Everyone has experienced a broken heart. Most of us have at some time thought or said, "I will never love again." In the wake of emotional pain, it is natural to want to protect yourself. And in many situations it's a good idea to retreat into a cocoon for a period of time while you regroup.
The problem is that when you keep your heart sheltered, you do not emerge from the cocoon. You end up as a sleeping caterpillar and never enjoy the exhilarating flight of the butterfly. In your self-protection you numb yourself to your passion, which is the key to the happiness you seek. You did not find love by giving yourself away, but neither will you find it by hiding. You were not born to live in the cold and dark. You were born to know the love you seek.
There are two ways you can respond to a broken heart: 1) Stop loving; or 2) Love more.
If Your Heart Has Been Broken, Let It Be Broken Open
Do not use your breakup or betrayal as an excuse to shut down your heart; instead, practice loving more, beginning with yourself. Praise yourself for the strides you made rather than condemning yourself for your errors. Appreciate your partner for their contribution to your life rather than crucifying them for what they took away. They do not have the power to take away your good; only you can remove it by pandering to fear. And only you can restore it by generating the love you thought you needed from someone else. Your former partner assisted you to learn a major lesson in loving: you cannot afford to stop. When you turn off the faucet of your joy, you are the one who loses. And when you keep it open, you win big time. Use every experience as rocket fuel to take you where you want to go.
Take What You Have and Make What You Want
It doesn't matter what avenue through which you let love into your life; you can practice on anyone or anything. In a seminar I led, I discovered a common theme among the participants: they had all shut down on people, but had great relationships with their pets. They found their relationships with their dogs, cats, birds, and horses safer than relationships with people. It makes perfect sense. Animals, especially dogs, lavish upon us unconditional love, for which we deeply long. A study showed that when patients in several nursing homes were allowed to keep small lap pets, their medication need was reduced by 70 percent and their mortality rate slowed by 50 percent. It is not medication that keeps us alive or lack of it that kills us. It is giving and receiving love that sustains us.
When you have learned the power of love from your pet, work yourself up to a human being. Certainly people are more complex, yet the principles of loving are the same. Just think of your man as a big Golden Retriever or your woman as a saucy Lhasa Apso. Feed them good stuff, take them out to play, scratch their belly regularly, and tell them how wonderful they are. Don't keep their collar too tight or their leash too short. Don't beat them (with words) to get what you want; they will only become paranoid and turn on you or run away. When mating, just go with your natural instincts. Everybody innately knows how to mate, and if you don't stifle yourself with other people's opinions, you will have a bunch of fun.
Loving another person is a gift you give yourself. The love you give flows through you, so no matter how they respond, you receive the benefit of loving. True love never requires a response. If you are frustrated because you are not being loved in return, you are not really loving. Be a lover and you will find all the love you seek. As D.H. Lawrence eloquently noted,
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Those who go searching for love
only find their own lovelessness.
But the loveless never find love;
only the loving find love,
And they never have to search for it.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Jodere Group, Inc. ©2002, 2005. www.joderegroup.com
This article was excerpted from the book:
Why Your Llife Sucks...and what you can do about it
by Alan H. Cohen.
When your life sucks, it’s a wake-up call. Alan Cohen invites you to answer that call, change your course, and enjoy the life you were meant to live. In ten compelling chapters, Alan shows you how to stop wasting your energy on people and things that deaden you–and use it for things you love. With great humor, great examples, and exhilarating directness, Why Your Life Sucks doesn’t just spell out the ways in which you undermine your power, purpose, and creativity–it shows you how to reverse the damage.
Info/Order this book. (new edition, different cover)
About The Author
Alan Cohen is the bestselling author of A Course in Miracles Made Easy and of the newly-released Spirit Means Business. Become a professional certified holistic life coach through Alan’s 6-month program beginning January, 2020—the year of clear vision. For more information about this program, Alan’s books and videos, free daily inspirational quotes, online courses, and weekly radio show, visit www.alancohen.com