Once our hearts are bruised and burned from a relationship that ended, we have two options: we can close off pieces of our heart so that one day no one will be able to get inside. Or we can love again. Deeply, just as intensely as we did before. Henri Nouwen urges us to love again because the heart only expands with the love, we are able to pour forth. He writes:
“The more you have loved and have allowed yourself to suffer because of your love, the more you will be able to let your heart grow wider and deeper. When your love is truly giving and receiving, those whom you love will not leave your heart even when they depart from you. The pain of rejection, absence, and death can become fruitful. Yes, as you love deeply the ground of your heart will be broken more and more, but you will rejoice in the abundance of the fruit it will bear.”
When I’m in pain, the only guaranteed antidote to my suffering is to box up all of my feelings, sort them, and then try to find a use for them. When you turn your attention to another person - especially someone who is struggling with the same kind of pain - you forget about yourself for a split moment. And that, on some days, feels like a miracle.
Face it! You need your heart. Without it, you can only live a partial existence, a half-life, because you cannot enjoy your living or give yourself. You cannot love. You cannot receive. You cannot feel.
Without your heart, you are reduced to being either a predator or prey in a grey mouse-like existence. Without your heart, you are part of the problem causing – directly or indirectly - whatever was done to you. Without wholeheartedness, you will not be able to give what you promised to give. You may have promised to love another person well, to foster a bond with a child or to save the world. To achieve these promises, you need to gather up your whole heart and to give yourself fully.
The Lessons of Heartbreak
You can learn the lessons of heartbreak and correct your mistakes that led to heartbreak, in spite of the fact that the heartbreak seems simply to come from what your partner is doing. You can choose to bring yourself to a new level of maturity and render yourself available for true love once again. Some of the lessons involved in heartbreak are formulated by Chuck Spezzano in If Its Heartbreak, It Can Be Healed.
Emotional pain shows that you are making a mistake. This mistake can only be corrected by you.
Every heartbreak is a dark fruit that has its root in childhood
All hurt shows that you were trying to get or take something. When you only want to give, you cannot be hurt
You can only be upset if someone breaks your rules. Your rules are defences against old pain, and they beg to be broken.
Every heartbreak is part of a power struggle.
Heartbreak is a form of emotional blackmail that you use to lay guilt on your partner.
Being heartbroken is an act of revenge on the person involved, your parents and possibly some of your ex-partners.
Heartbreak is using pain as a weapon.
A heartbreak pattern in relationships is also a defeat pattern in your career.
Every heartbreak was planned by part of your subconscious mind, and you can access that part of your mind to see what was going on.
Each heartbreak represents a mistake at a significant crossroad of your life. One in which you could have gone beyond your fear of intimacy and chosen the next step forward instead.
There are payoffs in your heartbreaks that represent a choice for your ego’s agenda rather than a choice for a new level of love.
The main mistaken reasons you choose heartbreak are getting attention, being special, calling for love, protecting yourself from some fear, wanting to be independent, doing things your way, being right, fighting, attacking your parents, proving your point, using it as an excuse to hide and avoiding your purpose.
Each heartbreak is a form of self-punishment in an attempt to pay off guilt. This means you are punishing yourself for some mistaken reason while refusing to learn the lesson involved.
The magnitude of the heartbreak shows the size of the gift hidden within you that you are afraid of expressing. That gift still awaits you and that is one of the easiest ways to heal a heartbreak.
No relationship ends unless both people want it to, in spite of what your conscious mind is telling you.
When a heartbreak is used to end a relationship you subconsciously chose who is best suited to be the “independent victimizer” and the “dependent victim,” so that you can both leave the relationship.
A heartbreak represents the fear of the next chapter in your life. The time it takes to heal a heartbreak is how long it takes for you to gain confidence in the next step. The size of the heartbreak is how big the leap is.
The number one cause of heartbreak is the balance of independence/dependence in relationship. If you don’t learn this principle, you can never really succeed in relationships.
One of the easiest ways to have a relationship succeed is to commit to equality. The more equality, the more love and creativity.
Create a Vision of the Relationship You Want
A very important part of the work you need to do during your heartbreak experience, is to formulate a clear vision of exactly what you want in you next relationship. If you continue to recycle thoughts of deprivation, hurt and heartbreak, that is exactly what you will continue to attract into your life. Below is an example of a relationship vision.
I am part of God as God is part of me.
Therefore, I embody love, light, and the infinite power of creation.
I am also human and therefore I encompass all the darkness, the “sins,” and the limitations of every other human being I have ever judged, rejected, or abandoned, as well as all the magnificence, abilities, and potential of every other person that I have ever fallen in love with.
I am whole and complete.
I am enough, I do enough, I have enough.
There is nothing outside of myself that I need for my growth and wholeness.
I am the creator of all my relationships.
I take responsibility for having created love in the form of misunderstanding, betrayal, rejection, and abandonment. Without being conscious of it at the time, I did so in order to teach myself to forgive and to correct my former misperceptions of love.
I now choose to create love in the form of mutual nurturance, support, understanding, and acceptance, in order to teach myself to be strong, joyous, and loving in the presence of another.
My highest commitment is to myself.
I am married to my own Higher Self, as I dance with the perfection and sacredness in myself and in the one I love.
This beautiful extended affirmation by Louise Hay has helped me through my difficult times:
DEEP AT THE CENTRE OF MY BEING THERE IS AN INFINITE WELL OF LOVE
I now allow this love to flow to the surface. It fills my heart, my body, my mind, my consciousness, my very being, and radiates out from me in all directions and returns to me multiplied. The more love I use and give, the more I have to give, the supply is endless. The use of love makes ME FEEL GOOD;
it is an expression of my inner joy.
I love myself; therefore, I take care of my body. I lovingly feed it nourishing foods and beverages, I lovingly groom it and dress it, and my body lovingly responds to me with vibrant health and energy.
I love myself; therefore, I provide for myself a comfortable home, one that fills all my needs and is a pleasure to be in. I fill the rooms with the vibration of love so that all who enter, myself included, will feel this love and be nourished by it.
I love myself; therefore, I work at a job that I truly enjoy doing, one that uses my creative talents and abilities, working with and for people that I love and that love me, and earning a good income.
I love myself; therefore, I behave and think in a loving way to all people for I know that that which I give out returns to me multiplied. I only attract loving people in my world for they are a mirror of what I am. I love myself; therefore, I forgive and totally release the past and all past experiences and I am free.
I love myself; therefore, I live totally in the now, experiencing each moment as good and knowing that my future is bright and joyous and secure, for I am a beloved child of the universe and the universe lovingly takes care of me now and forevermore.
AND SO IT IS