Are you tired of feeling like a loser after a breakup? Are you ready to stop wallowing in self-pity and start living your best life? Well, my friend, you have come to the right place. In this two-part blog, I am going to show you how to heal from heartbreak and find real happiness.
Everybody strives to make a big difference in life, right? Traveling, building a new company, and empowering the next generation at church are all on the agenda.
But then, life throws all sorts of ugly things at you. What do you do if you just broke up with your significant other? Or even worse, you are coming out of a divorce?
Most people have been in at least one romantic relationship that didn't end well. Maybe you only went on a couple of dates before you decided it wasn’t going to work out. Or maybe you had a few serious relationships that lasted a while. If you broke up after saying, “Till death do us part,” you have a legal document that reminds you of your failure to keep the love alive — a divorce decree.
Here’s the thing: failing is just part of the game of life, you know? It’s how we learn and grow. But let us also be real, failing sucks. It is tough and it stings. And when it comes to relationships, especially ones that are chock-full of emotions, failure can be a real doozy. It takes time to heal those wounds and move on.
I have been in a few romantic relationships in my life. And every time one ended, I couldn’t help but feel like a total failure. I always assumed that it was mostly my fault and I spent hours looking for what I did wrong. That’s just how I was.
But as time has gone by, I have started seeing these breakups differently. Now, I try to learn from them and use them to grow and change, so I can do better the next time around.
The failure of my first serious dating relationship tore me apart, causing me to become pessimistic and then depressed. My parents, who had never seen me like that, told me they were worried about my emotional state.
At that moment I couldn't care less about living a purpose greater than myself. I was just surviving. I learnt better with more experience in life.
And speaking from that experience, I want to tell you: let us patch up those wounds so we can live a life full of purpose and meaning! It is possible.
Your past relationships and prolonged times of singleness may result in a hardened heart: one not willing to take the chance of falling in love and possibly being hurt again. You are not the first one to have a hardened heart; many have been there before. Fortunately for all of us, God knows how to heal this problem:
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. — Ezekiel 36:26
Many experiences may lead to a hardened heart. For me, these experiences include: attending a wedding as the only single person there; hearing a friend say, “You are weird,” just because I am unmarried; going through a breakup; and enduring long periods of loneliness. If I am not careful, situations like these may cause me to have a hardened heart.
When I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me. — Micah 7:8
What moments of darkness have you experienced in your life? What did those moments do to your heart? Consider taking some time out and writing about these experiences.
After my split with Lauren, I was afraid of repeating my mistakes and frightened of being hurt again. In short, my heart was hardened. And then, through prayer and patience, God changed me. Even if I did not see it, I felt Him working. But it was not an overnight quick-fix. My emotional healing took many years, during which He gradually replaced my heart of stone with a new heart: tender, soft, patient, and ready to love again.
As God was fixing my heart, I believe He provided me with a temporary layer of armor. He knew I was vulnerable and wanted to protect me until I was ready to deal with a relationship again. As I regained my full strength, this extra protection gradually disappeared, as if He told me, “You have enough strength now; you can handle whatever life throws at you.”
This reassured me that He is a caring Father. God protects and empowers you and me, giving us just what we need exactly when we need it.
What God did for me, He can do for you also. Does your heart need repair? Are you ready to let Him transform you, too? Kneel down in prayer and allow God into your heartbreak.
The post-breakup period of a relationship may be dangerous. If we do not find the courage to stand up, dust ourselves off, and try again, we may go down the seductive road of self-pity.
Why is this road so attractive? Because it is easy.
Getting up is hard. Like when my alarm clock wakes me in the morning—it is very easy to hit the snooze button and stay in bed. Getting up takes much more willpower and energy.
“Self-pity” is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as: “a self-indulgent dwelling on one’s sorrows or misfortunes.” It allows for the fact that we all have difficulties in our lives, calling them “sorrows or misfortunes” but cautions against paying too much attention to them by referring to such excessive attention as a “self-indulgent dwelling” — a phrase full of negative connotations.
After a breakup, a certain amount of self-pity is natural and part of the healing process. To recover from any injury, we must examine our wounds and tend to them. But if we are not careful, this examination may trap us into a feeling of victimhood. Self-pity resembles a weed: if you are not mindful of it when it first appears, the unwanted plant will soon overtake the entire garden.
If you are feeling sorry for yourself, the first step is to acknowledge it and decide to do something about it. Remember, we are in charge of our thoughts, not the other way around. So instead of dwelling on the bad stuff, try to focus on the good. For me, I find that once I recognize my self-pity, I work hard to transform negative thoughts into positive ones by praying and worshiping. It is amazing how much my perspective changes when I focus on God's goodness. Suddenly, life looks a lot brighter and my self-pity disappears.
Take a pause and reflect on all the above things. Take time to follow those steps first before you jump to the next part of this blog.
You have a lot of work to do before you find real happiness after the current heartbreak. You need to go through the pain to come out victorious. I encourage you to go for it. Until you do that, I will get another set of steps ready for you.
Watch this space!