Forever was tattooed underneath your eyelids. Love was etched on your heart, on your soul, and constantly lingering on your lips. The promise of a wedding and a house with a white picket fence and 2.5 kids was something you could hold, something you could touch.
And then one day the promise was changed. The bubble was popped. Forever was just a word in a dictionary, not even close to your reality.
And then your heart was shattered into a million pieces.
What’s there to do for a broken heart? Some may say nothing, that time is the only thing that can heal. Others will tell you a revenge body is the way to go. Here are eight better alternatives:
1. Write. Write everything down. Every feeling, every emotion, every thought. Write what your pain feels like. Write about the love you miss. Write all the words you never said, but wish you had. Write all the things you wish you had known then, but know now. Write it all down. When you let the words out of your fingertips, your thoughts become real. They stare back at you. It’s the beginning letting the sadness out of your soul, it’s a step towards healing, too.
2. Dig into the projects that you’ve been putting on hold, the ones you’ve been saving for another day. Dig deep. Have you been putting your relationship above your own dreams? Now’s the time to dive back into the pool of possibilities. When you work your way through the book you’ve always wanted to write, the blog you’ve always wanted to start, that home improvement project that you’ve been dreaming about, you’ll find a sense of purpose again. You’ll start to feel like yourself, too. Through the mess of creating, and exploring, and trying something new, we become a different version of ourselves. Something better, something stronger. Embrace it.
3. Travel. What’s one place you’ve always wanted to go? Book. That. Trip. Don’t wait for your next relationship to come around, or for your friends to get time off from work to go with you. You do not need to be babysat – embark on that adventure on your own. Yes, in leaving the place of the crime, you’ll escape the physical memories and the reminders of what breaks your heart, but in doing so, you’ll realize what you need and what you want. When you travel, your perspective of the world shifts. When you travel, you become open to the possibility of what lies before you.
4. Read. Is there a “to be read” pile of books that is collecting dust on your shelf? Get to it. It’s remarkable what can happen when you let yourself get lost within the pages of a book. It’s refreshing to not have to think about your own heart constantly, and when you get lost in the pages of a book, that’s exactly what you’re doing – you’re giving your brain a break. The words are good for your soul, and the characters are good company, too.
5. Go out to a restaurant alone. Yes, I said alone. It’s important that you begin to be able to stand on your own two feet. It’s important that you cultivate the relationship that you have with your own self. It might feel weird at first, but that’s ok. If getting a table is too much, start by ordering a meal at the bar. Order food that you’ve never tried before, and let yourself have a culinary adventure. Develop your own palette in the kitchen, and then you’ll start to do it in life.
6. Cultivate the relationships that you do have. Are you still fortunate to have your parents living? What about your grandparents? How’s your relationship with your sibling(s)? When was the last time you called your best friend? When our hearts are full of romantic love, it’s easy to forget about the other love that surrounds us, and those relationships need cultivation, too. Pick up the phone, and call them. Or if you must, send them a text. However you do it – make plans to see the other people you love in person.
7. Work on your own strength and health. Sometimes, heartbreak is a catalyst for a lack of self-care. Perhaps that means you start drinking too much, or not caring about what you eat any more, or working out to an extreme – all of which is unhealthy. It’s a wonderful thing to want to take better care of yourself, to eat a cleaner diet, to work out, to make better choices regarding your overall health – but make sure that’s coming from a point of self-love and self-care, not revenge tactics. “Revenge Body” is a bogus term. Reclaim it. There’s nothing revengeful about making sure you take care of your self, and if the person you were with didn’t champion that, or understand that, well thank goodness that relationship is done.
8. Give yourself grace, but do not let yourself linger in self-pity. There are going to be days when you’re going to cry all day. There are going to be days when you see something, and it will open the floodgates. This is ok. Let the tears flow. But do not let yourself live in that space of sorrow for too long. Negativity feeds upon negativity, so when your friends want to drag you out of the house, go with them. Let them love on you. Let yourself feel that love. Because, heartbreak and all, you are still worth loving, and that is something you must always remember.