It’s not healthy to completely forget the past, but you can’t keep dwelling on the pain. These Blossom Tips to help you move forward in your life — whether you’re adjusting to a breakup, death, or difficult life change.
First, here’s what a “She Blossoms” reader called Florrie says about healing after a difficult breakup:
“It’s been four months since my breakup and it’s better,” says Florrie on How to Break Your Addiction to a Toxic Relationship. “Much better. There are setbacks, sure. There are hard days. But, overall, I feel better. The lows aren’t as low. The thoughts aren’t as intrusive. The sadness isn’t as intense. And the understanding and acceptance are greater. I also feel more energy and more interested in my life again.”
Florrie wrote her comment on an article I’ve been struggling with. It all started when I wrote an article called How to Break Up With a Married Man and Heal Your Heart. I had to close the comments section of that article because it was loading down my server — I received more than 1,200 comments, and it was still going strong!
I wrote that article because women were asking for help. They wanted to stop dwelling on a painful affair, and let the guy go. But they couldn’t. I had no idea what went on “behind the scenes” of cheating with a married man, and how awful it was for everyone involved.
Florrie was one of those readers who needed help. She desperately wanted to stop dwelling on the pain of her past, but she just couldn’t seem to let him go. But things have changed for her — and they can change for you! I’m thrilled to share the rest of her comment here, because it’s full of hope, faith, and new beginnings.
3 Blossom Tips to Help You Stop Dwelling on the Past
“The hardest part of a break up is the simple reality that you will be in pain for some amount of time,” says Florrie, “especially if the breakup wasn’t your choice. There isn’t a lot you can do to stop that. The lack of control is very hard to handle.”
1. Accept what you can’t control
If you find yourself dwelling on the past, you may be ruminating on things you had no control over. Even if you did have control over something — perhaps you made a serious error in judgement or an unhealthy decision — you didn’t have control over the outcome.
Take a deep breath, and accept that your life isn’t completely in your control. You make mistakes, you choose the wrong path, and you pick the wrong person. Part of learning how to stop dwelling on the past is simply accepting that you can’t do everything perfectly. You aren’t in control.
2. Balance grief with action
“Part of regaining control is recognizing you’ll be sad for a while and that it’s okay,” says Florrie. “And the the other part of gaining control is taking steps in your life to move on. It’s okay if you can’t do that initially. It’s okay if you spend days crying and missing him. But, soon enough (and with the help of your therapist), you’ll do small things each day to focus elsewhere and get your life back.”
The only way to heal your heart — and stop dwelling on the past — is to make peace with what happened. How do you do that? By working through the difficult emotions. It takes time and it hurts, but it’s the only way to heal.
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At the same time, start taking active steps towards a new season in your life. It can be as small as eating in a restaurant alone for the first time since the breakup, or as big as going on a singles cruise. It doesn’t matter what the exact step is. What’s important is you find meaningful ways to transition to a new stage of your life.
Start small, and work your way up.
3. Be gentle but firm with yourself
“At first I had to force myself to do things to distract myself,” wrote Florrie. “But it helped. I still wanted to be married [after having an affair], so I focused on falling back in love with my husband. Just as it took time to lose that spark with my husband, it took time to build the closeness back. We’re all still here, but, yeah, sometimes there are no words that can help.”
You have to choose to stop dwelling on the past. Your brain needs you to direct and control it! Your emotions will run your life if you let them. Instead of waiting for the help you need, start finding ways to actually distract yourself from dwelling on the past.
Choosing to focus your time, energy, and effort elsewhere is the Blossom Tip that can be the key to helping you learn how to stop dwelling on the past…if you make the effort.
What do you think? Tell me what helps you stop dwelling on the past, and what keeps you stuck in the pain. And, tell me how you’ll break free from what you know is holding you back…and how you’ll start moving forward in freedom, joy, and peace.
Laurie's "She Blossoms" Books
Growing Forward When You Can't Go Back offers hope, encouragement, and strength for women walking through loss. My Blossom Tips are fresh and practical - they stem from my own experiences with a schizophrenic mother, foster homes, a devastating family estrangement, and infertility.
How to Let Go of Someone You Love: Powerful Secrets (and Practical Tips!) for Healing Your Heart is filled with comforting and healthy breakup advice. The Blossom Tips will help you loosen unhealthy attachments to the past, seal your heart with peace, and move forward with joy.
When You Miss Him Like Crazy: 25 Lessons to Move You From Broken to Blossoming After a Breakup will help you refocus your life, re-create yourself, and start living fully again! Your spirit will rise and you'll blossom into who you were created to be.