>Getting good at heartbreak

Here’s the hard truth – there is no love that won’t leave you heartbroken and wanting for more, at times*; so why not get good at it?

Heartbreaks come in all shapes and sizes, like having your partner fall short of your expectations; or standing by helplessly as your grown (or growing) child rejects your help and makes painful choices without you. It’s not that you should give up on (those you) love – it’s that you could become more prepared for the tough parts that come with the joy of it!!!

As soon as you care about someone or something, you become vulnerable to it… which is why we have defense mechanisms… and why I have a job. David Whyte talks about how ‘people are constantly looking for a way of being in this world without getting their heart broken’, and I have to agree. Most of the time, I’m helping people find a way to work through pain without closing themselves off to love.

Here’s a quick tip:  What you seek to change in your partner is often what you need from yourself. For example, if you want your partner to be less demanding, ask yourself how perfectionist you are. If you want your partner to listen more, consider whether you’ve listened and responded to your own needs, or if you’ve been neglecting yourself and expecting someone to notice.

Start with taking better care of yourself – there is more time in the day than you think – shut off the ‘Real Housewives’ and take a long shower instead – go for a walk, stretch, breathe – sit in the silence known as “while the kids are sleeping”.

Do this now, when you’re not in the middle of a crisis: Figure out what you need to give yourself, and what you need to ask for from others.

Think of it as weight-lifting for your soul – at your next heartbreak, you will know much better what you need to stop the bleeding, so you will heal that much more quickly.

When you do, you have less need for those defenses, because you can fully welcome the love you so richly deserve, knowing you can handle the pain that sometimes comes with it!

*paraphrased – credit David Whyte
as soon as you care about someone or something, you become vulnerable to it… which is why we have defense mechanisms… and why I have a job.

Comments

2 responses to “>Getting good at heartbreak”

  1. Thanks to the Psychology Today Forum, I have been reading blogs of other therapists listed there.
    I am so glad to see someone else making reference to David Whyte. The two audio programs on my ipod are my favorites on long-hikes.

    1. Maggie

      Thanks, Verlin – I appreciate your feedback. There are so many places we can feed our soul, and I love passing on the inspiration!!!

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