Oh Oh Oh. That pain? Oh my. Heartbreak is a tough place, a tough time. Many of us know it, and some took longer to recover, others shorter. There’s no rule to how one feels after a separation and how long it takes to heal and be able to move on.
But the one rule I did come across was that the more I felt connected with the lover the harder it became to let him go and move on. It didn’t matter if I was with someone for four years or mere seven weeks.
The connection I had to let go, or thought I had to let go, was one thing that made the split so horrible, AND the other aspect of my pain were actually my own projections. The things I promised myself I would get by being with this person. Projections and flawed premises like,
‘You make me whole’
‘I need You’
‘With you I am worthy and good enough’
‘If you love me I am lovable’
And if that’s a ‘real’ truth for me then its awful to lose the other. If that someone leaves, who holds my value in his/her hands, who doesn’t want me anymore or has moved on already, or whatever the circumstances are, losing that person is indeed beyond dreadful. For my existence. So that’s serious…
We need a way out of these ‘false premises’. They are detrimental to our heart, that’s why it hurts so much. We seem to feel so far away from the truth of our real worth, our love-ability. (usually that worth lives wherever we picture the other we are separating from).
Of course, in many ‘serious’ relationships the aspect of being in love, feeling connected and sharing a piece of our souls are dominant, besides the possible hopes of our inner holes being patched up by the other.
I came to understand that a lot of our heart break depends on how much we projected. Why do we do that? Usually because we’re running flawed premises in the first place (as mentioned above). Before we even meet the other. In my case I was highly messed up, carrying too many traumas to count, so I was hopelessly projecting and couldn’t even see my partners if I wanted to. I actually couldn’t be with them, instead I was with my own hopes, wounds and illusions while being with them.
Did I after all break my own heart then?
Well, after a few painful and confusing break-ups, and a divorce, I came more and more to the conclusion that understanding where I am causing my own pain, where I projected my own issues and hoped ‘he’ fixes me, would help my healing and the moving on – because where I was was unbearable and I need new grounds. A new heart to see the world from.
I tell it like it is.
a. To step up for ourselves and speed up the healing process we do need to take responsibility. It is the only chance we’ve got.
b. it is hard work.
1st. We need to distinguish where we feel existential lack of worth and being lovable and what illusions we might have cultivated (about ourselves, the other and the relationship)
2nd. Which part of the pain has really something to do with the lover we need to sever chords with.
“Do not look for a sanctuary in anyone except your self.” Buddha said. Hm, that’s probably always true, so also in heart break.
How to grow that desparately needed heart, one that’s whole? Not kaputt, split in thousand pieces, heavily mourning the what-if’s and why’s. Or why not’s.
There has been said much about healing and grief already in the healing/coaching world, so I make a short ACTION list of what helped me. There is not one way, there is not one answer.
Find what works for you!
1. Spend as much time thinking about yourself, not him/her/them
I mean in terms of healing and making an effort to let it all go for your own sake. That includes accepting your part in it all and understanding your projections. Where do we perpetuate our own feelings of abandonment here by still believing he/she are responsible for our own happiness? I’m not saying the other has treated you fine or cruel in the split, or is not worth mourning, but he/she are out of our control.
YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE IN YOUR CIRCLE OF CHANGE YOU HAVE CONTROL OVER. Once you understand you’re the one who decides how intense and long you’re going to feel miserable, things can turn around. Slowly, steadily. Up and downly… But for that you need to focus on WHAT YOU ARE DOING & FEELING, not what they did, said, etc…
= That’s half the process of forgiving them, so tick that on the list
2. Find any support and help you can bear. I mean it. You probably need some shoulders and few ears. Feedback. Friends, counselling, coaching, groups, writing, healing commodities (The Healing Code, EFT and many more out there- take it into your hands: research), pen pals, parents. Anything that isn’t just reflecting your own crazy thoughts about the split back to you. Do not stay alone in this if you feel you make no progress at all and move in circles (and suffer under that fact).
3. Give yourself time-outs. Times you consciously chose NOT to think about it all are a gift. Watch a movie, go out and dance, read a book, or a comic – anything that really distracts you. Sure, the grief might sneak up on you while trying to distract yourself (strange how suddenly, all look like her/him on the street, eh?)- but those little time-out’s are so valuable. Even a minute of NOT mourning is a relief. Because the heart gets exhausted and worn down and needs breaks in order to have energy to grow this new heart.
= Make this an active time of your life, not passive, like ‘she had left me’, ‘he cheated on me’, “He said-she said’, ‘I am abandoned’, or ‘they don’t love me anymore’. Taking time-out’s are part of being proactive and caring for yourself. If you don’t do it, nobody will.
NOTE: I do not recommend drugs, alcohol or random sex as part of the distractions. For obvious reasons them being dangerous and artificial, as in NOT REAL numbing activities, but also because they do not help. They don’t work. I personally had found them a waste of my time. I rather wanted to grow my new heart, and had to do the work. But that’s just me maybe? I am a rather extreme healing junky maybe. I get high on growth. I really do.
4. Learning is Growing. Learn new points of views, reach for new perspectives. Make the most of the pain and situation, and learn. Right now you’re open and fragile (which feels crap but is rather valuable in the long run). These times of pain were usually the times when I learnt the most. And learning is growing. When split open, we’re malleable, like a broken open field where new seed can actually fall in and be received. They are times of treasure later. Not right now, but later. Take my word for it. Trust me. I know pain.
5. One of these new comforting, more mature perspectives was to see the break-up not as a break, a loss, but a change. The relationship of you all morphed and morphs into something new. It looks and feels differently, yes, and maybe space and time of the planet keep you separate, and that should be mourned. Where there was one dimension, now it splits into two realities.
However, I believe relationships are eternal.
You can’t not-have-been-together, or un-meet, or undo the kids or memories resulting from your spent time together. Also, many of us broken-up couples feel still connected with the other. No matter how tough the relationship or the break-up had been. A comfort for me was that I might still see them in other lives or dimensions and that the journey together, the relationship, was not over in total. Just now. Here. In this reality. Which sucks.
On that level, no one can ever really break my heart I thought. Which is crazy! Because when that heart pumps pure pain through our body and mind, its all we can feel an think about. Right?
6. Growing a new heart means listening to the thoughts of your heart. When we bring consciousness into the pain, ‘objectively’ investigate we align with our own truth. We can only do so if we are real about ourselves, our actions and thoughts, and the other. The truth needs to be found. There is a bigger picture at hand why we have co-created this pain. Let’s figure it out.
– Why have we really been together with her/him?
– Why did we stay?
– Where did we not love them at all, but just wanted/needed things?
– Why do we really feel so much pain? What are the false promises we made to ourselves when choosing that relationship?
– Why do we glorify the other (or ourselves)
– Why do we blame – (just them or just ourselves)?
– Why did we ignore our intuition?
If you do not come up with much, take a diary, jut down all these questions and then be still, go inward and listen, or do intuitional writing- let it flow. In any case, I am confident, your truth will meet you. You’re smart. You’re heart is ready to share its thoughts. Yes, your heart thinks, not just feels, and it will tell you it’s truth.
7. Introduce a new daring attitude, make new choices, like ‘I am not fixing the pain, the other or myself’. I am not fixing anything. I accept the split. Uh, what?
Well, the separation is the reality, right? It happened. Yes, we hate it – very often and a lot. And we hate even more to see that our pain might be of our own making. But the truth remains: we are the Gods in this land of heart break. And as such I recommend to not trying to focus on fixing anything. Instead find a new level of how to integrate it.
The attitude of ‘fixing’ means we fight the split, the events. And fighting is not only exhausting but usually pointless. It’s happening anyway, so we might deal with it.
The attitude of integration, of including is more holistic and has helped me many times. It means I accept that pain, as dreadful as it is, the hurt, all the events regarding the other are part of my life now. I integrate that knowing: shared memories and times will always be there. A full mixed bag of them.
So this new heart will not be new after all, as in having forgotten it all, wiped clean like a hard drive, but new as in having integrated lessons, wisdom and found a new ‘us’. It has been updated, a new system paradigm has been installed, so to speak. I liked to visualize it with stronger muscles and larger, pumping full with alive blood, light and new perspectives. yes, the emotions of real growth and expansion are an acceptable drug.
8. A new set of questions will further grow this heart and supply needed energy:
– How can I support myself in my new dimension of being by myself?
– What new choices and perspectives would I like to foster?
– How do I want to feel? What are my sign posts I want to reach on my emotional journey?
– What can I do to feel empowered and self-loving?
– What have I learnt so far from this split?
– Who will I be once I have digested the events and learnt to integrate it all?
– Where can I be grateful for the pain and the journey?
In my demise I loved Katie Byron’s pragmatic approach: Asking the 4 questions – she calls it ‘doing the work’. And I agree. growing our new heart is work.
But we’re here anyway and we need it – so we’re doing it. Together, we’ll grow this new heart.
Because the old one just doesn’t do anymore, am I right?