“Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.” ~Max Ehrmann
If you looked at your broken heart and allowed for tenderness, you would feel better. Maybe not completely better, but there would be a softening. Compassion for yourself is soothing. When our hearts are aching, we need all the soothing we can get.
If you looked at your broken heart from the perspective of the loving mother within you, you would see that the only thing you need right now is gentle care. You need to wrap your arms around yourself and let everything be exactly as it is. When we fight what is, the pain only grows stronger.
When people who seek growth go through heartbreak, we want to fight through it when we just need to let it all go. We need to sob, we need to hold ourselves, and we need to tell ourselves we’re okay. That’s what it means to show up for yourself when you really need it. That’s self-love.
I struggled hard in my last breakup. I reopened the deep wound and falsity that I was worthless without his love.
I am someone who teaches self-love. None of us are immune to our entire realities being transformed with the flip of a switch.
I fell into a deep depression. I was so far away from feeling my own love that my system felt like it was shutting down. And it was. I wasn’t eating, barely sleeping, and I relived everything in my head. Nothing in my life felt good. It was horrible.
You can’t solve the pain of your heartbreak with your mind. The mind wants everything to feel better, and it will do everything it can to figure out a solution that makes the pain end fast. That’s its job. Unfortunately for us, it will do so at the expense of what’s best for us.
You’re going through pain for a reason. We learn our greatest lessons through pain. Do yourself a favor and feel it and be with it, and give yourself compassion to help ease it up until you get through.
Because if you don’t, you’re going to run from it. You’re going to make some decisions that aren’t in alignment with who you are really here to be. You might avoid the pain by jumping back into a relationship, or with food, alcohol, or drugs. And then at some point in the future, this will happen all over again. Because you haven’t learned your lesson. You haven’t truly healed.
This is the biggest thing we forget when we’re in pain:
It’s going to get better if we’re easy on ourselves.
It’s so simple, but it’s the thing I kept forgetting over and over again. I would default to my mind, finding myself analyzing the past or mourning the future. There was some unconscious belief that all my thinking was doing something, benefitting me in someway. Instead, it was perpetuating my suffering.
Eventually I would exhaust myself to depletion. I would sob and think and sob and hope for the pain to go away, and the pain only got worse and worse until it felt inescapable and overwhelming. And from this exhausted and overwhelmed place, something within me rose up. I began to do what I call “mothering myself.”
I told myself, “It’s okay. I’m here. It’s going to be okay. Everything is okay. Just relax. Just lie here and rest. Don’t worry about anything. It’s all okay.” I cradled myself in my own arms. I gave myself exactly what I needed: love.
I could give you a list of additional things to do, acts of self-care to lift you out of your broken spirits, but the truth is that when you’re in the depths of despair, this is the only thing you have to focus on to life yourself up.
When you “mother yourself” enough by being kind and compassionate toward yourself, things begin to get better. It’s really how it happens.
You are allowing it to be okay. You are giving yourself love. And it starts to be okay. Your judgment is gone. Your pain eases, even if just a little. And when you’re in a ton of pain, just a little ease makes all the difference.
From that place you will start to give yourself things you need. You’ll begin to nourish your body more because you will be feeling just slightly better.
You’ll keep telling yourself it’s okay, and you’ll find yourself doing some gentle yoga.
You’ll keep on telling yourself everything is okay, and you’ll be curled up in bed with a good friend, laughing at a funny movie.
The natural process of healing happens when we just keep giving ourselves love.
Once you walk through the most intense part of this painful process, you will have a beautiful opportunity to get to know an amazing soul: you. You will not walk out the other side the same person. I know that’s scary, but trust me, you will like who you are so much more.
I am six months out of a devastating breakup, and I’m taking the time to get to know myself. I’m not the person I was before or during the breakup. I have grieved deeply, gotten myself utterly lost, found some way to give myself compassion through it all, and now I am enjoying getting to know this new me that is emerging. And I love her so much already.
When we’re heartbroken we don’t need our minds to tell us stories to make us feel better. We only need our hearts to open and to show ourselves compassion.
Any time you find yourself in despair, in depression, in immense pain, look within. Are you living in your head or your heart?
When you feel so deeply that the pain is overwhelming and you can see no clear way out, remember this. Write this down. Post it by your bed. Pull your chin up, force your eyes open, and read these words:
It’s okay. I’m here. It’s going to be okay. Everything is okay. Just relax. Just lie here and rest. Don’t worry about anything. It’s all okay.
Everything always gets better. That is the truth. You are a shining soul deep within a body that is here to do great things. You are here to experience shimmering love, heart-aching laughter, and so much joy.
So it’s your responsibility to take care of yourself. That means you don’t get to bully yourself when you’re in pain. You don’t get to judge yourself for where you’re at. It’s your responsibility to show up for yourself in these moments when you need yourself the most.
And right now, you’re in pain. And that’s okay. Because it will get better if you’re just easy on yourself.
About Michelle D'Avella
Michelle D’Avella is an author, Breathwork teacher and mentor. Her memoir, The Bright Side of a Broken Heart is available here. Download her FREE guide to heal your heart and follow her on Instagram for daily doses of inspiration.