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The 10 Commandments of Mending a Broken Heart

by Leo Battenhausen

Alfred Lord Tennyson said one, "It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all," yet these words do little if anything to help one feel better after being on the losing end of the romantic partnership. The truth is, in most relationships, one person is going to be hurt when it ends. Unfortunately, that cannot be avoided. However, the broken heart can mend! That is the good news, but it takes a true desire to make it so and each and every one of us are worth that desire!

Broken hearts can come from many different sources besides an ended relationship. Being fired, laid-off, losing a friend, estranged familial relationships, loss of a pet, a forced move to a new residence, and countless more I am sure!

I am offering a 10 techniques that will help anyone who has lost their "true love" and hopefully drive you far from the repetitive self-questioning, self-abusing and self-destruction many of us are haunted by after being broken-up with or suffering from aloss in our lives. If you truly commit yourself to following these suggestions, you will heal stronger, more positive and far more ready for living single or with a new partner one day!

(For the sake of this piece, please feel free to replace or supplement any loss you may have encountered and need help with in overcoming, not only a romantic one.)

1: Acceptance. It happened. He or she ended what you had together. If he or she does not want to share their life with you anymore, there is no use in negotiating, hoping for their feelings to change, or "fixing" whatever went wrong. You are better than that and no one person makes us who we are! Stop denying, plotting or planning any form of retaliation.

2: Mourn the Loss. As with any loss in our lives, we need to mourn and grieve in order to heal properly. Cry, take time off, speak to supportive friends and family and accept the love and concern that exists around you. Wakes and funerals are not for the deceased, they are more for the living who NEED to see and believe their loved one is gone and this is true in relationships as well.

3: Clean House. Remove any and all reminders of your former lover from your living and working areas. Pictures, gifts, clothes anything that may be hanging or lying around that will bring about sad memories and remind you of "loss" instead of "change."

10 commandments of mending a broken heart


4: Replace the Thought of Loss with Change. That's right! A change has occurred in your life. One you were probably not expecting, but happened nonetheless. This is the nature of life. The only two things we can be guaranteed in this life are death and change. So, rather than view this loss as "death," see it for what it truly is a CHANGE, and changes can be very exciting if we keep them in their proper perspective.

5: Get Busy. Now that you have some extra time, it may be ideal timing to join a gym, book club, volunteer at an animal shelter or with children, join a church or take a class. Whatever your interests are, there is always something to do! This is a great way to connect with new, like-minded people, feel good about yourself and exercise your body and/or brain in new circumstances. In my book, "Defeating Depression: The Calm and Sense Way to Find Happiness and Satisfaction" I encourage people to GET INVOLVED WITH OTHERS as THE BEST WAY TO FEEL GOOD!

6: Reinvent Yourself. There's nothing like a new hairstyle and some new fashion styles to help us feel good! Take some risks! You are worth it!! Along these lines, think more too about new concepts or ideas that may help you fulfill your true and inner-potential. Explore what roads attract you and take a ride!

7: Stay Focused Forward. There is a very important reason that our car's windshield is larger than its rear-view mirror. What lies ahead requires far more attention than what we have left behind. We have absolutely no control of where have been, what we have done or who we were once with, but the great news is we DO have MUCH MORE POWER in choosing what is to next in our lives! Plan accordingly and with excitement!

8: Don't Drink Society's Kool-Aid. Perhaps this "Command" is the most important.Why? Because the media and advertising have been "telling" us who we should be, what we should do, like, eat, drink, drive, act as if, and live like for hundreds of years! Think especially about holiday advertising...Picture-perfect couples and families, living in beautiful homes enriched with over-flowing love and devotion for one another with happy family-activities, smiles and appreciation! You know the stuff that "dreams are made of" and that is PRECISELY THE POINT! Society lives on DREAMS that are fed to us constantly and consistently all day, every day! Highway signs, radio commercials, catalogs, television shows and commercials, magazines, movies, and so on! Advertisers KNOW the more frequently and often we see the same thing that stimulates all of our primary senses, (sight and sound), the more we will believe we want what they are selling! However, what they are "selling" is not REALITY! Very important to be aware of this one!!!

9: Give Yourself a Break. This "Command" is a conglomeration of the previous 8, meaning that while you are following all of the other "Commandments" and strengthening yourself and life around you, relish in time alone! This is truly necessaryto properly heal any loss in life, especially a relationship ending. It is normal to fear that we may be "alone for the rest of our lives" after a love is lost, but that does not mean we should rush into any NEW relationship in order to protect ourselves. If your car suddenly "dies" on you, sure, you need to hurry up and get a new one, however, when we are speaking of relationships, we are NOT speaking about things that must be replaced immediately to survive! Learn to know, understand, support, love and appreciate YOU and spending time with YOURSELF! Question any fears or pressure you may be experiencing as to why being on your own for a while is such a scary thing. Remember, change in life is guaranteed and we never know when we will meet Mr. or Ms. Right again! The point though is being able to stand firmly on your own two feetwell-before seeking any new relationship!

10: Familiarize Yourself With the Steps of Loss. This is a simple concept that once embraced will lead us through the process of many types of losses. At first you will feel SAD. If you are fired, "dumped" by a lover or otherwise faced by the end of someone or something in your life unexpectedly, the natural reaction involves sadness. That is okay. This period of sadness allows us to grieve our loss and process its reality in order to accept it ("Command" #1). Be sad, but be on watch for Step Number Two, MAD. Once our emotions of shock and surprise have been effectively dealt with, we normally move into anger. "That son of a *&^^$ dumped ME?!" or "I've worked here for X number of years, and THIS IS HOW THEY TREAT ME??!!!" Anger, or MAD is a pivotal point of moving on! It is in this step where we gain STRENGTH and MOTIVATION to move on!!! This is true in many situations! So be and get angry! Why? Because "Mad" is the diving board into the third and final step of GLAD! When we have successfully felt all we needed to feel in order to realize our loss, and internalized the reality of the loss, we can become "Glad" it is over, because somewhere in the loss lies a reason! It is then we can feel safe, confident and undefeated in moving on in our lives!

So we move from SAD to MAD then GLAD following loss.

Be mindful of fluctuating between these Steps though. We MAY go from SAD to MAD and back again, and that is fine but the goal is to get to GLAD as a destination! If you find yourself "stuck" in Sad or Mad for prolonged periods of time, perhaps some form of help from a therapist would be a good idea. However, my challenge to anyone is to make this happen on your own! It CAN be done, and if you fully and truly believe in yourself being a wonderful, deserving person because of who you are, you already contain the strength and capability to accept unexpected loss if and when it comes, and survive it with positive results!

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