Heartbreak is a mutha, am I right? It can feel like someone shot you in the chest with a 10-pound bullet. I know because I’ve been there, and more than once, if I’m honest. When we believe our heart has been broken, many of us take that painful road trip to Heartbreak Lane, on the BS Highway, in the craptastic City of Painville! We arrive, make our way to the registration desk, and check in to Heartbreak Hotel. We give an open check-out date and open the door to our lovely accommodations, complete with a dirty unmade bed and the super stinky aroma of negativity. The mini bar, however, is full of everything we need on this self-punishment journey. Just open that mini-fridge and find lots of mini snack cakes, tubs of ice cream, loads of bread, and an unlimited supply of our favorite alcoholic drinks, cigarettes, marijuana, and more. I mean, that fridge has it all. So we sit down, unpack our stuff, shove a snack cake into our pie hole, throw our face into our palms, and settle in!
I make no judgment on your life. If you are a wallower who lands in an anxiety-ridden haze after a heartbreak, you are not alone, my friend. But what is heartbreak? Well, I believe that it is just “disappointment.” Plain and simple. We overcomplicate it with our thoughts, judgments, and desire for things to be different. We waste time wishing we could go back in time when clearly we can’t.
Try these heartbreak scenarios on for size:
1) We meet someone, fall in love, then hold them responsible for our future plans. We create a whole fantasy around them, and then we wait for them to get up to speed with our plan for their life! When they bow out, we are heartbroken!
2) Our children don’t become who we want them to. They decide college isn’t their cup of tea. We push and shove and insist, and they fold their arms and move out! Or they don’t go to the school we want them to, or play the sport we did. We expect them to live out our missed adventures. We are heartbroken when they choose a different path.
There are a multitude of examples, but it boils down to deep feelings of disappointment. Why is a lover who chooses not to be with us an issue? Is it because we “love” them? Is that real love or loss of control? Why are we upset when our children choose their own path? Didn’t we raise them to live their own lives and to be happy? Why are we heartbroken when they are excited about their future? Do we think we are somehow trying to save them from impending doom because usually everything works out, and on top of that, they learn a few well-earned lessons on their OWN journey?
Hey, I know you know all of this, but it is still painful, and I get that. But you are still sitting on the floor of your Heartbreak Hotel room drinking mini bottles of whiskey and weeping! Let’s see if I can help you check out!
THE CHECK-OUT PROCESS
So how do we check out of this broken-down hovel of a hotel? First, see heartbreak for what it is. Disappointment, that’s it, that’s all. Our hearts are actually thump, thump, thumping away, not broken at all. The check-out process starts with acceptance. Allow yourself to move through your emotions without all of the self-judgment and self-ridicule. You haven’t done anything wrong. You are still strong, still, perfection made manifest, still beautiful, and still amazing! If you can’t embrace any of those adjectives, then you are simply a work in progress that, in truth, we all are! You didn’t make your lover leave, and even if you did subconsciously, let them be where they are. You didn’t raise your child so badly that now they don’t want to go to college. Your kid has been on their journey. Accept their journey and move on. Acceptance is key to your ability to move forward.
Recently I was watching a video interview, and the topic of a broken heart came up. I enjoyed the open conversation and perspectives that were shared. I loved the focus on spirituality in a non-religious, non-judgmental way. I loved that the interviewee reminded us that it isn’t the end of the world. Yes, it may feel like it, but the interviewee noted that recovery is a decision away. So, step two of the check-out process is to decide to feel better. Stay sober, avoid the junk food temptation, and any other vices that are really just disguised self-loathing. Hey, I’m not saying that one can’t cry into a glass of red or dive headfirst into a luscious slice of chocolate cake. Do you! Just do it in moderation.
So, now that you’ve accepted the situation, and decided to feel better, you are closer to check-out time, but you have a little more work to do.
The next step is to focus on you. The other person’s actions were what they were. Their choices have nothing to do with you! Focus on healing yourself through healthy choices. When we are emotional, the tendency is to reach for junk food, but the good stuff makes us FEEL better. Eat healthily, go for walks, get outside for a bike ride, get active. Do what feels good to you. Be kind to yourself. Focus on how you will manage your feelings about the person or circumstances. Practice non-reaction. Not in a fake robotic, uncaring way, but in a non-judgemental way that allows the person to live their life. It is not helpful to key their car, yell and scream or burn their clothes! That overly dramatic stuff only leaves you satisfied momentarily. External reactions are often viewed as attempts to manipulate. Focus on yourself!
The last step of the check-out process is to seek healing from within. The moment you look outside of yourself for the answer or healing, you are extending your stay! Be honest with yourself about the situation. What did you learn? How will you use what you learned? How will you find peace and steer clear of bitterness? Grab a journal and take a moment to appreciate the world around you. Being grateful is good for the soul and is like pressing Control + Alt + Delete to reboot. Read or listen to a good book, blog, or podcast. Pray, meditate, breathe, go to a Soundbar (a really cool experience]. Just spend time with you. Nurture yourself. Love yourself. Be patient, kind, and compassionate with yourself. It’s an excellent time to take yourself on a date or to get a massage. Find joy from within by focusing on yourself and what makes you happy.
True joy is the result of embracing our pain from the inside out without allowing that pain to send us into an emotional tailspin. Discovering solid mechanisms to help you cope with the ups and downs of life will keep you out of Heartbreak Hotel. It doesn’t mean that no one will ever disappoint you again. It means that you will find a healthy way of dealing with that disappointment in such a way that allows the other person to make their choices without YOU feeling disappointed about what THEY choose. If they want to leave, allow them to leave! If they make a choice YOU might not have made, allow them to do so with your blessing.
Visualize your heart healing. Picture yourself holding your heart in your hand. Imagine yourself sewing your heart back together with the needle of self-love and thread colored with non-judgment and positive self-talk. Say things to yourself like… “I get it, this is super painful,” and “you will get through this!” Picture your heart fully mended. Yes, it may heal with the scars of life’s lessons, but it will be stronger.
A good therapist can also help you find ways to think things through more clearly. It’s a good idea if you are struggling with thoughts of revenge, extreme anger, sadness, self-destructive behavior, etc. If you can’t find or afford a good therapist, find a support group or one friend who can support you. This can be tough on a friend so choose a friend you trust. Tell them what you need and specifically how they can support you. Get the help you need to balance your mental health. Yes, my friend, you are worth it!
Healing time will vary, but now that you’ve checked out, it’s time to review what just happened! Accept where you are and allow yourself to feel what you feel. When you are ready, make the decision to feel good, focus on your healing, eat right and get active. Find joy within and get help if you need it!
Let’s all treat ourselves well, especially after a heartbreaking experience. It all starts with self-kindness, self-compassion, and straight-up acknowledgement of your worth!.
So what’s the deal? You in?
Love, Light, & Pushing through!
©CreativelyAble Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved