Simple Steps You Can Take in the Next 48 Hours to Feel Better for the Rest of Your Life
by Wendy Keller, author, speaker, woman who cares
Has life bashed you up pretty good? Are you feeling like the losses – romantic and otherwise – that you’ve had to face have left you pretty shaken? Unable to trust, to love, to open up again?
I had a fourth date last night with a nice man who very kindly told me how his first wife neglected him, his second wife abandoned him and his last serious girlfriend finally told him she was really married to someone else. Poor guy! That’s a lot of assault and battery on someone’s emotions!
It made me think about how we can all best handle broken hearts, lost loves, dealing with the death or departure or divorce of people we love(d). I firmly believe that a LOT of healing can take place if we choose to focus on releasing our pain and recapturing our lost pieces. Here are some ideas to get you started on the Road to Recovery. Apply them this weekend and see what happens!
1. Directly address your pain/anguish/sorrow or anger. Write a letter to the person who hurt you most, living or dead. Pour it all out! Say all the things you wish you’d said before, or wish you were brave enough to say now. This is what the grief counselors teach people to do to say “good-bye”. Start with the phrase “I’ve thought of some things I’d like to tell you…” and end with “I love you, I miss you, good-bye.” It works best if you write it out longhand and then READ it to another living person – ideally NOT the person to whom you wrote it. After my children died in the car accident in 1991, I wrote many letters, traipsed out to the cemetery and read it to their headstones. When Tony – the last love of my life – left me suddenly, I wrote him several letters I never mailed and read them to a good friend who patiently listened without commenting. Try it. What have you got to lose?
2. I recently learned a GENIUS tactic from my mentor Dr. Jack Lin. Dr. Lin said to take a piece of paper and divide it into FOUR sections. Mark the top left “Good” and the top right “Bad” In the top left, write everything that is GOOD about the specific situation you’re trying to deal with. If someone left you, for instance, you could write “Now I can eat dinner whenever I like; don’t have to stumble over his dirty socks on the floor; don’t have to share the covers…” On the top right, write down what’s BAD about it. “I miss having someone to laugh with; I’m lonely; I wish he was here to take out the trash on thursdays…” (Whatever!)
NOW comes the cool part! In the bottom half of the page, where you still have those two empty boxes, write down the OPPOSITE. If you were dealing with what’s good or bad about someone leaving you, write down in the lower two all the things that are GOOD about being in a healthy, loving relationship. And all the things that are “bad” about beign in a healthy, loving relationship (e.g., you have a set dinner time, for instance.”)
Be sure you got everything in every quadrant that you can possibly think of. Done? Good…
HERE is the tricky bit: Look at all four quandrants. Which is longest? Count how many entries you put into that specific one. 12? 35? Guess what? Now you have to WRACK your brain to make them all even. That’s right. Whatever number appears in the longest one, that is how many you have to force yourself to write into all the others.
Dr. Lin explained that by doing this, we force ourselves to see a broader, more balanced, more cogent perspective. Although he taught me this to apply to how to make a business decision better and more calmly, it works for this kind of emotional issues, too. Try it! You’ll see!
3. After you’ve done all this work, your brain will be tuckered out. Here’s the important Final Step: Do something really nice for yourself. Not something you usually do anyway, like taking yourself to exercise class. This has to be something your self likes but that you don’t normally do for you. Like, buy yourself your favorite flower. Lie in bed an extra hour reading a book. Hire a sitter and take your partner out to dinner or lunch. Drive up to your favorite lookout point. Something nice. And WHILE you are doing it, remind yourself that you are loved and loving, competent, capable, desirable and worthy. Heck, that might feel so good you decide to be nicer to yourself on a regular basis!
Apply these strategies this weekend – you’ll be amazed at your own results.
Sick of feeling sad?
Want to make this process easier on yourself?
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12 thoughts on “Use This Weekend to Heal Your Heart”
Christina Theodosiades says:
Though I have suffered many losses over the past year, The one I regret most is losing myself. I have become to good at pretending all is well . when it is not and has not been for a very long time. True I left a relationship of turmoil and constant abuse in one form or another. I do not miss or grieve for him or that life again. My pain is letting it go on as long as it did. and to what was lost in the process.
Wow…i cant believe that you have described my situation exactly…I have recently left a very long abusive and sometimes violent marriage…I dont know why I stayed so long…but it kind of becomes “normal” to live like that…I am now piecing my life back together…I no longer dread him coming through the front door…I am feeling so much better about myself…I wish you luck and happiness for the future.
Yikes! That’s a lot to handle! Been there, done that. Congratulations on setting yourself free. I firmly believe that oh-so-slowly that kind of toxic living environment becomes normal and we just adjust to it. I wish you much love, joy and peace.
I love and agree with your recommendations, but what if im the one that hurt him? im the one that made many mistakes and left and thought it was what i wanted and now that i have been on my own for 2 months i realize that it wasnt him with the proble it was me. I have alot of personal and emotional issues and thought that i would be happier alone but i miss him! i miss our family! i miss us! and im feeling soo much guilt and regret and im afraid it might be too late to get him back 🙁
Yes, it MAY be too late, and that will cause you sadness, I’m sure. Why not try the three steps and write an APOLOGY letter to him? And use the quadrants to determine once and for all if you really DO want to go back – most of the time, my observation is people leave for a good reason, get afraid, reconsider and then aren’t sure after all. The worst thing you could do to yourself would be to go back, then leave again! Please let me know how that works for you, ok?
wishing you love, joy and peace,
I tried the step 2. 🙂 and will gonna be working on step 1.
I had a relationship with this guy who left the country to work to be able to support his studies next year. I broke up with him cus I am afraid of what’ll happen to us. I am sooo afraid that he’d find another girl and would just forget about me. I loved him soo much that it hurts. and it pains me more cus I miss him soo much.I dunno what to do. I don’t wanna talk to him cus I pushed him away.
I can bet you miss him! And what a conflict that you’re the one who ended it early to protect yourself. Perhaps there’s another way? Maybe Step Two should be “Stay With Him” and “Stay Away from Him”?
Wishing you peace, love and joy,
Omoniyi Ademoye says:
@Wendy, I really appreciate in having solutions to problems that made one to be on this earth couples with disaffection from loved ones. To my dismay my gave false teaching to my children in blacking for to get more ppl on her side,but I never reacted but I always be myself. Pple now discovered that she said about has never be in my character whenever we chats. My children have also noticed that their mother is trying to widened the gap btw me and them. Well I keep on doing the little I could in reserving my energy for longitivity of life sothat wl be able to fit in at any giving time. I discovered that shes loosing at both end and trying her best to win me back. I never release my self completly as thats her strategy to have dominion again. Though Iv been cooping wt my life. Thanks Wendy
That sounds like a lot of stress!
I do hope things calm down.
Wishing you love, joy and peace,
How about trying to forget someone who has done nothing but love and take care of you?
If I were to follow my heart, I’d go back to be with him forever. But for some reason, we have to let each other go and trust that maybe someday we’d be given a much better chance at love.
But I’m struggling and so does he… :((
Thanks for this. I will be trying it to see if I really want to break up my marriage. He has been lying to me for a long time now and been having an emotional relationship at best with this girl from work. He bought a house for her behind my back and helped her in so many other ways yet has left me to struggle in a crappy falling down kitchen with mice running through it. He keeps saying its all in my head and I am crazy and he loves me but I don’t see how he can after all the lies and deceit. It’s too big. I have been holding it together for the sake of our 3 children as he is a good dad and they love him so much. I am afraid of the changes a divorce will bring and how the children will cope. I am so confused and it’s making me ill in my head and body. I just want it all to stop. If only he would acknowledge what he had done and get rid of her, then maybe we could move forward.
I think you might be best served with this blog post:
I wish you and the kids much love, peace and joy going forward.