How To Trust Again After Your Heart's Been Broken Too Many Times

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How to Trust Again After Your Heart's Been Broken Too Many Times

Make a heroic recovery.

The pain of heartbreak pierces through the heart choking the throat and taking one’s breath away. It’s like receiving a sucker punch to the gut. It is truly a miracle that we even survive it and go on. But going on is what we do even if it’s only a breath at a time.

The pain of loss and betrayal can challenge all our beliefs about trust and goodness of humankind. An act of love and trust lies in giving one’s heart fully and completely to another. The giving of oneself in love is the greatest and most vulnerable gift one can offer. 

To have our gift of self be accepted at first and then later rejected tears at all our basic assumptions about life, love, and trust. 

We question: "Can I love again? Can I trust again? Can I trust myself again?" Finally, we need to know how we can keep this from ever happening again.

Working on grief is the hardest labor we humans do after heartbreak. It’s important to process fully what happened. Let yourself feel the numbness, anger, hurt, and loss knowing it won’t go on forever. 

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Know that you have loved fully. Know that you are a person with a big heart capable of loving deeply. You will love again. Don’t give away your power to the heartbreaker who wasn't able to love deeply enough to stay.

Learning how to trust again requires an optimism in the resilience of the human spirit. It calls for an open vulnerable heart not afraid to risk even though the stakes are high. Loss, heartbreak, and recovery make up the rhythm of human life. 

The heart that has been stabbed with sorrow is also the same heart that has contained happiness and joy. The deeper the happiness you have known is in equal proportion to the sorrow once the object of that joy is gone. If your suffering has been deep, know that you are not a shallow person, but a person of depth who deserves a love that will last.

During the grieving process, try going for a walk. Look for things in nature that could represent how you are feeling. It might be a droopy flower, a leaf heavy with raindrops, or a trampled bed of grass.  

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Notice how nature accepts these stages as part of the landscape. Realize that you are part of all this and know your grief will pass eventually just as the flower will raise its head to the sun, the leaf will allow the wind to shake off its raindrops and the grass will be full again. 

Recovery will happen.

While you are out walking, you might also consider stopping at a beverage hangout. Being around people but not with them can sometimes help. Drink a hot comforting drink and feel it’s warmth flowing through the wounded places inside.  

Maybe bring an inspiring or uplifting book with you and enjoy a few pages. You might also want to journal happy and inspiring moments you observe. These suggestions are meant to be taken at your own stride. There isn’t any need to do them all at once. Honor where ever you are at and whatever you are feeling. Heal at your own pace.

One of the best ways to move out of sorrow is to invest in others. When we are thinking of someone else, we can’t focus on self. This can be a huge relief. 

Investing in life in whatever way helps heal a broken heart. Loving expands the heart and finding people to love is as close as the nearest volunteer center.   

Reinvesting in life and learning to trust again is a process. Take note of how you tell the story of your heartbreak. If it is a victim story, shut it down and make your story a heroic one. Make it a story of resilience with you as an overcomer. 

Cultivate trustworthy friends who delight in you and help you to know how cherished you are. If you feel you are grieving too long or not letting go of the pain and moving forward, it might be time to seek professional help. 

Don’t allow yourself to stay in the darkness of defeat and sorrow. The sunshine is behind the clouds and waiting to come out for you. Embrace it.

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Jan Canniff is a registered and licensed Washington State Mental Health Counselor and a Nationally Certified Counselor. She holds an additional specialization as a Certified Gottman Method Couples Therapist.