Fly with the Phoenix


Balm for a broken heart

Americans love cosmetics. According to MSN.com, we spend on average $7 billion a year on beauty products. We use shampoos to make our hair seem thicker, bronzer to make us look tan and creams to help us appear to be younger. However, there’s nothing on the shelf to heal a broken heart.

February can be a difficult month for people who have recently lost a love. There is help for the broken-hearted, although this balm can’t be found at the corner drugstore . If you’re working to get over a break-up, divorce or death of a spouse/partner, dip into these three jars of balm to heal your broken heart: “Recovery Work,” “Love Celebration” and “Your Sassy Self.”

Scratchy, Scruffy Step 1

Any good skin care regiment begins with exfoliating, and your jar of Recovery Work contains vital exfoliation ingredients: grief, time, self-discovery and expert advice. When we scrub our face, it can feel scratchy and uncomfortable. The same is true when we slough away old emotional scars–it can hurt, but it’s necessary to prepare ourselves for the next phase in our lives.

To begin this step, we first grieve our loss. Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross identifies the five stages of grief as denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Don’t skimp during this process or minimize your grief. In her book, “Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love,” Helen Fisher maintains that our drive to love is stronger than our sex drives. When love is over, we can feel physical pain.

Coach Amelie Chance (www.healmybrokenheart.com) says this physical pain may be a tight chest, nervous stomach or insomnia. It’s advisable not to discount such symptoms.   If they persist, talk to your medical doctor.

Acknowledge and work through the emotional stages of denial (This can’t be happening to me), anger (I am so mad at that BLANK for dumping me, I could …), bargaining (If I could be thinner/richer/prettier/more handsome, I bet I could win her/him back) and depression (I don’t feel like doing anything, I’m so busted up over this break-up). Eventually, working through these steps lead to acceptance.

While you grieve, you’re going to run across self-discovery. It can’t be helped. In fact, it should be encouraged and celebrated! Allow yourself to learn where you made mistakes so you don’t carry the same into a new relationship. Recognize the new strength you cultivated as a caregiver for your spouse/partner. Dare to dream what your life might look like without your former lover in it.

Tools such as journaling can be used to aid in a self-discovery sojourn. Prayer or meditation–even therapy or coaching–can be helpful, too.

But don’t forget about the other ingredient here: time. Experts estimate that it takes one year to recover for every five years in a relationship. It’s important to note that we shouldn’t use a time frame for a recovery from lost love. Every individual is unique and will grieve in their own way and in their time. However, use the 1-to-5 ratio as more of a guide so you understand this work shouldn’t be rushed. Similarly, if you have been stuck in one or more of the grief stages for a very long time, you may need to seek the help of a professional to help you move on.

Once you’re at acceptance, you can apply the balm from the next jar, “Love Celebration.” Learn how you can apply this next week. And you’re invited to be part of a FREE teleclass at 7 PM on Feb. 24, “When Cupid Misses the Mark.” Email deb@hopefultransitions.com for call-in instructions.

 

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