From Breakup to Breakthrough: 4 “Big Truths”

I’m about to share a very personal experience with you. This is not something I’ve always felt comfortable doing but my hope is that many of you will relate as well as benefit from some powerful lessons I’ve recently learned—lessons learned not by choice.

Some months ago I became involved in a relationship. In spite of my initial hesitation and after being patiently but ardently pursued by the other person I slowly let go and began to trust that it could work. I began to open up to trust and love. Things seemed to be blossoming until I began to see subtle signs that he might not be capable of fully participating in a deeply intimate and emotionally committed relationship even though he desired it. Unfortunately I ignored the signs, hoping that maybe an open two-way communication could resolve the bumps along the road even though I could feel my serenity slipping away.

Not long afterward I returned from vacation and found a message waiting for me in my email inbox from this person suddenly ending the relationship, and with only a vague explanation. Wow. My immediate reaction was hurt, shock and disappointment that commitment and trust could be so lightly discarded. I always like to see the best in people and assume they will honor the trust you’ve given them, or at least be able to have an open and honest conversation if they can’t. However not everyone is capable of this because, let’s face it, open and transparent communication can be scary and it takes a certain type of courage.

Most of us have probably been in this place of heartbreak and sadness but I determined that I would not get stuck there.  I immediately turned to what I call my “transform-it toolkit”. These are the tools I have mindfully chosen that can create a true mindset and heart-set shift so I can accept what is, and create inner change.

Your toolkit can include regular practices that work for you such as: meditation, prayer, contemplation, nature walks, yoga, reading inspirational books or scriptures that help you shift, and powerful conversation with loving, safe, trustworthy and non-judgmental friends. Using your toolkit regularly is what keeps you emotionally and spiritually open to amazing possibilities in your life that you can’t even imagine because you haven’t experienced them yet.

The purpose of this toolkit is to help lead you quickly toward healing and toward total honesty with yourself.  You see, it’s easy to get stuck in anger, blame or sadness, or simply shut off your feelings but I knew that wasn’t where I wanted to stay because I chose to live in joy.  My toolkit helps me quickly release old pain, anger, shame, guilt, sadness or indifference and reveal these 4 Big Truths–

  1. Everything happens for a reason. Our job is to figure out the reason and the lesson
  2. Everything that happens holds a mirror up to me to show me where I need to change and be more honest with myself. It can be hard to swallow and I may chose to ignore it and stay in my comfort zone, but I do so at the expense of never knowing deeper love, greater joy or never feeling or experiencing life fully
  3. Each person is at a different place on the path we all travel toward knowing ourselves fully and being emotionally mature, open and loving. If we each try to respect where the other is, then we can let them move at their pace, not ours, even if that means leaving them behind.
  4. I am totally responsible for the life I create and how I react to every situation that occurs in my life.

So when that unexpected email landed in my in-box signaling the end of my relationship my first step was to surround myself with loving, spiritually grounded friends to get some perspective on the situation. Next I worked on revealing these 4 truths by using the tools that work for me. One powerful tool is The Work of Byron Katie and her book “Loving What Is”. With her simple but profound 4-step process I can uncover the answers to these questions:

  • What is the reason and what is the lesson?
  • Where is the situation a mirror I need to hold up to myself? What judgment have I made of the other (person or situation) that also mirrors something I need to look at in myself?
  • How can I accept the other—the person or situation I’ve judged—as being exactly where they are, not where I want them to be? Our minds keep saying “what if?” but that thought just keeps us stuck expecting the other to be something they can’t be at this point in their life’s journey. They aren’t ready and maybe that means they will never fully experience what you know is possible, but that is their choice to make.
  • How can I surrender the person or situation and let it go with light and love, even when I know it’s not what I would have wished, but it is WHAT IS.
  • How can I use this new understanding of myself to transform my life, my situation, my relationships, my business for the bette

Other “tools” that reinforce this work for me are meditation and contemplation.  One of several revelations I had was that I needed to express –and stay grounded in–the essence of who I am more openly and powerfully in my life and my business (I’m starting here), and that I need to be in loving relationships only with others who want to do the same. This will take courage and I’m working on it each day.

Just like your life, your business is a reflection of you. If your thoughts and beliefs about yourself, your relationships or your situation are limiting; if you are blaming others and not looking in the mirror; if you are hiding from the truth so you don’t have to feel emotional discomfort, then how can you fully express who you are in the world and how can you attract the right people or situations to you?

So what do you do when you’re hurt, frustrated, stuck or discouraged? You get out your “Transform It Toolkit” and put it to work for you. Using my toolkit has created not only healing and a deeper understanding of myself, but is helping me land in a much better place, and putting together and using your own toolkit can do the same for you.

And yes, it takes courage, time and patience to be open and vulnerable, to admit mistakes, to change old habits and beliefs that are closing you off from the life you want to live. And this means—to borrow a phrase used by several of my colleagues—you have to put on your Big Girl (or Big Boy) Panties! But you do need to chose—do you want to simply survive or do you want to thrive.

Using your toolkit can clear your inner path of debris and darkness so you can let your Divine and powerful light express itself fully.

I’d love to know what’s in your toolkit and how it’s made a difference in your life. Please share your thoughts by posting a comment below…



  • Shel Horowitz - Green/Ethical Marketing Expert
    Posted at 12:18h, 13 November Reply

    Janis, consider this a “virtual hug.”

    Breakups are never easy, especially when it comes from the other person, and arrives in a curt and impersonal way.

    You mentioned that your inner self was sending up some warning flags. I’ve learned that I need to at least acknowledge those feelings and that often, looking inside them helps me chart a better course–whether for a personal issue like this, or a business issue.
    I’ve also found that my friendships do better when I not only notice and acknowledge those little voices, but raise my concerns (in a loving way) with the other person.

    That kind of communication has really helped my wife and me in our 32 years together.

    Good luck!

    • Janis Pettit
      Posted at 13:32h, 13 November Reply

      Thanks Shel. You’re absolutely right. And the “toolkit” is so amazing. I’m feeling great and have moved on where years ago I would have been stuck. I’m so grateful for this conscious awareness.

  • Gordon Smith
    Posted at 16:52h, 06 June Reply

    Your toolkit is great and you had a lucky escape.

  • Donna Mosher
    Posted at 05:45h, 23 January Reply

    Thanks for being vulnerable, Janis. I experienced a devastating breakup a year ago, so I appreciate your toolkit. And while I agree that everything happens for a reason, I don’t know that we can necessarily know what the reason is. At least, I didn’t. I finally decided that asking “why?” was not useful. Instead, I asked “what’s next?” And then I spent the rest of the year discovering (or trying to) what you have so beautifully shared.

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