“Hello, Beautiful Lady.” Yup! Those were the words that caught me in their trap. I was hurting so badly. My head was whirling with all the confusion and shock of the trauma of losing my entire world as I had known it. But my heart, O my poor heart, was so hungry to be loved that it perked up instantly when it heard what it was starving to hear.
It is always about the heart. Your heart is broken.
If your leg was broken, what would you do? It would have to be put into a cast and given time to heal. Many normal activities would have to be scaled back for awhile. No high jumping, no running – depending on how badly it’s broken, there may not even be any walking on it for weeks.
“But,” the heart in many of us argues, “I’m fine. It wasn’t my fault. I’m over it – ready to move on. The quickest fix for me is another love.” That’s like ignoring the pain of broken bones and trying to go on with life as usual. You will only create more damage and may end up never being able to use it properly again.
Or it may say, “I am out of the game. I am building a high brick wall around me and no one will ever hurt me again.” That’s like deciding to spend the rest of your life in a wheel chair, never to enjoy the use of your maimed leg again. How sad would that be when there are so many dreams waiting to be discovered. Limiting yourself by shutting your heart away has the makings for growing into an old, bitter, angry- and very lonely – senior.
I am thinking you get it now. Your heart is broken – just as your leg would never heal if you kept using it or if you propped it up, never to use it again, your heart won’t ever heal if you treat it like this either. You would think we would know this naturally but we don’t, because it really has little to do with “thinking”. It has more to do with coping and feeling. However, please consider this: if you believe in TRUE love and want in any small way to find the relationship that is your ideal, you must heal first.
- Accept the fact that you are not your real self in the weeks and months immediately after a hurtful break-up. You may have already experienced some craziness. It’s normal. Don’t beat yourself up, just decide to grow from what you have learned. Did it work for you? Did it really fix anything other than giving you some space from the hurting? Decide to move forward. You are “re-inventing” a new you within a new life.
- Grieve the old life and the future you lost. I can’t say this enough. In order to get to the other side of the pain, you must go through it. Set your heart out in front of you and look at how it was hurt. It is like a precious gem that has nicks and scratches in it. It’s bleeding. How does that feel? Write it down, talk about it somewhere, even if you are a man! Work with a Coach. Join a divorce recovery group. At the very least, in those quiet moments when you can’t avoid the pain, see God sitting right next to you and show it to Him. Let Him be personal with you so you know you are never alone no matter what.
- Be courageous. Think of the anger, the resentment, yes, even hatred, as if it were a huge lion roaring in your face. Instead of running the other way, stand there and look it in the eye. Stare it down. Tell it that it is no longer going to take bites out of you bit by bit. You are going to win! Then, go looking for your weapons to defeat it. All the help you need is around you. Read, search the Internet, talk to others who have been through it. Don’t give up!
- Put your heart in that cast. Accept that this is going to take some time. The course, “Divorce Care” says that for every 4 years you were in a serious relationship, you need 1 year to heal. So, if you were married for 16 years, realize that you need to give yourself at least 4 years to find your way home. That doesn’t mean you won’t find a new relationship and start building it before then. It just means that you need to realize that the brokenness has to repair and it may take that long. That is, if you work at it.
- Believe! The time is coming when you will be able to “look back with love” as John Gray says in “Mars and Venus, Starting Over.” Or, as someone else put it recently, you will be able to tell the story without hurting. That is when you will truly have a stronger, braver, wiser and most giving heart to share with someone new.
If you think it will never end, remember this. I and countless others have been through it. And we made it. You will, too. Come visit me at www.hopesourcelifecoaching.ca. I am preparing my new e-book, “How Do You Mend A Broken Heart: By Never Giving Up On True Love” so that all of these tools can be placed directly in your hands. It will be a Guidebook to lead you from heartbreak to happiness.