With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it’s time to celebrate your relationship with your significant other. This is also a good time to reflect on the deeper issues of the heart.
Unfortunately, romantic love is not easy if your heart has not healed fully from a previous relationship. If you find that you are often not enjoying a fuller life with your new partner, it may be because your heart is still broken from a past relationship.
It’s not easy to love again even if you’ve now found the perfect person for you.
The best way to be more present in your current relationship is by fully grieving over your last one so that you can now be more available to life and love.
How to Heal your Past Relationship
Regaining your shattered confidence in relationships after a separation is similar to getting back on your feet after any stressful life-changing event. While people may have sympathized with your predicament and your loss, your recovery still remains entirely up to you. No one can heal your pain for you, nor help you restore your world.
After your separation, you probably went through a tumultuous emotional state that involved feelings like denial, anger, resentment, depression, guilt, and loneliness. However, you may not have reached a point where you decided to accept and forgive yourself and the other person. Unless you’ve reached that point, you still won’t be ready to make an effort to rebuild your confidence and your life.
Certainly, it’s a wonderful thing to send your new love Valentine’s Day ecards and shower him or her with presents, but your ultimate gift is an open and loving heart.
Regardless of how long it’s been since your past relationship, you have to completely surrender to the grieving process as if everything had just happened yesterday.
It’s important to go through the entire grief process rather than simply repressing your feelings and taking a proactive stance. Only after you have grieved fully can you make real progress with your new relationship.
Caroline Myss refers to the process of not healing as “woundology.” It’s a recurring loop where the sad event that happened now becomes the predominant theme of your life. However, one can’t simply snap out of it, one has to gradually grow out of it.
In essence, you have to wallow in your misery to put it behind you before you pick up the pieces. It’s essential for your psychological health and well-being to feel your feelings fully before you can totally commit to your new relationship.
How to Make a Fresh Start
Here are 5 steps to rebuilding your life after you have healed the emotional wounds following a breakup.
- Regain control of your thoughts. Your thoughts create your feelings. In turn, your feelings inspire your actions. Only by getting a grip on your thoughts can you fight your way back to happiness.
- Avoid ruminating over what might have been. You may still find yourself reflecting and daydreaming about how things could have gone differently. You may even feel remorse and desire to fix the situation. Regardless of what happened, regardless of how events unfolded, the real reason for your separation and why things fell apart was because you and the other person were not compatible. It’s pointless rehashing what was said or what precipitated the crisis. It’s time to stop cross-examining yourself like a lawyer browbeating someone on the witness stand. It’s time to move on to claim your future. Your life is far from over; the best is not behind you. It’s simply time to move in a new direction.
- Get to know yourself once more. You have probably lost touch with your own interests and preferences. Think about the things that turn you on. Do you like to read more than socialize? Do you prefer to hang out with your friends rather than stay at home? Do you enjoy making a difference in the world and enjoy community work? Recall what you liked to do before your relationship and begin doing those things again.
- Rebuild your life from the ground up. If you have neglected your body, it’s time to begin thinking of healthy eating and exercise. If you have isolated yourself, it’s time to join social groups and get back into the flow of life. In short, do what you can with what you have right now to empower your life.
- Renew your faith and courage. If you have a religious predisposition, now is the time to get back into restoring your faith in the goodness of life. If you have not been acting as boldly as you need to move your life forward, now is the time to build up your courage. In the words of E.E. Cummings, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
If you think of your life as a book, you have just concluded a chapter in which the hero or the heroine has experienced a reversal of fortune. However, like any compelling story, it’s time to stage a comeback. After your grieving process, regain control of your thoughts, avoid ruminating over what might have been, get to know yourself once more, rebuild your life from the ground up, and renew your faith and courage. You can only give your new partner the love they deserve once you have completely let go of your past relationships.