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The Blessing of a Broken Heart: How Pain Can Lead to Healing

Broken Heart

“Never fear shadows. They simply mean there’s a light shining somewhere nearby.” ~Ruth E. Renkel

My last break-up was on April 16th, 2012.

I remember the date because on the evening of April 17th, as I sat with a blotchy red face and tears in my eyes, my dad told me I soon would remember that day and be glad I was no longer sad. “Men are like buses,” he said. “If one leaves you behind, rest assured another will come.”

I found his support very touching, but it did little to console me. If this guy was a bus, it was the bus I wanted to be on, period. That day, on my dad’s couch for the second night in a row, I slept a total of an hour and cried for about eight.

I found the break-up pretty surprising and abrupt. After not more than a strange feeling, and a day during which I sensed an uncomfortable distance, I said to my then boyfriend, “I feel that you might not be in love with me,” to which he responded, “Maybe.”

Boy, did I feel like a fool. What got to me the most was discovering he’d felt that way for a while but hadn’t said anything. There I was, thinking he loved me, and there he was, waiting for me to what, wise up?

It was harsh to say the least. My feeling was that he didn’t even care enough to bring it up.

The following weeks were pretty dreary. I sobbed in the shower, sobbed at home, sobbed while I was working, and felt that my worth was at zero. I’d been dropped like a hot potato by someone that knew me; that had me!

We’ve all been there, left by someone to whom we attributed a big part of our identity, someone who confirmed us as worthy of love and partnership. To different degrees, we all recover, meet someone new, and perhaps go through variations of the same ordeal later on.

I’d been through break-ups before, and painful ones at that, but at some point, in the fog of this loss, I got the feeling that rather than this one being something I had to get over, it was one I had to get, as in understand, beyond the corroboration or mending of my bruised ego.

I avoided the traditional post-break-up ranting to friends. It didn’t feel right, and there was little room for trash talking since I couldn’t see the inherent wrong in his change of heart or mind. That led me to suspect that the real source of my pain was absolutely inside of me.

I wanted to go there; I was on a mission. Determined to find the gold, I decided to put myself through a daily routine of questions regarding the source of my pain.

I first asked myself if it was really that surprising that the relationship had ended. Were things really going so well that it would make zero sense for this person to choose to end things? The answer was, unequivocally, no.

We had actually been growing apart. We had fundamental differences in opinion, which had an impact on the development of our relationship; we experienced incompatibility in our rhythm of communication; and our expectations of what it meant to be with someone were different.

On several occasions I actually found myself wanting out, wanting to not feel the potency of loneliness in the company of another; I just kept it to myself. That kind of blew me out of the water: I’d been feeling that way for a while too, and, I too hadn’t addressed it.

Once that little nugget came to light, I found my assumptions regarding his approach to breaking up were, at best, doubtful. I couldn’t sensibly hold them against him, or myself for that matter. I had to let my resentment toward the manner of the break-up go. I couldn’t be angry with him.

Lack of presence can, and often does, create a disconnect between actual experience and fantasy or expectation. It certainly did for me. There’s what I had, and what I demanded it become, and it was my relationship to the latter that I was most attached to.

Another step in my recovery was accepting that I was most upset about breaking up with my fantasy and my expectation, not with the real, flesh and blood person, and certainly not with the strained relationship.

Then there was the matter of low self-worth. How could my self-worth be challenged by my worth to someone else? As it turned out, my low self-worth hadn’t actually been engendered by the break-up but rather exposed. It was there all along, supplemented by the relationship.

The worthiness I had found in the relationship had little to do with self-worth and everything to do with my reliance on someone else’s evaluation of me.

All that while that I was looking out for sources of acceptance, affection, validation, and understanding, I could have been looking in and cultivating the one relationship through which life is experienced, the one with yours truly.

It was bittersweet to learn of this. It gave the situation a meaning and a powerful possibility for growth and wellness. I was still grieving, but I realized that what I was grieving was the tragedy of abandoning myself.

I decided to go right ahead and feel it all, with the condition that I keep a watchful eye on the narratives that came up. It was important to remain clear about what it was that was really hurting rather than letting the inner storyteller convince me that I had just lost the love of my life.

Then again, I had indeed lost sight of the love of my life for a while. This was more a case of mistaken identity, because really, what is the love of your life if not your own love?

I chose the path of natural grieving, and by doing so I became present to myself and acutely aware of how important my well-being is to me.

If I was grieving my own abandoning so deeply, then I did have deep love, tenderness, affection, and care for myself. I had so desperately needed my own company and acceptance that when the relationship curtain was pulled, the sight of the neglect was unbearable.

Little by little that presence, awareness, and allowance gave way to trust and safety within on a level I hardly thought possible. I was able to stand by myself, with all that meant, my ups and downs, my strengths and weaknesses.

I haven’t since looked at romantic relationships in the same way. I haven’t since looked at any kind of relationship in the same way.

I still remember the night of April 16th as a sad and painful one, but as the distance between me and that night has grown, a fuller picture has come into view that leaves me utterly indebted and grateful to the events that came to pass.

The night of April 16th was a rude awakening to a reality that demanded and ignited an important part of my healing, one that, in all likelihood, saved my life. I was blessed.

A Course in Miracles says that we are never upset for the reason we think. Just as words point toward something but aren’t themselves what they mention, the happenings in our lives and our reactions to them point to greater truths, but aren’t themselves the truth.

If we take it upon ourselves to see what inside of us they are pointing toward, all grievances become opportunities to heal and love ourselves.

Photo by Sandy Manase

Avatar of Mel Moczarski

About Mel Moczarski

Mel Moczarski is the founder of NYC based inuasu.com, a personal growth website devoted to the cultivation of sustainable contentment, awareness, and healing.

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  • Vishal

    Amazing post, Mel.
    Yes i agree… That feeling of self worth and compassion provides the foundation on which love and relationship with others can grow.

    Its like they say – “You can’t give others what you don’t have yourself.”

    If you want to know more details about self-worth, check out – http://gameligit.com/self-esteem-foundation-joy-peace/

  • Mel Moczarski

    Thank you, Vishal,
    I’m very pleased that you liked the post!

    You are absolutely correct, if love is to grow it needs fertile ground. The tricky part is, you cannot fill your well hoping that someone will come and have a drink, only self love and compassion without conditions or agenda can truly set us free.
    Also thank you very much for your link, I will certainly give it a read.
    Warmly,
    Mel

  • Foosa Noble

    Thank you for sharing this very powerful moment in your life with us. My day is Nov 1st.
    And even today. 7 months later it’s still a work in progress . She did it to me before many years ago. And this time its even harder but every day is getting warmer outside and so is my heart. Some day it may finally thaw out.

  • Mel Moczarski

    Dear Foosa,
    Thank YOU for sharing. I’m very sorry that you are in pain, but I’m hopeful that it is for you as it has been for me, that the pain becomes an opportunity for transformation and healing. Patience and presence dear Foosa! You will be surprised at how eager your heart is to mend itself beautifully!
    Enjoy spring!
    Mel

  • Mel Moczarski

    Vishal! I placed my response to you as a comment instead of a reply, sorry! Thank you for your comment. Here it goes again:)

    Thank you, Vishal,
    I’m very pleased that you liked the post!

    You are absolutely correct, if love is to grow it needs fertile ground. The tricky part is, you cannot fill your well hoping that someone will come and have a drink, only self love and compassion without conditions or agenda can truly set us free.
    Also thank you very much for your link, I will certainly give it a read.
    Warmly,
    Mel

  • lisi

    Awesome piece! Thanks so much for sharing your experience so beautifully. I bookmarked it for when a reminder is needed. :) My “day one” was 2/11 and I am so thankful for the lessons it has brought.

  • Mel Moczarski

    Thank you for your kind words Lisi!
    It’s great to hear your positive perspective.
    Yea, I’m blown away by the gifts that such shattering moments can bring! Wouldn’t trade them in for anything. A good thing to remember when things get rough: if you give them a chance they polish you up and make things soooo much smoother!
    All the very best to you!
    Mel

  • nad

    i too, am heartbroken and because of that, i am now on a quest on finding that eternal love to myself. wish me luck

  • Mel Moczarski

    Hey Nad!
    Sounds like you’re moving in the right direction! No luck required, your love is there for you, guaranteed and waiting with eternal patience:)

  • nad

    thank you, i appreciate your words very much

  • Mel Moczarski

    Any time, Nad! Stay strong and don’t forget to breathe deep:)

  • krutika

    nicely written Mel! loved your article your dad was right some mens are like buses you just have to leave that bus sometimes. :)

  • mrchrisseattle

    Your story is all too similar to mine and I just recently went up and over the hump of self-acceptance and finding strength in myself, rather than relying on a relationship as the basis of my foundation. When my foundation crumbled to pieces in my recent divorce, it was a wake up call to open up and explore my feelings and emotions. My day was March 24 and I will forever be grateful that I “woke up.” Thank you for sharing your story and I agree that looking at relationships now is completely different and enlightening.

  • Kat

    In February of 2012 my relationship of 24 years ended when my husband walked out the door leaving me devasted and heart broken. I went through an almost identical journey of grief and recovery. To rediscover my strong and authentic self and along the way thanked him for setting me free. The key for me was listening to myself when going through the throws of pain and tears and really being aware of what thought patterns were fueling them. At the time I didn’t realise it but it truly was an enlightening and purging experience which has led me to a life with no emotional baggage to take into the next relationship if I so choose to do so. At the moment I’m relishing the joy of life just being me.

  • Mel Moczarski

    Thank you Mr Chris! :)
    It’s wonderful to read that you took that obstacle as an opportunity to look inward and wake up to yourself! You use the word Grateful, and you are right, the form of some of these lessons can lead us to resent them, but the content of what we learn if we open ourselves to them is a blessing indeed!!
    I wish you every happiness!

  • Mel Moczarski

    Holy mackerel! Such an inspiring comment, Kat! Thank you so much for sharing and my deepest admiration for your courage and gentility in allowing this to open your heart further!
    Love and light to you!

  • Mel Moczarski

    Thank you very much Krutika!
    This is true, and also remembering there’s nothing wrong with the bus, but if it isn’t going where you’re going, it’s just not your ride, right? ;)

  • Ana Lora

    Amazing article!! It so clearly describes exactly what i felt; why i was so hurt and sad if i was so unhappy in the relationship and knew all along it wasnt what I wanted.

  • Nancy

    UNBELIEVEABLE….that is the only word I can think of for this post…..this was MY life…. 40 years of yearning….eating myself to death over an unrequited love story….now in a 12 step program (as is he) and I can honestly say, a miracle happened in our lives…both of us in recovery….learning to love ourselves…..renewing the relationship….friends forever with love and respect…..could I ask for more? I think not! Gratitude …thy will be done…..prayer/meditation/serenity…..It was meant for me to see this post today….there are NO accidents in life~

  • Mel Moczarski

    Dear Nancy,
    Thank you for commenting! I have goosebumps! Gratitude and alignment with the will of a love without opposites, here is where it’s at!
    Cheers!
    Mel

  • Nancy

    I never thought in a million years that someone could relate to my story….thankyou again for posting…..Life is truly BEAUTIFUL~

  • http://youtube.com/eyebath Steve

    Mel, thanks so much for that article. I found it eerily familiar, even down to the terminology you used, to what I’m going through now. It was a great comfort. I came to the realisation that I wasn’t just grieving the loss of my relationship, I was also grieving the loss of myself. All of my principles, values, and instincts I deliberately tried to mute or overlook in the face of unfair treatment and fear of losing, and all of my spent inner-strength, that had been used trying to hold together an increasingly corroded relationship. It created a disconnect between the true me, and the guy trying desperately to repair and steer the relationship. It exposed a void in me, that I can only, and must only endeavour to fill with myself, my own life, goals, aspirations. I’m doing it the hard-but-proper way, cold-turkey, allowing myself to feel every bump in the road…and this will hopefully create a strong foundation that one day will enable me to be happy with somebody else…and never use them as an escape from my grief. Wonderful post…I’m struggling for inspiration at times while going through this process, and your article really made me feel hope if I hang in there. All the very best :)

  • Mel Moczarski

    Thank you Ana!
    I guess we’re all in this together, moving through the lessons and healing our interpretations. I hope you are feeling aligned with your loving self in a non self-judgmental place.
    Much light and wellbeing to you!
    Mel

  • Mel Moczarski

    Dear Steve,

    Thank you very much for your comment. I am blown away by how collective our human experience indeed is. Ultimately we have only two choices, open our eyes or keep them closed. I am certain that if you navigate your inner “landscape” with acceptance, patience, presence and compassion, what you will find is that love is your foundation, and in that love there is nothing to fear.

    With warmth and my best wishes to you,
    Mel

  • Mel Moczarski

    :) sigh!

  • http://youtube.com/eyebath Steve

    Wise words! I need to rediscover myself, and show myself the love that I have been directing outwards. “What is the love of your life if not your own love?” was a brilliant sentence and one that will stick in my mind over the coming weeks. Thanks again, I’ve bookmarked your article and I imagine I’ll re-read it at times :)

  • http://clintongonsalvez.tumblr.com/ Clinton Gonsalvez

    Hello Mel,
    Sincere thanks on this article. i think you’ve conveyed rightly what many of us struggle to express and have experienced and witnessed. a brilliant piece of work.

    My date was December 19th 2013.

    I was in a long term committed serious relationship once before, for 3.5
    years, until she decided to break it. I’ll admit, once that happened, i didn’t
    really fight for it. Normally when someone breaks up with someone, your initial
    reaction is to prove them wrong, win them back, and list all the reasons why
    you are meant to be. But with her, i never did. I think i knew it was done.

    Breakups are hard, and being broken up with is hard. Sometimes it’s pretty
    damn brutal, especially if you were completely invested in the relationship and
    never saw it coming. Being forcibly torn out of something you had your whole
    heart submerged in is quite possibly one of the cruelest kinds of comedown.
    It’s complete emotional torture to watch someone that you love so much just
    completely turn on you without any warning at all, and then eventually end the
    relationship without even sitting down to talk and try to save the
    relationship. In my opinion, being a person that “checks out” of a healthy
    relationship is a serious character flaw that will prevent one from ever having
    a healthy and lasting relationship. Not only that, but people who do that do
    not deserve to be in a good relationship because they only care about
    themselves and what is making them happy at that moment.

    sometimes, when we are in something, we don’t see how toxic it actually can be.
    We see no other way. We don’t see how it gets better than it is. You’ve got to
    embrace discomfort. It’s the only way you can put yourself in situations where
    you can learn & can keep your senses fresh once you’re there…and sometimes
    it takes something so powerful, so devastating, so unbelievable, to get our
    attention. To get it through our heads that there is another way to live. There
    is another path waiting for us. And it’s filled with joy, and love, and people
    who care.

    And so i realized it wasn’t going to matter to patiently pick up broken
    fragments and glue them together again and tell myself that the mended whole
    was as good as new. What is broken is broken – and i’d rather remember it as it
    was at its best than mend it and see the broken places as long as i lived.for a
    long time, i felt like it ruined me. It was like an old building being torn
    down. It destroyed my world. But when the dust settled, it was like a clean
    slate, and it left me feeling empowered. It wasn’t easy. But in my heart, i
    knew it was the right choice. I didn’t know why, but i just knew. It was time
    for a change. For that, i will always be grateful.

    “’I survived!’ This was what ran through my whole body, it was what seemed to resonate in every corner of my life. I had survived the wreckage of a broken heart, now it was learning to live in the truth of that statement; learning to not let the next crash kill me.”

    …….I Am Grateful.

    In Love, In Light, In The Clouds…

    Clint

  • krutika

    right!

  • MsMaeDae

    Ah! Thank you for writing this. I am experiencing terrible heartache. But I realize I have also been developing coping skills through this process. It is so painful, but very necessary to remain true to ourselves and to love ourselves in the process, especially when we feel unlovable. We are more than worthy and lovable, but we have to see it ourselves first.

  • Anna Banana

    I happened to read this as I sit at home, ill in bed. This story really resonates in my mind. My day was Jan 25, 2014. I was involved with someone older than I for 7 months and it was the most painful breakup I’ve had. It ended 4 months ago. This was an individual, based on his recountings to me, who had never had a normal, kind gf. The first few months were quite romantic, even passionate. He revealed that he was in love with me. I gave him attention, love, cared for him if he was ill, spoiled him rotten, yet I still gave him his space. Initially, I was very hesitant because of my own experiences but I dropped my guard and let him into my heart. Around the 4th month, he began making little off handed comments here and there which I initially brushed off. It came to a head in January when we broke up, he came off very cold, saying at one point that he did love and another that he didn’t. It hurt terribly. I cried so much when he was doing this. How could he? I finally calmed down enough to drive and go back home with all belongings when he lost it. He was crying very hard and was very upset. I had no idea what to do so I held him tightly and he kissed me with such passion and love. It startled me and scared me. We parted ways. I heard from him the day after and he told me He missed me, to ring him if I ever needed anything. The day after that, he was very cold when I rung him. That was the last time I spoke to him. I emailed once after 3 weeks to tell him I would always care for him and that I hoped we could smile at one another one day even if we’re with other partners. He responded with received. It hurt a great deal But at that point, I let him go. It’s 4 months later, it still hurts a little. My sister told she thinks she saw him with someone else but wasn’t sure if it was him. By her description, it was unlikely but nonetheless it upset me and bothered me. Mel, I’ve tried dating the last couple of months. I’m a bigger girl so it is hard at times to meet guys. But I find myself almost not wanting to date. I’ve been through so much already to deal with snide comments or rejections. The breakup left me bewildered yet I still try online dating. I guess at this point I feel I need to love myself more, be proud continue to workout. I’m a good person,.educated, employed, passionate about life, loving, into many interests. I hope one day, someone sees me, realizes what I’m about and I find my life partner. But until then, it’s me time..I don’t have the answers and I wish I knew why my exbf was the way that he was with me, but eventually that peace will come. That is my hope. Thx for sharing.

  • MsMaeDae

    Hi Anna,
    I can totally relate to you. You seem like a great person with a good heart. I would try not to date while in this kind of emotional transition. What I would do is try to date yourself. Go do things that make you happy, focus on what you want and not what you want others to want about yourself. If you are happy and love yourself, you will begin to attract that in others. People have a tendency to be attracted to people who have a strong sense of awareness, and if you’re sad and down, it wont allow others to see the light in you. I am doing my best to do this for myself, but I also dread dating again. I don’t want to date at the moment, but I do want love and happiness again. Do not lose sight of that.

  • wigirl

    Mel, thank you for this. I am currently in the throes of a painful breakup. My “day” was December 27, 2013, though to be honest, the relationship deteriorated into a slow death over many months prior to that. Your words have touched me and reminded me to keep focus on my personal growth, to learn the lessons this relationship presented to me and to have faith that life happens perfectly. I appreciate your reference to A Course in Miracles, as it is part of my journey of rediscovering and loving myself. John Mundy offers a wonderful audiobook expanding on the lessons of the Course that I would recommend to anyone interested.

  • Mel Moczarski

    Hey there Wigirl,
    Man I’m sorry to read that you are currently in pain. I do believe a valuable step in healing is to admit without resentment that what ended was not good for you, and in that sense, the ending, painful as it may be, is a blessing for everyone involved.
    A Course in Miracles has been the most wonderful tool for healing and forgiveness, I also recommend you look at Nouk Sanchez and Tomas Viera’s book: The Development of Trust. It addresses relationships and projection beautifully.
    I send you my very best, and am certain that you will come out of this stronger, clearer and more loving.
    In kindess and gratitude,
    Mel

  • Mel Moczarski

    Dear Anna,
    Thank you for your comment.
    I can tell you’re hurting, actually as I read I could feel what you described because I’ve been there too.

    I suppose the path and process can vary for each of us and it is up to us to find ways of coping that honor who we are. There was one particularly helpful approach that expedited my healing and left me in a space of full forgiveness, that was: completely letting go of the narrative and focusing on nonresistance and recognizing myself in my feelings. When I took back the things I had attributed to the relationship and him, I took back my power to heal at the deepest level.

    If you don’t feel prepared for dating, don’t do it just yet, but I would also say, don’t force yourself to a particular set of rules: YES/NO, GOOD/BAD. Instead, be gentle with yourself and connect with your intuition and your peace on a moment to moment, day by day basis. Be flexible with yourself.

    Body image is one of the first things to suffer when our relationships go down the drain. Here’s a thing to remember: Have you noticed how we can feel great, even thinner one day, and terrible the next? Our minds dictate what our eyes will see, so in a very real sense, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Follow whatever path rings true for you, but above all else, accept, love and respect yourself for who you are this very second with everything that means. Summon up love for your self that resembles the love of a mother for her child, in full acceptance and tenderness.

    When your love and acceptance for yourself transfers from being negotiable to being unconditional, your eyes will see what’s really there:)

    Have fun and enjoy your life miss Anna, I wish you wonderful things now and in the future!

  • Mel Moczarski

    Hi there Clint,

    Thank you very much for your kind words and for sharing your story!!

    Choosing to use this experience to discover your relationship and love of yourself makes it a valuable transformative event. From this transformation great things come to light:)

    Ultimately there is no greater gift to ourselves and the world than gratitude in awareness and complete forgiveness, and who better (and harder) to totally forgive than an ex? ;)

    All my very best to you,

    Kindly

    Mel

  • wigirl

    Thanks, Mel :) I will add The Development of Trust to my reading list.

  • Anna Banana

    Thank you, Mel, for your kind words. Yes, I agree. I see myself on a journey right now, path to self discovery. I know the path is treacherous yet fun and I look forward to it. I totally agree with everything you said. I’ve also learned to trust my instincts rather than ignore them. Slowly, but surely self love is something I see myself doing every day. Thanks so much for sharing your story, for reading mine and offering insight. :~) I also wish you great luck. :~)

  • Phil Machi

    Mel,

    I am going to echo the thoughts here and say THANK YOU for being so open with your experiences and exposing them in this foray. It has been a little over 1 year since I too experienced a similar situation that rocked my world as well; my failed marriage of almost 13 years. Since then I have made so many new changes, discoveries and experiences and while it wasn’t easy (I found myself occasionally meeting new pieces of flotsam in the ocean of people to cling to for a short time) I have finally reached a place where I respect myself enough to pre-filter out the “bad” things before they become new problems.

    You hit the nail on the head that it becomes less about blame and more about true expectations on both sides. This has caused me to really look at what I value in a relationship and at the heart of it, what I value about myself.

    The pain becomes something you appreciate more and more not for how it felt but for what it allowed you to see and do. Your final statements are similar to thoughts I’ve been having lately in regards to happiness. Instead of letting a negative situation control you, turn it into a way to gain greater understanding and healing…and ultimately appreciation.

  • Anna Banana

    Agreed. Yeah, I stopped looking to be honest. I work a lot, meditate and I workout. Keeps me busy enough. :~) it’s hard, isn’t it? But I have hope. You should too. You sound very sweet with a good head on your shoulders. Thanks for the advice And your kind words. :~)

  • Monica Miranda

    Mel, when I was reading this, I truly felt as though I had written it since I too broke up the beginning of April and all resonated with me. I went through the exact experience and pain you went through, but in the end, I learned more about myself than in any other past relationship, probably because I am more mature and aware. Also I had to dig deep inside me to understand why I was so distraught even if I wasn’t “in love” with him. I too wanted the “idea of him” and not necessarily him and that took me a while to realize. I also felt the distance and even if we discussed it, it was not enough. I actually wrote an article just recently about the lessons I learned and I am actually grateful that I took the time, this time, to write it all down so that I don’t make the same mistakes in future relationships: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/monica-miranda/breakup-lessons_b_5261221.html. Thank you for writing this as it was reassurance that I did the right thing. We are going to be okay and hopeful that we are going to find the one for us :)

  • Mel Moczarski

    Thank you Monica!
    I just read your article and found it insightful and a great list to refer to especially as a couple:) I particularly loved number 15 on your list: Enjoy the Here and Now. This is something to remember under every condition, and a wonderful practice for all of us, no matter where in the journey we find ourselves.
    Here’s to April breakups and the wonders they bring!
    Cheers!
    With kinds and gratitude,
    Mel

  • Mel Moczarski

    Wow Phil,
    Thank you so much for your comment, I really appreciate your kind words and your willingness to share your process. I think you have a wonderful point when you talk about filtering out the “bad” before it becomes a problem. I couldn’t agree more. And this needn’t come from fear or ambivalence, but out of honesty with self.
    It’s inspiring to see where you have taken this!
    Thanks again and all my best to you!
    Mel

  • Mel Moczarski

    MsMae!
    Totally, we are all undeniably worthy! And cultivating love and compassion for ourselves generates inevitable ripples of wellbeing in our outer lives, when we learn that the process works from the inside out and that the only place we can effect change is on the inside we are the ones at the wheel:)
    Thank you so much for your comments!!!!
    I wish you all the very best,
    Mel

  • Talya Price

    Thank you for posting this. Your story is really inspiring.

  • Mel Moczarski

    Thank you for saying that, Talya:) It means a lot!

  • http://www.livestockproductions.com Phil Machi

    You are so right about not coming from fear. I’ve always tried to live honestly but I have embraced it so much more now as I have come to realize so many problems arise from our general fear of just saying what is on our hearts. I can remember NOT saying things or saying them in a way that I felt was more “proper” only to realize now that the point of communication is just that: making sure the other person knows precisely where you are.

    Best to you too, Mel!

  • Mel Moczarski

    Phil,
    Good for you! For so many of us this is a truth that comes too late. What an empowering way of moving forward! One thing I’ve also found in communication is to communicate to be understood, and to do that we need to first understand ourselves, second, translate that to the language of the receiver.
    I hope your day is as good or better than mine has been!

  • Mel Moczarski

    Dear Talya,
    Already having the courage to accept how you feel is a HUGE step in self loyalty. The wonderful thing about all the “rock-bottoms” we hit in life is that they’re the most solid place upon which to stand, dust yourself off and look at the depths of who you are. Making peace with the meaning you have given both the relationship and its ending will fast forward your healing exponentially. From here you can dis-identify with that event in your life and transcend it. You are not your struggle, or your past, and you can be free!
    My experience is that these are valuable processes that can present turmoil but offer us great expansion in the long run. Let fear pass through you, feel it but don’t believe it.
    Sending you love and light,
    Mel

  • http://www.livestockproductions.com Phil Machi

    Thanks again, Mel…sorry to hear yours isn’t so great. Better things on the horizon for you! And yes, understanding ourselves is a lifelong lesson, I think.

  • Mel Moczarski

    Thanks Phil!!
    I’m actually in great shape now! And so happy to be able to say that with total honesty and gratitude. Again, I loved your comment!
    Kindly,
    Mel

  • Mary

    This was very well written! I can tell by the amount of comments posted in the thread that none of us are ever alone in the world when we are suffering from a broken heart (even if it feels like we are). It has been years since my heart was broken by a guy but it was very profound. It made me question my self worth and for a long time it left me zero motivation to succeed and be a better person. It is amazing how one person can change your entire view point of the world. It made me view life with jaded and bitter eyes. Thankfully, I was able to get passed the pain, and I know now it made me a stronger person in the end.
    One of my favorite quotes about heartbreak is by Jeff Bridges:
    “Most cynics are really crushed romantics: they’ve been hurt, they’re sensitive, and their cynicism is a shell that’s protecting this tiny, dear part in them that’s still alive.”
    I spent years being the cynic trying to protect myself from more hurt. Who knows how many opportunities passed me by because of it. But I eventually dug deep and found that tiny, dear part of me that was still alive and willing to give love another chance. I hope everyone is able to feel the same way eventually :)

  • Mel Moczarski

    Mary,
    Thank you very much for your kind words! It does very much seem like we’ve all been there. I love the Jeff Bridges quote you share here! Think he’s on to something.
    All my best to you!
    Mel

  • http://youtube.com/eyebath Steve

    Monica, that is a very useful list! It’s amazing how many of those points I managed to somehow overlook…it makes me realise now, in retrospect, just how many of my own wants and values I neglected. Never again will I give all of my energy without retaining ample for myself. Thanks for writing that, I bookmarked it :)
    PS – I was an April breakup too – what is it about that month?!

  • Laura

    When you put something out in the universe, it conspires with you to find it. I came across this article at the right time. I am currently separated and on the road to divorce after 14 years together. We have been separated for two years and I have been on the road to rediscovering me…feeling really good about myself, doing things for me, and my two kids. Then all of a sudden I found out my soon to be ex is dating again. It has unearthed so many feelings I thought were fixed. Reading your article has put me into the right mindset.Thank you for sharing these words. It was the universe’s perfect present to get me to think in me again; to not hand over so much to the life I believed I needed with him, but rather has given me the strength to see the life I need for myself.

  • Mel Moczarski

    Dear Laura,
    I can’t tell you how deeply touched I am to have brought you some relief in this trying time. There is nothing I could say about painful endings that you aren’t familiar with on the most profound of levels, I’m very inspired by your clarity, which is undeniable, regardless of the bumps that present themselves. I too had the experience of finding out that the man that broke things off with me had started dating before I recovered from the sting. One thing that shifted the feelings of betrayal was realizing that whatever reel that played in my mind about what his new relationship was, was exclusively in my mind, and in believing that reel, I was causing myself a lot of pain. Dropping the storyline was one of the most liberating choices I made towards full recovery and forgiveness. I find it so wonderful and uplifting to read a story like yours, if more of us turned life’s lemons into healing and opening, this world would be a more forgiving and loving place, so, reading this I feel so privileged to see that the right attitude and approach is being put into action. I’d also like to say that I think you are teaching your children one of the most wonderful lessons, the value of being there for one’s self and choosing light instead of darkness. Besides this being a wonderful and inspiring example for them, there is nothing that brings more peace to a loved one than knowing that you are well, at peace, and living from love, self respect and compassion.
    I wish you all the very best, and thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this comment.
    With gratitude,
    Mel

  • Iza

    My day was April 2014. This article is wonderful!! I can really relate to it. For me especially when you talked about how you didn’t necessarily miss the person but the fantasy or expectation of what the relationship was in your head. Personally I don’t miss the person as much as I missed what I though the relationship was or could have been, and the lifestyle we had, i.e. things we would do on Sundays, etc…I miss the routines we had. How long did the recovery take for you? I’m about a month and a half in and it is still hard but getting better every day. Thank you for sharing.

  • Mel Moczarski

    Dear Iza,
    I’m just gonna say it: What’s up with April?!
    It is absolutely the case that the comforts that company affords us are hard to get over. I also get how it’s tricky and strangely gut wrenching to let go of routines. I realized that I was experiencing a lot of anxiety around having to spend time with myself, especially considering how bad I was feeling after the breakup. The first week or so I actually dreaded walking into my apartment and being alone. I was tempted to spend most of my waking time around people and out doing things, but in the end, the only thing that actually turned the experience around for me was to just be with myself, regardless of my distaste for the sad, whimpering, kleenex devouring sob-job I’d become. It’s amazing how much patience and compassion we can provide to people we love and how uncomfortable it is to stick with ourselves when we’re going through hell. It’s not that I became a total recluse, but I did “man-up” with my feelings and if I’d chosen the path of distraction I’m pretty certain it would have bit me in the butt eventually. I’m not sure how long it took me to be at 100%, but I would also say, don’t put a timer on your process, the less you resist it, the better, and stay vigilant for the valuable things it brings you as well as conscious of any thoughts that don’t serve you and do you damage.
    It will get better, before you know it you’ll be right as rain:)
    Thank you so much for your comment!
    All my best,
    Mel

  • Monica Miranda

    Thank you Steve for your kind words. I meant to write it as a reminder to myself, but I hoped it would help others. In the end both of us made these mistakes, but I was the only one who admitted to them and he left without making attempts to talk about it..what’s the point in being with someone who won’t fight for you? One that I would add, which you have hinted, is to not lose yourself in the relationship. I am glad you enjoyed it and I hope you find it useful when you enter into a new relationship. Could April be the beginning of Spring cleaning?!?! Wish you all the best and hope that you are able to find your lucky lady.

  • Ju

    I really needed to read this article. Thank you very much !

  • Jeevan/Mirthu/Gupt

    “Another step in my recovery was accepting that I was most upset about breaking up with my fantasy and my expectation, not with the real, flesh and blood person, and certainly not with the strained relationship.

    Then there was the matter of low self-worth. How could my self-worth be challenged by my worth to someone else? As it turned out, my low self-worth hadn’t actually been engendered by the break-up but rather exposed. It was there all along, supplemented by the relationship.
    The worthiness I had found in the relationship had little to do with self-worth and everything to do with my reliance on someone else’s evaluation of me.”

    Couldn’t have put it in better words; one of the hardest things to come to realization & moreover, to acknowledge it to ourselves! I guess, it is one of the most liberating experiences as well; if we can somehow find the strength to accept it & let go…ahh! Thank you for sharing your story…this was really touching!

  • Mel Moczarski

    You are very welcome, Ju!!

  • Mel Moczarski

    Thank you so much for this comment!!
    I wish you all the very best, always,
    Mel :)

  • http://youtube.com/eyebath Steve

    I’m sure it will help countless others. As saddening as it is that so many people have been in the same position as ourselves, it’s also comforting to know I’m not the only person to have felt like that, as sometimes it’s easy to feel isolated with one’s own feelings. I agree, it is crucial to respect yourself enough to know what you deserve…learning that boundary will ensure I meet the right person one day, as we all will. I will report back when that moment comes :)
    Take care, and I hope you meet Mr Right one day!
    Steve

  • lrvolkman

    Mel, you may have heard the expression: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” I read your article the day it appeared, and it seems I was ready. As I read, I recognized all the usual wisdom – loving the fantasy more than the reality, the need to love oneself first, etc. I had learned all of that in decades of therapy. I already knew about living an authentic life, about being myself, recognizing my value. I had been taught as I struggled through many years of various dysfunctional coping strategies about how such behavior signals a lack of love of self. But I believe this is not true. Because I read the following from your article:

    “If I was grieving my own abandoning so deeply, then I did have deep love, tenderness, affection, and care for myself. I had so desperately needed my own company and acceptance that when the relationship curtain was pulled, the sight of the neglect was unbearable.”

    As I read this section, I began sobbing with that kind of emotional release that only comes when you recognize truth. For the first time in my entire adult life, I realized that despite behaviors that would suggest otherwise, I LOVE MYSELF. I wouldn’t have been “grieving my own abandoning so deeply” if I didn’t love ME. I thought about how in my experience, the amount of grief I feel over pain suffered by the various people in my life is directly related to the amount of love I feel for them. I suffer less over the hurts of a coworker than I do that of a sister. I suffer less over the pain of a sister than I do that of my daughter. And I realized that there was no way that I could suffer as deeply over the hurts done to me, the way I have, if I didn’t love myself.
    And for whatever reason, that was the lesson I needed to hear. Something clicked inside of me, and since that moment, I have been feeling the kind of love for myself that every therapist I’ve ever had has said I need to feel. Why I couldn’t see it before, I don’t know. I suppose I had a lot of work I needed to do first. I’ve had a couple of other times in my life where I had a pivotal “ah ha” moment, and this is right up there in terms of profoundly life-changing. Because after a very long time of grieving over the loss of “the love of my life” and telling myself that I’m better without him, etc., etc. – you know, all the intellectual wisdom that sometimes still doesn’t seem to make it all better – suddenly I “got it” and everything slipped into place, and for the first time in literally years, I’m at peace. At peace. I keep saying it to myself, because it hasn’t left me – and I think it’s the real deal. Finally.
    Getting healthy is a difficult process, and I don’t suppose I’m perfectly healed yet, but for the first time in my adult life, I have a sense of connection with ME that I’ve never had. I can say “This is what I like about myself” and really mean it, not just feel like I’m reciting a carefully prepared list designed to convince myself of things I don’t really feel.

    Thank you is not a strong enough phrase, but it’s all I have. Thank you for being open to whatever power you believe in that sometimes puts a person/teacher in place to effect a very special change in someone else’s life, even when it’s someone whom they’ve never met and likely never will.

  • Mel Moczarski

    First, thank you for writing this, I am overwhelmed, extremely grateful, and must tell you I really think you should be writing and sharing your insights if you aren’t already. You have a gift.

    You’re right, we can only integrate lessons when we’re ready, and maybe it’s the trial that makes us all of a sudden get it in a snap, and feel such release, relief, and peace. At these times it feels more like a recognition of something that has always been, rather than the incorporation of something foreign, kind of like looking for your glasses for hours only to catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and realize you’ve been wearing them all along. But of course, without them you would not have been able too look to begin with! :)

    I think recognizing our upsets as calls for love which come from love is one of the most transformative perceptual shifts and can bring about healing that is not just skin deep but profound and recognizable by the peace it does bring. Making the distinction between within and without and recognizing our inherited confusion with the two, has helped me tremendously. Most of our human experience is internal, within us, and as we experience our inner world so we will experience the outer, as within, so without.

    Becoming aware that our pain conceals great love is a huge liberation that pummels through every and any empty statement of how much we love ourselves. It’s beyond words.

    A million thanks to you for sharing, I wish you all the peace in the world.

    Much love,

    Mel

  • Lucy

    Monica,
    What a great list! Thank you for posting it :)
    I just got out of a 4 year relationship in February after realizing I loved him but had fallen out of love with him. I know, cliche but it was very, very true. It was one of those relationships where even in his presence I felt so utterly alone and lonely. I felt that distance as well but ignored my gut and that nagging voice at the back of my head telling me it was time to end things.

    My “aha!” moment came when I realized that if a friend or coworker treated me the way he did I would have nothing to do with that person. So why was I allowing HIM to treat me without love, care and respect? I’m working on my self worth and loving myself first now. It’s going to be an interesting journey but I’m looking forward to rediscovering me.

  • Chrissy

    Wow. This article was amazing. Going through a similar circumstance. The pain sucks, but this article helped me realize the source of much of the pain. Like Steve said, you have to experience the pain and feel the bumps in the road, but as time goes by it gets better. We all have hope and there is a beautiful destination on the other side of the painful road…

  • Kathy www.yinyangmother.com

    I love the depth of learning and wisdom you showed in your article – I felt along for the ride with you on that journey. I felt a similar way in going through infertility – I was so focused on finding myself as a mother that I lost who I was/am as a person. It has been a long road since, and I have two beautiful adopted kids, but I am still journeying back to myself – maybe that is life’s ongoing path, going in and outside of ourselves and trying not to forget to love ourselves.

  • Omorfiella

    Reading this article at 4:00am I see myself in you. I am also asking myself if i open my eyes or just close it because I really love him. We broke up 3 times already and we tried again this time. He was telling me that I need to change which I really did make adjustments. I don’t if I deserve it or am I needing more attention. I work 5days in a row. He has different schedules. My boyfriend is a kind of guy who gives more affection and attention to computer. I was awake because I tried to hug him but i only felt a pillow and its just 3:30am then i heard him upstairs with his computer. I think its quite early to wake up this time if your work starts at 8:00 and we live 5km from his work. Yesterday night i arrived at 7:00 in the evening he was already in bed. I thought he prepare something for dinner because he was at home but didnt see anything. I make food and went to bed at 11 and now he woke up so early and sit in the computer. This is his day to day routine. It’s very tough and really feeling to let it go but not prepared yet. Thanks for sharing your story really admire it. -Omorfiella

  • Omorfiella

    I can relate your story. I am missing the time when he was still dating with me but i know it’s very usual to guys who tries to win the heart of women. Nowadays is totally different because of smartphones. My boyfriend just sent me i love you through watsapp and kisses through watsapp. He left to work without even giving a simple kiss or any kind of affection. I am afraid to ask him if he still loves me especially actions speaks louder than words.

  • Mel Moczarski

    Hi Kathy,
    Thank you very much for your kind words. I can only imagine how one might lose one’s self in the search of something as primordial as motherhood. Then again, the journey back to self can be what makes us most capable of fully and joyfully experiencing that which we were after. By becoming complete human beings, we can be presences of wellbeing and peace for people around us, and it also gives them the space to exist as themselves, without the pressure of being the single focus and symbol of our identity. Congratulations on your beautiful children! And on your loyalty to yourself!
    Kindly,
    Melanie

  • Mel Moczarski

    Dear Omorfiella,
    Thank you so much for your comment.

    I’m sorry to hear you’re going through a rough patch in your relationship. In some respects that can be more difficult than a breakup. I do believe that only the people inside a relationship know what is really going on, no one else can ever really get a full picture. Eventually answers come to us, you will know what to do. In the meantime it’s great not to pressure yourself and do things that nurture you, things you love. If you get strong, happy, healthy, for yourself, everything else will fall into place beautifully. In the end, we can only work with ourselves and there is very little we can do to control others, and even when we do, the outcome usually backfires. In my experience, turning my attention back to me, not as an angry evasion tactic but as an exercise in personal accountability and self love, brings a lot of clarity to most situations and shaves the weight off of things that might have felt incredibly heavy.
    I hope you feel better soon!
    Kindly,
    Mel

  • Monica Miranda

    Well you are certainly not alone. Relationships take work and with all the disappointments and discouraging feelings that it might lead you to feel, you, unfortunately, can’t undo the past and can only learn from it. I can speak for myself in that now I know what I want, what I am looking and what I need. I hope that the next person I am with meets these needs as I do for him. Please keep me posted…always love hearing success stories for those who are patient and believe that their time will come :)

  • Monica Miranda

    Thanks Lucy for taking the time to read my article too! I know exactly how you feel as I too fell out, but in all honesty it was more because I had tried, but once someone becomes so distant, it gets tiring to be the only one giving. But yes, I too had that instinct to end it much sooner than I did, but isn’t it so hard to listen when you want things to work? I am glad to hear you were able to come to the realization and think about what you wanted and most importantly deserve. Never losing sight of who you are and what you need and figuring out the things you like about yourself can only help you in your journey. I truly wish you the best in the future!

  • Monica Miranda

    Thank you Mel for taking the time to read it…all the best to you!

  • Mel Moczarski

    Awesome list! I’ll keep a lookout for more of your writing!

  • Monica Miranda

    Thanks Mel for your kind encouragement…I wrote one more piece that I hope you don’t mind me sharing with you.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/monica-miranda/letting-go_b_3866820.html. I hope to get a chance to write more and I look forward to reading more our your articles in the future. I am glad that I came across your article as it truly helped to open my eyes and not be so hard on myself. Thank you :)

  • Kathy www.yinyangmother.com

    Thank you!

  • Aw

    Thank you so much for this. This is really great and I needed it. I saved this story in my bookmarks. <3

  • Tran Nguyen

    I’ve been trying in so many ways to go through my circumstance for a couple of months. Now I’m still doing this. I do know what I’m feeling suffering now is the illusion was made up by my mind and the expectation was highly put into someone, not myself. My family doesn’t know about my pain because I’ve hidden it to them. Some friends knew about it, but they’re tired when they have caught up my deactivated and sobbed face. To what got me bit of uplifting at the moment, but I’m still afraid the pain is still there waiting to have a chance to torture me again.
    Your article makes me cheer up as I read the words which describe all the feeling and thinking when someone’s had a broken heart. Best wishes!

  • Mel Moczarski

    Hey Tran,
    I’m very sorry to hear you’re hurting. I once heard a story that helped me understand how our fear of pain works. A friend of mine told me that when he was a little boy, he got in the habit of tossing his clothes when he changed into his pajamas at night, and every now and then, his t-shirt would fly off land on an object in his room. As he lay in bed in the dark, the draped fabric over the object in question would resemble a ghostly figure, and an irrational fear would come over him, leaving him terrified in bed, creating more and more tension as the speculation grew. Then, one night, he’d had it, he got out of bed and went towards the figure, pulled off the fabric, and there it was, a fan. That was it, he was able to rest in peace. In my experience, fearing pain that you are already feeling, that is already there, can be paralyzing. But if we muster the courage and pull away that layer of fear, something quite harmless is revealed to us. If you are in pain over an ending, over something you loved being taken away from you, you are experiencing a form of self love, a cry for attention from the depths of who you are, and that is a beautiful thing. Only your self love could be under that scary looking form, and this you will undoubtedly find when you move towards it.
    My best wishes to you!!!

  • reetika

    I was in a long distance complicated relationship with my bestfriend (I thought so he is ) from college..insecurities , lack of trust and not being able to commit (from my side) led to our breakup because he used to sometimes make me jealous my being with other girls. I cried a lot on phone and litteraly begged him to not do this. I abused him also to make him understand how much he has hurt me so that he will come back to me but now I realize he was not worth it. Though I still have a soft corner for him but I dont contact and dont want to contact him and this experience has made me much more calmer and matured person
    I believe whatever bad happens to us is for a reason..:)

  • JVS

    Great read! just what I was looking for. I am going through a similar situation and often find myself asking questions like these, trying to find an answer, but where else would you look for answers other than within yourself. We get deviated by attachments and may find ourselves lost in things/people that we rely on. Not having them does not necessarily mean your life ends, perhaps it means it is just the beginning of a better you, a happier you. At least it is what I would like to find. Thanks for writing this and enlightening many of us looking for inner peace. Cheers!

  • erinteresa

    Mel,
    I can’t thank you enough for sharing this experience. Ten months ago my “epic love story” came to a sudden halt when my boyfriend, who I shared a home with, told me it was over. I have spent years in a spiritual recovery program, but this loss left me at a deeper bottom than I ever imagined. Six weeks after the break up, I moved out of his home, said goodbye to his beautiful son who I grew to love deeply, and felt as if I didn’t know how I was going to fill my life again. Minutes felt like days. I was grateful that I was surrounded by loving, healthy people who guided me through those first months where I felt numb. He kept strings attached in many ways. Ultimately I did my best to cut ties wherever I could, even though occasionally our paths would still cross.

    Recently it was revealed to me that there was a lot of lying and betrayal that began toward the end of our relationship. After feeling like I had made huge strides in the healing process, the wave came crashing down. It has been overwhelming to say the least.

    The truth is… the more I reflect, the more I take personal inventory, the more I see how I compromised myself in all areas of our relationship out of fear of losing the man I loved. As hard as it is for me to admit, I attached my self worth to him and our life together. Without it I felt empty. I have looked at the woman I was when I met him and the woman I was when we broke up and it is amazing how quickly I abandoned myself for the desire to be loved by someone else.

    I am trying so hard every day to learn how to love myself. Intellectually I already thought I had this down, but it was clear in the past year that I have a lot of work to do. Sometimes I don’t even know where to begin.

    This article gave me so much insight. I am so grateful I found it.

    Thanks again for sharing.

  • Pauline

    Mel, thank you for writing this. I’m dealing with a very similar experience with a recent break up (after 2 years). What I’m dealing with right now is unbearable: being alone for the first time in 9 years. For 9 years I have jumped from relationship to relationship, never being able to face having to be alone, not even for one month. OR, in between, I find different men to validate me, and keep me company. For the first time in my life, I WANT to be alone. “All that while that I was looking out for sources of acceptance, affection, validation, and understanding, I could have been looking in and cultivating the one relationship through which life is experienced, the one with yours truly.” This struck a major, painful chord for me. I have been avoiding getting to know myself, and dealing with my insecurities within myself instead of having someone else help me feel better. I’m scared, lonely, fearful, uncomfortable, exhausted, but I know it will all be worth it. I have my sad, depressing days (I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety years ago), but I’m really trying to make the best out of it. I found this article last week and it helps to read it every day to keep me going. Thank you for sharing.

  • Nita

    I really really wanted to be able to ease all the pain.. I have the same experience as you mel.. But I was totally blown away by the shock it took me 10 days to make it all sense.. I threaten him to kill myself and blame it on him, I kept badgering him with my apology text, emails and chats, I followed him for answers.. It was a kick from the edge of the cliff for me.. It shattered my heart and life.. I really really having a hard time getting back up.. Even if it’s really really tiny, somehow there’s still hope within me.. Hope of being with him again.. I know I should just get over it and move on.. I need to be stronger.. Your article meant a lot to me.. It was eye opening and a complete enlightenment for me.. I may need this kick.. 7 years may not be short but it was also not that long.. I feel like I was so caught up I failed as a person to get myself back on my feet.. Am I strong enough to pass through all this pain?