As you stand in the door frame between sadness and hope, deception after another, it’s difficult to open your heart entirely and even imagine loving again. Whether due to heartbreak, divorce, abandonment, or trauma, we have all endured pain that can leave us unable to open ourselves up to love again.
The prayer is true: Love God and love yourself like your neighbor. You cannot love another without loving yourself first. You must know what makes you feel alive to offer the same to another. If you live only for another person and forget yourself, you will feel broken again sooner or later after the first disappointment. It is an emotional rollercoaster that can last for years. Some can find closure rather quickly; others may take more time or experience several instances of heartache before even considering letting someone new into their lives.
There’s no magic formula that makes us reclaim our self-love after heartbreak. It takes time to nurture ourselves and remember that we are worthy of love. Some suggestions to make this journey worthwhile:
Take a Break
Taking a breather allows you to look at yourself and organize the areas of your life that need attention. Consider your life in these areas and look deep inside each with time and attention, listing what you would improve in each to feel better about yourself:
1. Personal – what is working and not working towards your life right now? What makes you smile and what could use some improvement?
2. Physical Health – Think about how you would like to feel, and for each state, define some small steps you could start working on to improve in this area.
3. Mental – how do you feel psychologically most of the time? In your perception, what’s causing you to feel sad, happy, anxious, stressed, or at peace? Research ways you believe would help you improve your mental health and eliminate negative thoughts and feelings. Disclaimer: Sometimes, that includes increasing or decreasing contact with others.
4. Family and Friends – Focus on the most important relationships that help you to feel safe, at home, and whole. These are the people you can trust, confide in, and be yourself. Nurture these relationships. Dedicate more time to listening and helping each other. If you still have your parents, forgive and embrace them as they are in the same boat as you, trying to learn with experiences and move towards a brighter future. But remember – you have more time than them.
5. Temporal – Look around your house and possessions. What can you organize, clean, donate, or get rid of? Do you have what you need? Do you have too much or too little of something that you need? Organize yourselves to have space for the new and better in each aspect.
6. Financial – Moving ahead confidently is hard when you don’t meet your basic needs. Make a plan to pay off your debt. Save for rainy days. Review your retirement plans and health savings. These might take some time, but you can reach a better place step by step without giving up.
7. Professional – Improve your skills. There are free courses all around the internet. Revamp your resume, and look for extra income or a side gig. Develop your strengths, finding something you like to do to spend your free time. List additional tools you could have to improve your professional life and use your talents. Start small and upward.
8. Spiritual - Separate time for wholesome entertainment, hobbies, small moments of relaxation, and meditation. Whatever idea you have of the Almighty, make them part of your life. Prayer is a beautiful tool to take us back to what matters most, reminding us to be thankful for what we have instead of focusing on what we don’t have.
A break can also offer perspective on past events, giving you new insight into approaching future relationships. Letting go of emotions that may still be lingering means taking your power back and will restore faith that someone new could come along very soon. Focus on your well-being and self-confidence. Clear out those old energy blues and take some 'me time' – taking a break after a heartbreak might be the best thing for finding love again – starting with love for yourself.
It can be hard to find the motivation to forgive after a heartbreak. You may feel betrayed and distrustful of anyone who wants to get close to you. If you feel rejected for whatever reason, you will think others will leave you for the same reason. Forgiving can take time, but forgiving yourself without inflicting failure and reminding you constantly of your mistakes, or if you contributed to a relationship to end, is essential. Forgiving yourself and those who have wronged you will clear away mental blocks and enable you to open your heart again. You can start with the following:
1. Understand your emotions and give yourself time to heal.
2. Accept responsibility for your portion, learn from your mistakes, and brainstorm ways to improve it next time.
3. Treat yourself with kindness, compassion, and patience.
4. Apologize without expecting the same from the other person.
5. Change what needs change – experiencing genuine remorse can help us see that we don’t have to be reactive in relationships. Still, we can develop focus on what matters most independently if the other person doesn’t.
6. Stop blaming yourself for something you are not responsible for. Abuse, trauma, loss, shame, or guilt from disturbing relationships can alter our consciousness. If we can’t predict and avoid negative outcomes, the best practice is to check the scars to not forget what triggers you, change yourself, and don’t be naive.
You will always find people who remind you of your life's worse times. Although giving them a second chance is part of who you are, being honest with yourself to avoid another heartbreak again is imperative.
Here’s something interesting: No one has ever died from a snake bite. It’s the venom that kills. If anyone hurts you, that’s the bite, but the resentment, bitterness, anger, and hatred you hold within yourself slowly consume you from the inside. How you heal from it is your responsibility, anyone else’s. Forgiveness is the antidote.
Forgiving is charity and one of the sweetest gifts you can give yourself, as it will enable you to move on from the past with clarity, optimism, and hope for better things in the future.
Learn from Past Mistakes
Love is beautiful, yet it can cause immense pain, not because of love itself but because people have unresolved issues. After going through a heartbreak, feelings of despair and hopelessness can overtake you. However, you shouldn't wallow in that darkness for too long; learn from the experience and use the knowledge to your advantage in searching for true love.
Most relationships end due to the root of all problems: pride. The ego is the most dangerous part of us. If it goes out of control, it can damage. But again, damage can cause growth if we learn to reflect on past mistakes, finding the strengths within ourselves becomes easier, allowing us to present a better version of ourselves for future relationships, take accountability for our own faults, understand that people process feelings differently it’s a skill that can take a lifetime to polish. Going through rocky times can be deeply inconvenient, but as they say, good things come to those who learn.
Heartbreak can bring a sense of failure and powerless control over your life like very few experiences. Self-care involves more than having a spa day or losing some pounds. It involves forgiving yourself, looking to the future with faith, and adopting a healthier lifestyle that enhances the presence of the divine. Many people lose hope after a heartbreak and lose their ways in addiction. Restore yourself.
You must add having patience with yourself and giving yourself time to heal and build yourself up after a heartbreak, giving you the strength and courage you need to eventually find love again. Treat yourself to new adventures, and learning new skills can often open your heart to kindly nurture your spirit, improve your health, balance your life, and organize your home. When you're whole and feel your life is in the right direction, you open yourself up to possibilities that may lead to love again.
You can love again but don’t expect the next person to come and save you from heartbreak. We are born alone and die alone, and in between, we keep looking for connection. Every once in a while, we find it in a true friend, but some fade. Hold on to friends like these because, just like air – you will miss them when there are gone.
Remember: A new day starts at midnight, in the dark. Don’t expect life to be perfect to have new beginnings. Happiness is peace, not pleasure. The dating world is scary and complicated. Start with love for yourself. Serve others. Cultivate good friendships. Invest in yourself and beautify your soul; this time will be even better. Be open to new possibilities and experiences. Trust yourself and your judgment, and never give up on love.