“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” ~Cynthia Occelli
There are no two ways about it.
Heartbreak squeezes you as though you were an orange, crushes you as though it were a tractor, and cuts sharply as a razor blade.
Breaking up with my former wife was the most crushing event in my life. It made me see myself as a failure, hide in embarrassment, and cry myself to sleep for months.
There are so many things I’d rather do than experience a broken heart again—like, oh, I don’t know, take a safari through the Serengeti alone and have hungry lions eat me alive, or take a plunge into the shark tank at Sea World and discover just how friendly those creatures really are.
When you’re in a long-term relationship, or married to that person for years, heartbreak can be life breaking. The world you know ends.
Through heartbreak, you come to see yourself as rejected, dejected, failed, and damaged.
You question the meaning of life and, if bruised badly enough, even wonder why you’re alive.
Would it seem too nuts for me to say that the pain of heartbreak led me to believe that being buried alive would have been more peaceful? Settling into a coffin would have been more pleasurable than facing the world every day?
These were the thoughts that occupied my mind for a couple years of my life.
I’m glad to say I survived this experience and didn’t do any of these drastic things.
I survived the end of a love gone wrong. I survived the shattered pieces of a broken heart that scattered around me. I survived the accompanying disillusionment, sadness, sorrow, and pain.
I lived to tell about it.
What life lessons can I give you other than the simple message that you can do it too?
Simply this: Your heart might be broken and closed, but this experience can lead to a soul awakening; through it, you can form a deeper connection with your highest self and find a greater sense of peace and clarity. Here’s how.
1. Assess the damage.
At some point, you’ll have to go from being the person who is broken and lost to being an observer surveying the wreckage.
What do you miss about that person? What did you lose? What shared dreams have vanished from your life?
When the pain has stopped or when you decide that you can’t keep living with a heavy heart, you’ll have to see where you are so that you can rebuild your life from the ground up.
Acknowledge the loss. See where you are emotionally, psychologically, mentally, financially, and spiritually.
It doesn’t matter how bad of a place you’re in. Stopping to look around you, to reflect and acknowledge where your heartbreak has brought you, is a start.
2. Let love flood in.
Your love for someone has shattered to pieces. Every edge of your heart cuts; every corner twinges with pain and nothing seems to fit back together.
While you may see that your heart is shattered, know that now there is space for light to enter.
Where is the light?
The light is the love already within you.
The light is subdued and hidden. It seems distant. You had completely forgotten about it.
The good news is that you can access the light again by cultivating your love of yourself.
Wherever you see emptiness, let the light come in. Imagine sunlight filling the void.
When you notice craters of loneliness, let the light in. Imagine love filling the void.
When you see ice blocks of pain, let the light’s heat melt them. Imagine love melting the void.
What we’re talking about here is love that’s already within you—unleashing, releasing, and recapturing it. We’re not talking about love for anyone or anything else.
I’m asking you to tap into the love already there.
Cultivating this love requires that you mend your heart.
It requires that you slow down and take care of yourself. It requires long walks, meditation, and room to breathe.
It requires healthier eating, rekindled friendships, and self-care.
Learn that you are enough as you are. No one can fulfill you or complete you as much as you can fulfill and complete yourself.
3. Let your ego wash away.
Your bruised ego desires plenty of attention and wants to be deeply embraced. It wants to grab a hold of your life and turn you into a victim. Our egos don’t like to feel ashamed, vulnerable, or lonely.
Becoming aware of the ego helps release its strong grip on your life.
Gently notice the ego’s hunger and its to desire to encompass your life. Watch it become enraged, hurt, bitter, and vengeful.
Examine if your love for your ex was based on true love, or a need to feel complete, a need for companionship, or a desire to feel good about yourself.
Were you in your past relationship to fulfill your ego’s needs, or your heart’s desires?
One is selfish and centered on you; the other is generous and centered on giving.
The point is not to be hard on yourself; it’s to be honest with yourself so you can show yourself compassion.
The ego comes from a place of lack and not having had enough love.
You can water the ego with the love it desires. Treating yourself better, being mindful of your thoughts, and being kinder with the words you use toward yourself will help release the role of the ego in your life.
4. Sit with your soul.
I never connected with my soul during the course of my relationship.
I was too busy nit-picking, disagreeing, and getting even with my ex. I was caught up in games, ego, and anger.
I never tapped into my soul to guide the way.
If I had, I would have come from a place of love for her and for myself. I would have showed up every day with compassion and understanding.
The soul is an internal all-knowing sacred space that holds your highest truth, your most divine self, and an abundance of love.
This space is your true nature, your essence, your clarity.
Walks in nature, a meditative silence, a silent cathedral, a closed-eye prayer—all allow the senses to quiet themselves so that you can tap into your soul.
Connect with this quiet, wise, all-knowing, expansive, light-filled space daily.
Go forward in the world from this space of love and clarity. Learn to listen, love, and live from this sacred space.
5. Let your soul guide you.
Live your life from the source of internal power that comes from the soul.
Listen to the strong command of your soul’s voice—your intuitive feelings and the wise internal whispers that come from a place of love and quiet strength.
Hear the ego’s voice arise and acknowledge it. Thank the ego for looking out for you, then release it from its duties.
Pledge to live your life from this soul-centered state of peace, awareness, and compassion.
Embrace your soul. Feel it. Listen to it. Let it guide you.
It’s time to gently sweep the broken pieces of your heart aside.
Bow to your broken heart in gratitude, for if it hadn’t shattered so loudly and violently, you would never started on this path to your soul awakening.
Awakening image via Shutterstock