How to Heal a Broken Heart in 30 Days: A Day-by-Day Guide to Saying Good-bye and Getting On With Your Life
By Howard Bronson, Mike Riley
Waking up on the day after a breakup can be a rather grim affair. Most people emerge from the hiding place of their slumbers to the unhappy recollection that a large part of their lite is now gone. It's the first day of the "mourning after" a loss.
Take that first moment of mourning to reflect on a fundamental truth: Anyone who doesn't have the good sense to recognize what you have to offer doesn't deserve your time. Anyone who missed that point hasn't fully enjoyed the offering of your love.
This hurts. The pain of that hurt can virtually paralyze your will. But hard as it might seem to understand at this moment, your pain is not like dying at all. It's a sign that you are, intact, being reborn, healing from a very deep wound. With the right will, you are destined to grow stronger and more vital than ever before.
And if you're willing to be patient and active as you heal over time, you'll eventually discover that depression and inertia are bad choices people make to avoid their core issues. These choices express weakness, fear, and anger instead of actively expressing healing, love, and hope.
Focus your energies on giving yourself credit for every step of your healing. Of course, at the beginning of your path out of pain, there's anguish. Your former lover's name and essence may constantly intrude into your consciousness. Over time, the name will fade as the wisdom of the lessons you've learned takes over. That's when joy and laughter will be your payback, the interest you've earned on your investment in thoughtful reflections on your feelings of intense sadness.
Whatever you choose for your life, a deeper understanding of what you're now going through will give you more self-reliance, strength, and genuine joy in the future. A breakup can teach us so much about our goodness and value if we'll only take the time to think about the meaning and purpose of pain.
On the other hand, you may be feeling okay for the moment. You may even feel a sense of liberation. But most people also feel a sense of loss and a tear of loneliness. And they can certainly feel like they're mourning the death of a loved one. No matter what you feel, once again, remember that you're involved in a self-renewal that's disguised as grieving. But to achieve renewal, you must understand how it differs from the grieving process.
There is a hurt that cannot be denied but it does not follow the general course of grief. In breakups, we often jump from shock to anger and then linger in confusion for ages. Mix in a little denial and-well, we don't want to know about it. It's like a scary movie. We're there but we don't want to look at the ugly parts.
If you try to pretend that the pain just doesn't exist, you get yourself into the same jam all over again-similar love, similar dynamics, and similar heartache at the end.
It doesn't have to be that way, but the problem is that you don't want to look at your pain any more than you have to. It's easier to see yourself as an innocent victim ("If only my ex wasn't so inflexible," etc.). You don't want the additional burden of having to feel responsible for mistakes you may have made, or sins you feel you've committed. That kind of honesty just hurts too much when you're in this vulnerable state.
But if you don't make an effort to understand what you're feeling, your own core truth, the pain is just going to linger. Why not face it now? Do it now, over the course of the next twenty-nine days, in an intelligent and self-supportive fashion. Our contention is that if you're willing to come to terms with your own true self within this time frame, you won't have to remain trapped in the dark stages for very long.
Mourning can too easily devolve from being a healthy transitional passage into an inescapable trap that prevents relational progress. Through this guide, we're going to help you get free of this trap. But you have many days to evolve out of these darker feelings. The only goal for today is to have you take a glimpse at the things you're feeling at the moment, and to allow those feelings to happen, no matter what they may be.
If you feel the need to laugh, scream, cry, or even curl up in a ball, do so. This is a day of gentle observation, and self-expression. Whatever you do, don't bottle up all your true feelings. Just let them come out and observe them, as if they were someone else's.
The only rule is: THIS IS NOT A BLAME EXERCISE. Most especially, don't waste any time blaming yourself. Breakups happen no matter who we are, or what we do. And if you're willing to stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and look at the signals you got over time, and accept the possibility that it really was time to say good-bye, you can begin to heal. Honesty carries gusts of great opportunity beckoning from our future. Feel these winds, breathe them in deeply, deal with the truth, and move on.
Notice too that emotions are often disclosed by a specific physical feeling that accompanies them. For example, a feeling of longing can be given away by our gut, while a feeling of abandonment or broken-heartedness can actually feel like a hole in our upper chest. An emotion of self-blame or fear can feel like paralysis.
In reviewing the past, remember that relationships are often like mirrors; our mates often reflect back both our attributes and our faults. The following exercise will help you reflect back your own feelings in a nonthreatening fashion.