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Panic stations: when you can’t live without someone

October 11, 2012

The breakup of a relationship can bring with it a great deal of fear and loneliness.  Sometimes the thought “I can’t live without you” is a common refrain.

Taking time out for ourselves to explore these thoughts through mindful meditation can break the cycle of these negative thoughts and help us uncover their source and accuracy.

Marriage and family therapist Susan Gillis Chapman in her book “The Five Keys To Mindful Communication” recalls working with a client, Olivia, who had recently separated from her husband.  Chapman encouraged Olivia to create a “solitary cabin” in her mind each morning where she could sit with a cup of coffee and a journal and explore her thoughts.

This “allowed her to respond to her suffering with compassionate insight instead of rejection…

“Sitting meditation practice trains our mind to slow down and interrupt the speed of our thought process.  Olivia realised that her fears had no basis in reality.  They were like mental movies based on the script ‘I can’t live without you’, which triggered a panicky feeling that kept her in crisis mode…

“This insight was an important realisation because Olivia’s separation anxiety was a key factor that drove her into dead-end relationships.”

Losing someone hurts, and those feelings are totally valid – but is it really, objectively true that you can’t live without them?  Challenge your thoughts.

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