Practical wisdom about dating, courtship, and relationships to improve your love life.
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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Copyright Love for Successful Women, 2020.