Heartbreak is not limited to any age or gender. We all experience having our hearts broken at some point; as
children in school when our crush is not interested, as teenagers when we go through our first break-up, and as adults through different more serious relationships. As diverse as we are as individuals, it is safe to assume that we all heal in different ways and at different paces. After a break-up, we tend to look for closure outside of ourselves. Unfortunately, most times we don’t get what we want or think we need because the process of mending our hearts starts from within. Closure can be self-obtained if we know where to direct our focus and learn how to handle the array of emotions surging through us.
This is the ‘easier said than done’ part. Accept that the relationship has ended. We sometimes hold on to the hope of getting back together. We allow ourselves to think about ‘what if’ and ‘if only’ scenarios. We cling on to assumptions that if certain things change, the relationship would resume and be better than it had ever been. The truth is that the partnership ended for a reason. Whether it was your choice to leave or it had been made for you, the first step towards healing is accepting the fact that your ex-partner is part of your past life. It’s about adapting a forward-moving mindset and using the tools you have to create an image of a better tomorrow instead of dwelling on yesterday. Acceptance frees us from the past. it brings us to the present and directs our vision towards the future.
Own Your Part
Now that you have accepted the fact that you are back to being single. Look back at the relationship with awareness. Every experience we go through is an opportunity for personal growth. Reflect on your role in how things turned out. Having the awareness that ‘it takes two’ allows us to grow. Do not be harsh with yourself. Be honest. Where do you see your shortcomings in the relationship? Get to know more about yourself through this experience. Admitting to ourselves that we played a role in where the relationship ended up rids us of feeling like a victim and gives us the strength and motivation for personal growth.
Once you have figured out your role in the demise of the relationship, forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made. Forgive the person you were in this relationship with. And remember that you are no longer the same person. Acknowledge that you need to work on yourself for the better. Be compassionate towards your former self. Forgive yourself and forgive your, ex-partner, for their role too. Forgiveness is a choice. It is a tool; a tool of empowerment. Forgiveness frees us from regret and resentment.
Te end of a relationship means the loss of a partner, and losses should be grieved. Remind yourself that it is OK to feel the way you feel. We go through a range of emotions when trying to heal from a broken heart: sadness, anger, sometimes denial. Allow yourself to ‘feel your feelings’. Accept how you feel and know that it is temporary. No one feels sad or angry forever. Listen to your body. Grief sometimes can be physically exhausting. Allow your body to release negative emotions. Allow yourself to cry or to sleep if that’s what’s needed. Express your anger and frustration if needed; go for a run or sign up for a boxing class. Just be conscious of how and where you release this energy. Be aware that your grief is not directed at those around you.
We can’t rush grief. Our negative feelings need a release and it takes however long it takes. There is no time limit on grief and there is no deadline for feeling better. There is also no button that switches off our emotions and if they are suppressed, they will continue surfacing if not dealt with and accepted. Take it one day at a time. Some days will be happier or ‘lighter’ than others, while some will feel heavy and gloomy. Be patient with yourself. Trust the process and believe that it gets easier with each day.
Make time for yourself. We all want to be cared for and who’s a better candidate for this job than ourselves! Start taking care of yourself. Adopt healthy habits and rid yourself of not so self- serving ones. Do things that make you feel good; eat healthy, exercise, or start a skincare routine.
Motivate yourself. Set short- term goals. Because we have decided to be kind and patient with ourselves in healing, we should also be patient with ourselves is our growth and development. Achieve daily goals then turn them into monthly ones or create new long-term dreams. Reward yourself for your accomplishments. Be your own cheerleader. Time does heal yet our self-awareness helps us learn from a broken heart. Shifting your focus towards the future and creating positive change are the first two major steps in obtaining the closure you need to push you forward in life. Recognize your power to forgive and embrace your vulnerability. Fall with grace and rise with strength.