“Sometimes things fall apart so that better things can fall together.” ~Marilyn Monroe
Whether we’re processing disappointment or a tragedy, heartache can seem irrevocable, as if our entire existence has been nuked into bleak devastation.
While it can be hard to consider the possibility that these barren circumstances could be necessary, or fruitful, heartbreak can show us a great inner strength that exists in unsuspecting, subtle ways.
I was never the kind of person who was convinced that consuming, true love was real. (You know, the kind that Celine Dion sings about.) Yet, that is exactly where I found myself when I met a man who had a set of traits that I had only dreamed of.
And when it abruptly ended, with no explanation, I was devastated and bewildered. Now on the other side, these are the things I would have said to the girl laying on the pitch-black bathroom floor when she was drowning in questions about faith and forgiveness.
Every activity is an act of strength when you’re struggling.
Every time you get out of bed, go to a yoga class, or just do the dishes is a strong initiative of willpower because you’re pushing forward with your life, household, and health. You may still feel depressed, but it’s in these small measures that you’re seeding something wholesome for your present and future.
Be proud you took a risk.
While the destination may not be the oasis you’d envisioned, you have to remember why you set out on the journey.
You took a chance by opening up to someone or attempting a new endeavor. It takes a great deal of courage to venture into an exploration of the precarious unknown, and you have to give yourself praise for making an effort.
Move with the emotion.
Sorrow can feel like a suffocating place of confinement. Yet trying to power through and forcing yourself to get over what you’re feeling is an act of denial. Our sentiments are a part of us and they can’t be amputated on command. Honor this part of yourself and try to progress with it in tow.
Accept your choices.
We can incessantly pick at the “should haves” and “would haves,” but your inner GPS chose a route based on the information you had at the time. You couldn’t have done anything different. When you can fully embrace this, it is an act of forgiveness to yourself, because you stop questioning your capabilities. Everything you did was as it was supposed to be.
The monkey mind wants to pick at the past and guess about the future. It takes work, but when you can fully focus on the details of the present moment, the questions and concerns will subside. You can do this by taking notice of your senses in your immediate surroundings—the taste, smell, touch, and of course your breath.
Just like any fitness routine, it takes practice. Don’t be bothered by the number of times you have to re-center your thoughts; just keep doing it.
Look for beauty.
Whether you go to a museum, a botanical garden, or just enjoy a sunset, seek out the aesthetic that you find pleasing. Doing so will allow you to reconnect with a part of your true self. It can also be a soothing reminder that there are other amazing things in life beyond your distressed situation.
Ask for company.
Some cultures teach us to shoulder our own burdens. And as such, you may want to lock yourself away in isolation because you may not want to reveal your state of affairs or you don’t want to trouble anyone else. But if you’re really feeling lonely, reach out to family member or a friend.
You probably feel fragile in this vulnerable condition, but showing up with an affliction allows others to know you on a more genuine level, and it also may reveal a greater depth of their own. Even when you feel broken, other relationships can form and even grow.
Getting through heartache can be incredibly difficult. Give yourself what you need to let your healing unfold day by day, without judgment for the method or self-care that you choose.
You can’t predict how long the process will take, but there will come a time when the pain and anguish will diminish. You’ll get there…
Broken heart image via Shutterstock