How to Mend a Broken Heart
By: Wil Strayhorn
“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”
There is never an easy or quick way to heal a broken heart, especially when the symptoms of a “troubled relationship” were absent and you’re left with nothing but question marks and an unpleasant surprise. Heartbreak often times leaves us internalizing the rejection or betrayal of a breakup as translating to us that we are somehow “not good enough,” “unworthy” or even “unlovable.” When I was going through a recent breakup, initially it felt as if I had been impaled in the gut by a sledgehammer. The emotional pain and agony caused debilitating effects, physically. Restlessness, Irritability, mood swings, weight gain and incautious behavior are how heartbreak showed up within my life during this extended period of trying to heal. It wasn’t until I took a long look at myself in the mirror, and then inwardly, that I realized I was strong enough to get through this. Here’s how.
Forgive yourself. Often, we replay and relive that final scenario, or argument or day over and over again in our heads trying to determine if possibly a different response or perhaps a different attitude could have given us a different result. We blame ourselves for deserving to be alone because of this reason or that. Stop! Inhale, exhale and forgive yourself. Dwelling on what could have been will only extend your pain and delay your healing. Forgive yourself for any part that you may have played in the demise in the relationship and then take the first step forward. Blaming yourself or your Ex serves no purpose in your efforts to welcome peace and happiness back into your life.
Live your life! A successful relationship requires some degree of sacrifice from both parties involved. During this time healing and rebuilding your life, it is a great chance for you to be 100% selfish and reclaim some of the sacrifices that you rendered during the relationship. More than likely, you are a much different person than who you were at the start of your relationship, take time to discover the new you. Celebrate the new person you are becoming. Connecting with old friends, finding new hobbies, returning to school and doing self-improvement work like getting a makeover or perhaps losing excess pounds worked wonders in occupying my newly freed time.
Learn the lesson! Sometimes, people just aren’t capable of giving us the depth of love that we crave or desire. Appreciate the gift and the blessing of love, even if it ended painfully. What were the happy moments that revealed what you love about relationships? What worked and didn’t work? What are the new “deal breakers” for your next relationship? You have to get really clear and intentional regarding the lessons you learned in order to avoid repeating the negative ones in the future. Lessons can enlighten us to the understandings that “we can’t ignore the subtle hints and red flags in our relationships anymore” or “Get to know your significant other’s friends!” You can learn a lot from past relationships, learn the lesson so that you don’t have to repeat the test.
Give yourself time. Completely healing a broken heart takes time, there is no guideline or finish line that is universal to everyone, we all heal at different rates. Take heart, just as many have done before you, you will get through this. I did. Mending a broken heart, repairing your self-esteem and essentially rebuilding your life is more of a marathon than a sprint. Take it from me, rushing into another relationship, rebound sex, or trying to win your ex-lover back prolongs the stronghold that the pain and disappointment have over you, time heals all wounds.