It may take your whole life to accomplish creating the love you want. I can’t think of a more worthy venture. So give yourself all the space and time you need to heal. Then, one day, you will love again. – Rebekah Freedom McClaskey
“You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.”
While you contemplate that poetic line by Rumi, here’s a little fun fact about Rebekah Freedom…Well, actually it’s not a fact because she made up that name. So let me rephrase that to “fun fiction.” Her real name is Rebekah McClaskey.
But because Rebekah is Hebrew for “liar,” and what sets us free is the truth, she inserted Freedom in her name to represent what she really stands for.
Rebekah believes that being free is the only way to live. However painful, she helps us see breakup in a new light – as a catalyst for us to break free.
And this is what she brings up in Breakup Rehab. Adapted from the AA Recovery Program, she formulated 12 steps for the “BRx,” a Breakup Recovery Program that helps us move on from breaking-up to breaking free, so we can move forward in life creating the love we want.
The BRx 12 Steps:
Step 1: Let Go and Forgive
Step 2: Trust Your Authentic Self
Step 3: Make Wise Decisions
Step 4: Face Your Fears with Love
Step 5: Live Your Purpose
Step 6: Examine Your Judgments, Respond with Compassion
Step 7: Practice Humility and Gratitude
Step 8: Overcome Pride and Grow Forward
Step 9: Recognize the Strength in Your Vulnerability
Step 10: Maintain Your Integrity
Step 11: Own Your Power to Love
Step 12: Create the Love You Want
One step at a time, baby!
It’s Not You, It’s Me
We long for integration in the face of abandonment. Therefore all the places that we’re unwilling to feel pain, we feel a muted version of it in the form of desire. Desire then becomes the guiding force for us to realize and release our pain because it can prompt us to choose people and situations that will facilitate new awareness. We somehow gravitate to partners and lovers who mirror the pain we wouldn’t allow ourselves to feel.
Basically, your ex has all the qualities that you’re unwilling to look at inside of you. We’re attracted to what we wish we could be and think that we’re not. The interactions that result in attraction are in fact open doors to learning more about yourself by relating to another person.
In truth, we are already whole. The human condition, however, is separation and our belief in it puts us in pain. This pain manifests as desire of being whole again. And we seek this desire for wholeness in another. We think that somebody else will complete us.
We’re attracted to people who have qualities that we think we don’t have. Because it makes us feel complete, we become attached to them, addicted even.
Then, the breakup happens.
That’s why letting go is the first step in BRx. Rebekah says it creates the space to reconnect with the person we’ve been longing for the whole time – our authentic self, which is already whole.
“I’m the person I’ve been looking for!” is the realization that BRx brings about. This is how Rebekah invites us to reframe the breakup – that what happens to us, happens for us. It makes us realize that the love we’re seeking is already within us.
For Your Own Good
To forgive is to accept that what has been done to you was also done for you. Your relationship was your experience to have and so is your breakup. In some ways, forgiveness is the acknowledgment that there is something bigger than your agenda unfolding here.
Loved that definition! Forgiveness is the acceptance that what has been done to you was done for you.
When we enter a relationship, we’re inclined to believe that the other person is “the one.” There’s an agenda. We expect the other person to become “the one.” Then when he/she fails to meet our expectations, the relationship comes to an end. We start blaming them and we also judge ourselves.
Rebekah tells us that forgiveness requires shifting our perspective. It begins by naming everything as it is, without the blame and judgment, and accepting the past for what it was.
What we can accept, we can forgive. What we can forgive, we can let go.
My favorite parts of the book are the affirmations Rebekah writes for each of the 12 steps at the end of every chapter.
Here’s one of them:
“I did the best I could have done up to this point. I am not wrong. I am not bad. I may have not got what I wanted but I am not going to let that stop me from wanting what I have got! I am the master of my destiny and I design it by never giving up my opportunity to choose differently than I have before. On this day I declare myself set free because I forgive all things and everything I let hold me back.”
We suppress, repress, run from, avoid, and hide from the parts of us that don’t feel like the person we think of ourselves to be. But as you practice taking the observer’s seat and trusting your authentic self, you’ll be able to have more compassion for all your parts. Then they can come out of hiding.
The more honest you are with who you are at your core, the more you can trust yourself. The more you can trust yourself, the greater your awareness about how your relationship and breakup fit into the big picture of your life. Connecting with your authentic self gives you more of a capacity to heal and move forward.
Gestalt – a word Rebekah uses to describe our authentic self; it means an organized whole that’s perceived as more than the sum of its parts.
In undergoing BRx, Rebekah encourages us to trust our authentic self, the part of us that remains whole no matter the circumstances.
An insight we gained from the book Trust is that it’s an affirmation of our connectedness to our authentic self. Trust never gets broken. What can get broken are promises and expectations.
And then those broken parts reveal themselves so they can be healed and integrated back into our wholeness.
During the healing process, Rebekah reminds us to trust, to connect with our authentic self that is wise and spacious so we can shift away from identification with the breakup into observation of the breakup.
Commitment is about constantly refining yourself rather than achieving — or trying to achieve — a state of imagined perfection. Every choice you make helps you in discovering what works and what doesn’t.
Healing is going to take some time. Get with the program and choose with your body, the love of your life. Choose with your body and in doing so you’ll be choosing you, which is a wise decision.
What’s the next best decision after breaking up? Commitment – that is commitment to healing yourself.
Rebekah assures that BRx works, but only if you work on it.
Guess who you’ll be working with? None other than the love of your life – your body. And your job is to keep choosing you. (Check out Reclaiming Your Body to work on this most important relationship)
Rebekah talks about the brain-body connection. She says that we store in our bodies what our brain can’t process – our emotions.
The same part of our brain that lights up when we get physically hurt also lights up after a breakup. We feel in our body the physical sensation of heartbreak.
So like any wound, the wounded parts of you will take time to heal. Just know that they can heal themselves if you stay committed to your healing.
If you’re really committed to your rehabilitation, use step 4 to face your fears with love by mastering these three things: Master your thoughts. Master your words. Master your actions. In order to do this, take a moment — or several — to get in touch with the sensations in your body, that cauldron of emotion that is housing your soul. It’s just a vehicle; it’s not the driver.
The work is to break down the barriers between you and you. This level of self-mastery will rescue you from the depths of despair and restore your soul time and time again.
In a nutshell, love is all about self-mastery. It’s about mastering you, knowing who you really are. And it bears repeating over and over that the key to mastery is awareness. Without it, no real lasting change can take place.
In BRx, Rebekah relates awareness to listening to your body and how it responds to the energy you’re interacting with – energy that comes through thoughts, words, and actions.
If your body feels light and expansive, that is your body saying “yes.” If your body feels heavy and contracted, that is a “no.”
The more we can get in touch with our body, the better our healing progress will be.
Compassion is the ability to fully accept all aspects of ourselves and others. Compassion can be summed up in the words me too. It gives us the capacity to go beyond the rational world and access parts of us that just feel. Soon we begin to experience spaciousness around our feelings because they stop being sequestered to the confinements of good and bad or right and wrong.
Nothing makes sense after a breakup. But Rebekah says the one thing that makes sense of it all is compassion.
Ironically, compassion is not about making sense of the breakup, but being with the breakup. It’s not trying to fix what’s broken, but feeling the brokenness. It’s not trying to get rid of the pain, but embracing it.
Then we learn what compassion teaches us: that the other person is also going through what we’re going through.
If compassion could speak, it would be: “me too.”
With compassion comes acceptance and with acceptance comes healing.
Being humble totally goes against our instincts. Love isn’t instinctual. At least not the kind of love that opens our heart, surrenders our barriers, softens us, makes us strong in the face of adversity, and is the bedrock we build our life on.
Breakup gives a heavy blow to the ego, the part of us that gets broken. How does it react when it’s wounded? Instinctual.
Survival instincts are rooted in fear. We know the patterns of fear: anger, shame, guilt, blame, lust, etc. How do they manifest? We become defensive. The ego will do anything to survive.
Rebekah says humility conquers them all. It means you have nothing to defend. It conquers without doing anything. By doing nothing, it allows love to act.
Breakup can be the most humbling experience we can have. It can teach us to be humble to admit our mistakes from which we can learn.
When we practice humility, we become rooted in love.
When Pain Speaks, Listen
Your breakup is your rite of passage from the outside bullshit to your inner strength.
Be still and listen.
Pain is a message to listen to what your body’s sensations are trying to reveal about your psyche. Weakness is all the ways we resist receiving the message. When we acknowledge pain, we learn from it and free our exiles — weakness leaves the body.
Rebekah shares what she learned from working with the veterans: “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”
Pain, though it makes us feel weak, makes us stronger. So try not resisting or denying it. They won’t make the pain go away.
You can run away from pain, but pain won’t run away from you.
Want it to leave? Stop and listen to what it’s trying to tell you. Have an open conversation with pain. That asks for vulnerability. When we give pain our vulnerability, it gives us back our strength.
Claim Your Superpower
Ownership means to have authority, dominion, sovereignty; to stand in faith, to exist in a sanctified space, to claim, to declare, to proclaim, to affirm, to be in command, to rule, to acknowledge, to admit as fact, and to possess. With these words in mind, consider then what it means to own your power to love. It’s a bold act. It states that although the world is hurting, although there is pain, and although you feel all of it in your bones, you will not stop loving.
Rebekah empowers us to own our power to love because it’s an affirmation of our lives. She affirms that we are love, therefore love can never be separated from us.
Breakup is not the end of your life. In fact, it might be only the beginning of the life you were truly meant to live. Rebekah calls it your “resurrection.”
You come back to life learning a new way of being. You learn how to command attention rather than demand it. You learn to be magnetic rather than forceful. You learn that love is your superpower!
The Right Relationship
Mastery over your life is a superpower. To live your one unique life. To forgive. To walk your path with purpose. And to claim your power to love.
When you do these things the ache from loss transforms into an ache to give. It’s not that you don’t have what you want. It’s that you have so much, you’re so full, and you’re so grateful that you feel compelled to share it with the world and to grow it inside the boundaries of a loving relationship. Answering your unique call to service is one of your greatest superpowers.
Right relationship happens the moment you commit your life to your own unique spiritual journey, when you allow your destiny to summon your potential. Just like everyone else, you have a gift to give, a calling. Your relationship will be shaped by that calling.
Turns out that BRx, getting over a breakup, is more than just about you and your healing. It serves a greater purpose. What heals you can heal another person. What heals another person can heal the rest of the world.
And it begins with having the right relationship with yourself. It’s you having a relationship with God.
Rebekah tells us that right relationship exists when all parts connect us to Source (God). It gives us the unwavering faith that everything that comes will arrive right on time, including your partner for the right relationship – the relationship that helps both of you become super being human.
Here are some last few words of inspiration from Rebekah:
“Your relationship was a gift. It is a gift. Breaking up is just ripping the wrapping paper away so you can see what’s inside.”
Your love life has just begun!
This is just the first step in its beautiful unfolding.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
REBEKAH FREEDOM McCLASKEY life’s work is to facilitate freedom. She is a relationship specialist who guides her clients to find their purpose after a breakup. Rebekah combines her psychic gifts and her clinical experience as a counselor to create true-to-life strategies that result in clients living full and satisfying lives. Her private counseling practice focuses on guiding her clients to be masters of their destiny. She lives in Rancho Santa Fe, California. Visit her at RebekahFreedom.com