Why You Can't Move On
Why can it be so tough to move on? Often, it depends on the circumstances of your breakup. For instance, if your ex cheated on you, not only do you feel alone, you often have a bruised ego, many unresolved feelings, etc. Even worse, you will likely replay the event of the breakup over and over again in your mind - with all those powerful emotions attached - only to continue to reinforce the loss.
When you combine all of those powerful emotions with a constant replay of events, you work not to forget - but to remember! You're actually programming your mind to reinforce the effects of the breakup. Now it makes sense that you are having trouble moving on!
The problem is that most people think you can just stop doing this and it'll go away. In reality, that doesn't work. Let me illustrate why.
Let's play a quick game. I want you to relax for a moment, sit comfortably and close your eyes. While you're in that state, try to NOT think of a white rabbit. I want you to really make the effort to NOT think of that white rabbit. Give yourself about 1-2 minutes and really try to NOT do it. Go ahead and do it now. I'll wait….
Ok, did you try it? If you did, you just discovered something very important. You can't do it! You can't NOT think of a thing. That's a very important lesson in how your mind is wired. It's designed only to DO one thing or another, not to NOT do it!
This also leads you directly to the next step:
What You Need to Do
Obviously, you have to first stop repeating the breakup or the fight that led to the breakup or that last phone call you had or whatever you're repeating over and over again. However, that's probably much easier said that done!
What you need is an ACTIVE technique to redirect your mind and turn all that negative energy into positive action. I'm going to give you that technique here. It's called the "reframe".
If you've seen my show or read a few of my articles, you now that I talk about this tool regularly. It's just that powerful. What it means is to take all of those powerful negative images and redirect them into ones that will help - not hurt - you. That is, to reframe them into something you want.
Here's how it works:
First, get somewhere that you won't be disturbed for about 10-15 minutes. You don't want phones or friends or family stopping this exercise once you get started or you'll simply wind up having to start all over again.
Sit down in a comfortable place and loosen any tight clothing or shoes. Take a few deep breaths, close your eyes and let your body relax. Muscular tension is going to work against you, so let it go for now.
Allow yourself to feel the pain, hurt, frustration, anger or any other emotions that your breakup has caused you. Beginning this feeling process is an important part of the technique. If you're numb to it, you're not going to be able to use it to propel you out of the funk!
So, as you begin to remember these images you'll find that you actually start to see, hear, smell, taste and feel them coming back to life. You're reliving them again in your mind.
Now, let's take the first active step. Notice how bright and loud and colorful and pronounced all of these images are? Ok, let's dial them down a bit. Turn down the brightness of the image in your mind. Begin to let the color of it fade and turn down the volume until it's just a weird muted mumble.
Watch the image fade to black-and-white and then let it go out of focus. Just imagine your experience of the event and the person themselves fading out; not away however, just out.
Check your emotions now. Are you less anxious, hurt, angry, etc.? Of course you are. That's the key.
Next, let's take that moving dull, black-and-white, muted image and let it slowly recede into the background. Watch the image get smaller and smaller as it moves away from you.
Notice how your emotional experience is also getting smaller as this happens? Great, you're on your way.
Next, imagine the image flying over your head and behind you. When you turn around to see it (again, in your mind) it hides behind you. Note again how it seems so far away now - it's almost a distant memory, and so is your emotion of it.
Now, let that image go shooting up into the sky. Watch it as it travels right out of the atmosphere toward the sun, gaining speed as it flies. Finally, it hits the sun and creates a beautiful burst of color as it simply burns up and is gone. Take a moment to enjoy the image.
Now, come back to your emotions (forget the image now) and notice how you feel free and relieved of the image, and for that matter, of all those negative emotions themselves? Let's turn that up next.
Allow yourself to really FEEL that relief. Enjoy how it feels to be free of that image. In fact, this is your reward for having done this exercise so well! Enjoy it and turn it up. If you can add a picture or sound to that feeling do so now and turn those up as well. Let the colors and tones intensify to create even greater pleasure and relief.
Take a few moments to revel in this and when you're done, take a deep breath and open your eyes. Now, just realize that you're done and ready to get back onto your day.
Keep in mind that one practice session isn't going to remove all of this for you. You've likely been over the event you're trying to eliminate hundreds of times. The good news however is that; if you do this exercise every day, 2-3 times a day, you're going to find that within a week much of your emotional tie to it is fading. Within 2-3 weeks, it will be all but gone.
This will be a good time to start looking at your relationship goals again - or writing them out for the first time. Part of healing is getting started on the next chapter of your life. Don't just float - get going!
Have a love, dating, sex or relationship question? You can write to me or get more information about "Being a Man in a Woman's World tm" by going to: http://BeingAMan.com. Be sure to check out the new BAM! TV at http://BeingAMan.tv.
Copyright (c) 2009, Dr. Dennis W. Neder
All rights reserved.