If you found this blog you may be suffering from acute heartbreak of a soulmate love gone awry. I get it. It hurts like hell. Treat it with reverence. You are currently in the process of updating your inner operating system. Think of this pain like the growing pains of your tween years that attacked your shins, but instead these are the growing pains of the mind. The ‘you’ you have been until this moment has served you well and now there is a new you emerging. Some call it spiritual growth, initiation, or transformation. Call it whatever you want. Right now you are being asked to harness this life moment for your greatest healing, learning, and expansion. Pain is not your enemy. Pain is the spaceship you are boarding to explore the wide expanse of your inner universe—why you choose who you choose in love, and what love actually is. If your heart is being broken, let it break wide open. Pain, when truly surrendered to, will guide you home. You don’t have to believe me now. Just wait. Here are a few steps that worked for me.
1. GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO GRIEVE.
If your heartbreak happened suddenly and without any explanation, allow yourself time to be numb with shock. When you are ready, cry your tears. Honor your pain. Feel my hands tenderly but firmly holding both of your shoulders and looking straight into your fierce, tender eyes. Hear my voice telling you, “You didn’t do anything wrong. You went for it. You loved! You were all in. F yeah.”
Immediately after Heartbreak Day do whatever feels supportive and comforting. Eat whatever you want, stay in bed and sleep, distract yourself with work, talk to your mother, avoid your mother, see a therapist, fire your therapist, play video games, or go to the movie theater in your sweats. Whatever your go-to numbing agent is, allow it to be okay as you go through the initial shock (unless it is a hard narcotic or something that will do permanent damage). Don’t argue or negotiate with your pain. It will be felt, now or later. Please don’t judge yourself as you go through this process, it only slows down the healing process and decorates the space of this hell.
2. SURRENDER TO YOUR PAIN
Give yourself permission to feel. Feel your feelings. I know it can seem terrifying to our rational mind but do it anyway. When the mind tries to take control because it is afraid of going nuts (Feelings?! Oh, no!), just breathe and trust, and go back to feeling. You are ok. It is ok. It won’t last forever.
If you are having one of those days in bed where you just can’t do anything, good on you. Call in sick, watch movies, cry, snot the day away. Find safe ways to feel the depth of your grief. Please, I beg of you, be a little discerning about what you watch. Try not to watch Nicholas Sparks (like I did) or any other romantic, lowercase love drivel that sells an idealized notion of relationships that will leave you feeling sad and empty. If possible, choose to watch something that feels uplifting.
Imagine you are a surfer and right now the waves are gnarly. At times, you will eat shit and be forced underwater, and it will be hard to breathe. Don’t try to fight the ocean, just go limp and surrender. As you come up for air more often, you will begin to observe the thoughts and beliefs that are keeping you under water. Every emotion is neutral energy until we judge it or make it mean something about us.
3. CHILL ON THE SOCIAL MEDIA
Ignore your social media. You are in rehab and going through withdrawal. Literally, there are chemicals in your brain compelling you to believe that your ex is the only thing in the world that will make you feel right again. It isn’t true, but knowing that doesn’t help at first. Texting, calling, and trolling your ex online is like a recovering heroin addict cuddling with their dealer. Please don’t torture yourself. If you do, don’t beat yourself up.
Hormones are wreaking havoc throughout your body and your brain. You may be feeling a spectrum of emotion from intense pain, anger, sadness, grief, judgment, numbness, self-pity, and panic. You are literally in rehab from a chemical more powerful than heroin.
4. RELEASE YOUR ANGER
Release your anger. Go to an Anger Room and smash stuff up. Write it all down. Give your ex hell on the page, and then rip it up. If you grew up in a culture that represses emotion, anger can be a real doozy. I hereby give you full permission to get angry (safely). If left unexpressed, anger can be used by the ego to invent beliefs about yourself, the world, and God. In other words, if you don’t express your anger it will harden into an armor of false beliefs that will make you, and eventually others, suffer. See Terrorist.
Anger is a powerful healing agent when expressed consciously. I consider it the superhighway of emotion, guiding you directly to the underlying belief that is causing you so much suffering. I am at my most self-righteous when I don’t get what I want. When I first experienced heartbreak, I not only wanted to believe my former lover was wrong, but I wanted to believe all men were irredeemable. Ego loves absolutes. Wrong-making is a hurt person’s way to avoid feeling pain directly.
5. ASK FOR SUPPORT
Honor this moment in your life by telling people the truth. They might ask, “How are you?” Why not be open and answer, “I’m heartbroken.” Respect this moment by not pretending to be okay, not making light of it, and not lying to yourself or to others. Do whatever is supportive for you. Prioritize your own needs. Any judgement that prioritizing your own needs right now is “selfish” or “wrong” is based in absolute nonsense. Do it. There is no right way to heal from heartbreak. In the early aftermath, honor this moment and let it change you. The suffering you are feeling is based on ideas, expectations, or beliefs you carry about yourself, others, God, and the world. If you let this experience change you—evolve your beliefs if you will—you may discover more freedom, openness and the opportunity to find a much better match when the smoke clears.