In today’s post, I was joined by a special guest! Michelle Panning, also known as the Intimacy Alchemist, joined me on the Self Love Fix podcast to talk about surviving a breakup. This was an interesting conversation and I’m excited to recap it below!
Michelle is a returning guest who is well versed in all things dating and relationships. So let’s get started on the topics we covered: breakups, heartbreak, and finding love.
Michelle talks about this concept that “nothing means anything” a lot, and she discussed it in relation to Valentine’s Day, since it was just the other day. So what does it mean to be single on Valentine’s Day?
Well, the concept dictates that it doesn’t mean anything. It’s a completely neutral circumstance. In fact, there are many people who are single for the holiday who prefer it that way and are comfortable with it.
When we recognize that it means nothing, we can make other decisions in favor of ourselves. We can use that to fuel us to be our own best lover and to be a true queen. What’s better than that?!
Michelle shared that she just went through a breakup a few months ago and she handled it much differently than she’d previously handled breakups. Instead of feeling like she ruined a relationship, she chose to see it differently and not attach the breakup to anything it meant about her. It was such a relief!
It’s really easy to see other relationships on Instagram or social media and feel like, “that’s for them and I’ll never have that.” Thinking that can be damaging and create a frantic feeling that causes us to rush through our heartbreak feelings and chase after a relationship again due to that feeling of scarcity.
When you’re in the space of thinking you’ll never have what you REALLY want, you’re going to feel like you want something that is less than the best. Again, that’s the scarcity factor coming into play. So when you think you want someone back after a breakup, it can usually be attributed to that feeling.
Remember that missing your ex is not a good enough reason to get back with them. It can be intoxicating when the person who left comes back and tells you that they changed. But, nothing changes if nothing changes, and in most cases – the change they claim is not enough.
The real change takes a period of not being in contact whatsoever for an extended amount of time. At that time, you need to sit with yourself. If you can’t feel your own feelings, you shouldn’t be in a relationship. And that’s a hard realization to have, but it’s a valid one.
It’s easy to feel like the person you’re broken up with is the one person who can absolve you of the pain you’re in. However, in reality, you’re the one that can get rid of those feelings. You will never leave yourself or reject yourself, and you need to learn to soothe yourself.
The pain of getting back with an ex is inevitable. You’ll have the pain of being back in the toxic relationship as well as the pain of being disappointed in yourself for getting back into the same situation.
There’s an idea that the intense feelings that accompany a breakup should be bypassed. But, as Michelle explains, sitting with those feelings rather than running away from them is so important. You need to have empathy for yourself in this case. Allow yourself grace for grief, denial, and all the stages that occur following this loss.
The brain registers a breakup as a death, so it’s important to treat it as such when it comes to emotions. It can even feel worse, in some ways, because the person chose to leave.
There’s room for being gentle with yourself with these feelings, but – bear in mind – there’s also room for giving yourself a kick in the a$$.
Michelle really had a mic drop moment on the pod when she said: “pain is inevitable, but suffering is an option.”
Wow! That’s powerful. She went on to explain what she meant by it. Essentially, when you go through a breakup, it’s a human thing to feel the pain associated with it. But the suffering comes when we add all the stories. It surrounds the pain of being left or breaking up with someone, but the stories are you telling yourself things like, “I’m not good enough,” or “he’s going to move on and marry the next person he dates.”
Michelle went through this just a couple of months ago, and her brain would go to those places. But she had to dominate herself to not let those insecurities take over and pivot to different thoughts.
Michelle also talked about the fact that she would think a lot about how she missed her ex. But when those thoughts would come, she would flip it to, “actually, I miss me.” That’s because in missing HIM, she was putting all her thoughts onto her ex and taking them away from herself.
Whatever you’re wanting from him is what your inner child is desperate to receive from you. So why not tap into those things so that you can fulfill those needs? Bring it back to yourself and learn to give yourself what you need. Doing so will really change the game as you work through a breakup.
When going through a breakup, you need to look at why you want someone back and what it is about the dynamic that’s driving it. Then ask yourself, are you going to choose your ex over choosing yourself? Look forward to how you envision getting back together would end and make sure you’re making a choice that you can be proud of for yourself.
Another thing to think about is what kind of man you want to end up with and what it will require of you to get to that place. However, staying in relationships that are subpar doesn’t require anything of you, which is what makes it easy to stay in them.
Let’s think about a man having high standards and a great sense of self-worth. How often do we think about that or hear that? But – it’s an important thing.
You want to get yourself to a place where you can handle a man that communicates well and holds you accountable for treating him right. Doing this work doesn’t need to be stressful and traumatic, but it’s still important to work on yourself in this way in order to get into the relationship that you want and dream about.
Sometimes you need things to trigger you so you can better examine what you need to work on for yourself. That’s something that breakups are good for, as painful as they may be.
There needs to be an absolute willingness in a relationship from both people to make it work. You can’t carry the relationship, nor can he. You want someone that shows up 100%, and so does he. It’s also important to have the willingness to work together in your relationship.
All too often, we dismiss people for reasons that are irrelevant and, on the other hand, we’re willing to overlook things that are quite important. For that reason, you need to be clear on what you need in your relationship.
People are quick to say they need someone who is six feet tall and is funny, but they don’t always think through whether they need someone that is emotionally available.
Think about certain characteristics as something that’s nice to have – like a cherry on top – but the emotional characteristics are the entire sundae that you want to eat.
Michelle has seen many women dismissing men over things that don’t matter – like if they like cats over dogs or aren’t a vegetarian like they are – and overlooking things that should be deal-breakers.
See a man for their heart and soul rather than their exterior. And to open their heart, you need to open your heart first.
Some of us are also wired to feel like something is off when we’re not thrust into a relationship of chaos or emotional distress because it’s not something we’re used to. It registers as something unfamiliar, thus making it uncomfortable. It causes us to find faults in the relationship because we’re scared it could be something real.
For that reason, you need to learn to tune your nervous system to live in peace. Healthy relationships will never feel as intense as unhealthy ones, and that’s an important thing to realize and live with.
Being connected to your body is really important in feeling out the right man for you, too. Michelle shared that when she has anxiety, it manifests itself by causing her to throw up. It’s even happened to her on a few dates.
This is her signal from her nervous system that the person just isn’t right for her. That’s why she believes that getting butterflies around someone – contrary to popular belief – is NOT a good thing. It’s a sign of anxiety! She also believes that healthy relationships can cause you to stir up drama or nit-pick something because they can be boring.
The sooner you can recognize these signs and get in tune with your body, the better. Do the work to tune your nervous system in order to support yourself and love yourself.
This isn’t something that needs to take years to work through. You can get to the point where predictability and consistency in a relationship is something you prefer rather than something you find to be boring or a lack of a spark.
Surviving a breakup, working through heartbreak, and finding your dream man are really about you and what you’re looking for. Michelle took herself through the process of what she was wired for and what she wanted out of a relationship. From there, she created her program – The Connected Woman.
Disclaimer: Please note, I am an affiliate for Michelle Panning’s The Connected Woman program meaning I do receive a small commission if you enroll in her program through this link. However, previously, I have paid to participate in Michelle Panning’s Alchemy mastermind program with my own money and have decided to become an affiliate for the Connected Woman because her work has been absolutely transformational for my life and I would only ever recommend services I have vetted and 100% believe in.
The program helps you to open your heart and the heart of the man or men you’re dating, too. It will shift the way you connect with others and it’s very impactful. This program is for single women and women in relationships as it’s meant to transform your relationship. Tap into the love you desire!
Thank you sooo much for reading!
Be sure to connect with me more over on Instagram @theselflovefix, I’d love to hear what you thought of this post and what your major takeaways were.
Head over to my website to learn more about how we can work together to shift your energy & transform your life.
See you back here for the next one!