Moving on is hard to do. There's many different theories and approaches from moping, to partying, to pretending and everything in between. I started Never Liked It Anyway as a way to help people take practical action. It was a simple thought really, let's help people sell all those relics of their loved lost that clutter up their lives -- and psyches. It's a bold approach, and empowering; but certainly not the only way to take action, but it is about taking action. Part of what drove me to start Never Liked It Anyway was the fact that there was nothing out there dedicated to helping people take action and do something about their situation. It was all a bunch of metaphors and idiosyncratic sayings. This week I sat down with Laura Jack, a Transformational Life Coach and Grief Recovery Specialist to get her perspective on how to take action on a break-up. Her insight is as eye-opening as it is helpful.
Laura is an applied professional, having spent the last seven years healing her own grief. I cut straight to the chase and asked Laura about the most effective methods of moving on, in her opinion. She believes that the most important technique for moving and dealing with grief is to focus on self-care. She explains,
When I talk about self-care, I am talking about healing yourself from the inside out. I am talking about taking care of yourself in a way that you deserve. This involves eating healthy, energizing foods, it involves movement that feels good in your body, it involves being around people or doing activities that give you energy instead of take it away.
Personally, I'm a fan of this approach. It makes sense. It is action-orientated and requires you to take charge of things; even if they seem as small as what to have for breakfast. Through self-care, Laura provides clear action steps for the road to recovery.
Laura then talked me through her highly effective LIGHT technique. It's designed to help people not only survive their grief, but thrive after the experience. She explains that each letter stands for something and brings with it a series of questions to work through. You work backwards through LIGHT, and with each letter, you step closer to your healing.
T -- Thriving: what does that look like in your new life?
H -- Harness your passions: What did or do you love doing and how can we bring that back?
G -- Give yourself pure nourishment: Take time to heal your whole self with self-care.
I -- Initiate forgiveness -- of yourself and others and move from the judgment phase to the love phase.
L -- Let emotional freedom ring: This is about full self-expression and allowing to feel feelings as they come up.
Laura went on to explain a theory coined by the Grief Recovery Institute called "Replace the Loss." Both Laura and the Grief Recovery Institute disagree with the idea of finding something new and shiny to fill a void. Some of you may have heard, or practiced the old saying, "The best way to get over one man is to get under another," yet Laura explains it's actually quite harmful. "We begin to think that we need to just get out there again with no time to acknowledge the sadness or pain we feel about the relationship that is over. However, this is a very important piece." She continues, "Without the acknowledgement of our feelings, they just get pushed aside, buried under the rug and left to fester and infect future relationships."
I then asked Laura about the role of laughter in moving on. I've always considered laughter a powerful, and underused tool that can help turn disadvantageous situations around pretty rapidly. She agreed, saying that humor can help us feel more at ease with the feelings we have. She did, however, make a useful distinction between laughter and making light of a situation.
Making light of a situation can be fine, but it in my opinion being able to share how you are really feeling with someone safe who won't judge you is incredibly valuable. Laughter on the other hand can be a big part of healing. Laughter and tears are both beautiful expressions that allow you to get things out.
So there you have it, while there's no silver bullet to getting over a heartbreak, there's certainly ways you can spring into action faster; to get back to your best self sooner.