All The Different Ways You Can Break Your Own Heart

Woman in a white shirt with windblown hair in a field
Luke Braswell / Unsplash

Let’s be honest, we break our own hearts all the time.

Heartbreak doesn’t have to come from a life-changing tragedy. Sometimes, it comes from a culmination of life’s little disappointments. Every empty promise, every silent car ride, every bridge burned, we break our own hearts a little bit.

You break your own heart when you stay motionless in your life. If you’re stuck, I know it can be hard to find the motivation or the means to get yourself out, but if you don’t do it, you will look back in a few weeks, months, or even years and wonder how you got to this point and realize, you did it to yourself. You broke your own heart by not moving forward in life.

You break your own heart when you waste your own potential. You know that you can try a little harder, do a little better, and yet you don’t. Maybe you’re scared, maybe you’re indifferent, maybe you’re just comfortable, but you’re breaking your own heart and probably those around you who are rooting for you, and hoping you will get out of your own way.

You break your own heart when you compare yourself to others. We judge our own lives based on what we believe we see in others, and it can only lead to confusion and disappointment. Just be you. Just live your life and stop worrying about where you are in comparison to everyone else.

You break your own heart when you create mountains out of molehills. Every now and then, take a step back and realize that this problem that seems exhausting and overwhelming and insurmountable, really isn’t that bad. Maybe you need a change in perspective, a helping hand, or just five minutes of shifting your focus. Will it matter in five years? Ten years? Will you look back and laugh at how silly your reaction was? If so, you might be wasting energy and emotion.

You break your own heart by holding things in. You allow your mind to run rampant to the point of creating problems that didn’t exist in the first place. You bottle things up, convinced that nobody else could ever understand, or would ever care. And then you internalize everything, you drown in your own thoughts, make yourself miserable, and then blow up at an undeserving bystander. When they don’t react the way you hoped for, you dismiss them. And you repeat the same process the next time a problem arises, hurting yourself even more.

You break your own heart by saying things you can’t take back. Words can live on in someone’s heart forever. You may wake up one morning and regret everything you said the night before, but nothing can ever take back what was said.

You break your own heart by not forgiving. Forgiveness doesn’t mean excusing the action, it means moving past it in your own life.

You break your own heart by focusing too much on the past or the future. You will miss out on so many of life’s beautiful moments while you’re too caught up chasing the future or diving into the past. Be content at this moment. Breathe at this moment, and allow yourself to be present. The future becomes the present when you’re too busy to realize it, and the past will drag you down before you know it.

You break your own heart by not accepting reality. If you can’t cope with the problems you’re facing, and you run from emotions that you are too afraid to feel, your heart will break even more once it all catches up with you. And it will all catch up to you eventually.

You break your own heart by doubting people who have never given you a reason to doubt. Trust that some people are actually good. Trust that some people will stick around even when times get tough. Every now and then, when someone proves to be truly worthy, give them the benefit of the doubt. You could save yourself some heartache.

You break your own heart by setting unreasonable expectations for people close to you. Learn who people are and what they are simply incapable of doing. If you allow some wiggle room to your expectations, you might be pleasantly surprised at the outcome. If you don’t let people prove themselves to you, you will break your own heart when they walk away.

You break your own heart by not listening. Do you hear me? Do you hear the root of the issue? Do you understand why I’m telling you this? If you’re confused by someone’s actions, but you haven’t been truly listening to them in the past, it’s going to break your own heart when they eventually stop trying. And you’ll wish that you would have just listened a little more intently.

You break your own heart the second you decide to give up. As soon as you decide to let go of something, it becomes that much easier to do. After that, everything becomes an annoyance, another validation that you made the right decision. And again, some time will pass, and you’ll look back and wonder why things fell apart, and even if you don’t remember the exact moment you decided to give up, you’ll remember how everything after that became mundane, irritating, and you won’t have to face the fact that it’s because you made that decision yourself. You broke your own heart. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Marina is a Colorado native who enjoys writing, baking, and crossword puzzles.

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