Saturday, August 4, 2012

After a Breakup: Finding Healing (Part 2)

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
                                 Psalm 13:2

Healing a broken heart is a journey.  From sadness to joy, anger to peace, rejection to acceptance, and brokenness to a greater level of wholeness, the road to recovery is different for everyone. That’sbecause loss is different for everyone. Indeed, loss is personal. 

How you get over someone you once liked or loved and how long it takes will vary. 

It’s important to note that the healing takes place in the journey, not at the destination. The lessons you learn along the way and the choices you make can change and transform the landscape of your heart. Heart healing comes one step at a time, one choice at a time, and one day at a time.

The importance of grieving losses
As God kept his promises with people in the Bible long ago, like Moses and Joshua, He will keep His promises to you. He will be with you. The Lord knows you are hurting, and you don’t have to go through this time of pain alone. He will lead, guide, and provides light for every step in your heart healing journey.

You just have to trust Him.

One of the most essential lessons I learned in my season of desert darkness was the importance of grieving losses—going through not around the pain. It was a pivotal point in getting into freedom and joy.

I remember standing in a local bookstore reading an endorsement on the back of The Grief Recovery Handbook by John W. James and Russell Friedman. It was one of those “aha” moments when your heart says, “That’s what I need!” A professor who used the book for his college classes, Bernard McGrane, PhD., professor of sociology at Chapman University said, “…I believe that unresolved grief is the major underlying issue in most people’s lives.”
Unresolved grief? I knew I was sad and hurt from my last breakup. I was surely in pain. But it had never occurred to me that I had “grief” and it had to be resolved. Wasn’t grieving for getting over a death? 

In the ensuing months, I came to learn that grieving was for all sorts of losses. It gave me a name for the permeating underlying sadness I’d been feeling for months.

Why do people avoid processing emotional pain?

For one thing, as Mr. Griffen said to Annie in the movie We Are Marshall, “Grief is messy.” Mascara runs down your face when you cry, your eyes get puffy and your nose gets red. Your emotions fluctuate like the highs, lows and unexpected turns of a roller coaster ride. It’s not pretty. But then again, neither is a rainstorm in springtime when the roads flood and the mud slides. But grieving, like spring— the shoulder between the dead of winter and the glory of summer—lasts only for a season.

Maybe you’ve seen people who try to hide their pain. They put on a pretend smile when inside they are dying emotionally. Like a like a duck gliding along the surface of a pond, they seem calm and unruffled, while underneath they’re paddling like mad just to stay afloat. 

If you are going through a bad breakup and want to get over it, it’s important to know what grief is, why it’s important to process it, how to go through it.  

What is grief?
Perhaps you’re thinking, “Grieving? For a breakup? What’s the big deal? I mean, you just pick up the pieces and move on, right?” James and Friedman give us some important basics, “Grief is the normal and natural reaction to loss of any kind.” Grieving is okay. It’s necessary.  It’s not just for the loss of a loved one through death, but for other losses as well. “The problem,” they continue, “is we have all been socialized to believe that these feelings are abnormal and unnatural.”
Why deal with breakup grief?

The pain won’t just go away if you ignore it. In fact, it is widely known that holding back emotions or not dealing with them can lead to increased physical stress and even physical illness.
Read on...there is more help and hope to come in the next post.

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