Camilla Sacre-Dallerup is an author, life coach and mindful living expert who teaches meditation at Unplug Meditation and The Den in Los Angeles. She also has her own practice, Zenme, where her mission is to inspire the world to meditate and take time for self-care daily.
We asked Camilla about her experience with heartbreak and she opened up about how she reinvented herself post-breakup.
If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?
"I would say 'everything is going to be ok' and 'however painful it may seem, trust me you will heal, you will smile and even love again.' It’s not the end of the world but at the time it really feels that way. It is as Marianne Williamson would say 'Happening for you, not to you.' I would also say, 'learn what you need to learn from the breakup so the pattern does not repeat itself again and move on.'"
What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?
"That I am a lot stronger than I initially thought. The power and strength I managed to unlock through the breakup was so deep and powerful, it took me by surprise. It also taught me to always take responsibility for the part I play in a relationship. When we take responsibility for our own actions it helps us look at the situation more objectively and move away from the blame and "poor me" state. It also taught me that I don’t NEED someone to feel loved. I choose to spend my life with someone now but with or without someone in my life, I know I’m okay."
What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?
"At first I felt very alone so I started reading every self-help book I could get my hands on, which was actually my motivation to write my first book Strictly Inspirational. I wanted to write a book that could be like a friend to someone, somewhere where I could share my learnings about my heartache and all the tools I used, so that someone else can benefit from them."
"Another thing that really helped me was running. It’s kind of funny because up until this point in my life I wasn’t into running at all. The first time I attempted it I remember feeling so broken that I didn’t even have the energy to take one step on the treadmill. So, I decided that every day I would get out in nature and I would start by walking, simply take it step by step to build up my strength. Then with time the walk became a small run and then longer each day. Every day as I took each step I would visualize myself moving one step further away from the situation and building up my strength within. This, I truly believe (well this and dancing around in the kitchen to "I Will Survive") was the beginning of me unlocking my strength within and finding me again."
Thinking back to breakups you’ve had, did you have any breakup vices (checking your ex’s Insta, etc) and how do you conquer them?
"No, not really at that time as I wasn’t really into social media, luckily. But I have a lot of clients with whom I discuss the danger of that and how it can affect us emotionally, it’s not helpful whilst you are healing to keep torturing yourself by scrolling through your ex’s feed. I would suggest anyone who is going through a breakup, to disconnect or erase the ex’s profile from their feed and resist the need to check it. You can be doing really well and then boom one picture of your ex looking happy with someone else, it can drag you right down again. I call this 'carrying forward the hurt to the now.'"
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?
"Love is limitless, love is amazing but the biggest love affair we will ever have is the one with ourselves. When we truly love and respect ourselves we feel whole, content inside and we open ourselves up to a different type of love around us. One that’s not created from a place of lack, where we wonder if we are good enough for someone, one where we think we will never love that way again or whether there is someone special for us out there. Instead we believe that of course we will love again, that we deserve it and that there is someone special for us."
"I remember thinking that way after one of my relationships ended, I thought I would never find that kind of love again - really deep soulmate kind of love. What I didn’t anticipate, because I was caught up in the rain and hurt, was that I would find a love that was even more special. However I found that after I had healed and I was in a place where I fully loved, respected and accepted myself."
Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?
"Yes sometimes, well actually more in real life than on social media, we actually speak on the phone and meet up with our now partners. One of my exes was at my wedding and one of husbands exes I’m hanging out with next week. I think it really depends on the situation. Sometimes we realize through a relationship that we were suppose to be just friends, rather than lovers, and there is a mutual respect and understanding, then a friendship seems like a natural progression. Sometimes if there has been a lot of hurt and anger maybe it’s not suitable to stay friends, at least not in the beginning when both parties are healing but maybe later on. Equally sometimes we let the past be the past."
"Sometimes we are only supposed to be in each others lives for a while and learn whatever we need to learn and then we feel ready to move on in different directions, yet we still enjoy each others friendship. Love is a magical thing and it’s nice to allow it to flow and be what it needs to be. There are so many different love relationships, really there are no rules only the ones each person decides they like to set and live by. Whatever works for one may not work for someone else and that’s ok."
What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?
"What can I say, I’m a romantic. When I was really heartbroken I remember a very wise woman said these very important words to me 'Never let someone else’s actions change who you are.' I live by these words, because sometimes it’s easy to change who we truly are, to even forget what we stand for when we get hurt by someone. But those words are powerful, reminding us that we can always take back our power, instead of handing over our power and letting others decide how we should feel, think and act."
What is your favorite song about heartbreak?
"Oh gosh. Would you believe it, I listen to “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, on repeat."
What is your favorite movie about heartbreak?
"I love The Holiday. It’s a about breakup and falling in love again. It reminds us that when one door shuts, another one opens. It also reminds us that sometimes at first we don’t know why we are going on a trip or saying yes to something new but it could be the best thing we have ever done and lead us to where we need to be."