Recovering From A Broken Heart
Approx 9 minutes to read
All the joy, pleasure and oneness of a new connection with a new love. This may be the one!
Thud. Back to the old reality of being alone again.
The unwanted and unexpected descent into heart break. Feelings of; separation, abandonment, rejection, betrayal, deception, disappointment, loneliness – the dream is gone.
When it’s over, we feel the hurt, bitterness and dis-empowerment again.
Some retreat into a cave where it safe. Others go partying, pretending they are better off and feelin’ great!
Others will jump into the next one. Pretending the pain does not exist and they make it go away again with all the intensity a new passionate lover brings.
Relationships – Who needs them?
Who wants one, when they can be so heart wrenching, unpredictable, disappointing, confusing, and just hurt so much?
We may harden up and determine ‘This will never happen to me again!’
Trust is out the window. After all. Who can trust the ‘other’?
We build walls around our heart, protecting us from; ‘the men who only want one thing’ ‘the bitches who cannot be trusted’ ‘the men who are all bastards & liars’ and ‘women who manipulate’.
Hidden behind our defences, playing the victim so well, we find ourselves feeling disconnected and alone – but at least we are safe from further hurt.
More time passes, loneliness begins to wax into a craving for connection and a yearning for that elusive experience of oneness – some will embark upon a frenzy of meaningless and disconnected promiscuity, drinking, socialising, partying – anything (anyone?) is better than being alone, again, feeling the pain.
However, for others the need to be loved and to love, to feel connected with someone who cares, outweighs the risks of being hurt and they embark upon a relationship which, begins well – yet ends again in the same old familiar patterns of disappointments and hurts.
So they retreat and the wall building around the heart begins anew…
Breaking through these old patterns takes courage and awareness.
As we must accept the old dysfunctional behaviours, we have repeatedly taken into previous relationships, just do not serve us anymore .
Pointing the finger of blame at ‘the other’, and revelling in our victim-hood, must stop. Instead, we must look with compassion, clarity and acceptance, to see our part in this co-creation.
Below is a five step process, outlining the road map to begin the journey towards recognising the old dysfunctional relationship patterns that no longer serve you. And how to move forward into new relational territory, where love, passion and joy can exist.
1. Taking Ownership For Our Part In Co-creating the Relational Dysfunction
When reflecting upon past relationships, where we have felt hurt, betrayed and justified in staying angry and resentful, towards someone we once cared about. It is easy to persistently remind ourselves of all the ways ‘he/she/they’ let us down – ‘it’s all their fault’.
It is much more challenging, empowering and rewarding, having the courage to honestly own our part in the co-creation of the relationship dynamics.
If you find that you have stayed justifiably angry with someone who ‘hurt you’, it is a strong indication you have yet to own your role, in co-creating what occurred between you.
Discard the comforting cloak of victim hood – it does not serve you, or the success of future relationships. Never doubt that each relationship is something you have willingly, if unconsciously, co-created with another.
When you find yourself once again accusing them in your mind. (Yes, we all do this!)
Ask yourself instead:
How did I disappoint my lover? In what ways did I deceive them? What was my responsibility in the breakdown of the relationship? How was I out of integrity? What did I not do, or say, that contributed me to feeling hurt? How did I deceive myself, despite what my body and intuition were trying to tell me? What choices did I make, that dis-empowered myself?
2. Genuine Forgiveness and Letting Go of the Past
In this time of New Age love and light, spiritual hocus pocus and Christian ideals of forgiveness, it is easy to bypass the process of healing, and attempt to take the shortcut to forgiveness.
Convincing ourselves we do not need to feel the grief, pain, rage, hurt and anger – as we have ‘evolved’ beyond mere feelings, we have ‘the strength’ to be brave, or we can jump straight forgiveness due to having such an open, loving heart.
None of which, serve the individual who is motivated to change their unconscious relational patterns.
Forgiveness of others, for their choices and behaviour, often comes after we have truly forgiven ourselves, for the choices we made, that hurt others and our self.
The key is to give yourself permission to feel fully. Seeking the support needed, to enable you to move through the grief process, with integrity and compassion.
‘The old door must be closed, before the new one can be opened’
The grief and healing process cannot be by-passed – if you want to enter into new relationships, with fresh self-knowledge & awareness – you must first let go of the previous partner/lover, and the feelings left over from that relationship.
3. Trusting Yourself Again
Many clients and people I talk to will say they do not trust the vulnerability of their heart with anyone anymore. They fear being hurt again.
At the core of this statement is the belief, it is others who must change and ‘prove’ their trustworthiness to me, before I give them the key to my heart.
However, relying on others to change is a way to justify staying the same – alone and dis-empowered in relationship.
At its deepest place, the issue is not that we mistrust others. The core issue is that we mistrust ourselves – in choosing the right people to open up to, revealing our vulnerability, fragility and power.
We have so much evidence that we cannot choose wisely – we have chosen to give precedence to good looks and attractiveness, rather than to our innate wisdom. Allowed ourselves to be swayed with charming words flowing like sweet honey. Instead of seeking genuineness.
It is we who have chosen, often repeatedly, that similar ‘type’ of person who has; betrayed, hurt, abused, used, disappointed or abandoned us.
So it is we, who must re-learn how to listen to and trust our innate capacity to – discriminate, assess, feel into and intuit others. Empowering ourselves with better decisions when it comes to prospective lovers and partners.
Our blind spots are just that – ‘blind spots’ – that we are unable to see without assistance.
The input of close friends can support us learning more about ourselves and how we operate in relationship. Reading the right books, journalling & meditation can assist in reflection in a non-judgemental manner. Enabling greater learning from our life history.
Or better yet, seek support and guidance from a professional – someone who knows personally and professionally, about relationships, loving and being loved.
4. Where are you going and what do you want?
There are two questions we must ask ourselves before entering new relationships. It is essential to ask these two questions in the correct order.
I. Where am I going?
II. Who will come with me?
I. Where am I going? – this is the vision of the type of relationships and life you want to create. Do you want to: live in the city, suburbs, or the country, in the mountains, or by the ocean? How important is: money, great sex, career, communication, children, family, honesty, openness, fidelity, intimacy, etc?
II. Who will come with me? Once clearer on the ‘where am I going’, the answer to ‘who will come with me’, will be easier to negotiate. The ‘relationship and life vision’, you have will be simpler to articulate to a potential partner. Then you decide together if you have a shared vision for the short or long term. That can be co-created together.
Many get these two questions in the wrong order.
Are too focused on the ‘Who will come with me?’
Constantly seeking connection, intimacy, love and lust in all the wrong places, without any clear idea of what they are wanting to create.
Consequently they will enter a committed relationship, only to discover they and their beloved want very different things in life and are headed in wildly differing directions.
Staying together means engaging in constant negotiation and compromise, which can lead to ongoing resentments, dissatisfaction and tension – eventually leading to another relationship breakdown.
Be clear on where you are going and what you want to create, so when a potential beloved appears in your life, you can begin light negotiations to determine how in alignment with your values and desires they might be. Or not!
5. Practice By Being In Relationship!
How many times have I heard people say something like ‘I’m saving myself for my soul mate’ or, ‘for the perfect partner and relationship’
“Mmm…”, I think to myself.
Saving yourself for the ‘relationship of a lifetime,’ or a soul mate, is like deciding that you are going to save up to buy a top of the range high performance car.
And until such time as you have enough money to buy one, you will only catch public transport.
Then one day, finally, you have the money and the high performance car!
However, because you have caught public transport all this time, you have no experience in driving anything!
So within the first six months the brand new high performance car of your dreams is smashed beyond repair – all because you saved yourself for the car of your dreams.
Successful Relationships take skills that are only learned by the experience of being in a relationship.
Reading books and watching YouTube videos can give you the essential concepts.
However practising these concepts, when in relationship with another human being. Who has different wants and needs to you, while you are feeling a range of unwanted feelings, is a whole different ball game.
So expand your comfort zone and get out there and start negotiating what it is you want in a relationship.
Experiment with authenticity while stating your wants, needs and desires. Ask for what you want. Be prepared for a ‘no’ and negotiate from there.