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butterfly breakupandshine4  Hello and welcome!

Are you suffering the unique yet universal pain that is The End of a Relationship?

If it’s very recent for you, well done for getting up and facing the day. I know the strength that it takes.

If it’s been a while but your life still doesn’t seem to be moving on from the break up, that’s completely normal. I can help you make the shift.

Thank you for being here and I truly hope that Break Up and Shine will help you.

So…

What if you could make the heartbreak disappear?

What if, very soon, you could look back at the pain you feel at the moment, and be grateful for what it has made you become?

What if all areas of your life were filled with love, inspiration and a sense of joy because of the break up

What if you could see this divorce as the best thing that ever happened to you?

Does it feel too soon to imagine that? Do you believe that it’s even possible? Because didn’t believe it three years ago. I was where you may be now. Devastated at the end of my marriage. Unable to believe that my husband was telling me it was over; betrayed by his affair and overwhelmed at being a single mother of three small children. I didn’t know how I would ever be ok again.

But I can truly, hand on heart, say that am glad that it happened. Because today my life is more wonderful than it ever would have been had I stayed married to him.

It took a journey of conscious healing to get here, which I shared in my original blog. I am also writing my first book based on my experience and what I’ve learned.

Now I want you to know what worked for me. So welcome to Break Up and Shine! It’s a place to share healing tools, words of wisdom and support for anyone going through it right now.

You are not alone and it WILL be ok.

Marissa  ♥

Children: The divorce heroes

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My beautiful boys were 6 and 4 years old when we sat down and told them that daddy was not going to be living with us anymore; my baby girl was little more than newborn. I was as angry that day for them, as I was for my own betrayal; my grief was as much for the hopes and expectations for my children’s childhoods, as it was for our relationship.

But in the last four years I have witnessed that children have their own life paths to lead too, and this was part of their life journey. I couldn’t shield them from the event, but I was committed to ensuring they were allowed full emotional expression, and that their needs were at the forefront of any decisions made; they had been let down badly enough already.

There were details about the end of the marriage that were not necessary for young ears to hear. It hurt me deeply to tell my children that it was both mummy and daddy’s decision to split up because it wasn’t true. I wanted them to know how hard I fought for them to make him stay, and make it all alright. But blame and finger-pointing wasn’t going to help anybody; it would have hurt them more. However, growth, confidence, self acceptance and an ability to take responsibility for my own motives eventually led me to a place where I could be more honest with myself and the children.

More recently when my eldest child (now almost 11) asks about why daddy left and why can’t we still be together as a family, I am able to share with him that I too was very sad when he went, and that it wasn’t my choice. I can say to him, with no mud-slinging, that daddy wasn’t happy and left because he wanted to be happier. I can reassure him that although mummy was in pain at the time, I am happy now. I teach him that it’s ok to be sad about losing someone, but that pain doesn’t have to be forever; we can learn to be happy again. And I can talk to him about the things we have all gained from the break-up. What I’ve striven to build for the children is an understanding that just because things aren’t what we originally planned them to be, it doesn’t mean that life can’t still be wonderful.

Coming from a childhood family where there were always secrets, and where openness and asking questions was discouraged, I have never wanted this for my own children. Divorce is devastatingly unfair on the kids. I feel that appropriate honesty, given supportively and lovingly with their best interests at heart, is the least we can offer them for the unconditional love they give us in return.

Divorce expects a lot of children. They didn’t choose to have a dad they could only stay with on alternate weekends. But they have learned to value the time they spend, and I make sure they know that it’s ok to express missing him in between visits.

They didn’t choose to be given another half-sibling by their dad, while still grieving the loss of him from their own everyday life. But they adapted, accepted and loved her unconditionally in a way that only children know how.

They didn’t choose for their mum to meet and love someone new, effectively ending their deeply held dream that mummy and daddy would one day get back together. But they embrace the relationship with an eagerness and affection for my partner that warms my heart.

Divorce was not fair on them, and quite understandably they express this sometimes. But on the whole they are accepting, accommodating and willing to go along with what life has dealt them. I am immensely proud of my three beautiful children.

 

 

Got to be real

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It’s been a long while since I last posted here; almost 6 months! When I stopped feeling guilty, lazy, or like I was letting people down, I realised that that’s ok. I’ve really missed writing, but when life takes over, or when the blog is not calling me, I can’t force it. So this post is dedicated to being true, and thank you to those still reading.

It’s important for me to share today because sometimes the most uncomfortable things are the things which will help us most. Healing from break-up means looking at the pain and acknowledging it, as well as being positive and striving to move beyond it.

Continue reading

Sometimes it’s ok not to be ok

This week I had a mini revelation.

It’s ok to say you’re not ok.

During the healing of my marriage break-up I worked hard to turn around my perspective on life; focus on the good stuff in order to bring in more good (the law of attraction); learn to love myself and my flaws, and see the opportunity for growth in all situations. Living this way healed me from my crisis, it brought me new love and a happier life.

But I got myself into a bit of a fix. Being positive, a survivor of hardship and strong under pressure became who I was. At times I felt amazingly strong, but I forgot about the part of me that was just human, not superhuman. I began to put higher expectations on myself to achieve personal goals. I hoped that I could fit everything I wanted and needed to do into a mere 24 hours a day, and still be happy and serene. I realised I was trying to juggle three children as a single parent, run a household alone, write a book and a blog, find quality time for me, find quality time with my partner, work a job, train on a course and care for my elderly mother who is in declining health. Continue reading

Trust that things happen when they need to

Next week I will be returning to study to train as a counsellor. It’s been 18 years since I graduated and ever since then I never really knew what I wanted to ‘be’. I had jobs, I became a wife and a mother, then a single mother. It used to frustrate me that other people knew their career path and I didn’t. Then, through the experience of divorce and healing from it, I found my purpose. A part of me wondered “why didn’t I do this years ago?”. But here’s why.

Almost 20 years ago I sat in a counselling lecture, as part of my degree course, and felt a real sense that I could be good at this. I found it absorbing, challenging and I certainly knew it would be fulfilling. But something stopped me from pursuing it as a career. Possibly fear, or lack of self-confidence. But most likely, looking back, an inner knowing that it wasn’t the right time for me. I hadn’t experienced enough to show others the way. I couldn’t counsel with any depth of knowledge of what it was like to heal from real emotional trauma. Not that I hadn’t faced some pretty harsh pain, it was just that my    20-year-old self had just not learned the lessons from it at that point.

And it’s the lessons you learn in life, not the pain you’ve been through, that defines you.

Emotional trauma and big life change serve a purpose. However cruel and hopeless the loss feels at the time, there is a reason for it. The lessons may not be immediately apparent, it may take a lot of work on yourself to find them; but if you are willing to see even the possibility of an opportunity in a terrible situation, you are already on your way to healing.

If you’ve recently broken up, look at where the end of this relationship fits into the timescale of your life. The end of a relationship is a turning point. A chance for change within you. A chance to show yourself what you’re made of and follow your heart towards a far better life than you thought was possible.

Allow yourself to grieve. Then allow yourself to know that this isn’t the end of your life, simply a change in direction. Little by little expand the limits of what you feel is possible for you. You will begin to see that, in the bigger picture, this has happened because the time is right for you to change your life.

And here are two things which may help you with the pain. Because, despite the fact that there is a purpose to the heartbreak, it still desperately hurts.

1.Break Up and Shine Chapter One The 5 stages of grief and beyond  This is the first chapter of my book, available to download as a free pdf.

2.When Everything Changes, Change Everything by Neale Donald Walsch This is a book which I have recommended many times. It was a huge perspective shifter for me when my marriage ended.

With love

Marissa x

One of the year’s 10 Best Break Up blogs!

I’m feeling so honoured and excited this evening to find out that Break Up and Shine is considered one of the year’s best blogs about relationship break up, by the website Dating Advice.

It makes me so happy to use my experience to support others who are going through a really difficult time, and inspire them on their healing journey. Being recognised as great source of support is such a boost!

Check out the list of top 10 break up blogs on Dating Advice.com, and see what other support could be out there for you!

I am off on a summer holiday this week with my gorgeous family, so if you want to get in touch please do, and I will respond as soon as I can on my return in around 2 weeks.

With love

Marissa x

3 Ways to Know If Our Perceptions of Each Other Are Accurate

My latest post is another article for Tiny Buddha. This is a helpful one for if you’ve ever struggled with the concept that observing negative behaviour in others is always just a projection of your own negativity – I know I certainly did!

Here’s how I understand things better now: 3 Ways to Know if Our Perceptions Of Each Other Are Accurate

I’d love to know if this resonates with you, and what you think. Feel free to comment below.

Marissa x

Hard work and Cosmic Ordering: my story of finding love again

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In a conversation the other night, a lovely divorced lady said that she didn’t have a new man because she didn’t feel she was deserving of being treated like she was special. It’s a common thing, though not many people admit they feel this way.

I don’t usually talk in-depth about my current relationship, but that conversation prompted me to share with you how I came to realise that finding love again simply meant removing the mental blocks that make you believe you can’t have, or don’t deserve what it is you truly want.

I love my story, and hope you will too. It still fills me with gratitude and awe to this day to have found someone so right for me after such miserable heartbreak. I hope it will inspire other to have faith, listen to their hearts, and let go of the past so that they are in a place where new love cannot fail to be magnetised to them.

So here it is……

Around 11 months after my ex husband left, I began divorce proceedings. It had been an intense time of grief, letting go and starting to move on with my life. It was January 2011, and with the ‘new year, fresh start’ as impetus, I knew I didn’t want to be married to him any longer than I had to.

I began to see that an important part of my future involved having someone to love and love me in return. I had no interest in dating for fun, my aim was to find true love. But despite my aversion to the dating game, I knew I had to start somewhere ,so I set in my mind an intention that I would go on a date in July of that year.

As the divorce proceedings ambled along, I was faced with further layers of grief to overcome,each part of the process releasing a bit more hurt and bringing up emotional issues to deal with.

Somewhere in the midst of this, a book was brought to my attention entitled,  “Calling in The One: 7 weeks to attract the love of your life” by Katherine Woodward Thomas. Despite the title, and the first impression from the front cover, the book was not 7 easy steps to bag a husband! It doesn’t teach you skills to be interesting, sexy or funny. In fact it was a book that takes a lot of courage to work through. It requires determination and a willingness to really look at yourself, and your beliefs around relationships. It is kind and encouraging, but also requires you to be open and vulnerable.

But it’s exactly the kind of necessary work you need to do in order to attract the kind of relationship that is going to serve you well, and make you happy. As I started work on the book in the spring of 2011, I worked out that 7 weeks to “Call in The One” meant that the man of my dreams would enter my life some time in mid June.

I treated the book like a really important project. I did the exercises, pushed myself to get out of my comfort zone when I had to, and really opened myself up to the possibility of finding love, though realistically I had next to zero prospects! I lived in a small town, was  a 37-year-old mother of three young children, and I was not in the least interested in online dating. Eligible single men were thin on the ground for me. But I persevered.

July arrived and although I had not given up hope of a date, I was also very much ok with the fact that it might not happen right now (divine timing, and all that). But then on 19th July I sat and simply asked for what I wanted. Out loud. “Universe, please send me a really great boyfriend. Not because I need one, just because I want one!”.

Within an hour of that request I was at a friends house. She told me she had a friend who thought I was beautiful and had asked if he could have my number to ask me out on a date. I was stunned! The jaw dropping synchronicity had me smiling for the rest of the week and that Saturday night we went on our first date.

In the fairytale ending version, we lived happily ever after. But here’s what happened next…

The date was amazing. I didn’t know I was capable of feeling so comfortable and having so much fun with a man. We both felt the connection, and before we’d even had our second date he had asked me to go away with him for a weekend six weeks away, to a party where I’d meet all his close friends.

That summer I fell in love. But there was always a part of me worried that it was too good to be true; wondering what I’d done to deserve being this lucky and meeting someone so special so soon. And when you put those doubtful, fearful thoughts out there, they just hang around waiting for an opportunity to prove you right.

Half way through September we broke up. The circumstances were cruel. Our feelings for each other had not changed, but sometimes forces bigger than you play a part in determining the course of your life (as I knew only too well). His decision to break up with me crushed me more than I thought was possible, yet the irony was that I respected and loved him more for the choice he had made.

I couldn’t make sense of it. I knew in some way I was being tested but I couldn’t see how, or why. It just felt so bitterly painful and unfair to have lost someone again, when I thought I was on top of my life. I was torn between letting go and holding on to hope that his circumstances would change. I saw a therapist and sobbed my way through a session. She asked me a question that became pivotal to my happiness:

“How long are you prepared to wait for him?”

I knew then, that my lesson in all of this was about putting myself first. Not losing myself in love again. Remembering that with or without a relationship I matter. At home that evening I wrote down a statement on a piece of paper. It said:

“If he is the right man for me, please let him come back to me by the end of October”.

I had answered the therapists question. I decided in real time how long I would wait for him, then I would accept and move on.

The six weeks until the end of October were not filled with endless waiting, expectation or longing. I cried, I mourned. I had an endless supply of love from friends. But I picked myself up; I’d been through harsher. I had already learned about heartbreak and was teaching others. I listened to my own advice and continued to work on myself and my happiness.

Towards the end of October I spent the day with a male friend. It wasn’t a date, but we had always been a bit flirty and enjoyed each others company. It was a beautiful day; despite the time of year it was sunny and warm. At the end of the day, sitting quietly on the beach we kissed. Neither of us wanted more, we were still just friends. It was lovely. But it made me miss my love, because deep down I still wanted him back.

Still, I was smiling about the unexpected kissing for the next 24 hours, and that kept me happy and my mind off of heartbreak the next day at work. That evening the October weather was true to form. It was a rainy, chilly evening. The kids were away and I was cosy indoors. Alone on a Saturday night, but happy.

When the door knocked he was the last person I was expecting, despite the fact I’d asked for it. He told me that his difficult circumstances had passed. He was sorry for the way it had ended between us. Ever the respectful man, he had not come over expecting anything from me. We hugged, and I felt I had come back home as he filled my arms, he was rainsoaked and vulnerable. I loved him deeply still, but gave him space, aware that emotionally things were not ideal for him. We chatted for a while, then he left.

It was the 29th October, and I knew in my heart that he was the right man for me because this was what I’d asked for.

This July will be our two year anniversary! I don’t count the six week break-up because as far as I’m concerned, it was a vital part of making our relationship what it is today; strong, respectful and amazing.

Finding love again after a divorce is not always easy. But you have to believe you are worthy of being loved again, and that the right person will come into your life when you are ready.

with love and hope for happiness

Marissa ♥