It’s happened again.
You’ve donned your “I give up” pants and watched an entire season of “Friends” over a weekend to drown out the noise of your own thoughts.
There are some real moments in Monica and Rachel’s on-screen lives that every single woman on this planet can relate to. “Remember that time we…” your mind chimes in. (Insert tissues and tears.) This is making light of heartbreak—but we all know it can be an immensely crippling experience.
The pants and the binge-watching are most likely a step up from the intense feeling when your heart first cracked. John Mayer said it best when he sang in his sultry voice, “When you’re dreaming with a broken heart, the waking up is the hardest part.” In the beginning, it felt as if reality was punching you in the face every morning as you woke up, forcing you to remember, in vivid detail, that the person you loved was gone.
The healing process is one of heavily mixed emotions.
You’ll spend days, weeks, and depending on the severity, months feeling intense lows of melancholy and great highs of happiness. It’s just the heart’s way of healing. It uses everything around it as a Band-Aid, and sometimes that’s a good and a bad thing. It’s the eternal balancing act of life. You’ll turn into a “yes” person and spend more time outdoors and with friends—but only after the hibernation period, when the world is seemingly dead to you.
There is one part of you that will take much longer to heal, and that’s your ability to trust again. And if this is not your first heartbreak, trust feels even more elusive. You’ll have spent so much time mending the hurt that you’ll want to protect your heart by locking it away, and you should—but only for a little while.
No matter the circumstances of your heartbreak, the most vital thing we lose in the chaos and the pain is how to trust—not only other people, but ourselves.
Three ways that we can learn to open our hearts again and embrace our inner trusting nature:
1. Listen to your intuition.
It sounds like something out of a self-help book, and I’m pretty sure if you have one around, you’ll find that line in there somewhere. Listen to your intuition. Saying it is simple; doing it is much harder. Our intuition is our greatest source of guidance, and because we are flawed and stubborn humans, we often prefer the image in our heads of how things should be instead of paying attention to the pull in our gut that tells us when something feels right or wrong.
Your heart and mind can lie, but your intuition never will.
We have to learn to understand what our intuition is telling us, and then allow it to lead us down the path that best serves our soul. No one knows what is best for you better than you.
2. Love yourself.
When our hearts have been broken, we can often be brutal with ourselves. We start nit-picking on every flaw we have, questioning our worth, and overanalysing ourselves to the point of emotional exhaustion. But it’s important to find your way back to and fall in love with yourself—someone who you should consider to be the most important person in your life.
In our society, looking good is equated with feeling good, and by all means, have your hair cut or dyed an outrageous colour, go to the gym three times a week, and take a million selfies—but remember that self-love is what happens internally. When you feed your soul with the books you love to read or have meaningful conversations with friends that reaffirm your passions, your love for yourself will shine brighter than a new pair of shoes. When you emanate love, love is attracted back to you.
3. Honour the clean slate.
Your heart was broken, you took the time to mend it, and you have learned to love yourself and your life again. This means that the universe will open new doors for you to walk through. Don’t walk through them carrying a suitcase full of the past.
Each new door is a brand new opportunity and a clean slate that deserves to be honoured. The past is essential for learning from mistakes, but more often than not, we sabotage our own happiness with comparisons that mean nothing, that are usually a disguise for fear. Approach each new situation with an openness of spirit, and know that your intuition and self-love will always steer you in the right direction.
Author: Amanda Van Graan
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Copy & Social Editor: Yoli Ramazzina