it. It was profound and it worked to me this way, I was also time pressured as I had to sell the flat in quite a short amount of time. What I can say is that the next day I was able to pick-up the phone and make those calls I needed to make and three months later and two trips back in my country, the flat was sold. 

I hope you’ll find these steps useful, take your time, do them at your own pace, you don’t have to do everything in one day. I’d love to hear from you how it went, if you feel like sharing your experience do not hesitate to email me. 

Until next time,  

Many blessings,