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So your relationship is finished. Now what?

Breaking up is one whale of a challenge.  The pain of losing your Love is one thing, but the pain of losing what might have been between you is even worse.  Asking yourself, "What did I do wrong?" or battering yourself with continual "Why?  Why?  Why?" is a dead end.

Here is a why for you...why do some people want to change themselves to fit with some one that is clearly a mismatch?  Like a chameleon, did you change your colors to match your past partner?  If you did, then I can explain what happens.

The more comfortable you become in the relationship, the less like a chameleon you are.  When your "true colors" shine, the mis-match appears.  Actually, that is a really good thing.  You don't want to be with someone who isn't into you, do you?

So, if it isn't a good fit, and the breakup is ultimately the best thing for everyone involved, why does it hurt so much?  Well, it appears that science has found a surprising answer.  It seems that the same part of the brain that lights up when you fall in love, also lights up during a breakup.  What?

How can that be fair??  No wonder the pain comes in waves and jerks you around.  The echoes of your pain are touching the memories of that first kiss.  Yikes!  As unfair as it may be....that's the way it is.  So what can you do?

Here are a couple of ideas to get you out of the depression and on your feet again:

1.  Acknowledge That Your Situation is Temporary.  I love and use the words "Even though..." as my 911 when I am in emotional turmoil.  Practice saying, "Even though this sucks and my heart is crushed in a billion pieces (yes, be as dramatic as you want!) a part of me knows it is only temporary."  "Even though that lousy SOB cheated on me and broke my heart forever, a part of me knows I won't feel this way forever."  You may feel lame saying this but do it anyway. It will definitely take the edge off.

2. Dump Your Pain.  Not on your friends!  No, take out a piece of paper and start writing the first name of your ex.  Write it over and over and over and as you do, let yourself feel your anger and even hatred for what they have done.  If you fill the first page, do another.  Repeat until you are sick of it or exhausted.  Different from journaling, this exercise is an easy way to transfer your bad feelings out of your body and on to a paper.  Then, burn it.

3. Let Your Friends Help You Refuel Your Self Esteem.  This tip works like magic!  Ask your friends and family to email you and tell one of their favorite stories about you.  This little idea will sustain you in your lowest times.  You don't see yourself, or appreciate yourself like your friends do.  And when you are depressed it is even worse.  Having a handful of stories about how others see you and love you will give you a badly needed boost to your self esteem.  Trust me on this really works.

Breakups are hard and painful but remember....if your brain is confused and the feelings of pleasure and pain are so close together, it isn't anyone's fault.  You are in the natural stages of moving on and you will be ok, even though it looks bleak at the moment.  Hang in there!

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