How to Transcend Heartache

by Janet Ong Zimmerman on 05/12/2015

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If you have loved, then your heart has suffered deeply from being let down by men and relationships not working out.  The emotional pain, distress, sorrow, grief or anguish from heartache can be debilitating.  And times of darkness can permeate your entire being and make it seem as if things will never get better.  I know how difficult these times are, and how despair can sweep us into a downward spiral of darkness…

What You Should Know About Heartache

…I also know what when we look below the surface, we’ll see that heartache brings unexpected gifts of beautifully important lessons to learn and personal/spiritual growth that leads to true and lasting love.  This is why I believe every woman should experience heartache.

You might believe the more open you are, the more heartache you will experience.  The opposite is actually true — the less open you are, the more your heart aches.  Here’s why…if you’re not open, you’re not expressing your real thoughts and feelings.  This doesn’t allow a guy to know who you really are and keeps your relationship on a superficial level.  Being open and vulnerable reduces the degree of heartache because in the process of expressing your true self and being loved for who you are, you experience a deeper connection.  And if things don’t work out, you will have less regret knowing you were your real self.  You will be able to get that it’s not personal – it just wasn’t the right match.

Heartache from a breakup tends to cause many women to fixate on their ex and act in cringe-worthy ways.  If you’ve been in this situation, regret will make you judge yourself and cause your heart to ache even more.  Instead of judging yourself, be kind and compassionate.  Focusing on your well-being after a breakup will help you ease through the pain with grace.

Heartache can seem permanent instead of situational.  The reason heartache seems permanent is because unresolved issues from the past are lingering which makes things more painful than they need to be.  This is why it’s so important to resolve past issues so you are dealing only with your current situation.

Heartache can actually be good for you when guided in a healthy way – it’s a reminder of how alive you are.  The way you choose to cope determines how well you recover.

How You Might Cope

Here are five ways you may be coping with heartache and what typically happens.

1. Reminiscing about your ex

Reminiscing about your ex keeps you in the cycle of denial, despair and false hope.  You may find yourself thinking about the good times when the bad times were detrimental to your well-being.  And if your ex does call, you may behave and act in desperate ways, hoping he comes back.

2. Seeking attention from men

When feeling rejected after a relationship is over, seeking attention from men is understandable.  Yet doing so in times of despair will have you attracting attention from the wrong men. Feeling down on yourself can make you vulnerable to smooth-talking men and do regretful things like having sex too soon, getting into a rebound relationship, etc.

3. Distracting yourself

Distracting yourself by keeping busy, not having alone- or down-time, or numbing yourself with alcohol, drugs, or sex will keep you from accepting what is.  This lack of acceptance perpetuates the cycle of pain and heartache.  Distractions keep you from facing what you most need (i.e. your hurt self, your feelings and your emotions) so you can move through heartache with ease and grace.

4. Being in a rebound relationship

Jumping into a relationship too soon or not having resolved hurts lingering from your recent breakup.  A rebound relationship may feel good initially, but soon after, the pain from your past will rear its head in some way, shape or form, and the one you’re rebounding with is bound to get hurt.

5. Worrying about never finding love again

When things don’t work out, it’s normal to worry that time is running out or that you won’t find love again.  The reality is, worry creates more worry, and makes you feel uptight and desperate.  The energy that follows becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy since it repels potential suitors.

Those five coping mechanisms drain your psyche and perpetuate pain and suffering.  If left to continue, heartache will consume you and prolong your recovery, taking away your ability to see things differently.

The Only Way Out is Through

Heartache has a hard time co-existing in a society where instant gratification is the norm.  If you tend to want things to happen quickly, understand that there is no quick fix to getting over heartache.  The only way out is through – transcending heartache takes patience and time.  The way out happens by creating the space to release the pain and suffering that’s been buried inside of you.

Create the space by allowing yourself to feel into the emotions that come up for you around the situation that’s been causing you to suffer.  Feel into the emotions from the present moment to keep from getting sucked into the downward spiral of despair.  If past thoughts of sadness and anger or future thoughts of worry and stress come up, gently nudge your attention back to the present moment.  Then allow yourself to feel into the emotions coming up in that moment when you think about your situation.

The more you feel into these emotions from the present moment, the more they dissipate and have less of a hold on you.  You will know if you are feeling into the emotions from presence when you begin to feel lighter and heartache seems situational instead of permanent.

You will open your heart once again to love after you create the space to release your pain and suffering.  This then makes space for hope and inspiration to live within you.

If your heart is aching, how will you begin to ease your pain and suffering?

Related Article: How to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude When Your Heart is Broken  

 

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  • Paul S

    Men experience exactly the same too.

    • Hi Paul, you are so right. Often times, we tend to associate heartache with women, yet men also experience the same. From your experience, how do you see men coping with and healing heartache?

  • EffinBiatch

    Janet, you are an amazing writer. Do you have a youtube channel?
    I find I really resonate with the way you write. I loved this article even though my heartbreak happened 3 years ago, I can still relate to the emotions. Beautifully written!

    • Thank you for your thoughtful message. I appreciate you taking the time to let me know my writing resonates with you. Writing is something I really enjoy and an area that I’d like to continue improving upon. When your heartbreak first happened, what helped you the most in healing so you could move forward?

      My YouTube channel is ttps://www.youtube.com/janetongzimmerman. My intention is to have more videos. If there are certain topics you’d like to see for videos, let me know and I will add them to my list. 🙂 Take good care!

      • EffinBiatch

        I just watched you on your youtube channel in an interview and you’re beautiful.

        It was my first heartbreak despite being in my late 30’s and so I probably behaved worse than I should have. My mental cognition for love was that of someone who didn’t know what was happening and wasn’t prepared for it as it was sudden when he ghosted on me. I behaved like a teenager would after her first love abandoned her.

        I did however use that anxiety, fear and lack of self love to pump energy in me. I started walking and training at a gym to rid myself of so much toxic thoughts. I used the love I had for this man to make myself more beautiful instead of punishing myself. I used the lack of appetite to my advantage by eating healthy instead of eating ice cream watching reruns of sad chick flicks.

        I slimmed down from a very large woman to an athletic type physique. I used every ounce of sadness, anger, victim-hood to make something good out of it. I lost weight I could only have dreamed of losing in the 30 years prior.

        I also did much of what you said we shouldn’t do above. I reminisced, I spent months crying and pitying myself planning on how I would revenge upon him with my new found beautiful body (I also started really looking after my hair and makeup something I didn’t know how to do prior – well never to this level).

        I feared bumping into him and yet at the same time I wanted him to see the new me and beg me back so I made sure to go grocery shopping at the shops near my house.

        I made those stupid phone calls pretending to just want to be friends. I looked pathetic and desperate knowing full well he didn’t care for me like I cared for him, he was incredibly selfish (probably almost bordering on clinical narcissism) when we were together and he appeared even more angry and so much more selfish in our phone calls and yet I desperately wanted that strong bond back, to feel desired again by a strong masculine leader (it was the first time in my life being desired by a man like the way he did).

        I wanted that dopamine rush, those steamy feelings and that happy emotion like I put on a pair of rose colored glasses that I experienced for the very first time.

        But my biggest shift came from focusing on my spiritual self and asking questions why this happened and what message or lessons should I take away from all this pain.

        It brought up so much abandonment issues for me. My parents neglected me emotionally and I was never heard but rather always used by a very selfish mother to be everything for her. She made me a very nervous and frightened child instilling fears best not spoken about on a beautiful blog like this (in hindsight I know she had a mental illness and was truly doing the best she could with those demons running around in her head).

        I realized the link, the ex represented something I experienced when I was young and something which made me love myself very little. He abandoned me as an adult so I could go back to little me and tell her she’s worthy and that the problem isn’t me, I’m wonderful (and I listed my wonderful traits) and that he appeared so I could see the way I was looking at myself was the way I did as a child.

        I needed to start loving myself. I needed to start expecting better things to come. I’m still learning this art. A small example is last night I bought myself glass cookingware instead of spending my money on everyone else.

        I now allow others to pick up their share of responsibilities so I can have a longer shower. I do it without anger now when asking, I do it with kindness and vulnerability and it feels wonderful.

        3 years later I caught up the ex and even though I had planned on breaking his heart as he did mine, I changed my mind upon seeing him. It helped that he became incredibly unattractive (based on western culture) in comparison to the sexy man he once was.

        When he fell in love with my new looks, it came me a little bit of an ego stroke but nothing like I expected. His opinion of me no longer mattered as my opinion of me mattered more (thanks to his unintentional help). I felt he and I were on different energy levels, he remained in a place I didn’t want to go back to. Hard to explain.

        I walked away and for the first time in years, he was calling me. He was hooked. Years early this was my dream to have him hooked in pain and chasing me but it didn’t feel good when I had raised to the level of joy and love I had.

        Instead I set him lose kindly and lovingly.

        I spent over 3 years in misery for this man despite my happy external disposition. I don’t regret any of it (although with the knowledge I have now I could have reduced the bumpy road to a few weeks). It was my path and it was all perfectly orchestrated by something bigger than me, all to get me here at peace, love and joy.

        There were times of despair and utter hopelessness in my situation and I remember getting signs and messages from blogs (wish I had yours back then) that this was for my best benefit. That helped me the most but it’s easier said than done. Women need that knowledge. That knowledge is so powerful.

        You know how women say after meeting someone wonderful that they can see why previous relationships didn’t work out. I feel that in my heart even though that hasn’t happened yet. I can forsee something unfolding that’s beautiful, deep and lustful (lol) and that’s why the ex and I didn’t work out.

        I love your message about responding, allowing, relaxing and being female. It’s so much of a better strategy than chasing. I need to learn to be more patient waiting for the right men to approach me.

        • Thanks so much for your kind words, and for sharing so thoughtfully and openly. There is so much wisdom and strength in what you’ve shared. As you’ve experienced, in these kinds of situations, the only way out is through.

          So many people try to avoid going through the process like the one you went through. This shows up as numbing themselves with substances like alcohol, drugs, or overeating, pushing down emotions that can be debilitating, keeping busy to avoid the pain, and jumping into a rebound relationship or hanging out and hooking up.

          Avoidance keeps the pain and energy of that pain inside of us. That pain emerges as bitterness, skepticism, doubt, hopelessness, and all other emotionally draining energy. It perpetuates the cycle of men who aren’t right for us and relationships that aren’t meant to be. This is why it’s so important (as you know) to take the time and allow that pain to dissolve. By allowing that, we open up the space for hope and ease to come in.

          I love that you have emerged as your best self. It makes me happy to know you are loving yourself and knowing your worth. You’re a wonderful woman and it’s just a matter of time before you meet the one. 🙂

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