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Healing a Broken Heart: Spirit Rising

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How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?

My Injured Heart

Okay, it’s over. It’s over, and we’re a bit pissed, a bit broken, a bit elated, and very much confused. All of the dreams you projected on to your partner, the romance, the honeymoon phase, it does not matter when you break, but when you break it will hurt. Your heart might ache beyond bearing. But, bear it you will. I do believe people can die of a broken heart, but it’s not without some intentional physical act on their part.

But can someone actually just die from being so sad?

A therapist (years ago) asked me why I was scared of feeling sad feelings. “Listen to the sad song. What are you afraid of?”

I replied, “Um, losing my mind. Having a mental breakdown. Not being able to handle it.”

He smiled. “And what would that look like? If you fell apart?”

“I don’t know. What are you getting at? Are you trying to provoke me?”

“No, but I’d like to hear what you’re afraid of.”

What Are We Afraid Of?

Yes, exactly, what are we afraid of when we end up alone again? It’s not like we haven’t been through this before. Perhaps, even gotten used to breaking up, used to being alone. But the end of a relationship tends to bring up our fears. Here are some of my top fears:

  • I’m going to be alone forever
  • I’m going to feel so much pain, I won’t be able to survive
  • I don’t like sleeping alone
  • I will never find another partner as good as this one
  • Maybe I shouldn’t break up, maybe it’s not that bad

But mostly, I’m just sad and afraid of allowing the breakup to spiral me downward. I don’t want to feel depressed. I want to feel LOVED, DESIRED, and ADORED. The moment after a breakup I’m feeling the exact opposite of loved. I’m feeling broken and discarded. Even if the breakup was my idea, the fall comes every time. We are going to feel the pain of breaking up, even if the romance has lasted only a few weeks.

If You’re Not Falling You’re Not Learning

While this sentiment was originally murmured in connection with learning to snow ski, the idea is rooted in TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN, despite the pain of failing. If you’re going to go for your next BIG LOVE, you’ve got to be prepared to

a. love all the way – with 100% of your attention and passion

b. feel the fire – let the pace of the romance overtake and overwhelm you

c. seek everything you desire

d. prepare to shatter if things don’t work out

Are you ready to love at your full capacity? If you can’t say yes, you might be underserving both yourself and your partner. If you’re not ready to go 110% with me, let’s just not do it. Okay?

And Brené Brown said it as well as anyone,

brene brown, in the arena quote

What Is Your Goal for Intimate Relationships?

It’s important to get clarity on what you want out of your next relationship. If you are looking to get married and have children, that’s a very clear and important purpose. If you are looking to keep things casual, date a few people, and not get too serious with anyone, you also have some ideas about what you DO and DO NOT want.

But what if you are not sure about your goal?

Let’s put it this way. If you don’t know what your goal is, you will probably get what you get. It is much better to have an idea of where you want your next partnership to go. Trying to figure it out “in the heat of the moment” can lead to undesirable results.

TRUTH: if you don’t know what you want in love, you won’t know how to get it, or recognize real love if you do find it.

In a current relationship, there are a lot of moving parts. You are coordinating schedules. Maybe coordinating child care or co-parenting schedules. You are willing to commit to the right person. Your partner is ready to commit. Now what?

The Turning Point in Love

There’s no hard and fast rule about when it will happen, but eventually, you will be forced to make plans, long-term plans, with your partner. What sort of things do you need to decide together?

  • Marriage
  • Cohabitation
  • Kid introductions
  • Monogamy
  • Reducing expenses together
  • Life partner plans
  • Boundaries
  • Expectations

The conversation needs to happen to move things to the next level.

Spirit Rising

I’d love to hear your thoughts and goals in the comments. Let’s take it to the next level, but how? What’s the connection you need with your own life to let go of the last relationship? What’s your spiritual connection? Can you rise again with a renewed spirit?


John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
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Epilogue: a poem from my last breakup: the heart is an odd engine

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