Iyanla Vanzant: How to Mend a Broken Heart
Sometimes our tendency in relationships is to think of ourselves as passive observers—to forget that we are active participants. So when things go awry, we make the cause external. He hurt me; this happened to me; my heart was broken. But broken hearts happen through us, not to us. They're the result of how we make sense of what has unfolded.
If your heart is broken, here is the good news, beloved: People can correct or heal what they are ready to acknowledge, accept and release, and you don't need anyone else to mend your broken heart. But here is the not-so-good news: People can correct or heal only what they are ready to acknowledge, accept and release—and no one else can mend your broken heart.
So while it may feel as though the other person holds the key to feeling better, the truth is that you do not need his or her presence, input or permission to heal your own broken heart. You are responsible for yourself. Which means you have work to do.
First, become aware of the heart of your hurt. Ask yourself what you needed and did not get, what you wanted and did not ask for, what you knew but chose to ignore.
Next, choose to feel better. Say to yourself: I want to be more loving in every aspect of my life. Remaining hurt does not make me more loving. Remaining angry does not make me more loving. Insisting that I am right and they are wrong does not make me more loving.
Finally, let it go. Rather than tell yourself again and again the sad story about what happened, get clear about who and how you want to be from now on. Ready yourself to show up to the world in a different way. Chances are that the people involved in your situation are convinced they are right. In fact, you may be the one holding on to that belief. When you feel yourself clinging to this idea, shift! Focus instead on asking for what you need and want that will support you in being the person you now choose to be.
To truly feel better, you must be committed to moving forward—you must make the first move, take the first step and do what is required, no matter how difficult. Give yourself permission to do this work. Give yourself time to do this work. And know that you simply cannot feel this bad forever—and that no one has ever died from a broken heart.
Iyanla Vanzant is the host of OWN's Iyanla: Fix My Life and the author of Peace from Broken Pieces (SmileyBooks).
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