“The emotion that can break your heart is sometimes the very one that heals it…”
– Nicholas Sparks
Although all of us humans can share the experience a broken heart at some point in our lives, only the broken hearted can experience it alone.
We as humans are social creatures and are wired to experience love and affections. Babies who do not receive love in infancy will not thrive, or even worse, die. Love is the most powerful drug and as necessary in our lives as food and air. Love is also what the majority of religions can agree on.
Falling in love is what the majority of human beings hope to experience at least once in their lives. Movies are made about this experience, songs are written. Bess Myerson once wrote that “to fall in love is awfully simple, but to fall out of love is simply awful.” Newton’s third law of motion can “for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction” sum up the experience of falling in and then out of love. The ecstasy of true love has it’s opposite in the gut wrenching pain, the deep void of sadness, the utter lethargy, and the eternal feeling of loneliness.
“The wound is the place where the light enters you” -Rumi
When you experience such a deep wound as that of a broken heart, how do you mend that heart? How to you find comfort in all the pain you are feeling?
“You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens”-Rumi
- You must grieve and move on. You must go through the pain and not around it. Simply ignoring the pain and/or jumping in to a new relationship will not help you heal properly.
- Journal about your pain. Remember the positive memories but also take out the anger and resentment hiding deep beneath the surface.
- Surround yourself with people that love you and can remind you of your strengths. Laugh and cry with them and share your pain. Talking about your pain can start the healing process.
- Work out! The emotions associated with a broken heart have a physical component and only doing something physical can release them. Run, bike, swim, dance, and just simply move.
- Forgive: You must forgive in order to be able to move on. Forgive yourself and forgive the perpetrator of your broken heart. Focus on the good that came out of that loving relationship and how you are better because of it. If there was no good that came out of it, forgive yourself for having to go through it. Find meaning in the relationship. By forgiving, you are saying you no longer wish to carry the burden of grief on your back. It does not mean you are condoning or forgiving the bad that happened.
- Put your trust in Allah and pray that he will replace what you have lost with something better.
- Love deeper and do it again: When you are burned from a relationship and your heart feels too bruised and shattered to feel again, you have only two choices: You can close off your heart so that no one can ever hurt you again or you can choose to love again despite your broken heart. Patch up that balloon and fill it back up again. Your heart will heal and be able to expand to hold even more love than before if you choose to love again. The quote below captures this concept beautifully.
“You might be afraid of the pain that deep love can cause. When those you love deeply reject you, leave you, or die, your heart will be broken. But that should not hold you back from loving deeply. The pain that comes from deep love makes your love ever more fruitful. It is like a plow that breaks the ground to allow the seed to take root and grow into a strong plant. Every time you experience the pain of rejection, absence, or death, you are faced with a choice. You can become bitter and decide not to love again, or you can stand straight in your pain and let the soil on which you stand become richer and more able to give life to new seeds.
The more you have loved and have allowed yourself to suffer because of your love, the more you will be able to let your heart grow wider and deeper. When your love is truly giving and receiving, those whom you love will not leave your heart even when they depart from you. They will become part of your self and thus gradually build a community within you.
Those you have deeply loved become part of you. The longer you live, there will always be more people to be loved by you and to become part of your inner community. The wider your inner community becomes, the more easily you will recognize your own brothers and sisters in the strangers around you. Those who are alive within you will recognize those who are alive around you. The wider the community of your heart, the wider the community around you. Thus the pain of rejection, absence, and death can become fruitful. Yes, as you love deeply the ground of your heart will be broken more and more, but you will rejoice in the abundance of the fruit it will bear”.