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Worst Valentine's Day Ever

Can a disasterous Valentine’s Day actually be a good thing? I should know…

Worst Valentine's Day EverValentine’s isn’t always all hearts and flowers

Valentine’s Day can be wonderful.

If you choose to spend it with the person who you love, enjoying and indulging in the wonderful connection that you have, it can be magical.

If you’re alone, it can be difficult.

If your partner walked out on you unexpectedly the night before, it can be devastating.

I know.

Several years ago, this was how I spent Valentine’s Day.

At 11pm on February 13th, the man who I thought I would be spending the rest of my life with walked out on me unexpectedly.

I was in shock.

I was waiting for the punch line.

Surely this was just a bad joke. A very very bad joke.

But it wasn’t.

It was real.

It was painful.

It was heart-breaking.

The bottom fell out of my world.

When he walked out of the door, he took with him my partner, my best friend, my business mentor, my technical team, and the vast majority of my savings account.

I felt completely and totally alone.

My romantic life was in tatters, my business was up in the air, my financial stability had been removed and my confidence was in ruins.

My Worst Valentine’s Day Ever…

I woke up, Valentine’s morning feeling like I’d hit rock bottom.

I cried, I talked, I cried, I vented and cried even more.

Most of my friends and close family members were either married, in long-term relationships or having babies.

At that point it felt like I was a million miles away from “happily ever after”.

I was done.

For the first time in a long time I realised I didn’t want to be in a relationship.

I’d spent the last 10-15 years of my life pretty much going from one relationship to the next, without much time for me in between, and it felt like it was now my time.

Having spent so much time with other people, I’d lost touch a little with my ‘Inner Claire.’ What did she want? What did she need? What was important to her? How did she want to spend her time? What did she want to do?

It was time to find out.

So I decided to go on a bit of a journey of discovery. Learning more about myself, learning how to become my own best friend, learning to love myself, exactly as I was.

Spending quality time with me.

Going out dancing, travelling, spending time with friends, visiting places I loved, meditating, journaling…doing the things I loved, and enjoying them!

By spending this time making my life ‘All about me,’ I was feeling fulfilled in a way that I hadn’t done in years.

I was happy, having fun, enjoying life.

I was absolutely beaming, and everywhere I went, people were remarking about how I was radiating this great energy. I kept hearing that I was bringing a certain ‘sparkle’ when I entered a room.

After a while it occurred to me that it’s because for the first time in a long time I was being me. Unashamedly, unreservedly, undeniably me.

It was transforming how I felt, the work I was doing, the experiences I was having, and the people I was coming into contact with.

All of a sudden I realised that by being all of me, I was giving them permission to be all of them too.

Everywhere I went people were being magnetically drawn to my energy.

And not just any people, the people who I wanted to spend time with. The ones I resonated with, the kindred spirits, the soul sisters and brothers; my kinda people.

So I asked myself, what had changed? Why was I all of a sudden attracting a different kind of person into my life?

If it was happening with friends, would it start happening with men too?

And then it happened. The lightbulb moment.

In the work I was doing with women and men from around the world, I saw a pattern.

Those who were struggling to attract the kind of relationship they really wanted were following certain behaviours. More importantly those who had attracted the relationship they’d always desired WEREN’T following these same behaviours.

A Different Story

Suddenly the answers to so many questions became clear. Why I’d been attracting relationships that were doomed to failure, why I’d struggled to find any masculine men, where I’d been going wrong for all these years, why I couldn’t find love.

When I recognised the mistakes that both I and so many other women were making I started to change my approach to dating, and to men in general.

At that point everything began to change.

Not long after the most incredible man appeared in my life, and being conscious of avoiding these mistakes transformed the experience of dating for us.

That was some time ago now, and he and I are now travelling the world, living the life we’ve always wanted, and sharing the experience of helping others to transform their relationship lives.

He is everything I wanted in a man and more, our connection is deeper, more real, more intimate and more passionate than any man I’ve been with before.

This is the best relationship I’ve ever experienced in my life and we couldn’t be happier. What’s interesting is that without the Valentine’s Day from hell, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

So it turns out the worst V-Day ever, was actually the best gift I could have asked for.

Something to think about…

Wishing You Love,

Claire x

Why Does Heartbreak Hurt So Much?

Broken-HeartLast week I shared that December is known as the annual breakup season, and a lot of people shared how the article had come at the perfect time for them, because they were dealing with a recent break up themselves.

When I started hearing this, it took me back to some of my own personal experiences of heartbreak.

If a relationship has ended, at some level it wasn’t working. If you’re truly honest with yourself, I’m sure you don’t want to be in a relationship where you’re unhappy and unfulfilled or in a relationship where the other person is unhappy or unfulfilled, for whatever reason, because we know deep in our hearts that neither of those scenarios make for a good relationship in the long term. But that doesn’t stop it from hurting….and hurting deeply.

I know. I’ve experienced it first-hand many times.

…and I can vividly recall the times where I’ve felt like the bottom had fallen out of my world.

My experience with heartbreak…

Those moments in time where it felt like an effort just to keep breathing in and out.

The pain, the sadness, the numbness, the confusion, the fear…the complete and total overwhelm of experiencing so many emotions and thoughts at the same time, and not being able to make sense of any of them.

Mind and heart reeling, with no way out, only through.

When I brought these moments of my life to mind, I started to think about heartbreak, and why it hurts so much. As soon as I asked this question, two answers came to me.

The first you’ll no doubt have heard before. The second may be a bit of a surprise…

So why does heartbreak hurt so much?

So the first answer that came to me is that we’re experiencing a loss, which brings with it a sense of grief.

Whether a relationship has come to an end because we’ve chosen to end it, because someone else has chosen to end it, or because it’s been mutually decided that it’s for the best, we are still losing something.

We may not be grieving for the relationship as it was, but instead for the relationship that we thought it was going to be, the relationship it had the potential to be, or the relationship we wanted it to be.

It might seem strange to be grieving for something that you’ve never actually had…but losing the POSSIBILITY of something, is still a loss, and we still experience a sense of grief when the possibility appears to be no more.

We miss the other person…or maybe we don’t, maybe we miss who they used to be, who we thought they were, or who we thought they would become.

Whatever it is that we’re losing, whether it’s was something we had, something we thought we had, or something we thought we were going to have, it’s important to honour the fact that we will experience a sense of grief when the loss becomes a reality.

Most people have heard of the 5 stages of grief (or the Kübler-Ross model) where you go through denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance…but what most people don’t know is that the best way through all the stages, is to fully experience each stage, feel complete with it and then transition through to the next stage…in the timeframe that is right for you.

Do you allow yourself to ‘go through’ heartbreak?

When it comes to heartbreak though, a lot of people don’t allow themselves to go through this grieving process fully…they expect to just ‘feel better’ at some point, get told to snap out of it by someone trying to ‘help’, or distract themselves from really experiencing the feeling because it’s uncomfortable (whether that’s through alcohol, TV, another relationship or any other way to avoid the feelings)…and therefore get ‘stuck’ in one stage.

As I’ve said before, when you’re in this kind of emotional experience, the best way out of it really is through it…allowing yourself to fully feel each aspect of what you’re experiencing in order that you can then release it.

So if you’re in it right now, start to notice where you might be wanting to avoid or distract yourself from how you’re really feeling…because that in itself can be keeping you ‘in it’ and preventing you from moving through it to the other side.

The second answer that came to me when I asked the question “Why does heartbreak hurt so much?” hit me hard.

Because it was probably one of the hardest things for me to understand and begin to accept about my own experiences with heartbreak…and it was also the single, most powerful realisation that transformed my experience with heartbreak forever.

So join me again next week where I will be sharing the insight that changed how I experience heartbreak…and which helped me reach the point where, I began to eventually be able to see each one as a gift.

…and if you’re currently dealing with a break up and you’d like to find out how I might be able to help you through it, then either send me an email: claire@lovepolarityandpassion.com or book a discovery session here to get some help and support when dealing with heartbreak during the holiday season.

With Love,

Claire x

Would you like to know how to avoid the annual breakup season?

breakupThe festive season can be wonderful.

…it can also be a really challenging time of year.

Family commitments, present-buying, Christmas parties, money-worries, end of year deadlines…

It’s a recipe for a stress-cocktail.

It’s no surprise that according to Facebook, December is the month of the year with the highest number of breakups.

The problem with stress is that we have a tendency to take it out on the people who are closest to us. They are the people who see every side of us…the good, the bad and the very ugly.

We don’t put on pretenses for those who are closest to us…and we don’t tend to pull our punches.

You see, when we’re under stress our bodies jump into fight or flight mode.

Why is this the annual breakup season?

We learned our stress responses many years ago when ‘stress’ was caused by coming face-to-face with a saber-toothed tiger or a woolly mammoth. It was a matter of survival. Us or them.

Unfortunately our stress responses have not evolved with our lives…so we get the same rush of adrenaline and hormones when dealing with an urgent deadline as we did when being considered as a Paleolithic beast’s lunch.

So when we feel stress we see the world as a threat…including our partner.

When we see someone or something as a threat, all compassion and understanding tends to fly out of the nearest window. We have two go-to responses; protect & defend ourselves, and attack.

…and when one person gets defensive or confrontational, the other person often isn’t far behind.

So how can we avoid the stress-loop that often leads to a breakup?

The biggest problem when we enter this stress-pattern is that we forget that we are on the same side.

We’re on the same team.

They aren’t your adversary, they’re your team-mate.

Think about a football team. How successful do you think a team would be if they spent all their time tackling each other rather than focusing on the opposition, or the goal?

Not very.

You see, our response to stress often has us drawing battle lines against the person with whom you could instead be creating a battle strategy WITH.

So if you notice yourself dropping into ‘confrontation mode’ with your partner, here are a few simple steps to help you get back in each other’s corner again.

  1. Stop – So many of our troubles at this time of year start because rather than responding to what’s happening we react. We fire right back at the moment we feel upset or triggered without taking a moment to stop and consider how we want to respond, or the consequences of our reaction. Take a pause…it could make all the difference.
  2. Breathe – Take a deep breath, and allow yourself to let go of some of the tension in your body. When we go into fight of flight mode our muscles tense in order to be ready to swing a right-hook, or run for the hills. Taking a deep breath and shaking out your body can release some of this tension and help you to relax.
  3. Ask yourself a question (or two)…(or three) – When we feel this way, it tends to be because we’ve attributed a meaning to our partner’s behavior (what they’ve said / not said / done / not done) that might not be in-line with the intention behind it. So ask yourself “What else could this mean?”, could there be another reason than the one you’ve got in your mind? The other question to ask yourself here is “What is my outcome?” what do you really want in this moment? Do you want to be right? Or Do you want to be happy? Do you want to fight? Or do you want to build a bridge with the person who is usually your biggest ally? The final question to ask yourself is “How do I REALLY want to deal with this?” Your reaction has the potential to create a battleground or a dance floor, to fire an attack or wave a white flag, to metaphorically slap them in the face or reach out to connect with them. This is your moment to choose how you show up, which has the ability to completely transform the situation.
  4. Apologise – At this point you may be a little confused. Apologise? But they’re the one who’s upset me! While that may be true…step back a little bit. Is there something that you’ve said or done (or not said or done) that might have caused a reaction in them? Might they have misinterpreted your actions or words? If you can see how they might be upset, apologise for your part in what’s happened, without reservation, and without bringing how you’re feeling into it (for now).  When you do this for another person, they go from attack and defend mode to putting both their weapons and their defences down. This is the first step towards working together to find a solution.
  5. Ask for their help – This situation could simply be happening because they don’t really know what you want or need, and how to give it to you…so the easiest way for them to be able to do this is for you to tell them. But barking instructions at them is probably not going to help them feel you’re on the same side. Instead ask for their help…ask for what you want and need, show them how to help and support you.
  6. Remind them (and most importantly yourself) that you’re on the same team – Remember that you’re on the same team.  Remind them (with kindness) that you’re on their team…and that you know that they’re on your team too. Just verbalising this can make such a difference to how you both perceive what’s going on. It might be a misunderstanding, it might be a difference of opinion, but if you’re on the same side, you can figure it out together.

When you’re on the same side, dealing with the stress of the season seems so much more manageable…and you know you’re not dealing with it alone. Navigating your way through the festive period can both pull you together, or tear you apart…choosing to be on the same team can make it more likely to be the former.

…but what if you do breakup?

If you do break up this time of year, there are a few things to bear in mind.

If the choice to separate wasn’t yours, then the other person has done you the favour of walking away from you. You want to be with someone who chooses you, who sees you, who values you…who wants to be with you. If this person has made another choice, you deserve more.

But knowing that doesn’t make the process of dealing with it any easier…so you might want to check out a couple of these articles to help you through the process:

The new year is a good time to move start afresh, to go through the process of letting go of the past and to begin to attract and create the relationship that you desire and deserve.

…and if you think the advice in this post could help someone you know, I would love for you take a few seconds to share it.

Would you like some help in navigating the annual breakup season?

Often when we’re dealing with relationship challenges, whether it’s stress, money, arguments, worries about trust or infidelity, it can be tough to do it on your own. It can feel isolating and lonely, especially when everyone around you seems to be enjoying a challenge-free festive season with their loved ones.

Or maybe you’re single and worried about how to enjoy the festivities without a special someone to share it with? Maybe you’re worried about the comments or questions from family about ‘When are you going to find someone?’ Maybe you’re just fed up of the thought of another Christmas and New Years Eve on your own?

So if you’d like to find out how I might be able to help you with your specific relationship concerns, worries or challenges at this time of year, then either send me an email: claire@lovepolarityandpassion.com or book a discovery session here to find out how you can avoid or reduce the relationship challenges that most people face at this time of year.

It can be a tough time to navigate, and it’s so much easier when you know you’re not doing it alone.

With Love,

Claire x

LPPTV Episode 8 - What Does Rejection Really Mean? - Claire Brummell, The Relationist, Love Polarity and Passion

LPPTV Episode 8 – What Does Rejection Really Mean?

LPPTV Episode 8 - What Does Rejection Really Mean? - Claire Brummell, The Relationist, Love Polarity and PassionThis week has been pretty interesting.  I was interviewed for a documentary called “Love in Your Pocket”, which is all about how technology is affecting our experience of dating.

I was asked a lot of questions and some really interesting topics came up, one of which seemed too important not to share via LPPTV.

I’ve spoken about rejection before here on LPPTV, but it’s such a hot topic in the world of dating I’m not surprised it’s come up again so soon.

I regularly speak to both men and women around the world, people who are single and in relationships, and the fear of rejection is an issue that comes up time and time again.

So in today’s episode, I answer the question “What does rejection really mean?”

Tweet the Love… The Number 1 Rule in Relationships, Choose Someone Who Chooses You @LovePPassion

Now I’d love to hear from you.

What has your experience of this been? Have you taken ‘rejection’ to heart and made it mean something about you, like I did? Has this alternative way of viewing ‘rejection’ shown you a different perspective on a past situation? Have you focused on your own sense of self-worth, and has it affected how you feel about someone walking away from you? What has improving your self-esteem done for you in relationships? Has this video brought up a question for you?

Or, ask me a question that you would like me to answer on a future episode of LPPTV, what is the one thing you’d like to know? What is the biggest challenge you’re facing in your relationship situation right now?

Please share with as much detail as you can because your insight and questions may provide a breakthrough for someone else and I guarantee if you’re thinking it, someone else is too and they could benefit from you having the courage to share your thoughts and questions.

Thank you in advance for having the courage to share and being kind and understanding in the comments.

…and if you haven’t already, be sure to get your hands on the FREE video series “The First Steps to Transforming Any Relationship” by clicking here now.

Wishing You Love,

Claire x

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LPPTV Episode 5 - Why Is Rejection Awesome? - Claire Brummell, The Relationist, Love Polarity and Passion

LPPTV Episode 5 – Why Is Rejection Awesome?

LPPTV Episode 5 - Why Is Rejection Awesome? - Claire Brummell, The Relationist, Love Polarity and PassionWhen working with men and women around the world the one fear that comes up time and time and time again is ‘rejection’.

Everyone seems to be afraid of rejection.

In fact, most people are downright terrified of it.

People will do almost anything to avoid rejection: Twist themselves into a pretzel to be the person they think someone else will want, hide the ‘real them’ in case the other person doesn’t appreciate them…even avoid relationships completely!

Now these might seem like extreme tactics, but in my experience most people have done at least one of these things at some point in their lives.

All because they didn’t want to be rejected.

But I think that rejection has had a bad rap.  In fact, I think rejection could become your best friend and ally in the world of dating and relationships.

I’d even go so far as to say that rejection can be AWESOME.

Have I lost my marbles?

You’ll have to watch the video to find out…

Tweet the Love… Celebrate The Wrong Person Walking Away, They’re Making Space For The Right One @LovePPassion

Now I’d love to hear from you.

What has your experience of this been?  Have you been rejected by someone, only to find someone later who seems so much more right for you?  Have you been distraught at the end of a relationship, only to realise later that actually it’s been the best thing to happen to you?  Are you grateful that someone has rejected you in the past, because it helped you find the person you were meant to be with?  Are you currently struggling with rejection, and do you have any questions about how to deal with it? What are the challenges you’ve faced with rejection?

Or, ask me a question that you would like me to answer on a future episode of LPPTV, what is the one thing you’d like to know? What is the biggest challenge you’re facing in your relationship situation right now?

Please share with as much detail as you can because your insight and questions may provide a breakthrough for someone else and I guarantee if you’re thinking it, someone else is too and they could benefit from you having the courage to share your thoughts and questions.

Thank you in advance for having the courage to share and being kind and understanding in the comments.

…and if you haven’t already, be sure to get your hands on the FREE video series “The First Steps to Transforming Any Relationship” by clicking here now.

Wishing You Love,

Claire x

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Broken Heart

Does a broken heart ever mend, or do we just end up living with the scars of heartbreak?

Broken HeartI recently had a Love Polarity & Passion reader reach out to me for help because they’re currently going through a difficult heartbreak.

Unfortunately most of us will have experienced this at some point in our lives.

That agonising pain that comes with the end of a relationship, when it feels like you’re the only person in the whole world feeling like your heart has been torn in two.

The desire to eat every comfort food consumable to try and feel the empty hole in your heart.

Wanting to forget.

Wanting to remember.

Wanting to talk.

Wanting to not have to talk.

Feeling like your whole world is crumbling around you.

Not wanting to be alone and yet not knowing how to be around others.

Wondering if the pain will ever subside.

Thinking that you will never be the same again.

Feeling like you’ll never want to put yourself out there again, because you don’t feel like you could take going through this again.

That awful time when just remembering to keep breathing in and out feels like an effort.

I know, from personal experience, the pain of heartbreak

Heartbreak and I are old friends…we’ve spent many a day and sleepless night together.

I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

Every time I’m in it I always say the same thing “I just wish it was 6 months from now”.

Why?

Because I know I’ll get through it, I always do. But I also know that in order to get through it I need to be in it. I need to feel it. I need to feel it all.

…and that isn’t easy, in fact it’s one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to deal with.

So when someone reaches out asking for help with heartbreak, my heart goes out to them. Because I know where they are. I’ve been there, many times.

So when I saw a question “Does a broken heart ever mend, or do we just end up living with the scars?”…and I felt moved to respond to it in a very personal way.

…and today I want to share that response with you, because I know from the messages and comments I receive that it might be relevant to you too.

So, my personal story of heartbreak…

My sister has been what most people would consider very “lucky in love”. Her first long-term boyfriend turned out to be the man who she fell in love with, married and now very happily has a little boy with.

Her husband is wonderful and I’m so pleased that they found each other and have created their lovely life together. As a result, she’s been ‘lucky’ enough to never have really experienced ‘heartbreak’ as you and I might know it.

On the other hand as you may know from my previous articles and videos, I have experienced many heartbreaks during my lifetime.

There is a part of me that at times in my life has been slightly envious of my sister’s experience. Because she never experienced heartbreak, she in some ways kept the innocence and naivety that comes with first love. She never had that part of her life ‘tainted’ in any way by a negative experience. Being that she’s my sister, I am grateful that she’s never been through this.

However, as much as I wouldn’t wish the heartbreaks that I’ve been through on anyone, much less my sister, I know that because of the experiences I’ve had my life, I am a changed person…and every one of those changes in me has been for the better (in the long term).

My life has been richer for walking the path I have, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I have grown in ways I know I wouldn’t have without those experiences. Each one has tested my emotional resilience in ways I couldn’t have imagined…and yet each one has brought with it such a gift of growth and personal learning too. It has made me the woman I am today. I have a depth of compassion, of self-knowing, of emotional experience, of love as a result of it.

I appreciate love in a way I wouldn’t have done, had I not lost it at times along the way.

My heart has been changed for those experiences.

Some might say that it’s been scarred by them…but as with scar tissue in the body…those parts of my heart are actually stronger for it.

Remembering those ‘scars’, the heartbreaks, the experiences I’ve gone through, the pain I’ve felt, helps me to continue to choose every day the woman I want to be. It’s helped me learn what I want for my life, what I will and won’t accept (both for me and by me), and it helps me to be the best woman I can be for myself and the man in my life every day.

As a result of these moments in my life I don’t take love or life for granted, which sometimes people who haven’t experienced them can.

My experience is that in time (with a compassionate approach of truly processing the emotion and the experience), the pain subsides, the wounds heal, the lessons are learned and we move on into our next chapter forever changed.

That change can be our greatest gift if we allow it to be.

Heartbreak has been a real gift to me

…and this is why I describe heartbreak and I as old friends, because that’s what we are. Though our relationship has never been easy, it’s brought me more than I could have ever imagined.

Without the heartbreaks in my life, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today, doing the work I do, helping people around the world to create deep, mutually fulfilling relationships.

But most importantly I don’t believe I would have had the experience that I personally needed to be able to create the level of connection, communication and compassion that I have in my two most important current relationships – the one with myself, and the one with my partner.

I wouldn’t change any of the heartbreaks I’ve experienced in my life for anything.

Although I experienced terrible pain through every single one of them…I am truly grateful from the bottom of my heart for each one of them and the gifts that I eventually allowed them to bring me.

In Japan there is a practice called “Kintsukuroi” which means “to repair with gold”. It is the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver laquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.

So I invite you to repair any ‘cracks’ you may feel as a result of your heartbreak with gold, or silver, or another gift that is valuable to you, and begin to see the beauty in them too.

Now I’d love to hear from you. What have your experiences of heartbreak been? Have you ever found that heartbreak could be a gift? Has a painful breakup ever turned out to be a blessing in disguise? I’d love to hear your experiences and questions in the comments below – as always if you’re thinking it I guarantee someone reading could benefit from hearing from your experience or the courage to ask the question that’s on your mind.

…and if you haven’t already, be sure to get your hands on the FREE video series “The First Steps to Transforming Any Relationship” by clicking here now.

Wishing You Love,

Claire x

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