Many of the women who seek my guidance as a relationship coach are suffering from a broken heart. Sometimes their heart is still freshly bruised; other times they tell me stories of past romantic traumas they have never recovered from.
I remember the first time my heart was broken like it was yesterday. His name was Dennis McCormick and he was sexy, funny, wise and for my 16 year old tender heart he was IT. I was young but it sure didnít feel like puppy love to me. I was head over heels.
We were together as a couple for only a few months and were really just getting to the good part as far as I was concerned. Past the initial awkwardness and beginning to have a routine as a couple when suddenly he stopped calling. This happened right in the middle of a school holiday so I didnít have a convenient way to run into him. I called, no response. Agony. Then school started up again and I was anxious to confront him on his bad behavior or at least be reassured that he had simply been hanging out with his guy friends.
I caught a glimpse of him walking into the cafeteria on that day and much to my dismay in that same picture frame was another girl holding onto his arm! I donít remember much of what he said when he moseyed by my table acting like it was no big deal. Somewhere between seeing her next to him, and his opening his mouth to speak, my heart had started to break.
I was hurt and angry of course. How could he! How dare he! The loss was so multi-faceted as to be excruciating. I had lost a boyfriend I loved and a dream of our future. Then there was the humiliation and shame I felt for having been such a fool. On top of that what was I going to do now? Had I ruined my reputation irreparably? Would I be forever labeled a LOSER!
A broken heart usually brings with it this sort of messy mix.
I wept and whined for a few weeks and licked my wounds. Within a couple of months I had a new boyfriend and to the entire world looked like I had moved on with grace. Not true. During one of my crying fits the pain felt so bad that I had made myself a promise that I would never ever allow myself to be in this situation again. If I could be so stupid as to fall in love with a guy who would treat me so badly I sure as hell could be smart and never open my heart again.
I am here to tell you I held true to that promise for over 20 years. I did find love again. The very next boyfriend I had was a great guy. He was good looking, fun, kind and he was crazy about me. We stayed together for quite awhile too. I loved him as I did other men after him. I loved them, but I never fully opened my heart to them. I stayed protected and secure behind the shield I had put over my heart so it would never be broken again. I kept my heart safe, but the consequences of this I learned is that a safe heart is also a lonely heart.
If you are suffering from a broken heart or still carrying a shield over you heart as I did there is another way of healing that I eventually learned. There was a moment in my life when I decided to open my heart fully again. I decided I wanted to have the full experience of life and so let go of my fears and opened my heart.
My heart got broken again. This time though instead of hiding myself away I allowed myself to feel the pain and go through the process of healing by loving myself and being honest with myself. Love is always a two way street and I knew then that part of the brokenness had come because we were not right for each other. I learned that loving someone is not enough to make a relationship last. I also learned that I COULD recover and after the pain had subsided come out the other side with new insights and awareness that I couldnít have gotten any other way.
The paradox of healthfully healing from a broken heart is to allow yourself to feel it without allowing yourself to get lost in the drama. Take your attention off the other person and put it on yourself. Feel the true feelings of anger and hurt. Scream, shout and find a good shoulder to cry on.
Then slowly bring your attention and your heart back to the present. Take time to practice some excellent self-care with an extra dose of self-love. Do things you enjoy with family and friends. Then, when you are ready, take a look at what you have learned. What was your part in the experience? Were there red flags you missed? Is there something you could have done differently? If so donít beat up on yourself, make some changes in your thinking and behavior. Take in the learning and use it to move forward with the kind of wisdom that only comes from experience. When you do this, your heart will be ready to be open and to confidently invite someone new into your life.
© 2011, Kat Knecht. All rights reserved. Reprints welcome so long as the article and byline are printed intact with all links made live.
Kat Kehres Knecht is your no-nonsense fairy godmother and relationship coach who will guide you through the land of soul mate romance. Visit her website at http://relationshipcoaching.com to get free relationship advice. While you are there schedule a free consultation to hear what she has to say about becoming a powerful and confident woman who is willing to co-create a deeply romantic and soul-fulfilling relationship with a man.