I wish it wasn’t the case but we all walk through heartbreak in our life. Learning how to move on and heal in a healthy way after loss or a broken heart is imperative. Here are 5 tips for healing after heartbreak. They’ve helped me as I’ve walked through heartbreaking situations in my own life and I know they’ll help you too!
When we think about heartbreaking situations in our life obviously we think about death and divorce, but do we think about losing a friend or even a job? Learning how to process through these terribly hard situations in a healthy way is a jump start to healing from them.
I’ve used these five tips to help me walk through heartbreaking situations in my life. I pray they encourage and help you too.
1. Hold On
In the midst of heartbreak hold on!
I learned to rollerskate when I was a teenager. I put my rollerskates on then hobbled and crawled over to the skating rink. As I wobbled up onto my feet it was inevitable that I was going to fall.
Now I don’t know about your rollerskating rink but mine had a carpeted wall with little pieces coming out that you could grab onto. As I went around that corner with the carpeted wall I would hold on for dear life. I began to get the hang of rollerskating and could let go and roll a little bit farther then a little bit farther. Pretty soon I didn’t have to hold onto that carpeted wall anymore.
When Dalton was a toddler learning how to walk he would grip our hands as tight as he could so he could keep his balance. Now that he’s learned how to walk he doesn’t do that anymore because he feels safe and secure.
Holding on isn’t forever.
Much like learning how to walk and rollerskate, know that holding on isn’t forever.
When it rains you get out your umbrella for just a little while until the rain stops. You still keep the umbrella around for later but only use it until it’s safe…until the storm has gone.
Holding on through the difficult days is much the same way.
What should I hold on to?
Grip tight to your faith, your family, a song that comes on the radio that breathes life into your soul, quotes, etc. Whatever makes you feel safe and secure hold tight to those things.
As I drove by the Ocoee River I saw people floating in rafts heading toward the rapids. I asked myself what would I do if I fell out of the raft. Naturally I would grab on tight to a rock or whatever I could reach so I wouldn’t get pulled down the current.
Holding on tight when you’re going through a heartbreaking situation in life is much the same way. You hold on to something that’s going to keep you from floating away and that will make you feel safe and secure.
Years ago I walked through the pain of divorce. I gripped tightly to the one year old puppy that we had just gotten. I spoiled her and she became a whiner when she wanted something…so much so that my family would often ask me to make her please stop whining. But when I was walking through that painful time I just did what I could to survive so she trained me more than I trained her.
During that difficult time I also gripped tight to working a lot and providing because I needed to pay the bills. Working was actually a great thing because it helped keep my mind off things that I didn’t need to be thinking about.
Be careful what you hold on to.
When you’re finding something to grip tight to I want you to be very careful that you choose something that is healthy.
Doing so is so very important because when people choose unhealthy things to hold onto in heartbreaking situations they can become addicts. They walk through times that are so hard and they don’t want to deal with the pain so they turn to addictions to cover and ease their pain.
Be very careful friend. There are so many healthy things that you can hold on to but there are even more unhealthy things.
Holding on is not forever.
I said it before but I’ll say it again, holding on is not forever.
Holding on is something we need to do when we don’t feel safe and secure. You won’t have to do it forever but just until your feet hit the ground or when you feel like you can do “this.” So just keep walking through life holding on until feel safe and secure and are ready to let go.
2. Give yourself grace.
We’re quick to give grace to others but not to ourselves. So I encourage you to extend the same grace to yourself that you would to loved ones in your life.
Do what you need to do to get through!
This will look different for everyone and, quite honestly, friends and family may not understand your decisions. But as long as you’re seeking the Lord and his will for your life, know that his opinion of you is the only one that matters.
I’m always encouraging you to talk to trusted friends and family, and when you’re walking through a heartbreaking situation it is definitely a great time to share.
When I was going through my divorce I had a couple, David and Vicky, that would invite me over to their house to hang out. We’d goof around which was great for my mental sanity. When I was ready to talk about the things I was dealing with in my divorce they were ready and willing to listen. I trusted them and I knew that what I shared wasn’t going to go any farther than their ears. It was very healing for me to get that out and let it go.
What trusted friend can you call and open up to today?
Talk to a counselor.
Someone else I want you to consider talking to is a counselor. I know the thought of going to see a counselor is weird, but that’s why the Lord has them. Counselors have a way of helping us work through the pain that we’re facing.
I’m not asking you to do something I haven’t done. Counseling was one of the best things I could have done for myself…I highly recommend it for everyone.
The bottom line is that Satan wants us to keep everything inside. When we do this we’re only hurting ourselves and making things worse. Exposing our feelings to the light by sharing helps the healing process.
4. Allow yourself to feel.
Feeling is hard and a lot of people do their best not to feel when they’re walking down a difficult road because it’s easier than facing the pain.
Most people may not understand what you’re feeling.
When I was learning how to deal with the thought of our surprise child and becoming a mom I knew that most people did not have a clue what I was walking through. There were some people who had surprise pregnancies but most people didn’t know how I felt.
I processed through a lot of crazy emotions (on top of my pregnancy hormones) and knew the Lord was ok with how I was feeling. I journaled a lot during that time and wrote down my feelings and that was very healing for me.
Do not sweep your feelings under the rug.
You may have started sweeping your feelings under the rug when you were a teenager thinking it’s just a little bit of feelings here and there. But whether you realize it or not they keep piling up and that rug is eventually going to have a big lump under it. That lump is going to keep growing and growing. It’s not going anywhere so you need to learn how to deal with your feelings.
My mom gave me the book, You Can Do This by Tricia Lott Williford, and I want to share one of the life-giving quotes inside it.
“Healing comes in telling the story 1,000 times. For better or for worse, words give life and strength. It is a brave girl who will say them out loud. Tell your story in some way today either to a friend over coffee, on the pages of a journal, in the post of a blog or in the art you create. If you’re strong enough do it again tomorrow and next week. Let yourself feel and let yourself heal.”
Wow, what powerful words. Let yourself feel and let yourself heal.
In Ecclesiastes 3:4 we’re told there is, “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.”
There’s no doubt that we take time to dance (celebrate the good times) but do we really take time to mourn and grieve like we should?
This passage is in the Bible because the Lord wants to encourage us to work through whatever hard situation we’re walking through. It’s okay to take time to grieve. (And know that the grieving process is different for everyone.) He understands what you’re going through and even walked through hard situations in His own life when he was here on Earth.
What is it that you need to do to begin healing after heartbreak that you’ve been through? Find something healthy to hold on to, give yourself grace, talk to someone, and allow yourself to feel and mourn.
L I N K S O F T H E D A Y