How To Heal A Heartbreak
By Ray Doktor, Psy. D
The end of a relationship is fertile soil to learn about us—our True Selves. It is an opportunity to be vulnerable and reflective, while observing our natural reactions as human beings without over-identifying with them. We can recognize recurring, negative patterns and seek healthy ways to change them. We can also remember the beautiful qualities of our ex-partners. Not from a place of needing them back—instead as a reflection of the same aspect in us, which attracted them. This brings a new awareness to the purpose of the partnership during that season of our life.
I have felt as if there were a hole in my heart after several breakups including ending a marriage. There have been times where I have felt very desperate, lonely, empty, hurt, and angry after ending a relationship. I have come out many experiences where I would withdraw, blame, rehash the past, or ask myself why I didn’t pay attention to the red flags. However, none of the coping mechanisms moved me closer to clarity and healing. In fact, thinking about the relationship with the perspective of resentment and regret only exasperated and prolonged the pain.
Why do we do this? Why do we make ourselves suffer more?
The answer is that we have never been taught how work through the ending of a relationship in a healthy fashion. All we do is prep toward is finding the one and hoping that it will last forever. After a breakup, we often quickly embark on another romantic pursuit hoping that the next one will be different and the right fit. We have not been taught how to sit with the discomfort. While there are more avenues such as online dating to go out and date again, there is not much support with recovery, reflection, and integrating the ending of a relationship.
I believe that suffering develops by not ACCEPTING our circumstances and change. We become fixated on “idea” of how we thought it should have been rather than accepting that nothing is predictable. If you really think about it, relationships are about personal development. It’s a constant course of life where you feel like you succeed or fail. You know what you know NOW by the changes and mistakes. There is intrinsic awareness that we gain after each relationship. So why not embrace the value in that? Maybe we make the same mistakes because we do not honor the breakup period with proper guidance. Healing a heartbreak is more about understanding the NEW YOU. Look at what you know now. Embrace the beautiful you!