How to Survive Your Broken Heart
Who broke your heart?
Was it your college crush? Your parent? Your best friend? Spouse? Child? Fiancé? Child?
The truth . . . no matter how hard you and I try to avoid the pain, it’s impossible to get through life without experiencing the occasional broken heart.
We can’t make everyone love us. There will be someone or someones who won’t return our love. People who break our hearts.
There will be people in our lives who fail to return the love we offer them. People who break our hearts.
I’ve learned from experience and from watching others . . . the closer the relationship and greater our love the more intense the pain.
So, what are you and I supposed to do when our hearts are broken? When it’s too painful to get out of bed and face the day?
A broken heart is a waterfall of emotion. You start out beyond hurt and move into numb, angry, and more.
Friends suggest you fight back or get even, but even though that may sound good in the moment you know it won’t really make you feel better going forward.
Jesus said: But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Luke 6:27
Although you may not seriously entertain getting even…
Love. Do good.
Are you kidding? No way!
I want to tell you it’s possible to get there but for today let’s just work on surviving.
6 Things to do to Survive Your Broken Heart
I’ve actually used the following five things when rejection caused a pain so deep I felt like I couldn’t breathe.
And I believe they can help you, too.
1. PRAY A LOT!
Cry out to God and ask Him to comfort you and give you His strength and peace. And as hard as it is, ask Him to give you the ability to forgive.
Letting go of painful emotions is almost impossible if you and I don’t allow God to replace them with the truth of His promises.
I am sad and tired. Make me strong again as you have promised. Psalm 119:28
I asked the Lord for help, and He answered me. He saved me from all that I feared. Those who go to Him for help are happy, and they are never disgraced. Psalm 34:4–5
2. Cling to God’s promises.
God will never reject or betray His children when they come to Him for help. His promises are true! He proved every one of in Jesus. You and I can count on His perfect lasting Word.
He gives strength to those who are tired and power to those who are weak. Isaiah 40:29
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26
I can do all things through Christ because he gives me strength. Philippians 4:!3
3. Repeat #1 and #2 Every Day and Give Yourself Time to Heal.
Broken hearts don’t heal over night any more than broken bones do!
Cry. Journal. Take a walk. Call a friend to talk. Listen to music.
And one of my favorites…
Set grieving appointments. 15-30 minutes each day, to feel big and express your honest emotions. Rant. Punch a pillow. And then . . . when your thoughts upset you throughout the day, remind yourself you have a scheduled appointment later. Gradually decrease the time until you no longer need it.
“Take all the time you need to heal emotionally. Moving on doesn’t take a day. It takes a lot of little steps to be able to break free of your broken self.” ~Author Unknown
4. Stop Reliving the Rejection. Choose Good Memories.
Repeatedly reliving the pain will ultimately rob you of peace, contentment, and joy. Be thankful for good times, embrace the lessons learned from having this person in your life, focus on pleasant memories, and let the rest go.
It’s hard . . . but remember you get to choose what you think about. Negative thoughts will pop into your head but you can decide how long you’ll allow them to live there.
Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life. Proverbs 4:23
5. Spend Time Doing Things that Make You Happy
Moments of happiness don’t deny what happened or the love you felt.
It’s easy to believe that feeling happy denies your pain and grief. It doesn’t. Allow yourself to do things you enjoy and embrace every moment of happiness you can. I promise it will help you heal.
“Today I choose to let go of pain, hurt, resentment, sadness, guilt, and negativity that I’ve been holding onto and allowing to control my life. Today I choose happiness and above all love.” ~Author Unknown
6. Surround Yourself with Love
Don’t let your broken heart define you. Spend time with people who love you. Allow the people who do love you to fill your joy tank. Pour yourself into the people and activities you enjoy, let go of the past, and keep your focus on today’s blessings.
“The world is not a playground; it is a schoolroom. Life is not a holiday, but an education. And the one eternal lesson for us all is how better we can love.” ~ Henry Drummond
Friend, I’ve been where you are.
[Tweet “I know what it feels like to lie curled up on the bed feeling helpless and hopeless.”]
And God helped me survive the healing process.
He is greater than your helplessness and hopelessness and He is able to heal your broken heart.
Occasionally, painful thoughts still come to mind but that doesn’t mean I’m not healed, it means I need to quickly repeat these six steps trusting God to restore my joy as He meets each need.
Jesus understands the pain of rejection. He understands how your heart is hurting. Give Him the pieces of your broken heart and let Him help you heal.
He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension! Psalm 147:3–5
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Deb, I love coming here because I know you’ll always have wisdom to offer me. I love these suggestions. I’d never heard of setting grief appointments. What a transformational idea! Also the idea of remembering good times with that person and letting go of the rest. Thank you.
Oh, Betsy, thanks so much for your encouragement. A friend shared the idea of grief appts. with me years ago and I’ve found them so helpful. Somehow it helps me let go of a thought when I tell myself . . . not now, I have an appt. to think about that later. God bless you with a beautiful day!!
I learned something new today – grieving appointments. I think I’ve done this but never knew it had a name, but it also reminds us that we can control our thoughts.
Thanks; your lists and quotes are soothing.
Thought controlling is hard for me when I don’t have a plan for replacing the negative with positive. I need God’s help daily. I’m so thankful for His grace that makes all things possible.
All great suggestions. A novel I read not too long ago (and I don’t remember the name), set in Africa, had a character who had lost a loved one. Each day, she left her work and spent time under a grief blanket. There she grieved, but for other parts of the day, she focused on what she needed to do. I like your idea of grief appointments. Pain is real and admitting it and taking it to God are the best ways to bring healing and peace.
I like the idea, Debbie, of wrapping up in a grief blanket. It sounds like a great way to imagine being wrapped in God’s safe embrace. I need to remember that! God bless you!
so thankful for you, deb – pointing us to the Healer who binds up our wounds… praying we stay connected to the source of Love and Light/Holy Spirit within us… we can’t change the past and we have no control over the future – we can stay present in His Presence… praying for Peace for all who read this blog…
The present in His presence is the only place to enjoy peace and heal. Thanks so much, Bonnie! God bless you!
Yes: A broken heart is a waterfall of emotion. I agree that #1 and #2 are crucial for healing, as well as allowing yourself time to heal and grieve the loss. I can count on finding a treasure trove of wisdom every time I visit, Deb!
Thank you, Sarah! Your encouragement is always a huge blessing. Have a wonderful day in the Lord!
Again, I have to say, your idea about “grief appointments” is brilliant, Deb! I did exactly that months ago when going through the anniversaries of loved ones’ passing, and it really and truly helped!
Blessings to you!
So good, Deb! A personal issue I have been going through… lots of prayer has been put into myself & the other person. And reminding myself of God’s promise rather than meditating on the circumstance.
Thank you, Denise! Taking those thoughts captive and giving them to God is hard, isn’t it? Prayer and His promises have helped me so much and it sounds like they are helping you too! Thanks for taking the time to stop and say, “hello.” God bless you!
Hi Deb! Sorry I’ve been non-existent on your blog. You’ve done a great job pointing us to a healthy, godly way of processing and handling loss.
I’m familiar with the concept of set aside times to grieve daily. A dear friend spoke of doing that–in her case it was to grieve the loss of physical abilities due to a genetic disorder. Her grandma was wise.
I’m glad you’re here, Kim. Thanks for your kind encouragement. It sounds like your friend had a very wise grandma indeed! God bless you!
Great word, Deb!
Thanks for allowing God to use your pain to create wonderful words of hope!
You are a blessing~
All of these are so good! I really like #4. Thank you for your wise guidance!
Thank you. Love your words. Great wisdom here!?