There are a few things you can be guaranteed of in life. One is you will eventually leave the planet (die) and the other is you are going to get your heart broken. You might not get heart break because of a relationship, it could even be money that’s the cause, but either way, sometime in the future, you are going to deal with a heart break at least once, if not, more.
I’ve helped people through relationship heartbreak, financial heartbreak, being fired heartbreak, getting serious disease heartbreak. And I’ve gone down those and many others myself. I am, at the end of the day, the most experienced person I know at dealing with heartbreak. So, I speak with authority on the topic. I’n not famous as a “heart breaker,” I’m famous as the “heart opener”
So, I want to share with you the tools to deal with a heart break when it happens: If you are not experiencing a heartbreak right now, I suggest you put this blog article in your “one day this will be interesting basket.” I promise you, for yourself or someone else, it’s a valuable save.
- Get help … You need empathy not sympathy…. the painful feeling one gets when things do not go as expected. Never judge the size of the heartbreak on the size of the cause. My neighbour’s cat died and their heartache was the exact depth as my client whose relationship crashed. Heartbreak is heartbreak, no matter what the trigger. But two heartbroken people do not make one better. You want to find someone to be a friend or supporter who does not have an emotional engagement with your loss, or be that person for someone in need. If you love cats and your friend’s cat died, you can only offer sympathy which is fine but it actually can prolong the pain. What is needed to help people through heartbreak is empathy. Solid ground they can rely on that’s not caught up in the pain.
- Find a Substitute …. You need to replace the thing that’s lost as soon as possible. Whether it’s a relationship or a cat or a job, the key to recovery is replacement. The vacuum that is left when there’s an unexpected loss is the real cause of pain. The empty space, the hole, the lack of a companion, the break in routine. It’s not always wise however to replace like with like. Sometimes it’s better to replace a relationship with a sport, a holiday, a movie, a camera. Sometimes it’s better to replace the loss with an icon, a picture or a plant. Activity based replacements are best. Internet based replacements are worst. Stay away from computers during heartbreak for as much of the day as possible. Sometimes TV is a help but really, getting outdoors is the key.
- Get Outdoors in Nature…. Hearbreak thrives indoors. Pain and suffering is harvested indoors. Grief multiplies in isolation. This isn’t to suggest that you go down the pub, or go back to work straight away, but three hours spent walking in nature will do more for you than 24 hours locked up inside. Stay warm, keep dry, don’t go doing hardy “hero” things. Just walk, look up, look out, look around. Nature is born to heal you, that’s her thing. You need to put a lot of trust in the automatic and deep essence of nature at this time. Just be outside and get sunlight.
- Don’t go Too Far … Draw lines in the sand when it comes to your response to pain. Yes, it hurts, but there’s no good can be achieved reacting to pain today in a way that’s going to cause you additional pain, over and above the heartbreak, tomorrow. Getting pissed, saying bad things to others (especially the one who triggered your pain), thinking about self harm, sharing negative anger at the universe, it just doesn’t help. Sure you feel angry, sure you feel like kicking a rubbish tin, sure you want a pain relief pill but there are none that will help you be a better you as a result of this situation. All those options that come to mind just make the pain last longer and screw up your next stage of life.
- Focus on Healing …. The cause of heartbreak is a sense of a shattered future. You were really connected with whatever went away, whether it was a job, money, a cat or your partner in life. You’d woven them into the fabric of the future. Now, that fabric is shattered because they were a key element of it. Either by using substitutes to get you back on track, or by shear determination, start making a new bucket list of what you’d love to be and do and have in your life in the future. Some part of your brain might scream “there is no future without ….. “ but there’s another part of your heart saying “oh, yes there is, bigger and better than ever before” the key here is not to let guilt about moving forward stop you. Sometimes the gift of a heartbreak is that it frees you up to a bigger story than you were living before. This is, at the end of the day, where healing a broken heart begins.
- Love little things …. Heartbreak comes to it’s darkest moment when it spreads like a virus and begins to tamper with your taste buds, your hearing, your eye sight, your finger tips, your sense of smell. So, please be sensitive to the importance of the senses. Feed them small meals of love. Touch a tree trunk and feel the grain, taste a herbal tea or a sweet leaf of a herb you love, stroke a dog or listen to some soft meditation music. Avoid sensory triggers that remind you of the missing void in your life but instead add new ones. Add new foods, new music, new smells, new views, new environments. Avoid places that are going to make you focus on the missing and instead find places and sensory love bites that remind you of the beauty and possibility of your life and future. Think small things and expand from there.
- Focus on the Cause … Heartbreak comes from a dependency on something on someone. This dependency is courageous because you were prepared to be so vulnerable and surrender a whole lot of more secure and self-contained living patterns to become attached to something or someone. You could have been less dependent on that job, or treated the cat with less affection, you could have been less interdependent on your partner or money for that matter. So, you have had incredible courage to be in a place where your heart is broken. That courage is love. You have loved something completely and that’s what it takes to be a real person. The courage to truly love. And that’s why it hurts. But ultimately, love goes one step more. Love is also letting go. The cause of heartbreak is the unwillingness to love that one step more, unconditional love. To love something so completely, whether they are here or gone, with you or not with you, doing what you expected or not doing what you expected. This is what is needed. Not withdrawal or anger or hurt or pain. What is needed is for you to love them or it, more. To move to the point of unconditional love. It applies to money as well as cats and people. To love is to release, and to release is to begin a new chapter. Freedom.
- Begin a deliberate re-inventing your life process. For me, the best I can find is my Back on Track model. Start with the seven points above, then move to your “Health Programme” and create a whole new health focus. Then, move to your environment and really make a whole new space at home and at work including your clothes. Move to Brand You…. your wisdom, your resume, your capability and regain that confidence in you as you. Then, step 5, your VIP, get that bucket list out, start imagining the future, start dreaming of just a few ideas you’d love to be and do and have. And finally, which is where you may need some external support, start to believe that the best you is yet to come, that there’s a whole ramp of possibilities within you, unexplored and ready to be expressed. This is the future.
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