“I refuse to let what happened to me make me bitter. I still completely believe in love and I’m open to anything that will happen to me.” - Nicole Kidman on breaking up

Many years ago when my ex-husband left, I initially thought that this was the end of any hope for love in my life. It took me months to wade through the grief process - shock, denial, anger, deep grief, and later, a measure of acceptance. The divorce shook my mind, heard, and body to the foundation.

One day, I woke up feeling just a tiny bit better, and on that day I experienced several powerful insights. Like Nicole, I saw that while I would never have control over the behavior and choices of any man in my life, I had complete control over how I responded. I saw that bitterness, loss of hope, and a closed heart were in my domain of control. I realized that the ability to love and be loved, to trust and have an open heart, are precious assets of mine. With blinding clarity, I saw that to surrender these assets because of any other person’s behavior would be an enormous loss, not to that person, but to me and to the quality of my life. In that moment, I made a solid commitment to myself that I would never surrender my faith in love or my ability to love and be loved because of a break up, divorce, or any other negative life event.

This moment of clarity and insight did not mark the end of my recovery period - to the contrary! I often struggled to remember my own insights; I struggled with anger and bitterness, with grief and loss, and with feelings of hopelessness at times. But I never completely lost sight because while I was feeling so clear I wrote down my thoughts, including my “recovery list” of things to look for in the future that would tell me I was over this divorce. When I needed the message again, I pulled out that piece of paper and remembered my commitment, and this helped me continue moving forward.

If you are suffering from a divorce or break-up, I hope for your full and complete recovery from the broken heart of today. Know that it is possible to recover, and it is possible - in fact it is your birthright - to love and be loved again. The next time around, you will be wiser and you will make better choices, especially if you arm yourself with more knowledge, awareness, and insight.

Author's Bio: 

Nina Atwood, M.Ed., LPC, is a licensed therapist with twenty years in private practice. Nina launched the world’s first educational resource on the internet for singles, Singlescoach®, in 1996, simultaneous with the publication of her first book, Be Your Own Dating Service. Since then, she’s established herself as one of the foremost authorities on the intricacies of dating and love relationships. She’s been featured in innumerable national magazines and newspapers, on radio hundreds of times, and on national and regional television. Nina’s newest book, Temptations of the Single Girl: The Ten Dating Traps You Must Avoid (Wheatmark, 2008), was just released to rave reviews. Nina lives in Dallas, Texas, with her Soul Partner and husband, Mark.