4 Tips On Navigating A Break-up and Codependency

By Marshall Burtcher.

I recently began the journey of navigating a break-up, and felt a prompting to outline some guidance for navigating this in a way that promotes your well-being and helps you further outgrow your need for codependency.

Break-ups can carry intense energy, emotion, and activations.  Old fears, wounds, and conclusions can erupt into a new life, engulfing us in powerful stories about our worth, our lovability, our future’s probabilities, and excite the pain of abandonment, isolation, and the chill of being alone in life.

First – this is ok.  These kinds of reactions come from past experiences, and the body is now trying to navigate them again.  It is doing what it knows to do.

This reveals where love, care, and healing are called for.

This is the first and most important guidance:  All the pain, all the anger, all the bitterness, the numbness, and fears, the “I won’t ever do this again” statements, the “am I really lovable?” questions and fears –  is neither wrong, right, true, or false.

It is the voice of hurting parts.

What I do when these are screaming, aching, and hurting is gently, slowly bring in a hug to them and myself.

I do this in a few ways:

– I visualize the pain as a person and I offer to give it a hug.  If it says yes, I hug it.  While I do that in my visualization, I also wrap my arms around where I feel the pain and gently squeeze

– I reach out to supportive community and persons and ask them for a hug and let myself receive this

I’ve found hugs like this to be cathartic and regulating. However, if your body is not safe with such, you can ask your body what it would be safe with receiving.  Sometimes there won’t be much it can receive because of the complex trauma that is alive in the body at that time.  This is ok, too.

The second guidance I have is to drink lots of water and eat, even when it feels ugh to do so.  This helps your body remember it is ok, safe, and it will get through this, and eases the stress on the body. 

The third guidance is to practice legitimization of all your pain.  “What I feel is real and matters to me and I’m allowed to feel this as long and as much as I need to.”  

This gets you out of trying to fix, control, or deny your pain and brings you more into a warm, caring role with your pain.  

The fourth guidance is to give time to yourself to grieve, to zone out, to be angry, and to adjust.  What’s really happening is your attachment system is having to adapt to a significant rupture.  This is literally a life-altering event and a reality-shifting situation, so it is completely reasonable to feel distress, intense anxiety, and then feel calm, centered, clear, and then back into the anxiety, distress, and such.

This is your body adapting to your new reality and it will take repetitious experience for your brain to complete that.  

My friends, take your time with grieving and adjusting.  What ended mattered, it was important, and it is incredibly important to be kind, honest, and gentle with yourself.  

Approaching your loss this way allows you to honor what it meant to you while building space, capacity, and availability for what lies next in your path.  

This is how we honor love and loss kindly, and gently.

Marshall Burtcher is a Codependency Transformation Expert. He specializes in helping codependents accelerate their freedom, peace, self-love, and belonging by healing the core rejection trauma that drives their codependency. Learn how to make this real in your life in his free workshop here: https://workshop.freetheself.com

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