Recently a friend of mine was dumped by her boyfriend of five years. Obviously, she was devastated. On Facebook, she posted the following question: “When does it get better?”
We’ve all been there at one point or another in our lives. We’ve all had to face the pain of someone else deciding that they don’t want to be with us. We’ve all had our hearts broken, and many of us have been through the experience multiple times.
Breakups can be challenging under any circumstance. But when the decision is one-sided, as in the case of my friend, they’re especially painful.
And yet we have to go on living. And we do eventually recover. We do get better.
The following are some suggested ways for speeding-up the process of healing a broken heart.
Accept That It’s Over
The sooner you can accept that the relationship is over, the sooner you can begin the healing process. Trying to convince the other person to take you back is often a self-defeating strategy. You end up wasting more of your life and creating more pain for yourself.
Obviously there are some cases where you might be able to convince the other person to give the relationship another try. But is that really what’s best for you? Do you really want to be at the mercy of someone who’s already decided they don’t want to be with you?
Acknowledge and Breath Into The Pain
Many times when we’re in pain, we try to push the pain away. We try to numb it and ignore that it’s there. This is actually one of the worst possible responses. When we push pain away, it actually stays with us longer.
Other times we feed the pain. We spend time listening to sad songs. We ruminate on our pain. We tell our story of pain to anyone who will listen to us. This strategy also backfires and causes the pain to stay with us longer.
The better response is to breath into the pain. When you feel the pain inside of your heart, simply acknowledge it, accept that it’s okay to feel pain, and then breath slowly, knowing that your heart will someday heal.
Treat Yourself Well
When someone else rejects us, we often find ourselves wallowing in self-pity. We wonder what’s wrong with us. We wonder why other people have found love, but we’re still looking. If we stopped and listened to our thoughts, we’d likely find that we’re saying all sorts of awful things about ourselves.
Instead of wallowing in self-pity, this is a time when we especially need to look out for ourselves and treat ourselves well. If someone else can’t see the beauty in us, then we need to see it in ourselves.
One of the ways in which we can learn to see our beauty is by doing nice things for ourselves. This might involve getting a massage. Or it may involve taking a vacation. Or perhaps eating a special meal. However we decide to do it, we need to remember to treat ourselves well when we’re suffering from a broken heart.
Take Time For Yourself
Taking time for ourselves is always important. But it’s especially true when someone has broken our heart.
Being by ourselves gives us the opportunity to see that we’re whole and complete just as we are. We often lose sight of this truth when we’re in a relationship.
Spending time by ourselves shows us that we are strong, that we can stand on our own two feet, and that we can and do enjoy our own company.
Spend Time With Others
While it’s important to take some time for ourselves, we also have to be careful that we don’t isolate ourselves. We need to be around other people when we’re in pain. We need to know that there are people in our lives who love and accept us just as we are.
We also need to cultivate new relationships, particularly new friendships. Being newly single is one of the best times to start a new hobby, particularly one that involves being around other people.
Look at The Bigger Picture
A relationship is just one aspect of our lives. Most of us have lots of others things going on in our lives – careers, hobbies, friends, family.
As much as it hurts to be rejected, we need to focus on what’s still good in our lives. No matter how much pain we feel, there are always dozens and dozens of things that we can be grateful for in our lives. We need to build a daily practice of acknowledging the many wonderful things that we still have.
Help Other People
There are always other people who could benefit from our help. This is the perfect time to get involved in your community, to reach out to others, to find a way to help.
When we reach out to others, we begin to learn the lesson of the Buddha – that we all have pain, that we all suffer. We start to heal once we realize that our pain doesn’t make us unique, that every single person we encounter has their own pain they’re dealing with.