Unless you married your high school sweetheart who you met when you were 14 (I know a few people who fall into this category, and part of me is envious of you) you probably at one point have gone through love and loss, been broken up with, ended a relationship, or feared you will never find true love again.
I talk to a lot of clients and receive emails from many women who have been in (or are going through) one of the following situations.
1. You went through a terrible breakup that has left you bleary-eyed, shaken, and afraid you lost your soul-mate.
2. You have been cheated on or cheated on someone and you’re feeling upset and confused.
3. You went through a breakup a while ago but have just seen (thank you Facebook) that your ex is getting married, had a baby, or is posting a million pictures with his new person and you can’t help but think “maybe I shouldn’t have let them go” or “I’ll never find love like that again” or “I’m not as good as her.”
4. You’re in a relationship now that just isn’t working and you don’t know what to do. You love this person but there are a ton of red flags and you’re lonely and lost.
5. (This one is the worst) You thought you’ve completely moved on and maybe are with someone else or even married, but you had a dream about an ex and wonder why you still have feelings for them.
I am able to write this post only because I’ve gone through these situations myself.
My heart is fragile. It has shattered into pieces a thousand times. I fell in love hard when I was 18 years old and was in a long “on again off again” relationship with someone I thought was my one and only. It didn’t work out. I have had my heart broken and broken a few along the way. I have mistreated and been mistreated. I have chased after the bad boys. I have dumped the good ones. I have longed for past love that I thought I had moved on from. And I have married a truly amazing man – only after dealing with every fear my brain could dish out.
When I first got engaged, I did a session with a healer in New York city. He can read and understand exactly what you’re feeling without you saying a word. I sat down and he said “You feel no joy. You have all these blessings in your life, but you don’t feel any of them.”
I burst into tears.
Because he was right. I wanted to feel that “totally-in-love-heart-wide-open” feeling I knew when I was 18 years old. But something was blocking it. I wouldn’t let myself live there, but I knew that I wanted to.
Here is why having your heart broken is a good thing: because most of our fragile hearts have holes in them. There are wounds, some of which have healed entirely, some that have scabbed over, and some of which are still open. But because it has been shattered into a million little pieces, the light can shine through.
You are not broken. You have been cracked wide open. Wide enough to feel deep and hard. And I know that it hurts, but from that hurt you can begin to create a profound connection with yourself and others that wasn’t possible before.
Having your heart broken means being human. It means that you have a good, loving, and caring heart.
Coaching and helping others through their pain over the years has taught me some profound lessons. The biggest being that any feelings, thought, or emotion you’re going through – someone else has gone through the same. This is what connects us all.
WAYS TO BEGIN HEALING FROM A HURTING HEART:
1. FEEL THE FEELINGS AND DON’T FORCE YOURSELF TO “JUST GET OVER IT”.
Getting over a broken heart can take a lot of energy, work, and time. Don’t try to force yourself or listen to anyone who says “just get over it”. You might think you’re over it, then have a dream about this person and get flushed with feeling all over again. It takes a long time, and that’s okay, so be very gentle with yourself. It helps to talk to someone about it. Talk to a trusted friend or work with a professionally trained coach for guidance moving through the feelings. Without moving through the feeling, we risk getting stuck being hung up on our past relationship without any hope to find new love.
If you’re feeling a lot of sadness or grief, allow yourself to feel the feelings. Most people are very afraid of these feelings and will do anything to not have to feel them. This strategy almost never works and can lead to a shopping addiction, binge eating, avoidance, or drinking.
Feelings can’t hurt you. They are simply an energy that needs to move through you and move on. Let yourself cry and be totally in the moment with the feeling. You’re not crying for the other person, you’re crying for yourself. To release the grief you feel for that future that you saw with this person. It only existed in your mind, in the potential you could see, but it was there nonetheless.
2. GET THE ENERGY OUT.
This is especially needed if you’re feeling a lot of anger. Anger, sadness, anxiety, grief, depression, are all energies that want to move through and be released from our body. If you’ve ever seen ducks or geese in the wild have a squabble, the first thing they do after the fight is over is to turn and shake their wings in the air. They do this to physically release the energy from their body and return to a natural, calm state.
One of the best ways to get the energy out is to get moving. Go for a run while blasting your favorite music through your headphones. Punch a punching bag (seriously, kickboxing class helped me get through A LOT of emotions). Get your sweat on in some way, and do it consistently.
Another thing you can do is a form of energy healing. Lay down and prop yourself up with pillows so you’re in a reclining position. Use circular breathing — in and out through your mouth, continually without pausing between breaths. This in itself gets a lot of energy moving and creates heat in your body. Breathe the oxygen into areas of your body that you’re feeling any stuckness or emotional pain for a few minutes. Then shake your hands and stomp your feet against the ground hard as you release a sound like “Aahhhh”. Do this a few times.
Forgiveness is not about the other person or letting them off the hook. Forgiveness is for YOU and letting yourself off the hook. In fact, the definition of forgiveness is to stop feeling anger or blame at someone who has done something wrong.
Most of the time if a relationship didn’t work out, it’s not about you or even what the other person did or didn’t do. It simply wasn’t a good fit. If we’re coming from a place of full self-esteem, we would all be able to see this and move on. But most of the time in a relationship we feel a “spark” with someone for reasons that we cannot possibly understand. Often they come from deep seated issues and beliefs as a child, and that person triggered a hurt or pain inside of you. That’s why it can be so difficult not to take the ending of a relationship personally.
Don’t allow this hurt and anger to become your story while they’re out there moving on. By forgiving, you break the chains that are binding you and allow yourself to move on to living a better life with the person you are meant to be with. Write a letter of forgiveness, say a prayer, or set the intention to forgive.
4. BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF.
Be honest with yourself if you’re truly wanting to get over a broken heart and move on, of if you’re harboring secret hopes that the two of you will get back together. While this is not wrong in any way (many of us feel it!), if the relationship is over, it will definitely impede your progress of moving on.
It helps when you can remember not to see the relationship through rose-colored glasses. It’s so tempting to look back on a relationship and only see it for the potential you believe it had. We tend to remember the part where we were falling in love, when they were at their best selves, when we were at our best self, when we had ridiculous sex or that surprise dinner that was everything.
But there is a reason why you broke up. There were things that weren’t a fit. There were probably red flags that you didn’t see at first. Be honest with yourself and the relationship for what it was, not just what you remember it as being.
5. TAKE BACK YOUR PERSONAL POWER AND SOVEREIGNTY.
Get back to your own personal power as soon as you can. You may not be able to control what your ex does or says (or lack of), but you can control your own thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
You can choose to see this relationship for the gift that it was. It was there during a season in your life that for whatever reason you needed it. And it was not just to cause pain. It was there to help you evolve through this journey of life, learn to love, and learn to let go.
Life is made up of a collection of moments, people, and relationships that are not ours to keep. The pain we encounter comes from the illusion that some moments can be held onto. Clinging to people and experiences that never belonged to us in the first place is what causes us to miss the beauty of our life in this moment. Love and let go…love and let go…is the single most important thing we are meant to learn in this life.
6. LIVE AN OUTSTANDING LIFE.
Get back to your center. Right now get out a piece of paper and write down 10 nurturing things you can do to help you get back to your strong grounded self. Call a friend, set up a coaching session, take a yoga class, buy flowers for yourself, take a bath, go for a long walk while listening to your favorite playlist, clean out your emails, declutter your closet and donate what you no longer need, go to the bookstore and buy Getting the Love You Want, He’s Just Not That Into You, The Breakup Bible to start empowering yourself.
Don’t allow this breakup to continue hurting you by hardening your heart and closing off to new love. Get out there. Meet with friends. Live. Laugh. Love. Be happy.
The secret to getting over a breakup lies within you. If you find yourself continuing down the same path with the same type of guys, then commit to uncovering and healing your patterns.
Keep faith that you will find amazing, soul level love. You deserve it.