“Loving can heal. Loving can mend your soul.” Ed Sheeran
It’s officially been four years.
I’m still here. You’re still here.
All of us – survivors of divorce, heartbreak and heartache – are still here and still standing.
Some of us are barely here, but we’re still here!
Over the past four years I had gone out of my way to close off all the personal relationships in my life.
I stayed behind my fort, my moat, my castle of unscalable walls so that I wouldn’t have to open my heart to anyone.
I liked being there – hidden, closed and impossible to hurt.
Until I had an awakening – until I started questioning my beliefs and becoming more mindful of what I was doing.
I had used one dramatic experience in my life – heartbreak and a marriage gone wrong – to make up my mind about all relationships and love in general.
To me, love registered as painful, life-crushing and destructive.
It was my reality, my experience and my journey until I realized – exactly – that it was my experience, my reality and my journey which gave me the power to change how I viewed these past events in my life.
Yes, I could stay in the self-created prison of sabotage and loneliness or I could break through, throw off the shackles of heartbreak and stand up again.
See, when I was a recluse, holed up and walled-in, heartbreak won.
When I decided, by free will and choice, that my past was no longer going to imprison me, love won.
And you know what’s really motivating me to love again?
Why I signed up for those dating sites, why I said okay to meeting women my family has been introducing me to and why I said okay to blind dates? Why I even responded to a woman my brother’s landlord tried to set me up – in another state?
Why yes to love?
Because here’s what I’ve found by opening my heart to love again – as Ed Sheeran points out in this soulful song above, love may hurt but love also has the ability to heal. And mend your soul.
You can do two things after divorce and heartbreak: 1) run away, hide and never love again; or 2) grieve, heal and open up your heart to love again. And in loving, find that you can heal your heart by loving again.
By opening your heart, you allow it to piece itself together. All those broken pieces gather and join back together. Your heartbreak has allowed your heart to grow and become fuller.
So, that’s why I need to love – and that’s why you need to love.
You need to take down the walls.
Let go of all the false beliefs. Let go of the anger and the bitterness you may be harboring toward your ex.
Believe that love is possible again and believe that love can help you heal.
Your heartbreak was experience, and the more you do something, the better you get at it.
The more we learn about what didn’t work, the more we can learn what does.
The more insight we have about ourselves, the more we can share with others.
You don’t have to wait for anyone to love you.
You don’t have to wait for some kind-hearted, compassionate, caramel-skin Indian woman who’s in her 30s, in the five-foot height range, into yoga and working as a pharmacist to fall in love with you – I mean, of course if you know that person and she’s in Southern California, dial the number 909-263-5463 as soon as possible. No, that’s not my personal cell phone number which I’ll pick up in one ring.
What were we talking about?
Oh yeah, you. And love.
And why you need to love again.
You need to love again. It doesn’t have to be romantic love, either. And you don’t have to wait for someone to love you.
Loving again means the following:
1) Making peace with your past.
Forgiving those who hurt you and forgiving yourself for your mistakes in your past relationship.
2) Saying whatever needs to be said for closure.
Don’t say it to your ex – write it down or say all those things you wanted to say but couldn’t, out loud to someone you trust. Say those things that will give you closure and help you move on with your life.
3) Start loving those around you.
The people who are close to you – friends, family, colleagues, neighbors and anyone who needs some love. What does loving look like? Read this post here, which describes ways to cultivate relationships and take action on love. Loving someone doesn’t have to be in the romantic sense – loving is simply giving, sharing and making connections.
4) Confront your disempowering and negative beliefs about love.
You likely have strong love blocks that you should examine. What are those beliefs or feelings that are preventing you from loving again? What are you going to do to work through them and to let go of disempowering thoughts?
5) Practice opening your heart.
Put yourself in situations that allow you to open your heart and give to others. Feel compassion and sympathy for people around you – donate your time or energy to improving their lives.
Practice saying yes to things that scare you when you want to say no.
Visualize what a loving and supportive relationship looks like and be open to that.
Be open to loving yourself – be compassionate to yourself and kind to your thoughts and the demands you have of yourself.
6) Take small steps of courage on the daily to be vulnerable.
Vulnerability is saying that you’re looking for someone new in your life.
Vulnerability is putting up your dating profile. Vulnerability is uploading your photo. Vulnerability is telling someone you like them. Vulnerability is sending an email to someone you’re interested in. Vulnerability is responding to a message. Vulnerability is saying no. Vulnerability is saying yes. Vulnerability is saying yes to coffee. Yes to meeting. Yes to sushi. Yes to a movie. Yes to your friend who’s trying to set you up. Yes to your family who wants to introduce you to a friend’s daughter.
For my book, 10 Sacred Laws of Healing a Broken Heart, click here.