First and foremost, be gentle with yourself. Treat yourself like a newborn. Because in a way, you are. Heartbreak can strip us of everything we thought we had. Our confidence, our strength, our idea of who we are and where our lives are headed. So, let yourself be new to your life. It is different now and you are so very vulnerable. And that’s okay–it’s great even. Vulnerability leads to a whole new level of awareness and living. But we must be gentle. Let yourself crawl your way through. Hands and knees: feel it all. No judgment. Do what feels right. Don’t want to talk to anyone? Fine. Don’t. Want that tub of ice cream? Okay, screw the bowl and grab a spoon. Cry and scream. Curl up into a little ball.
And when you’re ready, gently, gently…unfold yourself and face the other person. See them in your mind. What are you so angry at them about? What are they doing that’s bringing you to your knees?
They are so selfish. They will never love me as much as they love themselves.
They don’t know how to love.
They cheated on me again and violated my trust. They’ve humiliated me.
They just can’t get their life together!
Now, turn that thing that gets you most back on yourself. Do you love yourself? Or do you seek it from others? Do you let yourself be vulnerable to another person, or has that gate been thrown up and locked tight? Do you trust? Do you trust in your life and your heart, in all that is good? Or are you waiting to be betrayed at any moment, because you’ve been taught that that’s just what people do? Are you dissatisfied with your own life? Do you have the freedom you want and have always dreamed of?
This is hard. It will take time. It will be damn near impossible to see (or admit to) at first. But eventually, as you reflect and wonder and move through the cycle of anger and grief, the fog will clear. You will see why you’re clinging to that person so tightly. You will see why you tied that rope around your own wrist.
Maybe you will find that you’ve never truly loved yourself (a common one, like mine)–deeply, unconditionally, from the inside. Maybe you will discover a false, internal story you’ve been replaying about love–I will always be betrayed, hurt, or disappointed–and then actually manifesting in your relationships. Maybe you will find that you were trying to fulfill another abandoned aspect of your life with that relationship (are you really living the life you want?).
Stay curious and open. Again, be gentle. Journal, meditate. Or just chew on it while you drive, right after crying your way through another Taylor Swift song. It doesn’t have to be a formal exercise. Just feel and discover. Rip yourself wide open and get honest about where you aren’t owning your light, your love, and your truth.
And then, once you see it, you thank them. You say, thank you for showing me this. Thank you for all that you are. Thank you for reflecting the light within me so that I could see more clearly. Thank you for the love we shared, in whatever form it came. Thank you for helping me love myself, trust myself, or take responsibility for living the life I’ve always wanted.
Next, you forgive them. They were only doing the best they could do. And so were you. You are both still so beautifully, wildly whole.
You bless them. They will continue on. And so will you.
Look down at your hands now. The rope has fallen off. You aren’t “over” that person or what passed between you. What you went through forever lives in you. But you have reclaimed your power. The pain no longer defines you or obscures your sight of what has always been true:
You are–at all times–so, so deeply loved. You are worthy. You are whole. You are magnificent.
There is no greater gift on this earth, for any of us, than for you to realize that this is the one and only truth.
So thank you for your tremendous courage in going through this heartbreak. Thank you for growing closer to fiery self-love. Thank you for squinting through the bullshit, for looking a little closer. You’ll change the world with that sight. We all will.