Sometimes a short quote from a wise, experienced life coach like Martha Beck is more helpful than a list of tips for getting over a breakup. Here are six Martha Beck quotes to help you heal.
Martha Beck is one of my favorite authors – and Finding Your Way in a Wild New World: Reclaim Your True Nature to Create the Life You Want is one of her best books (in my opinion). If you’re trying to get over a breakup and you want to move through the pain, you need to focus on living in a whole new way.
“Your dreams are for your joy; even if they lie crushed on the ground, you need not make them responsible for misery,” writes Beck in Enjoyment is in The Waiting…Insight from Martha. “If you raise your eyes from the shards you’ll find more dreams all around, and many of them can come true.”
What dreams are you unable to see because you’re focused on the dream you just lost? If you’re having trouble getting over a breakup, you need to see what other dreams are lying around, waiting for you to pick them up.
Here’s another Martha Beck quote for getting over a breakup: “The fact is, the only reason you are alive is that far more has gone right for you than has gone wrong.”
If you’re having trouble seeing all that’s gone right in your life because of depression, read 7 Ways to Deal With Depression After a Breakup.
1. Take comfort in connection with others
“Silence comes in two varieties,” says Martha Beck. “One that nourishes and comforts; another that chokes, smothers, and isolates. Solitary confinement is the worst kind of imprisonment we can inflict on fellow humans, and if you are forced to keep silent about some dark secret, you live in solitary confinement.”
Don’t silence yourself. If you can’t talk about the pain of breaking up, you can’t share your burdens, receive comfort, or confirm that you still belong. Here’s a Martha Beck quote that summarizes how connection to others can help with getting over a breakup: “Silence is the abyss that separates you from hope.”
2. Connect with other people who are going through the same thing
Here’s what other readers say about getting over a breakup – and how you may feel: “I just can’t move on and I am unable to get romantically involved with someone else. I am not interested in anything. I can’t study, work, or have fun with my friends. I have just lost interest in life itself.”
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“I obsess about my ex and I’m still hurting. I can’t move on. What is wrong with me?”
“I have known this man for many years. All he does is lie to me and treat me like a booty call. But I love him so much. He is now seeing some new chick. My self-esteem is shot. I hate myself. What can I do to get us back together?”
These comments are from my article about how to stop thinking about your ex.
3. Accept emotional discomfort
“What happens when we’re willing to feel bad is that, sure enough, we often feel bad—but without the stress of futile avoidance,” quotes Martha Beck.
“Emotional discomfort, when accepted, rises, crests, and falls in a series of waves. Each wave washes parts of us away and deposits treasures we never imagined. No one would call it easy, but the rhythm of emotional pain that we learn to tolerate is natural, constructive, and expansive. It’s different from unwilling suffering the way the sting of disinfectant is different from the sting of decay; the pain leaves you healthier than it found you.”
Can you believe that getting over a breakup is about being willing to feel bad? It’s about surrendering to your grief so your heart can heal.
4. Go through the grief (don’t avoid it)
Accepting the pain isn’t the same as hating yourself, thinking you’ll never be able to love again, or wondering what’s wrong with you. Accepting a breakup means sitting with your loss. Getting over a breakup is about grieving, mourning, and letting the pain wash through you and over you.
These aren’t quick and easy tips for getting over a breakup, are they? Martha Beck quotes aren’t magic.
But there’s something about accepting your pain – about walking through it instead of around it – that heals you. And when you start to heal, you can start to move on.
5. Start thinking about your choices
“Once we’re willing to confront our emotional suffering, we begin making choices based on attraction instead of aversion, love instead of fear,” quotes Martha Beck. “Where we used to think about what was “safe,” we now become interested in doing what seems right or fun or meaningful or ripe with possibilities. Ask yourself this: What would I do if I stopped trying to avoid emotional pain? Think of at least three answers (though 30 would be great and 300 even better).”
Write down three things that you would do if you weren’t scared, lonely, sad, heartbroken, or consumed with self-pity. If you can’t accept a breakup you didn’t want, this may help you start to see beyond the pain.
6. Choose to follow your next dream
Here’s Martha Beck’s final quote for getting over a breakup:
“Find a place in your life where you’re practicing experiential avoidance, an absence where you wish there were something wonderful,” writes Beck. “Then commit to the process of getting it, including any inherent anxiety or sadness. Get on an airplane not because you’re convinced it won’t crash, but because meeting your baby niece is worth a few hours of terror. Sit on the beach with your mocha latte, humming the song you shared with your ex, and let grief wash through you until your memories are more sweet than bitter. Pursue your dreams not because you’re immune to heartbreak but because your real life, your whole life, is worth getting your heart broken a few thousand times.”
Getting over the breakup and living towards your dreams won’t be easy, but isn’t it better than being consumed by misery? Don’t let pain and grief win.
How to Let Go of Someone You Love is one of my most popular articles on Blossom. Read through my tips for overcoming the breakup. The readers’ comments may be especially helpful for you.
What dreams will you pursue, now that the dream of this relationship is over? Who do you want to be, where do you want to go, and what does it mean to you? I welcome your thoughts below. I can’t give advice, but you may find it helpful to write about the breakup.
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