Healing A Broken Heart

We live and we love and over the course of a life time, most people do experience the deep sadness or loss associated with “a broken heart”.

Love is like a puzzle. When you’re in love, all the pieces fit but when your heart gets broken, it takes a while to get everything back together. — Author Unknown

Research has proven that what we feel and the way we think directly effects the health of our heart. Those suffering from “broken hearts” don’t just suffer emotionally, they suffer physically too. Without doubt feelings of depression, loneliness and sadness can lead to problems and heart disease is among them. At least one John Hopkins study has shown that people living under this pain can literally even die from a ‘broken heart’. So it’s important to ensure the pain doesn’t drag on longer than it has to.

Ernest Quansah in his article Relationship Breakup Demystified advises:

“When your relationship ends, you must do what needs to be done to forgive yourself and the other person. I know too many cases where people become so bitter that they form a negative opinion of the opposite sex.  …

When your relationship fails, the most important thing to do is accept what has happened. Try to understand why it did not work out. … Forgiveness will help you feel good about yourself. It will give you courage you thought you never had and lead you into the arms of your true mate.”

Take The Time You Need to Recover
My advice is that if you are suffering from a broken heart then above all, give yourself time. This type of healing can’t be rushed. If you want to restore the relationship, make sure that you figure out why it went wrong before you rush back into it.

Fortunately, there is truth in the old adage that whenever a door closes, a window opens somewhere else. Consider the lessons that you have learned – lessons you will not need to learn again and as time passes you will begin to see some positive signs on the horizon.

Dispel the Myths
Myth 1: There is only one soulmate for every one person in the world.
Reality: There are millions of potential soulmates for every person in the world.

Myth 2: Your heart will never fully recover.
Reality: It will.

Myth 3: You can’t fall in love with someone new if you’re already in a healthy and happy relationship.
Reality: Yes, you can. It may be true that you can only be “madly” in love with one person at any given time, but also in truth it is possible to be in love with two people at once.

Acknowledge, Plan and Act
As Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson states: As people, we are not aware all the time of our feelings, and just like animals, we may not be able to put words to them very easily. This certainly does not mean that the feelings do not exist.

  1. Honour how you are feeling. This means that you should not pretend that you are ok, when you really aren’t. For many people having a broken heart is something that may not be recognized at first, as it takes time for an emotional or physical loss to be fully acknowledged.
  2. Grieve. There is nothing wrong with crying. Do not to avoid this step. Do whatever you need to do to express yourself in this stage, so long as you don’t hurt anyone else.
  3. Accept that you are responsible for your own healing, and take as much time as you need for yourself. Take action when you are inspired. Forgive people and recognize that we take in what we focus on.
  4. Communicate with people that care about you. Make sure you share how you are feeling. Do not underestimate the support that these people can provide.
  5. Exercise regularly and take care of your health. Often times during the period of having one’s heart broken, health may be neglected. If you aren’t careful, this can only make things worse.
  6. One way to move through a broken heart is to spend a lot of time doing something you really love. If you keep yourself focused you will find yourself moving through the pain faster.

On forgiveness this is my code: Truth be told it takes just as much energy to offend as it does to choose to be offended. And I believe that the greatest beneficiary of forgiveness is the party who does the granting of forgiveness.

By choosing to forgive anyone who you chose to give the power to offend you in the first place, this removes you from the role of being a victim and releases the control and power that you gave to the offending person and situation and that manifest in your life.

Choosing forgiveness means agreeing not to yield to actions driven by bitterness. When you let go of bitterness and grudges, you no longer define your life by how you have been hurt, and you are able to find compassion and understanding for the person who you chose to allow to offend you.

So for the record, in this case, I can now say that I am not choosing to be bitter and to hold a grudge. I am on the path of the peaceful warrior, who has recommitted to not giving her power away.

Come, come, whoever you are
Even though you have broken your vows a thousand times
Come, come and choose to love again.

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, General McCarthy: When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals ISBN 0-385-31428-0
Study Suggests You Can Die of a Broken Heart. Washington Post (February 10, 2005). Retrieved on 200609-23.
“Broken Heart” Syndrome: Real, Potentially Deadly but Recovery Quick. Johns Hopkins Medicine (February 9, 2005). Retrieved on 200609-23.
Coping with Broken Hearts,2007, Vardhan Ranjay, Indian Publishers Distributors, Delhi, ISBN 81-7341-445-959.94.224.44 04:21, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

See Also: Broken Hearts in the Media

5 thoughts on “Healing A Broken Heart

  1. What a true and important post, timethief. My husband is a doctor and he told me about what must have been the Hopkins study or similar. That, along with a lovely poem called ‘Heartbreak’ (not written by me!) are in a short post on my blog. I’m not familiar with Suzanna Fitzpatrick’s work, but there’s something about this poem that makes me keep going back to it.

  2. Oddly enough it was my experience with quitting smoking a year and a half ago that really has helped me with recovering from such a blow and an ‘disappearance’ in my recent breakup.
    It was in the (seemingly) miracle results from reading “The EasyWay to Quit Smoking”, in which I learned to immediately turn my attention INTO every thing I felt as a withdrawal response. To fully engage it. This awareness & curiousity reduced the withdrawal experience to truly mere *discomfort*.
    SO TO I learned to keep my heart wide open after it had been rent so deeply, utilizing this same attitude of curiousity: What am I feeling? Where am I feeling it? What else is going on?

    INQUIRY!! A miracle elixir!!!

    Thanks for this article Brightfeather!! And Letters – for your comments here!

  3. I admit that I have not had a lot of experience when it comes to falling in love or breaking up either. However, I do think you have made a good point (it’s not so much the loss of the person as it is loss of the feeling). And I think your comparison is apt too (addiction).

  4. My first real love broke up with me by showing me her new boyfriend after I came back from working up northern BC. No warning, nothing. Despondent for months, until one day I decided I was wasting my life over something I couldn’t change.

    I think the hardest thing for people to get over is not the person so much as the feeling you once had. It’s like kicking an addiction – you know it’s not good for you, you can’t go back, but still: it’s there until it goes away. And it does.

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