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As a divorce lawyer for more than 20 years, I have watched client after client rebuild their lives in beautiful and empowering ways. My goal in sharing this series is to give hope to anyone who is dealing with crushing heartbreak. No matter how bleak things may seem, if you can be strategic about putting your life back on track, you can live a life that is more powerful, more exciting, and more rewarding than you ever thought possible.
In Part 1 ~ Hope & Understanding I explained why the pain of a breakup can be so intense, and how you can learn to control when you start to heal. You can read Part 1 here. In part 2 of Antidote To Crushing Heartbreak, I talk about how we can use what we know about human nature to create our own happiness.
Science! ..and Magic!
Human beings have a biochemical need to spend time around other people – it’s a fact that has been scientifically proven. This change happens even when we’re in a group environment surrounded by strangers, like at a sporting event or a concert or at church. However, we get the most benefit from this biochemical reaction when we spend time with loved ones. It has an incredible impact on our overall happiness, health, and well-being. So, what is this magic? You might have heard of it: it’s called Oxytocin. Oxytocin makes us feel happy, it acts like a defender against depression, it can even help fight disease. By surrounding yourself with loving friends and family, you have the power to create your own happiness!
Lisa’s First Step To Rebuilding A Fulfilling Life
In part 1 I introduced an old client of mine named Lisa who came home one day after 28 years of marriage to find a note on the kitchen table. Her husband had been seeing another woman for years, and he had left her. Despite her profound sadness, she took strategic steps to rebuild her life, and in a relatively short amount of time she was living a happy, fulfilling life. Her first step to rebuilding her life was to reconnect with people that she already knew – with her children, her parents, and her few close friends. After watching many of my clients rebuild their lives in the aftermath of a crushing heartbreak, I can tell you that this first step is the single most important thing you can do as you start to rebuild your new life.
The 5-Part Plan: Part Two
I like to think of the relationships I have with my extended family – that is, not just my biological family, but all of the friends I’ve adopted into my larger family structure – as a social fabric. I imagine a thread connecting my heart to my daughter, one to my husband, and another to one of my friends. I call these threads ‘heart connections.’ All these friends have come into my life over the course of many years, and I’ve made each heart connection one at a time. These relationships are so important to my happiness and well-being. My loving friends and family celebrate my highs with me, but more importantly, they’re there to help me back up when I’m down.
Once Lisa reconnected with her family and close friends, she was ready to start weaving her own social fabric. She spent less time on social media, and made a point of making heart connections with people who shared her interests. She joined a book club that she had been a part of years ago, and she became a volunteer in her art community. That second step – making new heart connections – helped Lisa to spend less time thinking about her broken heart, and more time doing things she loved with the people she cared about.
An important point I want to share with you is that when Lisa first started developing new relationships, she didn’t have a lot of energy to put herself out there. She wanted to stay home and just interact the way that so many of us do – through social media. But we don’t get the same boost from Oxytocin when we interact through a screen. You have to actually spend time in the presence of another human being, and interact face to face. It can be as simple as meeting for a coffee, or, if you’re like me, you can go gangbusters and host a potluck dinner! The empowering part is that the how and the who of the heart connection are entirely up to you!
Thank you so much for reading my Antidote To Crushing Heartache! I’d love to hear your story about how you rebuilt your life after a crushing heartbreak. Or, if you are just starting out on your healing journey, let me know what you found helpful and how the Your Family Village community can help.
Join me next week for part three where I talk about two key tools for building mindfulness in your daily life. If you want to know as soon as it’s published you can join my mailing list.
Until next week!