Heartbreak. We’ve all been there. We’re in love one day, and then, we hit a relationship detour and it’s over, and we’re left with the aching pain of lost love. It can leave us dizzy with self-doubt and hurt.
Here are four crucial steps that you must go through to move forward and heal:
This step is most important. Holding on to a broken relationship will keep you stuck in emotional pain, and will ultimately prevent you from fully healing. The truth is, nothing is permanent. No relationship, no circumstance, no emotion, no situation…everything will shift, end, or change at some point. When we learn to accept the impermanence of everything, we can become better at letting go instead of suffering in resistance to something we have no ability to change. If the relationship isn’t working, for whatever reason, find the strength to accept it and let go. Trust that your heartbreak will also be impermanent.
Feeling your emotions, no matter how painful they may seem, is crucial. We are emotional beings. Some of us express our emotions with ease, and others struggle with allowing this natural human process to take place. We must grieve after a relationship ends. Some short term relationships may not require as much grieving as a long term relationship. And there is no right or wrong way to feel when a relationship ends. You may feel sad, angry, elated, relieved, hopeless, hurt, rejected, disappointed… the list is endless. You may go through all of these feelings in a matter of a day, or an hour. It is okay. This is natural in a grieving process.
Trust that your emotions are there to help you heal, if we allow them to surface. Avoiding emotional pain through unhealthy actions, like using drugs or alcohol to numb the pain, or overeating, or dating immediately after a break up, will only serve to prolong the pain. Furthermore, denying your pain like this doesn’t make it go away. It just allows it to fester like a wound that needs healing. Someday it will have to scream to get your attention, so its better to pay attention now.
Allow every relationship to be your teacher.
What are the lessons you’ve learned in this relationship?
Hopefully you can identify positive and negative ones. You can learn more about what you like in a partner, and more about what you don’t like.
What patterns do you need to make sure you don’t repeat in the future?
Can you recognize patterns that you maintain in all of your relationships?
If so, it might be time to seek some help in breaking the negative ones through the guidance of a therapist, coach, or mentor so that you can avoid repeating the patterns in the future.
This is the icing on the cake. You must love yourself, first and foremost. If you feel rejected after the end of a relationship, it’s easy to blame yourself, or ask yourself questions like “will I ever be loved?.” Questioning your worth or ability to be loved can be toxic to your self-esteem. You can create a story about this breakup that says that something is wrong with you (a rather painful option). Alternatively, you can create a story that says you were two incompatible partners (even if you only had ONE incompatible thing…like breaking up). Better yet, the best way to think of a breakup is to see it as your partner’s loss for not recognizing your worth. The bottom line here…love yourself when you need it most, and stop agonizing over the fact that you won’t be getting love from your partner anymore.
Last, and most importantly, you must eventually open your heart to loving again, no matter how vulnerable and terrifying it might feel. There are 7.5 billion people on this planet. The possibilities for more relationships are truly endless. Trust in love, and it will find you