There is no such thing as a broken heart-only a heart that is learning to love more and better.
Realizing that your heart isn't damaged is a relief. But when you're desperately trying to let go of a former mate, and you're in emotional agony, this bit of wisdom is cold comfort. Many say they can feel a physical aching in the chest that can last for weeks and even months. An inability to hear love songs on the radio without crying is common. At worst, those struggling through a break-up can't stand to be alone, and avoid places where they might see their ex. Conversely, they might even arrange to run in" to their former flame.
Why do we find it so hard to release when a relationship ends? We get emotionally attached when we fall in love. Emotional attachment is wonderful when the relationship is in full bloom, but a great source of pain when the romance is over. Emotional attachment is responsible for much angst, from jealousy to endless mooning over the lost love, to an inability to move on. Once you finally break the attachment, you have a pleasant neutrality towards the former object of your attachment. You know you're over him when you can see him with another woman and not feel a surge of emotion. It's not that you wish him ill; you simply no longer see why you were so hung up on him to begin with.
There are three steps you can take to expedite the process of release and be free of the pain. If you start practicing them immediately, you may find yourself getting on with your life and experiencing a heady freedom by tomorrow.
Step One: Release Constantly. Be aware of how often you think of your former love after the break-up. For example, something may trigger a memory, or a friend may ask how the two of you are doing. Perhaps you go so far as to maintain contact deliberately with his friends and family in hopes of rekindling the flame. Your ex is a point of reference for you. You wonder what he would think of your new haircut, or what she's up to. You may torment yourself imagining her involvement with someone else.
This pattern of thinking is not helpful to you, and it needs to stop. You should cease an behavior that keeps you hanging on. There is a magic inrelease. If you are meant to be with her, nothing can keep you apart. For now, you need to disengage. Releasing is not something you can fake. You have to really let go. Letting go may expedite her coming back to you, but you can't do it for this reason. She is not with you now, and that reality must be faced.
How to Release: Cease any behavior that propels you toward her. No more phone calls. Avoid places you may see her if possible. You also need to quit thinking about her and imagining a reunion. Every time you start thinking of her, say (either out loud or silently), "I release you to your highest good. I am free now." As you let go, a strange thing will happen. The Universe will begin to support you. Synchronistic events and spontaneous good will arise to distract you or pull you in another direction. Repeat this release, even if you have to do it dozens of times a day. Because you will be getting positive results, it will become easier and easier to do.
Step Two: Focus on Your Life Vision. It is said that what you look for in another is only yourself. Refocus on your own life when you're plagued with thoughts of your ex-loves. This is healing. As you go through the grieving that is natural upon a break-up, begin to open to a vision of your life as you want it. Include not only the perfect relationship but also your life's mission and most importantly, an image of you at your best-in your power and flourishing, living your life to the fullest. Each time you begin to think of your former love, set these thoughts aside and instead contemplate the vision you've begun to create of yourself. Rather than falling into despair or plotting how to get her back, do something concrete to begin making this vision a reality. Your time is better spent, and this refocusing forces you back into honoring your highest self.
Step Three: Dissolve the Pain. Both of the previous steps will help you handle the pain of emotional release. However, if you have had other wounds in your life, you have built up a large emotional "pain body" that has been reactivated by this break-up. It is time to dissolve this pain body so that you'll never experience such deep loss again. Do this by allowing yourself to feel all of the pain you have stored up inside. Know that tears are healing, a release in and of themselves. Allow yourself to sob in the shower. Embrace the part of you that is inconsolable. Instead of fighting the pain in your heart (and any other physical symptoms), let them be, accepting them fully as part of your healing.
As your pain body is dissolved, begin a practice that will keep you free from storing up more pain in the future. Teach yourself to not take on any new pain. To do this, you must change your perspective. First, know that no one is trying to hurt you. They're doing the best they can, and are simply showing you their limits of their insensitivity. This will help you to quit taking things personally and to forgive.
Secondly, quit feeding your pain. Many of us-especially those we would label "drama queens" (and kings)-need to experience pain in order to feel alive. For others, much of our identity is wrapped up in being a victim. The next time you begin feeling pain, catch yourself. Tell yourself, "I'm thinking of him again." The simple act of noticing how you feed your pain will begin to dissolve it immediately. Next, do whatever is necessary to not let the pain mushroom into a full-blown despair. You may need to distract yourself or remember all the good you have in your life.
As you dissolve your pain body and learn new patterns, your release will go very quickly. You will propel yourself into states of happiness and peace you didn't know existed.
Not only will this break-up not kill you, but it may be the best thing that ever happened to you. The pain of a break-up can push you into a world of magic, of release and of healing that you otherwise might not have entered. And even though you may think your ex is the be-all, end-all, of your life, undoubtedly there is more love, even better love right around the corner.
Kathryn Alice led a crisis support team in Los Angeles for six years. She teaches workshops all over the U.S., and her writings on spiritual matters are frequently published. Thousands have recovered from heartbreak through her release workshops. Visit her website at: www.KathrynAlice.com