Remember the commercial that made the line, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” famous? It came out in the late 80’s and was promoting a medic alert system for senior citizens who lived alone. At the touch of a button on a device they wore around their necks they had help instantly on the way and their loved ones were notified. When it comes to heartbreak, don’t you wish you could have something like this at your fingertips? Watch the old commercial below:
Your heart hurts. The pain goes deep and it’s difficult to put into words. When you are letting someone go after a break-up, there can be a steady dull ache for days and days and, every time a memory hits you out of the blue, it’s like a knife being stuck right through you.
What do you do? Our reactions can be surprising and very “inconvenient” for the time and place. Torrents of tears, rage, a sudden withdrawal into privacy and darkness… It’s crucial at this time to have “help” buttons to push so you know that, as soon as you can, you can work through this one memory, this one reminder that your life is drastically changing or that someone doesn’t love you anymore.
The book that I found to be filled with many practical pointers for actively working through my loss is called, “Mars and Venus: Starting Over” by Dr. John Gray. In it he teaches you to focus on four emotions that take you into your heart. Honesty is key. Facing what hurts is most important because, in order to get to the other side of the pain, you must go through it. Avoiding, pushing it away, covering it over with other things only sets you back and delays your freedom from it.
So, do this: Find a great journal and start writing every chance you get. No need to be flowery – simple statement are fine. Every time you hurt, talk to your journal using these statements:
I am angry that….
Many things about a broken heart make you crazy. Often we put the lid on the pot of emotions so that we don’t see what’s really happening. Anger is that lid and it helps us to survive because anger drives us forward into action even if it’s to throw something or raise our voices. Admitting you are angry can lead you into what’s really going on so go on – let out what is really ticking you off! For example:Many things about a broken heart make you crazy. Often we put the lid on the pot of emotions so that we don’t see what’s really happening. Anger is that lid and it helps us to survive because anger drives us forward into action even if it’s to throw something or raise our voices. Admitting you are angry can lead you into what’s really going on so go on – let out what is really ticking you off. For example:
I am angry that you left me.
I am angry that you made promises to me that you didn’t keep.
I am angry that you ruined everything.
This if for your eyes only – writing what first comes to our minds and then continuing on will actually lead you to the middle of you heart. The more you write down, the more layers you will strip away until you get to the honest meat of hurt. That’s where you need to be.
I am sad that….
It’s crucial to feel sad for, as Dr. Gray says, “Feeling and then releasing sadness opens our hearts to feel the sweetness of love once again.” You may not believe it now but it’s true. So be sad for what you wanted to happen and didn’t happen and won’t happen.”
I am sad that you don’t love me anymore.
I am sad because the dreams I had for our future are all torn up now.
I am sad to see our children cry because they can’t understand what we are doing.
I am afraid that….
Fear is always about what hasn’t happened yet and what we are afraid might happen in the future. Starting a new life brings up alot of fear. Admitting to what is scaring you actually puts you back in touch with your vulnerability which is a good thing. It helps you then to determine what you need to do now in order to take care of yourself. You might say…
I am afraid that I am not going to have enough money to feed our children.
I am afraid that no one will ever love me again.
I am afraid that our breakup was all my fault.
I am sorry that….
Dr. Gray states that sorrow is the emotional recognition that what we want to happen cannot be. It’s necessary to face this as this helps us to let go of attachment and begin to open ourselves up to what can be. Your words might be:
I am sorry that you will never hold me in your arms again making me feel like I belong there.
I am sorry that we not ever live in that house on the beach together.
I am sorry that I was not the one who could be all the things you wanted.
The only way to the other side of pain is to go through it. Push the buttons to get help – what I have given you here is just one of those buttons but it’s a huge start. Huge! This is a beginning toward the goal of a mended heart.
Face the pain – by this I mean to look it right in the eye and examine it. The more you do this, the more you begin to see what it is you need to do to heal. And you will begin to find your courage as the pain becomes less intimidating.
Keep going – you will see. There truly is a light at the end of the tunnel and you will reach it.