Any one who has had their heart broken, knows how difficult it is to get over the pain and move on in life. A lot of people know they must get over it , after all, every one around keeps telling them that, and yet, no matter how hard you try, the heart continues to ache, sometimes even after years. Some become cynical about love and relationships, for some the pain ends up becoming bitterness in their hearts, preventing any new meaningful or long lasting relationship from even having a chance with them. A lot of us, continue to have lingering hope of finding love again and pray someone will come along and wipe the pain from our hearts and re-install our faith in love.
A lot of things can cause a broken heart. Getting dumped by the person, you thought, was " The One", getting cheated upon, loss by death.... Whatever the cause might be... The process of getting over is long, tedious and most of all difficult. Beyond a point, there is no one really who offer understanding, empathy or even support. If you have cancer, everyone around you tries their best to become supportive and helpful, you get medi-claim and leave from work, yet there is no such plan for someone going through the pain of a broken heart. Usually you end up traveling the road to recovery alone. There are manuals to help people to over come addictions. Here I'm sharing the broad guidelines from my manual for Broken Hearts Anonymous.
This is a 9 step program to get over a broken heart
Its over. Stop being in denial. The first reaction, for any person, going through any shock or trauma is denial. This denial can last from a few moments to months and sometimes even years. You just can't bring yourself to accept the current situation. You just can't believe its happening to you. After all, you thought, everything was so perfect. You invested so much emotionally, mentally, perhaps even financially into the person you love and your relationship, sometimes you've been together for years, perhaps there are children involved, sometimes partnerships in work. You had plans, everything was sorted out. Sure there were fights and arguments but then which couple doesn't have them. Even if there were signs, your mind refused to see and accept them. And now your mind tells you, perhaps its a phase, perhaps he/she is just angry. Maybe all that is needed is a bit of space, it will all work out, even when the person moves out and starts living separately, you just keep thinking, He/ she will come back. We belong together. This is Living in Denial.
The first step is Acceptance. Accept " It is OVER", repeat it to yourself over and over again. No solution can ever be found until you accept the situation to begin with. Even if, in the long run, it does work out, in your present moment, in the current situation is " Its Over". Now you need to deal with it...
The worst thing to do, is to not ask for help. Most people have a fair idea , what it is to have a major relationship ending. If there is someone, anyone like your friends or cousins, who lives near you and is accessible on the phone, ask them for their intervention. By intervention do I mean they go and speak to your partner. No. What I mean is, they become a shield for you. The first few weeks are the most traumatic, once the acceptance settles in. Request a friend to be on stand by.
After the first few days, take help from your friend to keep you occupied. Let them plan your day broadly. If they want you to go to a play or movie or dinner, say yes. Ask them to help you remember why you're so lovable and why you need to get over. A pep talk , always does you good.
Cry, get drunk, grieve it over, do it with someone you trust. Not only that , start keeping something like a journal In your journal note down your thoughts, feelings, keep track of how many times you give missed calls, texted, spoke begged, wept, everything. It’s one thing to go through, and another thing to see in black and white, in your own hand writing what you're going through. There comes a point, where you will ask yourself, why am I putting myself though this? Why am I de-grading myself like this? Stop agonizing about what if, what did I do wrong, should I have, should I say sorry, will he come back to me. Etc When you want to get back together with your ex, read the letter why he’s good riddance, read your journals, see how much pain you’ve been through. Learn
After the first two weeks, you must remember: no more phone calls in despair to the ex, no meet me once more, no more excuses. No use of sex as the last resort to keep them with you. Take help from your friends. If you're tempted to call, call your friend instead. If staying by yourself, especially at night becomes unbearable and leads to bouts of crying uncontrollably, ask your friends to take turns maybe to sleep over at your place or If possible stay over at their place.
In case, you don't have such friends, immediately seek professional help. Going to a therapist is not a sign of mental disorder or weakness. You may be a man or a woman, it is a sign of intelligence to ask for help, when you need it.
4. Get angry:
Sometimes, step four happens naturally during step three. Its written as a separate step, to understand the importance of purging not only the grief but the anger. Anger, is a natural emotion when you feel wronged, cheated, used or even helpless. This anger needs a healthy out let and to be used as pure , unadulterated energy to propel you forward, not angry and bitter but as recharged and re-energized.
For this step, you can use a variety of tools, Some sound childlike but bring extreme amount of satisfaction to your heart. Make a list of why you’re better off, cut up left over clothes, burn pictures, un-friend from social networking sites, write a letter and pour out all your hurt, pain, all that your plans and dreams were, all your anger, curse whatever, and then burn this letter, without re-reading it. Its a great method to release your anger
Do 3 and 4 a few more times till you run out of steam.
5. Become a friend to yourself:
Pamper yourself, and pamper yourself, go to spas, go swimming, dancing, re-do your apartment the way you want to, splurge on a few feel good things for yourself. Get a change of wardrobe. Get enrolled in hobby classes,( read my blog:" I don't want to be alone 1 and 2 "). If you can afford to take a trip, if you want solitude go alone, you can go with friends or you can go visit someone, who is sure to spoil you. stay for few days with someone who adores you, an aunt, cousin, parents, allow them to pamper you. Do what ever it takes to restore your self confidence back and uplifts your self esteem. Do positive things for yourself, loose weight, rather then giving into emotional eating binges. Start an exercise regime. Its a great way to stay in shape and blow off steam.
6. Gratitude :
You may wonder, how gratitude comes into the picture of getting over a broken heart. gratitude to the higher power works two folds. One, it makes you aware , what life of misery you have been saved from. Think about it, if the same break up happened , years too late, imagine how far worse the situation would be. Think about all the possibilities of all that you've been saved from and the opportunities you've been given. Once you start feeling the gratitude, for the past, the good things you shared, for the present, that is is over and now you have new opportunities to grow in life and the future, which has so much potential, practicing gratitude, brings peace and secondly, as per the laws of attraction, he more you're grateful for, the more universe gives you. So take time out to thank god for getting you out of that relationship, thank him for every little thing you do have, like your friends, family, children, a job, a house, food on your table, your health, Every day, think about all the blessings that ARE there in your life. The less you focus on what you don't have, the sooner, you heal yourself. Gratitude allows you to open yourself to loving yourself, and loving your life
Forgiveness is one of the most crucial steps in healing your own self. From the way I look at it, forgiveness is not altruistic at all. Forgiveness is something we exercise, to free yourself, from the baggage of the past. We cut the cords giving the past , control over our present. Forgiveness, is not condoning the act . Forgiveness like Oprah very eloquently said, is giving up the hope, that the past would have been different. (Please read my blog: "Before Forgiveness") Forgive not only the other people, who have hurt you, your spouse and if there was a third party involved them too. Do not allow them to mess with your heart, mind, you present or your future. Let them stay in the past. More importantly, “Forgive your self.” Forgive yourself, for the mistakes you think you've committed. Forgive yourself, for attracting the situation in your life. Work on eliminating the cause of attracting the situation, so that it does not become a repetitive pattern in your life. Forgive yourself, for when you felt you let yourself down. Forgive yourself for the anger and for all that you did that ended up hurting you like drinking when you were depressed. Set yourself free from self blame too.
8. Let Go:
Letting Go, is very difficult. You may think writing or reading all this is easier said than done, all this is good on paper but not in real life. I know. It is easier said than done. I have been through and survived several major break ups in my life. What I learnt was, when we fall down, we get up, we dust our self and we walk on, the dusting part is the letting go. If we don't let go, the resentment sticks on like dust on our clothes and after a while becomes a permanent stain. In my experience, to let go completely can take up to, almost one year from the time of the break up. Some people manage faster, some take a bit more time. However, if you're true to the programme, it takes about a year, to be ready to really be at peace and release completely. Write a letter, poem, story whatever can express the good and bad of your relationship, let go without bitterness.
9. Go forward with faith:
The first 8 steps, help you get over you shock, pain and grief, they also help you take a look at yourself and your life. You invest time and effort in re-building yourself and your life. You have now taken stock of your life and made healthy changes to yourself and your life. You have been paying attention to all the good you have been blessed with. Now it is time for you to move forward. This is a good time, to make visualization boards to have a blue print of the life you want. Be very clear in your visualization board about the qualities you seek in your life partner. Use whatever tools such as affirmations, Angel prayers, chakra coloring boards specifically for finding the perfect partner. Keep focus only on the positive. Once you’ve done the exercise of manifesting the future you want. Let Go and let God do his work. Trust in the divine plan and the divine timing. Now take pro- active measures to give a clear indication to the universe, you are ready. Start with casual dating. Ask family and friends to set you up. Avoid going out with total strangers, test your feelings to see how strong and confident you feel. Its like physiotherapy for the heart. It needs slow and steady work outs to get back to the former strength and energy.
· till all steps are completed successfully there will be no dating, sex casual or otherwise
· In case of relapse, like in case of getting back with the ex briefly or a rebound fling all steps must be started from scratch.
· All partying , eating out etc will be in a group or with same sex friends.
· At no point allow yourself to wallow in self pity.
· If you wish to stay in touch or maintain a friendship, it must be kindled only after you have completed all steps from 1-8
· Missing and thinking about your ex is natural, do not use it an excuse to not complete the program or to keep trying to get back together. Divert yourself.
· Keep a journal till the very end . It will help you monitor your progress, how far you’ve come and keep track of your pit falls, learning’s, your high points, gratitude lists etc
Loneliness is something that is the biggest stumbling block in getting over some one, if you have enough space and can afford it, get a pet like a dog. Taking care of it and the unconditional love you receive is a great healer.
Volunteer your spare time, a few hours every week at local charitable organizations such as orphanages or old age homes. They will appreciate the love you bring to them. Besides focusing your energies and time in alleviating another’s pain takes away the focus and helps reducing your own. It puts things in a larger perspective.