By the time we’ve reached adulthood, most of us have experienced the pain of a broken heart. Whether it’s from a lost love or a friend who betrayed you, a broken heart can feel like nothing less than the end of the world. But I’m here to tell you that there is hope!
Can I tell you a secret?
I have to be honest. After watching a recent Red Table Talk episode. I realized I never asked myself this question.
Failing to defend myself has consistently caused me the greatest grief in my life and has been my biggest heartbreak. Whether a situation involved my race, color, gender, weight, or some other reason, people have found various ways to attack and hurt me when I was younger. These challenging moments were difficult to deal with. But, not standing up for myself, was even more hurtful because it meant I wasn’t willing to love myself in the way I should have.
Even though you may feel like it’s the end of the world, there are some things you can do to make it feel better after dealing with heartbreak. Being able to admit my biggest heartbreak has been ridiculously freeing. Why? When you know better, you do better!
When someone hurts us, we often struggle to let go of the pain. We replay the events over and over in our minds, reliving the pain. The problem is that this causes us to miss out on our lives—it’s like we’re stuck in a time warp and can’t move forward.
What’s more, dwelling on negative emotions can have a negative impact on our physical health—it can cause muscle tension, raise blood pressure, and create chronic stress.
The next time I have to stand up for myself, it is up to me to do it. Otherwise, I am left with feelings of unworthiness, self-doubt, and regret. Who wants to live like this?
If you’re struggling with heartache and want to move forward with your life, here are six strategies to help you cope:
1. Get some perspective. When you can look at life circumstances from another perspective, you can arrive at a solution much faster.
2. Accept what happened. It is what it is; no amount of wishing or hoping will change it.
3. Take responsibility for your role. You are always in the driver’s seat of your life.
4. Stop judging yourself for feeling hurt or angry. It’s always okay to explore your feelings. Focus on what how you will change your behavior to achieve different outcomes in the future.
5. Forgive yourself for any mistakes you may have made in your relationship with the person who hurt you; forgive them, too if possible (even if it’s just so you can feel better about yourself).
6. Learn from your experiences so they don’t repeat themselves again with someone else down the line. If you don’t learn the life lesson, you will keep reliving an experience until you get the point.
Your biggest heartbreak might be more than a broken heart.
Maybe it was your first time leaving home, or when you lost someone close to you, or when you had to let go of a dream. Maybe it was the first time you felt like things were out of your control. You’re not alone. Heartbreak is universal, and we all deal with it in different ways. For some people, that means leaning into it—dealing with the pain head-on and letting themselves feel whatever they need to feel as they process what’s happened.
Whatever it is, I bet that there are more people out there just like you who have had similar experiences. Remember, you’re not alone.
We are all capable of healing from our past, learning the life lesson, and moving forward!