Seven steps to healing the lovesick heart.
and for giving
We’ve all had them. Those icky, sticky, yucky feelings of love gone wrong. The sense of loss. Of abandonment. Of feeling devalued and discarded. Of being ‘less than’ as the light of love in our lover’s eyes fades and we become invisible in their gaze. We’ve all had them and sometimes, those feelings linger for longer than is healthy for us to reclaim our sense of self-worth, of beauty, of joy in our essence of being alive.
EMBRACE yourself. You’ve got all you need to hold onto.
I originally posted this seven step process on Lovefraud blog -- where I occasionally write an article on healing from encounters of the disorderly kind. Lovefraud, created by Donna Andersen, is committed to helping individuals heal from relationships with sociopaths and narcissists. Using her experience with James Montgomery, a bigamist who married her, bilked her out of $250,000 and two and a half years of her life while married to at least two other women, Donna encourages people to share their stories -- their pain, experience and hope -- to help each other heal.
I wrote this article -- not to specifically talk about sociopath relationships, but rather to talk about the importance of becoming our own best friend, of accepting what is -- regardless of the trauma, and healing from the inside out.
For me, every moment of healing has been bathed in the grace of forgiveness. Forgiveness of him. Of myself. Of anyone whom I believed harmed me in some way in my life. Recently, when a girlfriend talked emotionally about an employee who had treated her with disrespect, I counselled, "repeat after me. I forgive you. I release you." The employee had quit. He was no longer part of their 'family'. She couldn't change what he had done. Only its hold on her psyche.
What always surprises (and sometimes saddens) me is the resistance people have around forgiveness. I can never forgive him, they write. He doesn't deserve it.
The power of forgiveness should not be underestimated. It fuels healing.
Forgiveness isn't about the other person. I forgive Conrad. I have never told him. Never will -- because my forgiving him has nothing to do with him. I don't need for him to acknowledge what he did was wrong -- even thinking he might keeps me trapped in disbelief, keeps me from embracing all that I am today. Expecting someone else to 'accept' our apology undermines our power today. I forgive to set myself free. I forgive to make room for all the beauty and abundance in the world to enter my life.
EMBRACE is a seven step process that guides you through letting go of the love that was (and will never be again) into loving what is and will always be within you. You. Whole and complete. Living the 3Ms of self-eMPOWERED YOU! Magnificent! Miraculous! Marvelous!
Engage your heart. Still your mind.
Mindfully watch your words and actions.
Be honest with yourself.
Reacquaint yourself with you.
Allow forgiveness in everything you do and say.
Explore your world.
(I use 'the masculine -- he, him' because I write as a woman. I am not suggesting all men break hearts or women never do -- Replace with the feminine if necessary.)
1. Engage your heart by stilling your mind. Meditate. Walk. Do something to get out of your thinking telling you your heart is broken. It isn’t. It’s just hurting because your breathing and thinking is tied up in thoughts of what he did to hurt you. It wasn’t about you. It was always about him.
In the quiet of your mind whisper:
Like me, he is seeking to be loved and this is the only way he knows how.
Like me, he has experienced pain, sorrow, and sadness and is looking for a way to avoid feeling them again.
Like me, he only knows this way he is choosing to behave.
And if you can say nothing else, repeat a hundred x ten times a day: I forgive him. I release him.
2. Mindfully watch everything you do and say. Become conscious of your choices knowing that they are always a reflection of your thinking and your thinking will always create how you are feeling and your experience in this moment.
Ask yourself – what do I want to feel in this moment? What is my intention for the day? Tell yourself you are capable of having what you want by reminding yourself what you’re capable of…
I wish to feel peace.
I want to feel peace.
I can feel peace.
I am the peace I feel.
I choose to be at peace in this moment now. In my choosing peace in this moment, I create the path for peace to appear in the next moment and the next and the next. I am the source of my thinking, my feelings, my actions and I choose to be responsible for my choices.
3. Be honest with yourself. Your healing will only progress to the degree that you are willing to be completely honest with yourself.
His actions were never about you. His actions, words, what he did were always about him.
You do not matter to him. He was not ‘out to get you’. He was out to get what he wanted to make his life have meaning.
It wasn’t personal. He didn’t set out to hurt you. Hurting people is just what he does -- doesn't make it right. It does mean it's all about him and what he did was to set out to protect himself. He set out with the belief that ‘you’ were a way for him to feel good about himself. You couldn’t be his way to feeling good about himself. You are not that powerful. Making him feel good about himself is not your job. Feeling good about yourself is your job. It is your responsibility. You get to choose how you feel about yourself. Be honest – are your choices making you feel better about yourself or worse? Is your thinking giving you what you want or is it taking from you what you need to Love yourself exactly the way you are?
4. Reacquaint yourself with you – remind yourself about who you were before he came into your life. Remember the things you did that said – I am a magnificent human being.
Was your passion before him to volunteer at a hospital? At a homeless shelter? Did you do things that created value in your life, that created value in the world around you? Remind yourself of your power to do things that make a difference. If you could do those things then, you can do those things now. Let go of ‘used to’ and get doing now. Remind yourself of those things. You need to get moving. Get doing. Get being who you believe yourself to be. Who you say you are. Do them now. Do them again and again. Get involved and get into action.
5. Allow yourself the gift of forgiveness. Forgive yourself. Forgive him. Forgive anyone and anything who ever hurt you.
Holding onto pockets of unforgiveness limits your experience of your life free of his abuse. Forgive him. Remember, it wasn’t personal. He didn’t set out to destroy you. He was just doing what he does and you happened to be in his path. He has since, ‘gotten over you’. He is off doing what he does in someone else’s life. What’s in it for you to hold onto his bad behavior after he’s gone? Forgive him. Forgive yourself. You didn’t know this would happen. You didn’t know you would be so hurt. So broken. So sad. And it’s okay. Forgive yourself and breathe into forgiveness all the loving kindness you possess.
Forgiving someone who hurt you doesn't lessen you and it doesn't make what they did 'okay'. It strengthens you and releases you from carrying the burden of shame and blame. Forgiveness sets you free.
Forgiving yourself doesn't mean you're less than. It means you're more than anything he could have done and ever did. Forgiving yourself releases you from being the victim. After encounters of the disorderly kind, we often want to cling to the thought -- it's not my fault. It's not. But fault has nothing to do with it. Forgive yourself and set your thinking free to focus on healing your broken heart and spirit.
6. Celebrate everything about you. Celebrate your magnificence. Your brilliance. Your light – even when the voices inside would tell you you’re not – celebrate yourself for all you’re worth! You are worth living it up for. Take yourself out on a date. Do something fun and whacky. Go to the zoo. Go bungee jumping. Take dance lessons. Learn a new skill. Celebrate everything about you in everything you do.
7. Explore life. Life isn’t about searching for the right answers, or the perfect you. Life is in the experience of living it. It’s about exploring your beliefs, what beliefs you want to hold onto and those you need to let go of because they’re not working for you any more.
If believing he hurt you causes you pain, let go of the belief. Don't give him the power to keep hurting you after he's gone. What he did hurt. What he did is nothing compared to what you can do to heal your wounded spirits. If thinking of him makes you sad, explore new thoughts. Commit to NO CONTACT in your mind. Don't give someone else free rent in your head. Our reality becomes our thoughts -- Change your thinking. Change your life.
Life is in discovering where you’re at is exactly where you are meant to be. Explore this place you’re at right now. Explore your perimeters., Explore your life beyond this place where you find yourself caught up in living small, living less than your dreams.
Get up. Get moving. Quit talking about him. Quit explaining to yourself and anyone who will listen why what he did was so wrong. Wrong or right, it is what he did and all the explanations in the world will never make sense of his nonsense – so give it up. Let it go. Engage yourself in your life. Engage yourself in shining so bright upon your path the whole world lights up around you.
EMBRACE what is. And, if the thought it should be some other way interferes, embrace it and love it to death, or at least until it doesn’t hurt you any more to believe it should be some other way. It isn’t. It can’t be. Embrace what is, love yourself as you are and let yourself go to that place where you are free to explore and experience life on your terms. Free to love fearlessly. To live with abandon. To dance in the rain and run naked through wildflower strewn meadows. It is, and always has been, your choice to embrace what is and live it up for all you’re worth!
Are you willing to do it? It is your life. No one else can live it for you.