I’ve decided to add a new segment to the blog.
I noticed that my On 2014 post got a lot of positive feedback both on and off the blog…so I thought maybe people actually might be interested in reading a bit more about my personal perspective on certain things…like…life and such.
I mean you could also not want to read that, which is cool as well. Just ignore this post and wait for my next restaurant review or market trip.
Ok! Let’s begin thinking…about moving on…specifically from hurtful situations…presumably with people and love and all that stuff.
There’s a running joke between me and anyone who will listen, that it takes me approximately four working days to get over ‘heartbreak’.
One might argue that maybe I don’t feel that much to begin with…so there’s that, and that’s debatable, but then there’s also the fact that I’ve learned a few secrets over the last few months.
(Really…I blame/thank the book Eat, Pray, Love. It’s cliche as all hell but I strongly recommend that book to anyone who is going through any measure of a ‘broken heart’).
Meditation is an exercise I try to do on a daily basis now. It’s a real struggle but I feel like my mind is so much clearer and so much calmer since I started. I don’t give in to anxiety the way I used to, and when I feel particularly out of control, I can put on one of my guided sessions (I HIGHLY recommend the Headspace app as an introduction to meditation) and immediately feel better.
Breathing is such an essential part of stress relief. It’s amazing, but not surprising, how we take the positive effects of controlled, concentrated breathing for granted.
It was after a yoga class one day, a while ago, that I told my yoga instructor that I found myself holding my breath through some of the more painful positions. She told me ‘That means you probably hold your breath when you experience difficulties or challenges in your day to day life as well. You have to breathe through it.’
Gat dayum these yogis are brilliant.
I always remember her words when I find myself holding my breath, and I remember to breathe. Slow, counting down from ten and starting again if I need to.
So meditating is the first thing. It’s also, to me, the most important thing, because in order to start the process of effectively dealing with pain, you first have to stop your mind from spinning out of control, as it tends to when we’re in the midst of sorrow or anger.
Right, so you have your head straight.
The next thing I recommend you do is research oxytocin. Oxytocin is this pesky little hormone that our brain produces…otherwise known as the ‘love drug’. It’s that chemical that makes you feel the butterflies, the lightheadedness, the general dotishness that one experiences when ‘in love’, and particularly when you’re engaged in a sexual relationship with someone.
Research it well and understand that that feeling of love…the actual feeling, is not unique. Everyone feels it. And you will feel it again, have no fear.
Now this isn’t to say I don’t think love is more than just a chemical reaction in your brain…there is always context to consider.
I’m sure situations attribute a lot to the overall experience of being ‘in love’ with someone but it’s important to remember that you’re not going crazy, you’re just having a normal human response to certain stimuli.
And here’s the kicker – women produce more of it than men. That’s nice and fair isn’t it? Oh well…we have to learn to operate with the hand we’re dealt kids.
Another valuable lesson I’ve learned…and it actually only came to me today…when you allow yourself to be optimistic, or look forward to something, it becomes considerably more difficult to hold on to bitterness and sadness. Sometimes this is easier said than done, I know.
I was very fortunate to have been given a new job opportunity literally the day after a breakup last year…so I had this immense feeling of optimism and gratefulness that kind of overpowered my misery. I am constantly reminded that I am blessed. And when you are as blessed as I perceive myself to be, I find it kind of petty and ungrateful to spend even a minute more than necessary wallowing in self-pity.
Shit happens, yes, but so do amazing, wonderful things.
It’s important too, to note that sometimes when you’re doing said wallowing, and you’re up to your neck in self-prescribed despair, you can sometimes block opportunities or good things that are trying to enter your life.
Yes…you need to feel what you need to feel (I always tell people it’s important to feel what they need to…but just don’t drown in it) but you also need to acknowledge that life has not stopped. Allow good things to happen to you. Let them in. Allow yourself to be optimistic. Plan a trip, go hang out with your bestie, update your resume, laugh. Laughter helps a lot. You have to let the good in to work out the bad…and that’s SUPER abstract I know, but you’re smart…you get what I’m saying.
I’m constantly reminding myself to let good things happen to me even when I feel sad.
It’s ok to feel happy or hopeful when you’re getting over heart break.
Connected to this point, loosely, is perspective. I remember waking up one morning a few days after that same break up, feeling like complete crap and totally prepared to spend the day under the covers, listening to sad music, when I saw the news online that a school, which was serving as a UN shelter in Palestine had been shelled that night.
15 were dead and over 100 injured, mostly women and children. Palestinian boy scouts were reported to be sifting through the debris, trying to collect body parts for burial.
That was the slap in the face – I know nothing about suffering.
Whatever I was experiencing…it was a drop in the bucket compared to the sadness in the world. I had so much more to be grateful for than to be sad about. Losing someone sucks…yeah…ok. I hear you. But this life is too short to spend it not living for yourself and for the opportunities you still have.
Dammit I sound like a proper self-help book, and I hate pontificating, but I truly believe everything I just wrote, and I think about it constantly. Focus on the good. Focus on what you DO have, and focus on the people who choose to stay.
That is the sum of your life, that is the sum of your experiences in this world. You’ll get over it. You’ll find someone new. Someone who can love you how you deserve to be loved.
Or…maybe you won’t. Not for a while anyway. And that’s okay too. It is okay if someone chooses to continue their journey without you. That is their choice. And all it means is that you need to continue your journey as well. What they do from here on out is no longer your problem, and it’s no longer your business.
Believe and embrace that quickly and darling you’ll be just fine. Oh also don’t let that shit lower your self esteem…that’s whack and we too old for those teenage habits. Cut that shit out.