The devastating pain of a failed relationship is perhaps the greatest suffering one will ever experience. Enduring the pain and loss, changes how we deal with ourselves and the everyone else around us. It can be said that we are never the same person we were before we entered a failed relationship. Yes, a broken heart truly changes someone.
While life may go up and down, there’s just only one way to go — forward. However, to move on is difficult, even seemingly impossible in some instances. Worry not, that pain will pass.
A favorite line from the movie “Fault in our Stars” sums the first step to mend that pain. Feel it. Accept that it naturally comes with what you signed up for in the first place. Is it not a know truth the if you loved enough to be heartbroken, you have to experience some suffering?
When we lose something that mattered to us a lot, is is but natural to feel sad about it. That feeling of sadness is but part of the healing process. Pain, to put it differently, is just a reminder that we still care.
“We bleed just to know we’re alive.” – Iris, Goo Goo Dolls
However, while pain demands to be felt, it demands to be felt wisely. Pain can become unhealthy when you never cease reliving your misery over and over and over again. This cycle of painful memories could lead you to repeat dysfunction patterns of behaviours, too. Pain now becomes your mental habit.
Here’s an example showing why making pain a habit detrimental to your well-being: You enter you room at night, and you switch on the light without thinking. That’s because it’s been your habit. Now, reminiscing your time with your ex over and over again would sooner or later and then feeling miserable afterwards will just be like switching on the light in your bedroom at night — a habit you do unconsciously.
Feel the pain, but keep in mind that you’re trying to let the pain in to confront it and get over it; not wallow and sulk and be miserable forever.
Break the connection, Change your ways
It is undeniable that when we are with somebody we love, every memory, good or bad, is a memory we cherish. Everything else around us becomes part of these memories – certain music, a scent (probably his or her perfume), a tree, a chair, a table, a couch, a chipped cup, or whatever. And, yes, it is painful to see anything that would remind us of the other person we used to love very dearly.
Revamp your daily activities. Try not to do the same exact routine you’ve been doing for the past months or years. Keep moving, try jogging in the morning because exercise is the single most effective therapy for depression (yes, not alcohol nor sex). Doing everything differently will help you break those painful associations. Build a new environment for yourself (delete his/her number, change your shampoo, or your soap, whatever).
Revamping your routine is not enough, a transformation of the habits of the thought is also necessary.
When we are in love, we create an almost magical idea of what the world looks like with you and your beloved partner at the focus of it. It is almost always a pattern of a fairytale like conflict-to-happily-ever-after plot. And when the love affair suddenly ends, the world you so fondly created in your heads, too, collapses. Then, you’ll spend the days henceforth thinking where you went wrong, or what’s so wrong with you, and sulk and cry and feel helpless and sorry.
Understand your situation. Look for similar cases around you. Widen your perspective (easier said than done, I know but you got to try!). The reason why it’s too painful and overbearing often times is that your thought is pegged at that particular frame — you and your lover’s unfortunate love affair.
Detach and look into your relationship from somebody else’s perspective
Now, imagine you’re a movie star and this tragic event is you blockbuster début film. Think of somebody you idolize, or care for about (other than your ex-lover; say your mom, sister, or brother) and think of how they’d react or comment about your film.
Step into their shoes and watch your own film. What can you say? Now, try a neutral person, say an ordinary kid who does not know you, bought the ticket and watched your film. Step into his shoes and ask yourself, what would he say about this story?
Strong and resilient people never look at difficulties such as a heartbreak as tragedy, they look at it as a challenge. A chance to start over again — a clean slate.
In the next part of this series, we will talk about the other things that need to change, or what other steps you have to take to fully mend your broken heart. Remember, ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’, and it must, so hold on tight!
Let us know what you think! Comment away!