The first human impulse, when our heart is breaking, is to focus on one question, “How can this be happening?”
Humans are a hardy stock. We don’t give up easily. Whether it’s, “No, you can’t have that dog,” or “No, you can’t keep the love of your life,” our knee jerk reaction is to resist and revolt. We have desires, we care, and most difficult of all…when it comes to love, we set down roots, we attach deeply.
For 5 years I taught a co-ed class called Letting Go & Moving On. I listened to and I identified with people’s painful break-up stories. But rather than helping my student’s hearts with their grief, I was being challenged by their brains.
Without exception, everyone was obsessed, not with the heart, but with the head. “Why didn’t she give it more of a try? Why didn’t he speak up? Why won’t she see that we can work this out? Why did he leave me if he loved me?” There are a hundred questions the heartbroken ask about the “Whys?”
Are you serious about wanting to move forward with your life? Then shut your mind off. By ruminating on the questions, the “what ifs,” the wracking of your brain – you’re attempting to make a deal with the devil. “I think and re-think all the options, the possibilities, the potential of what could be, the ways s/he or we could change…”
Your first step towards letting go? Be quiet. Be present with your pain. Distracting yourself with dream scenarios or questions ad nauseam is no longer an option. Acknowledging that it’s over is the only path to moving forward. Be gentle, be kind with yourself. Look straight into your eyes in the mirror, and slowly, clearly, and softly declare, “It’s over. I’m sorry to say. It’s over.”
Now, give in and let yourself feel the weight of this truth. That’s it. Do not dilute your heartache with any revenge fantasies or curses. Remain in your body. Let your heart have its way with you. Cry, weep, wail for as long as it takes. Don’t be surprised if this goes on for days, weeks, even months. The heart uses every opportunity to grieve accumulated pent-up pain from the past.
Then one day, without any warning, you will look into the mirror, and you will be surprised to see your soul has returned, peace has returned, and grace has restored itself into your soul.