How do you mend a broken heart? What do you do when your dreams come crashing down around you?
How do you mend a broken heart? What do you do when your dreams come crashing down around you? When all you hoped for appears to be lost, and when the lines of communication have been cut?
Here are five ways of integrating the loss:
1. Feel your pain. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it feels like it could go on forever. But it won't. One morning you'll wake up and the pain will have receded, the sky will be clear and you'll see possibility again. Just not today. Maybe not tomorrow. Breathe in, breathe out, let the pain and feelings out, and let the new moments in.
2. Write it out. Safest place to express your feelings over loss is in writing. A journal won't argue, wont' defend, won't try to fix what seems broken, or encourage you to mend. It's a safe place to let it out and work it out. Start writing. It's astonishingly therapeutic.
Ah, but what to write about? Three things.
First, start with anger if you're there. (You're angry, right? It's unfair, isn't it? It makes no sense, true? There's your anger.) Anger at how you were treated, at how irresponsible the other person was or is. Anger at the universe or God for letting you down and leaving you alone again. Whatever you're mad at or about, writing it up is a great way of letting it out and moving through it. You'll know you're done when there's nothing more about it to say. CAUTION: Don't be so wise and good at this point. Be angry! Be congruently angry! Fastest way out is ins.
With the anger out of the way, ext comes sadness and disappointment. So write about it! Write about the hopes and dreams you had been storing up before you knew the end was near, and then say your goodbyes to those hopes and dreams and watch them leaving, getting smaller as you wave to them. Write about the things you tried, the effort you made, and how it somehow wasn't enough, and then say goodbye to it all. Write until you've cried all the tears that you'd held inside.
With the anger experienced and goodbyes said, you can then write a thank you note. (*If you don't feel like saying thank you, back to the anger and sadness for you!) No matter how painful the lessons you learned or will learn, there assuredly will be value in the experience that can guide you in the future towards a better outcome. Forgiveness is a by product of gratitude.
3. Seek out support. You're not alone and you don't have to go it alone. Sometimes a helping hand and some encouraging words from a friend are all that it takes to pick yourself up and start again. Don't know who to call? Start close and work your way out to the edge of your circle. Someone will be there, but nobody knows the trouble you've seen until you find someone willing to listen non-judgmentally and give you a safe space to feel connected to someone and something while you go through the pain of loss.
4. Mind your head. The things you say to yourself about yourself are of real importance when dreams are dashed and hopes come crashing down. If you don't have anything encouraging to say to yourself, that's ok. But it's the discouraging words from yourself that pile insult on injury.
5. Feedback instead of failure. You may or may not have the chance to find out what happened when it ends. If the person is willing to talk with you one more time, turn it into a feedback session. Find out what you could have done better, what you weren't doing, and what you didn't need to do. Gaining perspective is the key to turning bad to good in life.
When your life is turned upside down, that's the time to step back, give yourself a break, and give yourself some tender loving care of your own. Little by little, you'll get through this. You'll better for it. And somehow, good will eventually come from it. Even if you don't believe it, keep on keeping on. I promise, it's going to be alright again.
Be well, be whole