Breakups are epic events in our lives, moments of anguish that can leave us weary, confused, and consumed by a feeling of hopelessness. It’s difficult to find someone who has not experienced a broken heart. If you have received the impact from Cupid’s bow and at any point been struck by an arrow through the heart, you understand the complexity behind its comeback. Heartbreak hurts like hell, whether someone stops loving, betrays, or dumps you, there is no simpler way to describe it — it is painful. Healing a wound takes time, patience, will, and a vast amount of self-love.
“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”
― Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum
Divorce was a poignant moment in the story of my life. An event that jolted me into a state of shock. The sensation of stepping out of my comfort zone after 10 years and into a relationship with myself was terrifying. Love can make us do the most selfless things. Losing ourselves in the love of a man whether reciprocated or not can be the downfall of our identity. Giving every ounce of yourself is a recipe for disaster. If the relationship ends you may feel lost and incomplete. It is the beginning of a long road that takes incredible strength to overcome but absolutely doable.
Bouncing back from heartbreak tests your mental strength. Our body can feel like it will fall apart from despair. The notion that you cannot go on without the object of love that you’ve focused all your energy on is a huge misconception. Thinking our life is over when a relationship ends is the wrong way of processing a breakup. I learned that changing my perspective is an important tool to survive the breakup: if we look at the reasons why things finished instead of zoning in on what will happen now that it’s over.
In the meantime, there are actions to take if the pangs from separation are creating a vortex of hurt in your life. It will not be easy to jump back into life but it is possible to do a little at a time until you are out of the pits of emotional hell.
Love Is Grand. It can make us feel like a superhero when we are in the thick of it. Unfortunately, sometimes it fails us when we neglect to remember it also requires work. Even with an incredible amount of work, it doesn’t always work out. The key is to acknowledge that having the ability and freedom to love is a gift on its own. Don’t let go of the wish to find real love. The right person will come into your life when you are ready and open.
Embrace the Pain. The acceptance of what is happening creates emotional growth in the long run if you use it to evolve and move forward. Numbing may temporarily bandage the problem but allowing yourself to feel it can help you through it. Negative thinking, self-pity, or blame can appeal to you during the ordeal but will sink you deeper into grief. Counteract these emotions by finding activities to produce good vibes. An upbeat playlist with empowering tunes to lift the spirits. Exercising or a brisk walk to promote the endorphins. Spend time with friends that bring you up and make you laugh.
Stay in Tune with Your Emotions. Experiencing the blues is normal but seclusion or isolation whether physical or emotional is not productive in any way. Be kind to yourself. Fall in love with who you are while getting in touch with the woman buried under a heap of feelings. It is your former partner’s loss; over time new doors will open to meet someone who is deserving of the love you have to offer. Your partner is out of your life, good riddance because there is a reason why he or she is no longer part of your story.
Be Thankful, Not Hateful. Anger is bad for your health. It takes so much energy to be mad that it really isn’t worth the time. It draws out the worst in people, so find ways to purge instead of holding it inside.
Alone Time is Me Time You Won’t Get Back — Use It Wisely. Solitude does not have to mean loneliness. On the contrary, time alone is necessary in order to figure ourselves out. Investing months, years in a relationship often strips us of who were are. Following a breakup, the best thing you can do is to allow a period of reconnection. Get in touch with the things you love about the woman that lives within. She is a gem and any man would be lucky to have her by his side.
Breakups are difficult, they can hurt so much, leaving you to feel as if your heart will come out of your chest. More than once, my heart has been shattered in a million pieces but the most significant one had to be divorcing my daughter’s father. Finding yourself without the person you have loved for a decade can cause indescribable pain. If you have suffered the disheartening moment when love departs your life, it is easy to see how it can be crippling, frozen without the ability to go back to the moments of shared happiness. Even more exacerbating is being trapped in an enclosed time warp that imprisons your heart. Dramatic, maybe, but when we’re in a place of pain, this is how it can feel from where we stand. Confined by memories of joyful times when it seemed love was all that mattered. It still does; the only difference is now you can turn all that love on yourself.