Sabina has gone through a difficult time since separating from her husband of six years. A lifetime of painful feelings and unresolved issues began to surface and that precipitated a series of panic attacks. She found it very difficult to breathe and felt as if she were suffocating at times.

We have a natural tendency to merge with our partners when we are in a relationship and that becomes part of our sense of who we are. The breakup of a relationship can easily turn our whole world upside down. Our shared hopes, dreams and plans for the future suddenly cease to exist. Also gone are the shared experiences, companionship, emotional, intellectual and social support that had been so much a part of our lives.

Our emotional states can vacillate from one extreme to another while we’re in the midst of a breakup. At one moment we may experience intense feelings of love. At another we experience feelings of hatred or an overwhelming sense of sadness. At other times we don’t feel anything at all. We may know that our former partner wasn’t good for us, but we still miss them. We may still love our former partner and feel as though our heart were being torn out. We fantasize and dream about them. We hope and pray that we will somehow get back together again and find ourselves obsessing about them in ways that leave us feeling absolutely crazy. We may fear that we will never see them again or that they will start seeing someone else. Our feelings are not going to make sense much of the time, but it’s still important for us to allow them.

The loss of a love can evoke feelings of anger, hurt, grief, sadness and anxiety about the future causing us to feel as if we’re on an emotional roller coaster. It may also trigger feelings and memories of past losses. It’s normal for us to experience a wide range of conflicting emotions while in the midst of a breakup. Fully experiencing these feelings can be scary for some. Many resist the pain fearing that they will become totally overwhelmed or go into a very dark space and never come out.

Any attempt to avoid or suppress our feelings is a form of resistance and that will only prolong our suffering. Grieving is an essential part of the healing process that helps us to let go of the old relationship. It’s important for us to acknowledge, identify and fully experience our feelings. Giving ourselves permission to feel whatever arises will allow the healing process to follow its natural course so that we can heal and move on in our lives.

A Critical Window of Opportunity

Going through the divorce left Sabina feeling overwhelmed. She felt that she could no longer handle life. Some of Sabina’s friend encouraged her to go on antidepressants, saying that it would help to restore her sense of stability. She considered their suggestion thinking that it might help her to get through a very difficult stage in her life. Painful as it may be, the time during and after a breakup is a critical window of opportunity to transform our bodies and minds.

People go on antidepressants to alleviate the pain of the loss, but these medications interfere with our ability to process our emotions. Health care providers who recommend antidepressants, and the people who take them, often fail to recognize the damaging short and the long term consequences of their use.

Our body-mind is a highly complex ecosystem. Substances may help to block the pain out of our awareness, but we pay a very high price for disconnecting from our feelings, physical bodies and the realities unfolding in our lives. Medications that dull or block out the pain shut down the innate healing intelligence that resides within. They also deaden our consciousness.

Many turn to alcohol or other recreational drugs to escape from the painful feeling of loss. The use of substances disconnects us from our feelings. Prolonged use can stunt our process of growth and maturation.

The feelings and memories we fail to digest remain trapped within our bodies indefinitely. Emotions held within the body will always resurface in one way or another. These emotions influence our whole outlook on life by creating a series of filters through which we interpret our experience and perceive other people and the world around us. We may find ourselves attracting the same kinds of people or recreating similar experiences and that will invariably evoke even more painful feelings. The added stress can cause our bodies to break down and age prematurely.

It may be very tempting for some to fill the empty void resulting from the loss of a love if someone new comes along. The problem with jumping into a new relationship too quickly is that it doesn’t give us adequate time to grieve or process the loss that has occurred. Unprocessed feelings of grief, hurt and confusion and the thoughts attached to them remain within our bodies. We are far more likely to end up repeating the same patterns if we do not take time to examine ourselves and work through the issues.

The pain of loss can be horrendous at times and that’s why we often look for a way to escape our suffering. Alcohol, drugs and one night stands may temporarily ease our suffering, but the pain will always return with a vengeance. And when it does we may find ourselves dealing with additional complications resulting from becoming physically and emotionally involved with another person or the damage we have done to ourselves by abusing alcohol or other substances.

Pointing the finger

Relationships often do not work the way we want them to. It may be tempting for us to attack, find fault and blame our former partners for everything that went wrong. Venting our anger may help us to feel better momentarily. But we risk getting stuck in states of blame, anger and resentment. Fixating in these negative emotional states can stunt our growth as individuals by preventing us from working through the issues. It can also make it more difficult for us to let go so that we can move on in our lives.

Stages of the grieving process

There are a number of stages in the grieving process. We may go completely numb for a time. Our initial response of shock or disbelief is a protective mechanism that prevents us from fully registering what’s happening or becoming overwhelmed by emotion.

We may still believe at some level that our partner will return. But eventually the shock wears off and then we wake up from the fantasy and acknowledge that the relationship has come to an end. We may then find ourselves becoming so overwhelmed by the feelings of grief and sorrow, that it’s all we can do to make it through the day. We can’t stop thinking about our former partner or what happened in the relationship. We’re flooded by a cascade of feeling and imagery which causes us to veer all over the road emotionally. We bounce back and forth between the happy memories of the times we spent together and the horrible things they said or did that caused us pain and the breakup. Life can take on a surreal quality as we move through the stages of grief causing us to feel very disconnected from what’s going on around us.

We may feel physically and emotionally incapacitated at times. The intensity of feeling can be frightening for some, but it’s a completely normal response to the loss of a love. We may try to fight the process taking place within but it is a normal part of letting go. This constant rumination and the ensuing cascade of feelings is our body and mind’s attempting to process what has taken place and then reconcile our loss.

Learning to embrace what is

Losing someone we love can feel absolutely horrible. Many of us initially respond by denying what’s happening. We may try desperately to make the relationship work. We try to go on as if nothing happened. We bury our feelings by pushing them out of our awareness or we obliterate them with food, alcohol or other substances. Some of us distract ourselves with shopping, nonstop activity, work and other commitments or we fill the painful empty void by finding another partner.

Whatever we resist will persist. Trying to escape from the realities of our lives by denying or avoiding or shutting down our feelings reinforces the things that cause us to suffer thereby prolonging our misery. The hurts, fears and confusion held within act like a cancer that slowly eats away at us from the inside. These hurts will invariably bring more suffering as they spill over into other parts of our lives.

The best solution is to face our issues and experience our true feelings to the best of our ability. Healing begins when we fully acknowledge our pain and embrace our reality as it is from one moment to the next. Surrendering to what is allows us to come to a place of complete acceptance for things exactly as they are rather that holding on to what we wish them to be. Embracing the reality that our love is no more and the accompanying feelings of hurt, loneliness and emptiness can be painful, but it accelerates our healing process. The journey can be quite arduous, but we will feel so much better afterwards.

Choosing to remain fully present to the feelings that arise in response to the realities unfolding in our lives makes it possible for us to grow as individuals. Our hearts begin to open and that enables us to increase our capacity to experience greater love and compassion.

Take it easy

Sabina comes from a cultural background where one is expected to be strong. She took a very demanding job since leaving her husband that is requiring her to work about ten hours a day. The stress of Sabina’s divorce and the demands of her professional life eventually caught up with her and she began to show signs of respiratory distress.

The state of shock we experience while in the midst of a break up can be very disruptive to our system. Our body and mind need time to adjust to the changes that are taking place in our lives. We can best self-nurture by giving ourselves time and space to process our feelings. Coming from a place of understanding and total acceptance will encourage the healing process taking place within our bodies and minds.

We may find that we’re not quite as productive on the job or in other areas of our lives. We need to go easy on ourselves during the early stages of a breakup by giving ourselves permission to function at a less than optimal level. Reducing our workload and minimizing other sources of stress gives our body and mind the time and space needed to heal. It’s usually in our best interest to put off major decisions until we have time to sort through the issues. We’ll be able to do more in time as our strength return.

Why don’t I feel like eating?

Sabina said that she normally has a voracious appetite and had acquired a great deal of additional weight during her marriage. The additional weight served as a form of insulation that prevented her from experiencing the pain of living with an abusive husband. She has lost much of the additional weight since initiating the divorce. Sabina wanted to know why she didn’t feel like eating much of the time.

The grief we experience in response to the loss of a love can have very powerful physiological effects upon our bodies. We may lose our appetite, have difficulty sleeping and experience all kinds of powerful sensations throughout our bodies. The body is under tremendous stress. Digesting food requires a great deal of energy. A body that is not having to expend so much energy to digest large quantities of food has more resources available to devote to healing.

Eating calming and comforting foods that are nourishing for our bodies will help to restore our sense of balance. Healthy fats found in foods like salmon, avocado, olive oil and omega 3 fatty acids supplements can help to boost our mood by balancing our brain chemistry.

Many of us are so quick to reach for the pharmaceuticals any time we find ourselves in physical or emotional distress. It’s important for us to keep in mind that pharmaceuticals tend to have many harmful side effects. Natural remedies can, in many instances, address our needs without the adverse side effects. The Ayurvedic herbal formula known as ashwagandha is an “adaptogen” that mitigates the harmful effects of stress. Ashwagandha has a balancing effect upon our physiology that helps to ease the debilitating anxiety. It can also help our bodies to relax so we can sleep better. The amino acid L-Theanine has a calming effect that promotes mental and physical relaxation.

Sinking into depression

One of our more commonly held misconceptions is that time heals. Feelings of grief and hurt wouldn’t continue to surface from our past if time healed us. Nor would we feel vulnerable or fear getting hurt again. Painful emotions that are not healed do not go away. They just keep building up over time and that makes each subsequent loss harder to deal with.

The hurts, losses and disappointments we have failed to process can leave us very desensitized. The overwhelming pain of our immediate loss will diminish in intensity over time as we transition out of the acute stage, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we have healed.

Feelings of grief, sadness, anger and disappointment that arise in response to repeated losses build up within our bodies over time. The hurts continue to accumulate with each subsequent loss. The painful emotions held within have a deadening effect upon our bodies and minds. The barriers created by these emotions diminish our capacity to love and be loved by another person.

Feelings that are not digested remain trapped within the body indefinitely. Unprocessed hurt and grief often manifest as a sense of heaviness or unrelenting feelings of sadness. We may become bitter and cynical and are left feeling helpless to change our circumstances. We may lose our momentum and feel as if we want to give up. We may have been hurt or disappointed so many times that we actually stop trying, or we put up walls around ourselves and become very isolated. People who do not possess the understanding and resources they need to effect healing often sink deeper into depression.

Finding time for ourselves while maintaining our connection to the world around us

It’s normal to not want to go out and do things or be around other people while we’re in the midst of a breakup. The danger of spending too much time in isolation is that we become very disconnected from our immediate reality and then we remain fixated on our losses. We’re more likely to hold onto former partners and that can make it difficult for us to let go and move on.

I would sometimes withdraw while in the midst of a breakup because I felt a need for solitude. But after a while I could feel myself becoming very stagnant and it felt as if life was starting to close in on me. Tuning into my intuition helped me to balance my needs for solitude with those of being actively engaged with other people and the world around me.

I didn’t feel like doing much of anything and had to force myself to walk and exercise, to go places and interact with other people. Keeping myself engaged helped me to realize that my life did not depend upon my former partner. Being a part of what was going on around me made it easier for me to go on with my life.

There is no set formula for how much time we need to spend in solitude after a breakup or how long we should wait before we begin to see someone new. We will gain a clearer sense of how to proceed as we listen to what our feelings and physical bodies are telling us. Our hearts will gradually heal as we learn to take the process one day at a time, while being fully open and receptive to our own internal guidance and to the opportunities that present themselves to us along the way.

Developing a support system

Many of us have a tendency to lose touch with friends when we become romantically involved and our lives begin to revolve around our partners. Cut off from our partner, we often find ourselves suffering alone when a relationship ends. We’re then left with all the painful feelings inside and no outlet to express our grief.

Breakups can provide us with a good opportunity to reconnect with the important people who truly matter. Supportive friends and family can be very nurturing during times of loss. Spending time with people who love and support us can also help to decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Developing an extensive support system, which may consist of friends, family, therapist and healer, can help to ease us through the transition taking place in our lives. Working with a therapist or participating in a support group with others who are faced with similar issues such as “Healing the Loss of a Love – Attracting a Healthy and Loving Relationship” can help us to come to a greater understanding and provide us with a means of working through the feelings and issues that would very likely remain bottled up inside.

It’s normal for us to reach out for help when we’re going through times of adversity such as a breakup. We need supportive friends and we also need to be mindful that we are not leaning too hard on anyone. Everyone is going through their own life challenges. Relying too heavily upon one person can become overly burdensome after a while. Having to listen to someone drone on and on about their losses indefinitely can be very difficult to listen to. Our friends may begin to feel overwhelmed and stop taking our calls if we continue to place so many demands upon them.

It’s natural to want to talk about what we have gone through. The problem is that those of us who are operating from a state of fearful desperation tend to talk incessantly and that only fuels our anxiety. Escalating our state of anxiety can leave us feeling totally strung out. It’s important for us to understand that no amount of talking it out with our friends or whoever else we can get to listen to us will not bring our partner back or compel them to love us again.

Our continual need to talk it out is often a desperate attempt to alleviate the pain. It took me a long time to realize that continually talking about what wasn’t working in my relationships was only reinforcing my suffering. I learned to break the pattern by bringing myself back to my immediate reality and the accompanying feelings of loss. Forcing myself to stay fully present made it possible for me to heal.

Putting our thoughts and feelings down on paper

Journaling can provide us with a means of consoling ourselves. The act of putting our thoughts and feelings down on paper helps us to sort through our feelings. Writing about what we have gone through can also help us to ease the pain, make sense of what has transpired in our relationships and become more cognizant of the lessons to be learned. Looking back in our journal over time allows us to see where we have been and recognize the progress we have made.

It can also be very helpful to express our feelings of anger, rage, grief and sense of disappointment in a series of letters that we write to our former partner. Sending these letters could further complicate matters. The purpose of writing the letters is to help us to work through our own feelings. It’s best to burn or flush the letters down the toilet once we finish writing them.

I Should Be Over This By Now!

Sabina was so consumed with the drive to feel better and put it all behind her. At one point she looked at me and said, “How long is this healing process going to take? I should be over this by now!” Becoming frustrated, angry, beating ourselves up or trying to force the process is a form of resistance to what’s taking place in our lives and that will only hinder our efforts to heal. Coming from a space of total acceptance for the process of transformation taking place within helps to ease us through the loss.

Most of us have a very limited comprehension of our body and mind and its innate healing processes. We’ve grown up in a culture that has taught us to disconnect from our feelings and physical bodies. Popularly held misconceptions of what it takes to get over a loss only complicate matters. In many instances they leave us even further disconnected from our feelings and physical bodies.

The healing intelligence residing within is not going to operate according to our misconceptions. Certain kinds of practices do facilitate healing, but we cannot rush or force the process. It’s important for us to allow our body and mind to teach us by embracing the healing process as it unfolds.

Healing from the loss of a love can take days, weeks, months or even years. That doesn’t mean that we’re going to live in a continual state of grief. The duration and intensity of the process depends upon a number of factors. We’re more likely to get over a loss fairly quickly if we were not very attached to the person we were seeing. Healing can take much longer if we’re strongly attached to our partner or if we were with them for some time.

Those of us who have suffered in past relationships will inadvertently attach a lot of old historical emotional baggage to what is taking place in our present day relationships. The emotions pertaining to past trauma intensify our suffering and that can make it considerably more difficult for us to let go and move on.

Most of us have suffered somewhere along the way. We may have suffered abuses from former partners, our parents or other family members. It is not humanly possible to heal a life time of hurt, trauma, disappointment and loss in a week, month or even a year. Healing is a very long involved process that can take years. We need to give ourselves the time and space our bodies and minds need to heal.

Analyzing it to death

Many of us are so grief stricken when a relationship ends. The highly charged emotions we experience in response to a painful loss tend to distort our vision and that can make it very difficult for us to see things objectively. We may fall into the trap of continually analyzing what brought about the demise of our relationship. We continually replay the conversations over and over in our attempt to make sense of what happened. We feel anxious and depressed and that fuels our tendency to think obsessively about our former partner and the things they said and did and what it all meant. At other times we become fearful about what we might have said or done that brought about the dissolution of our relationship. We often end up making ourselves feel absolutely crazy in the process.

I’ve made a practice of interrupting the obsessive thought patterns by asking myself, “What’s the deepest feeling behind all of that?” I’ll then acknowledge what’s happening right at that moment and proceed by asking myself “…What am I feeling in response to it? I focus my attention within my body and notice where these feelings located. I’ll then breathe softly and deeply while fully immersing my awareness within the middle of the feelings and sensations that emerge. I’ll continue to follow the feelings and sensations as they go through their progression. Breathing into the feelings enables me to diffuse the underlying force that drives the circular thought patterns that have left me feeling so strung out. The painful feelings of anxiety will begin to dissipate and that enables me to let go and allow things to happen as they may.

Taking a break

Our need or desire to reach out and contact our former partners can easily become like any other compulsion or addiction. We call, text, email or try to see our former partner and check the latest updates on their Facebook profile in desperate attempt to hold on. Continuing to reach out to contact our former partners can in some instances keep pulling us back into the hurt, confusion and drama, which makes it that much harder for us to let go.

We may need to take a break from our former partner by cutting off all forms of communication to give ourselves a chance to heal. Taking a break from being in contact with our former partner for some weeks or months afterwards gives us time to break the romantic bond and establish our own independent identity so that we can move on in our lives.

Anything is possible, but many of us are too emotionally charged during the immediate aftermath of a breakup to make sense of what’s going on. Some couples do find a way to work out their differences and get back together. Giving ourselves and the relationship time and space can help us gain perspective and the understanding of ourselves and our partners that will better enable us to resolve our issues.

The importance of remaining fully present

Losing someone we love can be especially devastating. The pain, grief and other difficult emotions held within our bodies over the years begin to flood our awareness as our defensive structures unravel. People who spend the vast majority of their lives disconnecting from their feelings are not adequately equipped to process the painful emotions that surface.

The feelings of all consuming grief that surface can be frightening and overwhelming for those of us who have not learned to work with our emotions, but it’s critically important for us to do everything we can to remain fully present to the reality unfolding in our lives. The painful emotions will soften. We will grow stronger and feel more alive as we come out the other side.

I experienced all kinds of sensations flooding my body and mind. At times I felt completely overwhelmed by the powerful forces moving through my body. But I decided to surrender to the process. I learned to allow my body and mind to teach me by trusting that a greater intelligence was at work and I made the choice on a daily basis to go wherever the process took me.

Drawing upon the ancient wisdom

One of the greatest drawbacks of our modern western culture is that most of us have never had the opportunity to learn the kinds of intensive practices that have been passed down through the various ancient spiritual traditions. Many of us get wounded at various points along the way, but we lack the resources we need to facilitate our healing. We continue to hold the pain within and that causes us to shut down. Working with intensive spiritual practices facilitates a process of renewal by helping us to heal the deep emotional wounds. Everything that happens in our lives then becomes a part of our process of healing and personal growth.

Experiencing the loss of a love can evoke some of the most horribly painful feelings imaginable. The pain I experienced while in the midst of a breakup was so horrendous at times. I didn’t know what to do in the beginning to help myself, but I had an instinctive sense that I needed to breathe into the feelings that were surfacing. I would sometimes lay curled up on my side breathing for hours. The pain would intensify to the extent that it totally engulfed me.

I kept on breathing into the pain until I came out the other side and that would often take me into profound altered states. I often felt as though I were on some kind of drug. At a certain point the pain would break open and then I could feel very powerful emanations of warmth beginning to flow from within. This warmth would fill my entire body as I continued to breathe into it.

Utilizing the Earth’s healing power

The feelings that arise in response to a painful break up can easily leave us feeling overwhelmed. I started going out to walk for hours at a time while breathing into the feelings that were surfacing. After some time, I began to notice the interplay between my own body and mind and the electromagnetic field surrounding the earth. The powerful emotions held within began to circulate within my body. The Earth’s magnetic field helped to make the grieving process much more bearable by diffusing the painful emotions that were surfacing. That gave me a sense of grounded stability. Since that time I have made a point of teaching this practice to everyone I work with who is struggling after a breakup.

There were times after a breakup when I felt as if nothing mattered. I would do intensive Chi Gong practices for hours on end. Working with these practices enabled me to draw the chi or life force that permeates the atmosphere into my body. I experienced a greater sense of balance and lightness as that happened. Working with Chi Gong practices is in no way a substitute for working directly with one’s feelings, but drawing nourishing life force into my body helped to lighten the heavy oppressive quality of the painful emotions so they did not completely overwhelm me.

I have made a point of doing as much practice as I could. Working with the various intensive practices has helped me to move through the grief. I felt as if doorways were opening within as I continued to work with the Chi Gong and my own breathing practices. I could feel a sense of eternity as a greater presence began to flow through me. The immediate drama took on a more transparent quality as I opened to the presence of something greater than myself.

Why is it so difficult for me to sleep?

Sabina told me she couldn’t fall asleep at nights because her mind wouldn’t shut off. She began to take Ambien to help her sleep. I explained to her that our defensive structures soften when we become tired or fall asleep and that allows buried emotions held deep within our bodies make their way to the surface. The painful feelings of anxiety that surface during the midst of a breakup can make it very difficult for us to sleep.

Sleep is a time when the innate healing intelligence residing within our body works to restore homeostasis and repair damage caused by stress. Medications that induce sleep interfere with our ability to digest our life experiences, process our feelings and heal our bodies.

I would often lie awake in bed until three or four in the morning. At other times I would be awakened by a dreadful sense of grating anxiety in the middle of the night. The disruption of my sleep made it difficult to function at times, but I just assumed that these feelings were coming up for a reason. I learned to take advantage of the opportunity by fully opening to the pain, fear and anxiety. I would breathe into the feelings for as long as they continued to surface or until I finally drifted off to sleep.

A time for self-reflection

The end of a relationship is a critically important time for introspection. Relationships serve as a mirror. Looking back over what happened in our relationship gives us an opportunity to learn about ourselves and how we relate to others and to see how we can improve. Through honest self-examination we begin to recognize the mistakes we made and understand how we may have contributed to the problems in our relationships. Cultivating greater awareness through mindful examination of our thoughts, feelings and actions will enable us to determine if we are acting in ways that are inappropriate, repeating the same kinds of mistakes or choosing the same kinds of partners. Rather than beating ourselves up, we learn from our experience and find more constructive ways in which we can respond.

Many of us have a tendency to lose ourselves in a relationship when our lives begin to revolve around our partners. Going through a breakup provides us with an opportunity to care for ourselves by focusing on our own goals and interests. Taking the time to explore our own needs and desires will help us to discover our true purpose.

One of the primary benefits of working with the practice of breathing into our feelings is that it helps us to process the emotional residue held within our bodies and minds that cloud or distort our vision. We become present in ways that enable us to see ourselves for who we truly are. We develop the clarity of vision that enables us to see ourselves for who we truly are, recognize the patterns we are enacting in our relationships and gain a deeper understanding of our partners. Working with this practice also gives us a clearer sense of our own needs and the direction we need to be moving in our own lives.

Keeping our bodies and minds in motion

Our whole body can ache when we’re in the midst of a break up. There were times when I didn’t want to move, but I would force myself to get out of bed in the morning and practice the various Internal Martial Arts forms of Xin Yi Quan, Baguazhang and Tai Chi. Consistent daily practice helped to break me out of the heavy depressive state.

Sustained physical activity such as exercise releases endorphins in the brain and that can help us to maintain a greater sense of balance in the midst of a break up. The soft flowing movements of Yoga and Tai Chi are forms of moving meditation that help us to relax while encouraging the flow of nourishing life force through our bodies.

Making use of available healing resources

Breakups can be far more devastating for those of us who have a history of abusive relationships or trauma in our past. Current losses can overwhelm our system by precipitating the emergence of memories and emotions held within our bodies related to past traumatic events. Our body-mind cannot fully process these losses on its own. Outside intervention in the form of bodywork and healing sessions help to facilitate the healing that we cannot effect on our own.

The abuses of my own childhood and adolescence were so deeply ingrained and that caused me to attract women who reenacted many of my early life traumas. I began to receive deep tissue bodywork and healing sessions whenever the opportunity presented itself.

Receiving deep tissue body work helped to free up the painful emotions trapped within my body. Stuck, stagnant and painful feelings and energies began to circulate and that made them easier to process. Painful emotions held within my body that had kept me fixated on relationships that were not working. Processing these emotions made it easier for me to let go and move on.

People from our past still living on the inside

To some extent, we all carry our parents, past loves and other significant people who have been a part of our lives within our bodies. All of the impressions, thought processes and emotions attached to the abuses, hurts and losses that we have failed to digest are still very much alive within us. This left over residue creates a filter through which we perceive and respond or react to all subsequent interactions. The energies of our former partners and the feelings we have failed to process often cause us to attract or recreate the same kinds of people and experiences. It may also cause us to shut down and build walls around ourselves.

I have found that it helps to sit down, close my eyes, picture my former partner in front of me and feel their presence. I then pay attention to any feelings or sensations that arise. I notice where the feelings and sensations are located within my body. I then breathe softly and deeply while centering my awareness within the middle of the feelings and sensations.

I had the opportunity to work with some very powerful healers such as Mauricio Panisset who was known as the man of light. Bright lights could be seen flashing like lightning from his physical body as he performed his phenomenal work. I received fourteen healing sessions in one month’s time when I was in Sri Lanka from the Buddhist monk Gnanasumana Thero. I did another twelve sessions with him when I returned to Sri Lanka four months later.

I’m very fortunate to have had the opportunity to train with Horace Daukei, the last surviving traditional doctor among the Kiowa Indian tribe. Horace introduced me to the vision quest which involves going out to fast alone in the mountains for four days and nights without food or water.

For years, I found myself becoming attached to women who were not well suited for me and then I would feel devastated when things didn’t work out. I’ve gone through the vision quest a number of times while in the midst of a breakup. I go into a dreamlike state for much of the time I’m on the mountain and there are times where it feels as if I’m having some form of near death experience. I would vividly experience all the feelings, imagery and bodily senses related to the drama of an unrequited love or recent breakup. I would also relive events that took place in past relationships and experiences dating back to my childhood that had impacted me.

I can feel other forces working within my body and mind throughout the vision quest to heal the wounded parts of me and build a much stronger and healthier foundation. This presence has helped me to digest huge amounts of hurt and grief, the feelings of loss and the fear of abandonment that were trapped within my body. These feelings would initially intensify during the vision quest and would continue to emerge for some time afterward. I would experience the same kinds of imagery and emotions in my dreams during the nights afterwards. Digesting the backlog of highly charged emotion helped me to relax and I began to attract healthier companions who were better suited to me.

Native people who went on the vision quest often received gifts of healing and other kinds of spiritual powers. The healing gifts I received during the vision quest have made it possible for me to assist others who are going through a breakup, divorce or struggling with patterns of abandonment or unrequited love.

Those who have had the opportunity to work with me began to experience many of the same kinds of changes that took place within me as a result of going through the vision quest. The sessions helped them to soften and digest the painful emotions and sort through their issues and that made it possible to get over their losses more easily and move on with their lives. I could also see they were developing greater lucidity and that enabled them to become more conscious of their physical bodies, their feelings and the patterns they were enacting in their relationships. They began to attract companions who were better suited for them and create healthier relationships.

Caught Up in Our Immediate Loss

Breakups and other significant losses can be especially painful, but they are also a normal part of our lives. People will always come and go in our lives. Many of us become so caught up in the drama of our immediate loss that we lose all perspective, because this is the only reality we know. We tend to attach so much meaning and significance to what’s happening in the here and now and to feel as if our entire world is coming to an end when a relationship begins to unravel because we have lost touch with the greater reality of who we are.

The drama of unrequited loves or the breakups I had gone through began to take on a more transparent quality as I continued to work with the various intensive healing practices. I began to experience a sense of timelessness accompanied by feelings of being connected to something greater than myself.

Life as we know it in this physical world is very transitory. Everyone and everything we love and know will eventually pass. I heard a quote years ago that says “You are the only one you will never loose or leave.” We may be fortunate enough to marry our true love and spend the remainder of our lives together. But all of us will eventually die and who really knows what will happen after death. It’s important for us to be grateful for the special individuals who become a part of our lives while they are here, because we will eventually find ourselves having to let go.

Defining Ourselves by Our Successes and Failures in Relationship

Sabina’s husband became horribly abusive over time. I have also gone through my share of abusive partners. Being lied to, cheated on or abused by our former partners adds to the feelings of hurt we experience when a relationship ends. We may begin to question or doubt our own self-worth when that happens. The danger here is that we start measuring our self-worth upon how we were treated or the fact that our relationships haven’t worked out the way we wanted them to.

Working with the intensive practices and healing resources that I mention in this chapter has brought me to a place of self-acceptance. I began to see that most people are limited in their capacity to love or bond on any kind of intimate level. It helped me to understand that the abusive actions of our partners or their inability to love is a reflection of who they are. I finally realized that I cannot change someone who has no desire to heal or grow. I began to pull my focus away from the other person and become my own best friend. Focusing on what I needed be doing to facilitate my own growth and healing facilitated the changes that gradually made it possible for me to attract healthier partners.

The opportunity inside the breakup

We may suffer greatly in response to our attempts to find love and the subsequent losses we go through along the way. It can take months or even years after a breakup for our hearts to heal enough so that we can open to love again. What most of us fail to comprehend is the valuable opportunity that is being presented to us during these times. These seemingly horrible experiences of loss can help to transform us.

Opening to fully embrace our losses, working our way through the grief and enduring the trials along the way is a form of purification by fire. The process of transformation that takes place within enables us to grow as individuals. Healing occurs as we come to view everything that happens in our relationships as a learning experience that shows us where we’re at and what we need to be working on. The changes that take place as a result of this process helps us to become the person we need to be in order to attract our true love.

Learn more about how the individual healing sessions can help you to heal the loss of a love and attract a healthier and more loving relationship by going to http://www.doiohm.com/symptoms.htm or calling Ben at (913) 927-4281

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