Can You Ever Mend a Broken Heart?
As the saying goes, it so easy to fall in love. But it can be a lot harder to fall out of love, especially if you wanted the relationship to last. A broken heart is often depicted as something which breaks in two. I often think that it feels more like it’s been smashed into a million pieces. If that’s the case it is not likely to be an easy task to put it back together again. There is no quick fix to the end of a relationship you wanted to keep going.
When those we love stop loving us - through death, rejection or by simply walking away – the heart breaks. The pain can be so severe that we may think that we will never love again. Either because we can’t face the pain again. Or we may take the view that love doesn’t come around more than once.
To get over this trauma we need to grieve. We have to face our loss. It is something we have to go through. If we avoid it, I am pretty certain it will come back again if we haven’t dealt with the pain. It is important to detach ourselves. It can be very tempting to rush into the next relationship. Yet attachment to another when we haven’t detached ourselves from the previous relationship invariably leads to further suffering.
We need to learn that no one else can make us happy. It may be hard to think we can live without the other person. But we can. It can be useful to list our strengths. We have been through so much stress yet we are holding on, which is a strength in itself. We can help others – this takes the pressure off ourselves. When we do this we forget about ourselves. If only for a minute. An hour. A day. And this can feel like a huge achievement.
Have a good cry. Studies have shown that emotional tears remove toxic substances and relieve emotional stress. That’s why I encourage my clients to have a good cry. Make a list of what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’. When our heart is broken it is probably is not a good idea to go on Facebook and see our ex with their new love. Or to listen to ‘hollow friends’ who just want to know what is going on. We can delete emails, block messages, get rid of stuff the other person has given us (or hide it away until we are ready to sort it).
Confiding in someone who does not know the other person can be a good idea too. This often happens in therapy and it offers a sense of release. Working out your grief can also be beneficial. Any exercise will help. It means you are taking charge of yourself again.
Finally, creating a new world for yourself helps put a marker between your present and your past. Try something new. Find hope. We need to believe that the sadness will go. I often try and convey to my clients that it is important to live again. The pain of rejection, absence and death can become fruitful once again. These experiences change us and our view of the world. They help us become stronger in ourselves. And at the same time, more human.