Never be sad for what is over, just be glad that it was once yours. If you truly love someone you have to let them go and be happy for them, no matter what. Because true love will never cage something.
Almost everyone has suffered at least once from a broken heart. Some people suffer from it constantly. Others quickly look out for a new partner to fix the damage. Only to end up alone with a broken heart again. A broken heart is painful. Wanting to avoid that pain by denial will not make it disappear. You have to face it in order to heal it. In this post I will describe how I managed to heal my heart from this pain and transform it into vitality, strength, joy and (self) love.
My first broken heart
I’ve had several (short) relationships in my life. Most of them ended because of a long distance. But to be honest, I doubt whether the relationships would have lasted even on a shorter distance. I learned that the strength of a relationship depends on the self love of the partners involved and not so much on the outer circumstances.
However, two relationships have impressed me profoundly and changed my personality. The first relationship is actually the reason why I started walking the spiritual path. Up until now, I am still very grateful to this man, let’s call him Rick, for the rocky relationship. I was so stuck at that time; the spiritual path looked like the only path that was left for me. No matter how much I tried to become my “best self” and to keep him in the relationship, after a year he broke up with me. Right at the moment that our relationship seemed to start to get serious, he left me with the words: “You are the most important woman in my life, but I just can’t do this.” I can tell you, that hurt! Sometimes I wished he would have told me didn’t love me, which would have made it easier to accept. But that wasn’t the case and I simply had to carry on.
That was easier said than done. I remember how I one day, more than six month after he had left me, was lying on my couch and cried endlessly. I was lying there, curled up like a baby, wondering whether I was ever going to be able to stop crying. At a certain point I didn’t even know anymore whether I was shedding the tears because I was missing him or whether I was afraid I would have to live with this pain inside of me for the rest of my life. It felt like the pain never wanted to leave me and I would have to be heartbroken for the rest of my life.
Eventually, it took me one and a half years, but finally I could (without having distracted myself with other men) proudly say that I was over him. I still loved him as a person, but was not romantically interested in him anymore. Throughout the one and a half years I started to understand our relationship better and understood our unhealthy relationship dynamic. I was emotionally very dependent and he was emotionally what is called independent and afraid of commitment. Knowing that my dependence rooted in my lack of self love, I started to take better care of myself and my self esteem. That worked out pretty well and I enjoyed the emotional freedom and independence of my single years.
My second broken heart
I almost continued this carefree lifestyle for the rest of my life, but I noticed that I started to lose track of my spiritual path. I realized that a relationship is a great trigger for spiritual growth and I slowly started to open up again for a new relationship.
After four years of being single I met the second influential man in my life, Noah. The relationship was not particularly a dream relationship. The fact that we lived 10 000 kilometers apart was our smallest problem. But we loved each other dearly and I was willing to fight for this relationship. Unfortunately, also this relationship was bound to fail due to lack of self love and trust in life. Again, I was being left with the words:”I am not making this decision because it makes me any happier, but I just feel I have to do this.” I had loved this man with all my being and I was convinced we were going to have a future together. However, this time the recovery of the break-up didn’t take me one and a half years, but only two months.
Well, this is where the interesting part starts! The big difference was my own personal strength and the way I had handled the relationship from the beginning. The following factors have been crucial:
1.) I have consistently tried to give and show him my unconditional love. I didn’t play games and I tried to not play along with his games.
I don’t get this. Shouldn’t you regret giving your love away after someone takes off with it, leaving you behind with nothing?
No, on the contrary. The fact that I had given him my love made it easier for me not to regret the relationship. First of all, I enjoyed the relationship a lot more, because giving love simply is such a nice thing to do. Second, I couldn’t blame myself for not having tried enough. Giving love was the best I could do. Third, the fact that I had loved him unconditionally made it easier for me to let him go. If you really love someone, you only want this person to be free and to do whatever makes him happy. Even if that means continuing life without you. And you should let him go, even if it doesn’t make him any happier. Everyone makes their own experiences at their own time and pace. Trusting in someone’s capacities to make the right decisions is a sure sign of love.
Ok, but let’s get back to the second crucial step which helped me dealing with the second breakup:
2.) I didn’t take the breakup personal. I knew that his will to move on without me did not have anything to do with me. He had his own personal issues and in my opinion he also had some hidden agendas. I could clearly see he had lost himself in many ways. Lacking self love makes it extremely difficult to love someone else, so how could I take it personal that he couldn’t love me enough to stay in the relationship?
Well, for you it’s easy to say. But imagine, he would have said: I am not happy with you and I don’t love you anymore. In that case it’s pretty personal, isn’t it?
Maybe it is meant personal in that case, but I simply wouldn’t take it personal. His inability to love me might still stem from his inability to love himself. Furthermore: Am I a bad person because he doesn’t love me anymore? Do I need his approval and love to be able to feel good about myself? Was he assigned by the universe to judge whether someone is “good” or “bad”? This is about his personal opinion and says nothing about my objective worth as a human being. There are so many people on this world who don’t love me and that definitely doesn’t make me have sleepless nights.
Hmm, you’ve got a point there…
3.) I accepted that everything happens for a reason. I don’t think this needs any further explanation. I knew: If this isn’t the one, it can only mean that there is a better one waiting for me somewhere. And besides, there is probably some interesting life lesson somewhere hidden in this experience. Willing to learn something from every experience, changes all experiences to the better.
4.) I realized that I am the only person responsible for my happiness. In order to be happy, I don’t need him, but I need myself. It was already sad enough that he had left me, I couldn’t afford to also leave myself. Contrary to prior experiences, I didn’t focus that much on my ex partner, but started to focus on myself. I took good care of myself and I comforted myself, just like I would comfort a good friend. The care I took of myself made me realize that happiness really comes from within and can’t be generated by someone else. I had never felt this loved and cared for ever before. And at the same time I never felt this loving before. I had days, especially just after he had left me, that I felt such an intense, inexplicable love for everyone I saw and for myself. I remember passing by this guy in the park, who was sitting on a bench, eating a sandwich and I had this strong urge to get off my bike, hug him and tell him I love him, just the way he is. I have never taken drugs, but I am pretty sure this is what people refer to when they use MDMA or other drugs that enhance your emotions. I had created this feeling without drugs. And without a man. It was all inside of me, has always been inside of me and will always be there.
5.) I allowed myself to feel the pain. After Rick broke up I wanted to get over him too badly. I wanted to forget him and I certainly didn’t want anyone to know I still loved him. This only made me suffer more and increased my dependence. In the case of Noah, I accepted the feelings just the way they were. Whenever I felt like crying, I simply did. Uncensored and without any judgement about myself or my situation.
6.) I accepted the situation. It was over. Nothing was going to change it. By accepting it, I realized my freedom and power to react to the situation. The first option was to ruminate over this problem for months, scolding myself for having lost this man I had loved so much and lamenting our lost future which could have been so perfect. The second option was to accept what had happened and to keep in mind that everything happens for a reason. To continue life with curiosity and vitality, wondering what kind of nice surprises life still has to offer. I chose the second option.
7.) I avoided quiet some drama in my life. Three months after he broke up, he was going to have a baby with a woman with whom he had cheated on me. I knew about it and I was ready to support him and his baby and to become worlds’ nicest stepmom, but deep inside I was happy to be released from this strange love triangle. I will explain more about this bizarre situation and why I decided to stay with him in another post. But maybe you can also think of a sub-optimal situation in your own failed relationship you are happy to leave behind? Think of any drama or character trait which you can do gladly without.
Well, that was a pretty long post, but I hope it has filled you with new insights and renewed your eagerness for life and happiness! I hope that your heartache will become, like in my case, an experience you look back on with a lot of self love and a smile on your face.