Dear Suzie, It’s been over for nearly a year. I keep thinking that it will get better and maybe it’s better, but it doesn’t seem to be. Deep inside, there’s this underlying grief. When I’m alone, I find myself sinking back into heartbreak over the loss of what we could have had. Can you please tell me, how do I heal my broken heart?
I understand how you feel. When my father died, I was 15 years old.
I can still remember sitting on the sidewalk outside of his office and thinking to myself, “How can the world still continue? How can people be laughing and talking? Don’t they know the world has fallen apart?”
I had to get up off that sidewalk and live.
It’s the same for you. Although you’re in an emotional free fall, your schedules, your commitments, and your routines are still here. Welcome them all because surprisingly, these are the very things that can become therapy for you right now.
To further help you heal your broken heart, here are five helpful tips:
- Allow the past to be over. Letting go of the past is simply a matter of recognizing that what you’re holding on to… is gone anyway.
- Take it one day at a time. Only focus on what you have to do, say, and think TODAY. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Move through life one day at a time.
- Remember, there are no ordinary moments. Your whole life is a gift. Your routines and your rituals are your blessings. If you let them, every task can become therapy. Doing the dishes is therapy. Walking the dog is therapy. Anything that distracts you and keeps you busy is therapy. Don’t resent them; love them and welcome them.
- If you want to mend your heart, open your heart. Don’t passively wait around for your broken heart to mend itself. It’s time to get reengaged with your life. You can volunteer, help out, serve, focus on other people. Nothing heals you faster.
- Practice turning down the emotional thermostat. When your emotions get overwhelming or the memories feel like they’re getting the better of you, picture those emotions like a thermostat on a wall, and in your mind’s eye, mentally turn them down. (You may have to practice doing this several times. But I promise, after a while, the feelings WILL return to neutral).
And, perhaps the most important piece of advice I could give you:
Trust your inner healer.
Whether you know it or not, there’s a part of you that knows. If you will just listen, it will teach you how to live, even while you’re falling apart.