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 is to give hope to anyone who is dealing with crushing heartbreak, and to remind them that there is a happy and fulfilling life waiting for them.
These past couple of weeks have introduced the first two parts of a 5-part series I call Antidote To Crushing Heartbreak, a strategic plan for rebuilding your life when you’ve gone through a devastating breakup. Part 3 will show how two simple tools – a Gratitude Journal and a Connection Journal – can work small (daily!) miracles that, over time, will rewrite your perspective and help you rebuild a rewarding life.
Too busy to read? Watch the video or listen to the podcast instead!
What We’ve Learned So Far – A Quick Recap Of Part 1 & Part 2
Understanding why the pain of a breakup can be so intense, and knowing that you can control how quickly you start to heal, is the groundwork of the 5-part plan to strategically rebuild your life after a crushing breakup.
Part 1: Hope & Understanding sets the groundwork for the 5-Part Antidote by explaining the theories and the science behind the pain and loneliness of a crushing breakup. Part 1 also talks about the importance of reforging deep connections with family and close friends as a first step on the path of your healing journey.
Part 2: Weaving Your Social Fabric focuses on the importance of spending time in the face-to-face company of others. In Part 2 I talk about making heart connections with people who share your interests, so that you can weave a rich social fabric and start to build your own family village.
Part Three: Keeping Track of What’s Important
Research shows there is a correlation between happiness and a gratitude practice. The more you cultivate gratitude, the more it grows. The more you look for things to be grateful for, the easier it becomes for you to find things that fill you with gratitude. A Gratitude Journal is a great way to start this feedback loop. The idea is that you sit down every day and write down three things for which you are grateful. The idea is to think of three new things each day rather than repeating what you have already said. The result is a shift in perspective away from the sadness of your broken heart and toward the things that make you happy!
I keep a Gratitude Journal, and I also keep a Connections Journal. My connections journal contains a list of interactions that I’ve had that day. The list includes everyone – my daughter, my coworkers, my neighbours, my barista, and my spouse. It doesn’t matter who it is, every connection counts. What I have noticed is that the same feedback loop is happening with my interactions as with my gratitude practice: the more I think about the social connections I make, the more I reach out to connect. …And so I weave my social fabric, one thread at a time.
If you choose to take up one or both of these practices, the important thing to remember is this: don’t always look outward. It might not feel natural to look within, but all the same I challenge you to identify and be grateful for the many things that make you you. And look inside your own home for opportunity to connect. I will ask my daughter to play cards or join me when I take our dog, Inu, to the park. It’s also important to not think about these journals as a job. You want to come into your gratitude journal and your connections journal willingly, and close them again each day knowing that these mindful practices are helping you to rebuild a fulfilling life.
Thank you so much for reading! I’d love to hear the story of how you re-built your life after heartbreak. 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.
From my home to yours,