In this month’s blog I’d like to talk to you about how to heal and release heartbreak. And I will also provide details about how to get my new no-cost Healing and Releasing Heartbreak workshop and worksheet. But first a little story-time…
I was recently contacted by an old boyfriend who I dated back in my twenties, right before my music career got into full swing. He was someone I truly loved, and we both felt certain we would marry, have children and grow old together…
Well as it often does, life took a different turn and our relationship ended after a few years. The ending wasn’t dramatic but it was painful. We truly loved one another, but it became clear for different reasons that it wasn’t possible to create that future together. We both moved on, and I met a new love and focused on my budding music career. Although we chose to remain friends, our contact over the years has been very infrequent.
So when he reached out to me this past week, it brought up a lot of old memories, and created a swell of emotions (some sweet, others sad). It surprised me that such tender feelings surfaced. As I processed through my feelings, I thought about how our culture often encourages us to romanticize “the one who got away” or the idea that there is one “love of your life.”
The experience of yearning for a lost love is very common. I hear it from my clients often. There is a danger however, when we frame a normal human emotion in a disempowering way. When we think our chance for love ended with an ex, or believe we will never be able to trust or fully open our hearts because of a past wounding, we are buying into a false narrative that serves no one (except the manufacturers of Ben & Jerry’s and Häagen-Dazs).
Have you ever felt lingering, wistful feelings about a past love? Wondered if you would ever meet anyone who would create that kind of “spark” with you the way an old sweetheart did? Doubted it would ever be possible to have that kind of love again?
Whether you’ve gone through a recent breakup, or experienced one in the past (however long ago), sometimes healing and releasing heartbreak can be difficult, but by no means is it impossible.
This month I’d like to share with you four (4) tips that will help you release any residual heartbreak that ties you to an old love — and release it from your mind and your body — so that you are free on all levels to attract and inspire a great love. (And read on for details on how to get my free Healing and Releasing Heartbreak workshop and worksheet below).
Tip No. 1 Healing is about being able to be with the self.
One of the reasons why heartbreak can last so long is because we’ve never let go of what the wounded part of us wanted. Sure life went on, but those old feelings merely got filed away and were never fully processed. For example, if you experienced a broken engagement, there could be a part of you that still wants the life your ex-fiance promised. Or maybe that part of you has accepted the breakup, but still feels she is owed an apology for how things ended.
Whatever the case may be, clinging on to a need for things to be different from the way they were delays healing. Moving into self-acceptance about what happened, and then witnessing, naming, and validating the hurt that you experienced because of it, moves you through the grieving process in a more holistic way (so that your brain, body and psyche can release the experience). There’s this idea that “closure” can only come from the ex, but deep healing becomes possible only when you are able to do this with and for the self. ?
Tip No. 2 You must forgive yourself for anything you did (or allowed).
Often when we replay events from our past, our minds run through various scenarios about what we could have done, should have done, failed to do, or should not have done, in an attempt to make meaning from the experience. But these mind games are closed loops that keep the experience alive in our biology and our beliefs. There is a lot of talk about the power of forgiving others to accelerate personal healing, but the most important person to forgive when it comes to romantic heartbreak, is often you.
After you have been able to sit with the part of you who experienced that heartbreak, you must forgive her for anything she did (or allowed to be done) even if most of the fault lies rightfully with the other party. A word of caution however: the twinning emotions of shame and blame may pop up. If they do, it’s important to witness and release them just as you would any other emotion. Shame and blame are like emotional strips of velcro that keep old heartbreak stuck to you in the most uncomfortable fashion. They may make a lot of noise when you peel them off, but peel them you must so that you are free to learn the lessons and move on.
Tip No. 3 This experience is a part of your story but it doesn’t define you.
Our brains have evolved to pay 100 times more attention to what has gone wrong in life than what has gone right. So it makes perfect sense why we would take a negative experience and make it mean something bad about us or about our future possibilities for love. But when we dial into the deeper truth from our wisest, most resourceful self, we know that while experiences do mark us, they don’t define us. Choosing to reframe your heartbreak as one part of your story and not the whole story, will help you contextualize the experience in a more mature fashion. (And if you follow the process I outlined in Tip No. 1, you will have an embodied understanding of this truth.)
Viktor Frankl once said that pain is inevitable, but suffering is a choice. So choose to let this go. Don’t let an old heartbreak be the reason you don’t have love in your life now.
Tip No. 4 Welcome the wounded part of you. Welcome her home.
A funny (and wonderful) thing happens when you witness and validate the experiences of the wounded parts of you: they become less activated while you feel more whole. I’ve had clients say they’ve felt they needed to “leave those old parts of them behind”, yet it’s more about welcoming, witnessing, and integrating those younger, wounded parts, with the more grounded, conscious, wise, resourceful adult you’ve become. And then embracing new ways of being and behaving that will create a powerful momentum for you to be able to bring your dreams for love (and all parts of your life) to fruition as the integrated, magnetic, empowered woman you are.
In the Healing and Releasing Heartbreak session I recently led during the last Coffee with Cami coaching session, I took participants through an embodied practice of welcoming back their younger parts. I then took them through a power practice to reground back into their most resourceful selves. If you missed that, you can find the Healing and Releasing Heartbreak session below:
EMBRACING A NEW SEASON
Here in the United States we are moving from summer months into fall, and I always find that this is a good time of year to begin turning inward toward the self and reflecting. But no matter what season it is, regular self reflection is a good idea. Use it as a time to practice gratitude while taking note of what wants to to be released.
Is there a past heartbreak, disappointment, hurt, or shattering in the area of love and relationship that you would like to heal and release in order to be more open to love?
Are there disempowering beliefs you can let go of? What (and who) are you willing to forgive? What old desires can you release to facilitate a needed healing?
And what new possibilities can you embrace as you awaken each day with a clear intention, a clean energetic field, a soft open heart, and strong healthy boundaries?
Even though it is normal to look back on life and take stock of the things that did or didn’t go your way, it’s also important to keep coming back to the present moment. Because that is where the future is getting generated. And if you’re like me, your future includes attracting and inspiring a Great Love.
If you attend the Healing and Releasing Heartbreak guided session, please drop me a line if you found value in it! I’d love to know how your session went!