It hurts. It feels like someone has just ripped your heart right out of your chest. You feel like you just can’t go on, like every minute of every day is a reminder of the pain you feel–as if you could forget it. You don’t want to do anything, eat anything, go anyway with anybody. You just want to be left alone. And alone, you find yourself thinking more and feeling more. You just want to escape the pain…possibly sleep it away. But, the pain doesn’t end…until it does. And in order to get the pain to subside, even just a little, you have to get mad and DECIDE that enough is enough and you will not let this pain beat you. Pain will no longer be your bedfellow and you WILL stop sleeping with a broken heart. Here’s how I did it:
1. The very first thing I did was to literally FORCE myself to constantly think about something else, not just anything, but something that mattered, something that would normally interest me or excite me. So whenever my thoughts drifted back to my pain, I trained myself to think about (“…Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Phillipians 4:8 [NLT]) my next mini-vacation with my friends or my daughters, my business goals, redecorating, writing, work…anything POSITIVE that required my attention. I discovered that emotional pain only lived when I gave it attention.
2. Now that I was training myself to redirect my attention, I discovered that I would not have been in that situation anyway had I had my focus on God FIRST. I had put other things and other people before Him (“You shall have no other Gods before me.” Exodus 20:3 [NIV]), and this realization caused me to turn my primary focus to God and to reconnect with Him and rebuild my relationship with Him. See, by putting other people and things before Him, I was in essence telling Him that I didn’t need Him and that I could do it all and fix it all myself. My pain was an excruciating reminder that I could not. So, I began my worthwhile journey back to Him and was finally on the right path to my healing.
3. Next, I decided to eat healthier. I realized that the nutritional value of a diet of cupcakes and kool-aid was very low, and there is truth and healing in foods that God created. So, I decided to partake of more natural, healthy foods. Funny, the better I ate, the better I felt physically—I gained confidence in knowing that I was valuing and appreciating ME.
4. Then I took it one step further. Since the emotional pain, stress, and diet of cupcakes had not been kind to my body, I decided to implement a fitness regimen. As I moved more, I boosted my endorphins (so I felt better), began to lose fat, and again felt another boost of confidence which was incredibly empowering.
5. Now, with things looking up, I was careful not to self-sabotage. I refused to have long conversations about my pain or the people or incidents that led to my broken heart. I remembered that talking about it gave it attention and life, and it will never go away if I kept reliving it.
6. I avoided chick flicks, a.k.a. love stories/movies. I figured: why torture myself? I was only on the path to my healing…I hadn’t arrived yet!
7. I spruced up a little bit. I made sure that when I left the house (if it was going to be longer than 15 mins.) I looked better than I normally would. I put on a little more make-up, did a little something with my hair, maybe even added a cute outfit, and always a SMILE. After all, God was still blessing me…what was I gonna frown about?
8. So, with all of this, I got a new attitude. I refused to play the victim. With God I was more than a conqueror. I refused to mope along singing “woe is me” and seeking pity from anyone. With the progress I made and continued to make, the new attitude was inevitable. I was GRATEFUL for all that I had, even for all I had been through because while teaching me valuable lessons, I became stronger in the process. I had learned to step out of my head and out of my feelings to focus on my healing. Because I had faith, I knew that God was using it all for my good, so the only choice was to have a good attitude. No blame. No anger. No revenge. Just me moving on. And this is how I not only stopped sleeping with a broken heart, but started sleeping pretty darn well.
To your healing,
P.S. If you got something from this post, click here to check out my book.