Monday, January 14, 2013

After a Breakup or Loss: Getting Comfort and Support


Breakups are painful because something has been wounded. But unlike most physical injuries, the pain is on the inside and you can’t see it. You can, however, see the effects of being left or leaving, and often you feel it.  

No matter how long you’ve been together or who broke up with whom, the stress from the emotions of rejection, shock, anger, or betrayal can be felt in a variety of ways.  

One friend of mine said that when her boyfriend told her he’d been seeing someone else she felt like he tore her heart right out of her chest. You may feel like you’ve been kicked in the stomach, or you may not feel anything at all—at least initially. You may still be in shock. Of course, these are perfectly normal reactions to bad news. But you don’t have to stay in pain.  

Here are some essential and heart-healing ways to find the comfort and support you need to start your healing process:

Let yourself cry. Crying is a normal and healthy response to a sad situation. Perhaps you’re a person who holds back tears. You may think that if you start crying you will never stop. Let yourself cry. Just let it out. Even if you have to set a time limit, getting your feelings out in this way can be extremely healing.  

Talk to God in prayer. Prayer is a vital key in your healing process. Basically, it’s about talking and listening to the One who loves you most. Why not start each day with prayer for wisdom, guidance, healing and favor and end each day with a prayer of thanks and gratitude for all He’s done for you that day (whether you enjoyed it or endured it)?  

Worship also brings healing and comfort. In worship, you’re not just singing songs. You’re focusing on God, not yourself. Give God your pain, and enter into His presence. You are communicating your love, gratitude and adoration—but you also end up receiving hope, healing, joy and a fresh encounter with God.  

Put his stuff away. It can be very helpful to put away reminders of the person who just dumped you. It’s hard to move forward into your new future when mementos of your past are pulling you back. If you’re not ready to discard them, box up the photos and treasured objects and put them in storage until the time is right to get rid of them.  

Talk with trusted friends or family members. Albert Schweitzer once said, “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.We need our friends to comfort and support us in our times of need. Telling your story can help to ease your heart’s pain and bring emotional healing. 

Write your thoughts and prayers in a journal or notebook; doing so can be very beneficial. When your feelings appear on a page (or even typed online), they are no longer swirling inside your head. You can vent your emotions, release your pain and do so in the privacy of your personal journal.  

Nurture your spirit. When your heart is hurting it’s helpful to take care of yourself and remember what makes you feel good. What would best nurture your soul, mind and body right now? What brings you the most comfort when you need heart healing? 

Be encouraged. This is a time of transition.  You’re going from a being couple to a single, from a “we” to a “me.” Change takes time and we all handle it differently, so be good to your self in the process.
Prayer for heart healing
Dear Lord, I am really hurting today. How could this happen?  I simply do not understand. I am sad, and angry and hurt and heartbroken. I give you my pain and cast my cares into the ocean of your love and comfort. I choose to trust You, and remember that no matter what happens you are faithful, kind and good. Even when I do not see where the plot is going, You are still the author of my story. I need You, Lord. I need your close presence. Help me to rest in the comfort of your love. Restore my shattered heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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