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Lindsay is a creative with a passion for a mindful and purposeful life.  Her photography is inspired by nature and color.  She shares her thoughts, passions, and interests on her blog, From Summer Breeze Lane.

Healing a Broken Heart

A broken heart can be a positive life event!

I literally have been trying to write on the subject of recovering from a broken heart for weeks!  This was tough.  I had about 10 pages written when I realized that it was ridiculously lengthy, and no one would ever want to read 10 pages!  Why has this been so hard for me to write?  Well, I’ve been there before.  I know firsthand how crappy a break up can feel.  I also believe that a large chunk of the misery people feel in the aftermath of a break up is not really about the break up.  It’s about all of the other issues and baggage in their lives being brought up to the surface.  I cannot cover every potential issue, but have boiled it down to the basics.  I will explain below.

"Open your heart, and surrender to the possibility of having it broken." I wrote this a few weeks ago on an Instagram post... Love is truly beautiful and amazing.  And to experience love means being vulnerable and exposed.  Have you allowed yourself to be vulnerable?  If you have, that’s awesome!  Who wants to go through life missing out on everything because they’re too guarded to experience?   Vulnerability puts us in a position to be potentially broken (but repairable!).  How can you bounce back and heal from a broken heart?  The reality is that you will feel pain, sadness, and grief.  That is a normal part of the healing process.  What is not normal is feeling hopeless and depressed.  That is a clear sign that you need to seek help from a licensed psychologist.  With that said, there are ways to change your thinking and behaviors to significantly help you recover!

I have experienced a broken heart myself, and know just how painful it can be.  I remember panicking over how my entire life was forever changed.  At the time this was awful!  I remember being afraid and lonely.  I remember comparing myself to other people.  Why were they in a happy relationship, and I was not?  Was it me?  Why did I waste years with this person?  Why didn’t they love me?  I missed them.  When I got angry, I even thought about how I could seek revenge! Yikes! I went through it all.  It was tough.  Truthfully, I can look back upon this time now and smile because I gained so much insight and self-awareness about me and my faulty beliefs.  When everything is just plain awesome we don’t really reflect and grow.  This break up was a positive life event for me.  It was a game changer.  It has shaped me into who I am today.

Here are 10 ideas to consider when healing from a broken heart. 

1) Conceptualize the breakup differently. We tend to view things that make us feel sad as bad. This is not always the case, especially here. Having your heart broken might feel bad, but the experience can be a positive life event. Recognize that your broken heart will allow you to grow and potentially be happier.  Now you’ve turned the seemingly negative into a positive.  Positive thinking will automatically make you happier!

2) Allow yourself to feel the emotions you are feeling.  It is perfectly normal and part of the healing process to feel sad, worried, and mad.  The bigger your heart is the more pain you may experience as a result.  Emotions will pass like clouds. They do not last forever.  You’re not bad or pathetic for feeling sad.  It’s not awful for feeling sad.  You don’t need to pretend you’re fine.  You’re not “losing the break up” if you’re sad! 

3) Accept that the relationship is really and truly over.  This can be one of the most difficult steps.  It’s a harsh reality to face, but you cannot move on unless you face it.  Accepting that it is over will be painful, but remember that feeling the emotions is normal and part of the healing process!  Whatever the reality is, right now, accept it. 

4) Believe that you will get through this, and that you will be happy again!  You are so strong.  You have the ability to handle whatever the universe throws at you. You have the strength to feel discomfort, and face the unknown.  Leave yourself notes to remind yourself of this.  Repeat these statements to yourself. 

5) Uncertainty and the unknown are not bad things. In fact, most things are uncertain, unknown, and out of control. We tend to go about our lives thinking everything is under control and predictable. In reality, this is mostly made up in our minds. When we experience a broken heart, the blanket of illusion is lifted.  You're actually seeing reality more clearly now.  The future is made up.  Nothing is permanent.   It makes every moment that much more precious.  Bring yourself back to the present moment.  Breathe deeply.  One moment, and one breath at a time.  If you’re worrying about the future you’re missing out on the here and now.

7) Ask yourself this: would you really want to spend your life in a less than great relationship with the wrong person?  Would you want to spend your life with someone you had to control and manipulate to be with you?  If you have to persuade someone to love you than it’s not a relationship you want to be in.  What would be more painful than remaining in a relationship with a person who does not love you back? You deserve to be loved by someone who appreciates and recognizes how awesome you are. It’s better to spend your life alone than in the wrong relationship!

8) The only love that is required to be happy is the love you have for yourself.  You do not need others to love you. Love yourself for the sole reason that you exist. That's all.  Treat yourself with love and loving thoughts.  You cannot rely on other people to fill the void if you do not love yourself.  This never works.

9) Do not torture yourself by hanging out with your ex!  A break up is like a detox.  You can’t detox from sugar if you’re still eating sugar.  Do you really want to just be friends, or are you clinging on to the person because you’re scared to let go?  Are you settling for friendship because you just need to keep this person in your life?  I believe that it is impossible to go from relationship status to friendship status overnight.  How can there be if you still are in love and are experiencing the pain of the break up?  Give yourself the separation you need to heal and detoxify. 

10) Continue to be ridiculously awesome and take care of yourself!  Don't quit your life because of another person. Get out. Do things you love. Take care of yourself. Exercise. Eat well. Drink water.  Breathe. Do yoga.  Be around people who make you smile. Give yourself the time you need to heal.  Don't rush into a new relationship.  Learn about you!  Keep your heart open.  This is all life.  Everything will be okay.

 Everything will be okay.

Everything will be okay.

 

Dream Interpretation 101

Happiness is a Side-Effect (as featured on Elephant Journal)

Happiness is a Side-Effect (as featured on Elephant Journal)