Recently I was reminded of the sting of heartbreak. Never fun, right? A girlfriend of mine called me a “strange bird” because she couldn’t believe how I don’t give up on love, even when my heart is broken. It made me contemplate exactly how I’ve become so resilient to the ups and downs of relationships, and so of course, I wanted to share my strategy with you.
It all boils down to three essential ingredients that I use to survive heartbreak, disappointment, and loss. I’m going to focus on relationships, since that’s what we do here, but these ingredients can be used for anything in life. The three ingredients are:
A resilient mind.
Our minds are powerful in their ability to create stories about events that happen in our lives. No two people will perceive the same event in the exact same way. We filter our experiences through a lens that contains our history, our fears, our dreams, our expectations, and our stereotypes. This lens creates the emotional experience that becomes connected to the situation.
When we change our mindset, we can change our emotional experience.
Creating a resilient mindset will help you cope with anything negative that you experience. Having a resilient mindset means that you have ideas and beliefs that help you see things in an optimistic light. Some of my favorites are:
- Life happens for us and not to us.
- Everything has a reason and a purpose, even if I don’t see it now.
- Rejection is a story.
- Someone who rejects you is simply failing to see your worth. They are not diminishing your worth.
- Their loss, not mine.
- The Universe always has my back.
Even if you’re experiencing emotional pain, having beliefs like these will help the pain move through you quicker. It will also help you not get stuck on any one experience so that you can keep moving forward in your life and relationships.
A resilient heart.
Having a resilient heart means that you allow yourself to feel pain and grief. You allow any emotions to surface and find a healthy way to be expressed. This can be crying, journaling, venting to a friend or therapist, using physical exercise or yoga to help the body release emotion, or screaming into a pillow.
Have you ever noticed that you get a sore throat, stomach upset, your back goes out, or you get sick in some way when you’ve experienced a traumatic or stressful experience? This is the body’s way of telling us that we’ve experienced one or both of these two things: 1) that we have just endured a very stressful experience, and/or 2) that we are not expressing our emotions about the experience appropriately.
For example, this week after my heartbreak experience, my neck and left shoulder froze to the point that I couldn’t move it, and I had intense pain. My energy healer friend reminded me thatthe left shoulder and neck area represent the relationship side of the energetic body, and when it gets blocked, it can represent vulnerability and a fear of not being lovable. (And yes, that was the low that my mind had sunken into.)
I was in so much emotional and physical pain that I wasn’t allowing my emotions to surface so my body was telling me to let it out. The more that I allow my emotional pain to release, the more my shoulder heals. This is the power of holding or expressing emotion. It has a significant impact on our physical and energetic bodies.
To have a resilient heart, you must feel emotion and release it.
If you’re afraid to feel your feelings, remember that emotions are always temporary. They are like waves on the ocean. At times they may be gentle or calm, other times they may be rolling waves, and once in a while we feel a tsunami. But, they are always changing.
Another important piece of building a resilient heart is to forgive and move on. Forgiving someone who has hurt you releases the power they hold over you that creates your suffering. Forgiveness allows the final stages of healing to occur. Even if you don’t tell them you forgive them, forgive them in your heart and mind.
A resilient spirit.
A resilient spirit is essentially nurturing a belief that there is something bigger than our human form. It doesn’t matter what your belief system is. You could have religious beliefs, a belief in the Universe, or energy, or quantum physics, or whatever floats your boat. My basic belief is:
We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
If you can’t get to a place of faith in something bigger, just paying attention to the cycles of nature and recognizing that there are patterns of resiliency in nature can help. Trees, sunsets, sunrises, clouds, grass, animals, and every living thing experiences phases of growth and death, and somehow things just keep going. I don’t know about you, but I find peace in that all of the time. We are not separate from nature. We are part of nature.
Looking for reasons to build your faith that there is something mysterious at work underneath our physical human drama can be one of the greatest sources of peace. The most resilient people I know usually have an unwavering faith in something greater out there.
So, if you feel like you’re ready to give up on finding love because you’ve suffered too many heartbreaks, don’t give up. See where you can strengthen and rely on these three ingredients to help you heal and find faith that what you desire, desires you and what you seek, is seeking you.