I recently sat down with Lodro Rinzler, author of the book Love Hurts, for an interview on Untangle, the podcast from Meditation Studio. The heartbreak experience is so universal; from the little heartbreaks we experience every day to the big, crushing heartbreaks that shake us to the core. This experience of loss is truly what connects us as human beings.
But, when we’re hurt, we often feel alone…and we put up walls around us to guard against more pain (which is impossible, of course). We hesitate to take the walls down again, especially if our heart feels like it’s in tiny pieces. Our first impulse may be to scoop up the pieces, seal ourselves off and protect ourselves in any way we can.
I was so happy to hear that we’re not alone, and that there are ways that we can strengthen our resilience, so we can keep our hearts open and heal at the same time.
Here are some thoughts that Lodro shares from Love Hurts, Buddhist Advice for the Heartbroken:
1) Know that you’re not alone
When we’re heartbroken we feel like we’re the only one in the world that is going through what we’re going through.
We all experience it…whether it’s the death of a loved one, the breakup of a relationship or even the end of a job.
2) Share your story
When Lodro was writing the book, he invited people to come talk to him in twenty-minute sessions over a two week period. He asked each, “What is your experience of heartbreak?” Some would tell him about their last breakup. Some would say their Cat died a year ago and they are still grieving. Some would say they just lost a job. Then he would ask them, “How are you feeling right now?” He saw some of the joy that emerged just from sharing their stories. When we share our stories, something shifts in us. It doesn’t mean the pain goes away, but giving it voice can be helpful.
3) Know that how you feel now…will change
The only way through our heartbreak is to sit right in the middle of the “terrible devastating life-changing” experience of it and to know that it will change.
4) Try to Meditate
Meditation introduces the pause button…so often we react on autopilot and revert to bad habits when we’re feeling awful. Acknowledge what you feel, sit with it, know that you are heartbroken, and notice how your feelings continue to change over time.
5) Have faith
You’ve probably been heartbroken before…and healed. Perhaps you can keep the faith that you will, in fact, heal again. You can be with your strong emotions knowing that they will eventually soften.
Patricia Karpas is the co-founder and head of content for Meditation Studio LLC, the home of Meditationstudioapp.com. This 5-star app includes 200 meditations, 16 collections, 3 courses and 27 teachers. The app focuses on stress, anxiety, pain, sleep, happiness, confidence, performance and so much more, providing tools for beginners and experienced meditators. It’s a must have! She’s also the host of Untangle, the podcast that showcases the stories of experts, authors and real people whose lives have been transformed by meditation or mindfulness practices.
Image courtesy of J_Mankin.