Breakups suck! Heartbreak Sucks! And mostly all of us have been there at one time or another in our lives.
As someone who came out of a relationship a little over a year ago, I still have moments of heart wrenching pain, sadness that overwhelms me, and tears that feel like they will fall forever. I often judge this pain as bad and think to myself, “I should be over this; it’s been a year. I shouldn’t still be feeling this much pain; I should be happy now.” I start to should all over myself. Have you ever done this?
Whether it’s a broken heart or anything in life that feels challenging, so often we judge where we are, versus just accepting it. Getting over a broken heart takes time. Learning to open your heart again, takes time. It’s a process and it’s one that need not be taken lightly. Loss is a big event in our lives and grieving a loss is what will help us to heal our hearts and bring us back to a place where we are ready to love again.
After my break up, I tried everything…I read every break-up book there was to find, did every online course to help heal my heart, even enrolled in a “soul mate” series thinking that if I just work on myself, I will be able to heal my heart faster and call in my soul mate. WRONG!!!! These were all just forms of looking outside of myself and thinking I needed to “fix” myself.
I have always thought that if I just kept fixing myself that I would be lovable. That whatever I did in a past relationship that didn’t work at the time, I would “fix’ it. I would fix what was broken in me and then someone would really love me. I would fix my emotions, I would fix my body, I would fix my thoughts…Boy, did I have this backwards.
As I went through the healing process, I also kept hearing the words, “You have to love yourself, before you can love another, or before another can love you.” These words rang true to me in so many ways, but what they also brought to me was a feeling that I would never find love until I fully, unconditionally loved myself…more “Fixing” if you will. I felt defeated and cynical. How could I ever feel the love for myself that I feel for another??
Yes, I believe that we must love ourselves, take care of ourselves and be in alignment with what our higher self wants. Loving ourselves is the most important thing. When we stray from this, we will usually be presented with lessons. When we don’t honor our own needs and start to give ourselves away, something will always be presented to us to bring us back to our center, even if it’s painful. Loving ourselves is not something we were taught as kids. John Gray, the author of “Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus” said that the first seven years of our lives are the most informative when it comes to loving ourselves and feeling loved. If we had no one in our lives to reflect this to us during that time, then most likely we struggle with feeling lovable or even loving ourselves.
I learned this the hard way in my last relationship. I was doing everything in my power to make it work, to feel loved, to get my boyfriend to show up the way I thought he should. I thought that if he and I did a communication workshop together, went to therapy, or read relationship books, that we could fix what was “wrong.” What’s that?? MORE FIXING you SAY?? Yes, I think I have been in fix myself mode for years…ever since I can remember. I don’t ever remember coming out of a relationship and not blaming myself for something I did or said wrong. This didn’t help me heal, this just brought on more suffering and pain.
Losing someone we love is hard; often times people will shut down and turn away from love because the pain endured is so intense. I know there have been times when I thought I would never open to love again. Often we walk through life with an iron gate around our hearts thinking it will protect us; we turn to substances to numb our pain, or watch endless TV in search of the perfect, fantasy relationship, thinking that if we could just have that, then life would be okay. Or we just jump right back in to a new relationship thinking it will solve all our pain. We pass each other on the street without acknowledging that we are all in pain, in some form or another. When others ask how we are, we say “fine,” but don’t really mean it because we don’t want others to see our pain.
What I have learned through this whole process is that healing is about being vulnerable, about showing who I really am and I how I am really feeling. No more hiding, no more pretending I am okay. Telling others close to me how I am feeling and reaching out for support helped me to see how many people in my life DO love me, and there is nothing wrong with me that I need to fix. These amazing souls reflected back to me the love that I am. And when this happened, I knew I didn’t have to search anywhere outside of myself anymore to find a way to fix myself or to feel loved. And my heart started to break wide open.
So, as I sit here today I can only share with you what I have learned. I have learned that only time, patience, self-nurturing, support from loved ones and acceptance of what is (even if it sucks) will bring healing. I have learned that being vulnerable is perfect. That allowing someone to see my pain allows them to really see me and relate to me. I have learned that opening up my heart and letting someone in is not as scary as it seems, and that staying shut down just creates more pain. I have learned that each time I speak a truth, even if it’s painful, my heart melts and opens just bit every time.
I am DONE with fixing myself. Fixing myself just tells the Uni-verse that I do not think I am okay exactly how I am. It sends out the message that I am broken, that I am NOT an inherently perfect, loving being. And when I send out that message, what do I get? Someone that will reflect that back to me. So, what I have learned from all of the pain and broken hearts I have endured, is that only time will take away the pain, and as I am feeling that pain, opening up to the true love inside of myself and accepting myself exactly where I am, broken heart and all will bring me back to what’s really important…LOVE.
Where can you show your vulnerability today to help yourself heal? Can you open up to someone and tell them how you feel? Can you ask for support? Can you accept what is, right now as perfect without judging where you are in your life? Can you let your heart melt just a little through taking a risk? I know you can…so do it and see what happens. Walk through the fear and open to love…I promise it will be worth it!
With loving gratitude,
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Melissa is personal chef, wellness coach and nutrition educator. Check out her website here.