Healing After Heartache
This past weekend I hosted my first relationship workshop. Designed to help women learn and prosper in their intimate relationships, Dating 101 served as a sacred space where women could share experiences and bond in love.
We spent the afternoon discussing common dating mistakes, recognizing red flags, and how to keep your relationship hot and sexy. At the conclusion of the three-hour workshop, we spent a short amount of time covering the sensitive subject of how to heal after heartache.
After briefly covering the topic of heartbreak, I felt compelled to write this article not only to further support the women who were in attendance, but to provide advice to any other reader who may need help reconstructing their lives after a romantic breakup.
Romantic relationships can be an excellent source of emotional, spiritual, and physical gratification. Despite the fact that intimate relationships are a fountainhead for love, peace, and joy for most people, the disbanding of a relationship can prove to be one of life’s more devastating experiences. Almost identical to the pain associated with a loss from death, the symptoms of bereavement can also be seen in divorce or romantic breakups.
Inflicted with “heartbreak syndrome,” romantic breakups can compromise the mind, body and spirit. After a breakup, you may find it to be challenging to regain your footing, causing you to constantly feel like you’re losing your balance.
After a heartbreak, you feel completely out of control and powerless. Your thoughts are no longer your personal possessions because your ex-partner owns every moment of your free time. Depression feeds on your sanity and tears stream uncontrollably. Food loses its taste, and your ability to laugh is on pause. You literally feel physical pain in your chest and for a while, you question if you will ever fully recover from this devastation.
Anyone who has ever been hurt can relate. While you may empathize with their feelings, telling someone who is fresh out of a relationship that, “things will get better” does very little to comfort the excruciating hurt they are feeling.
Breakups are exhausting, and they mercilessly drag you between the place of trying to heal so you can love once more and never wanting to trust another person with your heart again.
But as unbelievable as it may seem, there is love after heartbreak.
While there is no true remedy that will immediately eradicate the hurt that follows a dissolved relationship, here are recommended steps to help heal from a broken heart:
When your ex asks if you can still be friends right after a breakup, it’s like having a kidnapper tell you to keep in touch.
You cannot be friends with your ex right after a breakup. Although it may be extremely difficult to adjust to a routine that is not centered on your ex, you have to completely cut off communication with them if you hope to move forward in peace. Do not call them and do not answer their calls. Stay away from places where you know you may bump into your ex and as tempting as it may be to troll their social media sites, delete and block all online interaction.
Trying to force a friendship where there should actually be distance will only prolong the healing process. Give yourself adequate time and space away from your ex.
It doesn’t matter how “good” you have it, depression makes every situation seem pointless and hopeless.
Recovering from a heartbreak can resemble the grief process. You may go through the denial phase where you refuse to accept that the relationship is actually over. Denial is typically followed by intense anger. You hate your ex and as you replay the bad times in your relationship, you may find yourself overcome with rage and frustration.
Once the anger subdues you may attempt to rationalize things in your mind. You’ll question if you somehow could have prevented your relationship from ending, and wonder if you left too soon or if you could have behaved differently.
The unbearable pain of heartache will cause some depression and sadness. Eventually, you will come to accept the reality of your breakup and slowly start to rebuild, but as you grieve, do not be afraid to reach out for help from a professional to help you sort through your feelings.
The best revenge is just moving on and getting over it. Don’t give someone the satisfaction of watching you suffer.
Do not do yourself harm by attempting to numb the pain of heartache. Extreme hurt can cause us to behave irrationally. In moments of sadness, hurt, and anger, do not reach for negative coping mechanisms like excessive drinking or one-night stands in hopes of healing. These behaviors will only deepen existing pain in the long run.
Crying is the only way your eyes speak when your mouth can’t explain how things broke your heart.
Allow yourself time to be hurt. It’s OK to cry. Pretending like you are not hurting or that your feelings are not shattered prolongs your healing process. Be gentle with yourself. Give yourself time to process the changes and permission to be emotional. Do not expect your heart to recover immediately.
Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together.
Guys, applying MAC lipstick may not be part of your healing process, but your friends definitely are. As badly as you may want to seclude yourself from the world and stay buried under your down comforter in your dark room, eventually, life will demand your presence. Here is where your friends come into play.
Never try to get through a breakup without your roadies. They are the people who will slowly help you regain some normalcy in your life.
Ladies, send a message to your girls, have a crying session and then get fabulous and regain control over your life. Guys, call up your boys, and do whatever it is you guys do when you’re trying to help your homie get through a breakup. I would imagine this includes a lot of alcohol and some half-dressed women.
At the end of the day, your friends will be instrumental in your healing. Do not drag yourself through a breakup alone. During this time, it’s important to rely on the people in your life who will offer you encouraging words, make you laugh through the tears, remind you of your worth, and boost your spirits by telling you how amazing and special you are.
You are one heartbreak closer to being with the person you are meant to be with.
Once you deal with the hurt from your breakup, you will realize that your past relationships are all meant to prepare you for real love. They will each teach you valuable lessons about yourself. With each ending relationship, I emerged more in tuned with the woman I was destined to become. I learned how to speak kindly, how to be compassionate and gentle, what I found valuable, and more importantly, I came to understand the things that I did not want in a partner.
Spend some time analyzing your past relationships. Never leave a situation, positive or negative, without getting your lessons. Everything we experience in life is designed to better connect us with our true self. After a breakup, self-reflection must occur. Ask yourself, “What was this relationship here to teach me?”
In order to move on, you must understand why you felt what you did and why you no longer need to feel it.
Don’t allow anyone to put a cap on the amount of time you should spend trying to mend your broken heart. For some, after a few weeks of intense, almost unbearable aching, they are slowly able to regain some control of their emotions and thoughts. For others, healing can take years. The important thing to remember is that you cannot bypass your healing.
After an intimate breakup, there must be a period of self-reflection and self-growth. During this time, you have to be willing to ask yourself the hard questions. What can I do differently moving forward to attract healthy love? Was this person ever good for me? Did I recognize the warning signs? What can I do to prevent ever having to experience this again? Who am I and what am I looking for in a partner?
Similar to medical surgery, in order to recover, you have to go through the procedure. It’s the operation that removes the illness from the body. You have to rid your entire heart of anything toxic if you hope to love again. If you do not take time to analyze your past relationships, you may find yourself opening your heart up for the same type of hurt.
You have to love yourself because no amount of love from others is sufficient to fill the yearning that your soul requires from you.
A lack of self-love is the warmest invitation for individuals who want to reap the benefits of love, without having to put forth any real work or effort. The manner in which we exalt and respect ourselves gives others insight into how we demand to be love. The more connected we are with our invaluable traits, the less likely we are to welcome in people who we have to convince that we are worthy.
Spend some time learning all of the things about yourself that make you unique. When you redirect the energy you once spent on your lover to loving yourself, you will slowly become more and more protective of your heart. Once you are in tune with your divineness, you will do anything possible to ensure that anyone who enters your home has the intentions of caring for what’s inside.
Jazz Keyes is a community activist, poetess and a nationally certified Life Purpose and Career Coach. Keyes supplies clients with the necessary tools and techniques to awaken their divine energy, heal their open wounds and create an aura of love, compassionate and tranquility. In 2013, Keyes was named “13 People to Watch For” by Rockford Register Star and in honor of Black History Month 2014, Keyes was recently named a“Neighborhood Hero” by ComEd’s Power of One Campaign. Keyes in currently pursuing her Masters in Clinical Psychology and hopes to one day be a best-selling author and motivational speaker. She has devoted a great deal of her time and energy on mastering the art of communication in order to create healthy, dynamic, long-lasting relationships.