Surviving a Broken Heart

Surviving a Broken Heart

Romantic heartbreak is so common, it’s almost a human rite of passage. Most of us have had at least one failed love relationship, while some of us have had many. That special someone—the person with whom you shared your secret self, your problems and successes, your dreams, your feelings, your body, maybe even your living space—is gone. Used to the joy of togetherness and intimacy, it can be hard to process what has happened.

The Pain of a Breakup

In our grief, we cry and ponder what could have been. If only they…hadn’t cheated on us with someone else…hadn’t been afraid of commitment…had treated us better…hadn’t dredged up the past again…hadn’t been addicted to drugs…fill in the blank. Tight throats and stinging eyes finally bring forth tears, as we feel immersed in acute pain that seems to come from somewhere between our brains and hearts. Something precious has been lost to us, something we wanted and believed in and were grateful for. How can we possibly go on?

Tips for the Hurting Heart

    1. Reach out: As painful as a breakup can be, we can survive it and heal. It’s vital to lean on safe, healthy, close friends and family at times like this, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them. Although you may want to process your feelings in private, balance this by spending time with people who can offer you support, a listening ear, and plenty of hugs.
    2. Make self-care a priority: Be especially kind and patient with yourself during a healing period. Make it an opportunity to practice your very best self-care, and then some. Treat your body lovingly with healthy food, exercise and rest. Get a manicure, pedicure, massage, facial or new hairstyle—whatever makes you feel pampered and well-cared-for. Make a point of continuing to nurture yourself, even if you feel depressed and unmotivated. Eventually, all the love you give to yourself helps you to realize the truth: you are a complete, special person, regardless of who is or is not in your life.
    3. Cry: As much as possible, let yourself cry and fully feel your feelings. Processing grief means grieving for a period of time. Journaling, reading, and meditating can help you identify and connect with what’s going on inside of you. Pushing down normal, appropriate emotions, such as grief, sadness, anger, and disappointment, doesn’t make them go away. Instead, they can express themselves in self-destructive ways like smoking, eating, or drinking too much. Negative coping habits like these only add to your misery and can trigger self-loathing.
    4. Be grateful for the experience of love: Reduce disappointment by considering what a privilege it was to even have such intense feelings toward someone else. Choose to be grateful for the experience of love, no matter how things turned out in the end. Forgive and let it go, choosing to remember the positive times in your relationship with thankfulness. Romantic love and intimacy are special gifts. Graced with those warm, wonderful feelings—part of the delight of being in an intimate relationship—we need to remember that these sensations originated within us. They were and are part of us, whether or not the object of our affections was able to return them.

Growth is Guaranteed

If your romantic partner lets you down in a way you cannot accept, try to forgive them and see this as an opportunity for something or someone better or new for you. The door is open now, and you know you’re capable of caring, loving and experiencing happiness again. Nurture yourself and these realities, and simply be receptive to life.

Loving helps us to grow, but losing love can help us grow even more. If you can understand, grieve, and forgive the loss on a deeper level, you can choose to walk forward with courage, faith, confidence, compassion, and forgiveness.

~ Anonymous

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