When love flows, life is good. When our hearts are blocked we feel the pain. How do we heal a hurting heart? How do we grow love, experience more love and value the love we have? Can we increase the love we share with others? The easy, emphatic answer is YES! Yes you can, you were born to love! It’s been a color in your crayon box from the very beginning. There are as many ways to heal and love as there are people on earth, so I’m going to start with a few heavy hitters that anyone can make use of. Here they are in no particular order:
1. Love Yourself
The single most important thing you can to do to heal a hurting heart is love you. The world around you will reflect this love back every day. Its that simple. Look at yourself in the mirror. Love everything you see. Look at you, you’re the only person completely like you ever- Looking just how you look, thinking just what you think and being just you is all you need to be loved. You’re loveable just for breathing. It’s that easy! On the other hand, do you see things you don’t like? Is any part of you scoffing at such a simple exercise? Keep reading.
2. Take Responsibility for the Love you already have.
If you want more or better love in your life you have to nurture it like a garden. Grow love by putting time and energy into your own health and happiness and important relationships like your family, friends and community. Love them! What do you want to give them? Write down five easily achievable things right now. What can you give right now? Give it! What does your heart want to do for the people you love? Write down five things you want to do for them and get going! Hurting hearts look for love to be given. Full hearts give. No control or seduction required. You don’t have to be perfect, richer or more beautiful. I promise you, it’ll come back.
3. Move stagnant energy in your heart out.
Do you feel a tightening in your chest around certain places, people or events? That’s your heart closing. What do you do if your heart’s blocked up? Your heart is made to lighten its load automatically! It’s called grief and works through crying. Tears are a built-in heart cleanser, free of charge. It’s that easy. You don’t even have to know ‘why’, that’s the mind’s job and this is love we’re talking about. Try watching a dramatic movie, read a romantic story, talk to a close friend, write in your diary, take some time alone, give someone you love a five minute hug, listen to a love ballad, anything that touches your heart. During a session, clients will often cry if we are working on heart cleansing. The heart knows what it needs.
4. Find your baggage and unpack it.
We’ve all got past pains hanging around and you are never too young or old to unpack them. Having trouble with an important relationship? I guarantee its calling up some of your heart’s baggage. You’re being asked to unpack it and grow. The sooner you do the less likely you will carry it beyond today, on in your relationships, pass it on to your kids or develop an illness, injury or disease. The key to whether it’s going to keep hurting or improve hinges on how well you pay attention and develop your consciousness.
Try this: set your intention to unpack or work on some aspect of your life and really mean it. Now recall a situation you’ve been in recently that love ‘turned sour’ and ask yourself some questions. Notice how you feel. Did this bring up anger, sadness, betrayal? All feelings are valid. There is no need to judge, just observe. Have you felt this way before? Take a moment and consider what situations this event is similar to. If this is a cycle, what are the details? What are you trying to learn here? What are you trying to get over? If you mean to experience more and better love, stay engaged and feel your feelings. Then refer to all of the rest of the tips above and below.
5. Learn how to love better.
Think of it as an art you were born to do, but you’ve only had very limited training with the tools. There are a lot of great thinkers, more great builders and workers, and even more fighters already, but very, very few people have reached the same capacity with loving. Love seems most noticeable for people when they’re with or thinking about the people they love. Visualize a baby, your child or intimate partner, a beloved pet, a plant that you care for meticulously just for the joy of doing it, a life-long friend or a parent. Do you swoon for a movie star? Perfect, just do it! Let your heart fill up with how wonderful you feel about what you love, and then bring that love to places in people in your life that need it, including yourself. At the end of this article I’ve included several helpful books on love skills that have been particularly useful to me. I recommend them to my clients all the time.
6. Practice forgiveness.
One of the most powerful tools for healing your heart is forgiveness. If you have been hurt by someone it is important to forgive them. Don’t wait for them to apologize. They may never be able to, and meanwhile you’ll still carry around the pain of being a victim. When you forgive someone else you release yourself from carrying around the pain. As the old saying goes “bitterness is a poison we drink ourselves to hurt someone else.” This includes finding and forgiving ourselves for the ‘unforgivable mistakes’ of our past actions.
If you’ve been hurt by someone in your life who will continue to actively try and hurt you, you will need to address that. For people in eminent danger of real harm from loved ones, leave or care for yourself however you need to. Regardless of how painful what you suffered was, try to forgive and heal yourself. This is a MUST for old pains you are carrying with you. You can never protect yourself from something that isn’t happening now, it will just end up blocking what’s good in your life.
7. Be vulnerable.
Learn how to have a healthy relationship to vulnerability. This could also be called “develop personal safety” or “Trust”. Hearts are tender things and daily life can be rough on them. Traffic, bills, school, work, news, none of these things cultivate warm fuzzies on their own. Human life has been relatively rough for a long, long time. Its only now in North America that there is such consistent excessive abundance – we’ve gone way beyond simple basics – that we’re able to recognize that the toughening required to make it this far is costing us. The market supports acquisition and entertainment, and instinctively this just isn’t enough. Think right now of at least one person you can really talk openly with, really let your guard down, who will listen to you and not judge you. Even if you don’t see them often, keep in touch. Just by being themselves they will help you remember the finest, softest, strongest parts of you heart. Love cannot exist without them.
The road to healing your heart can bring up feelings of discomfort, sadness, fear and loneliness but I promise you, you were born ready and able to do it. The experience can be exhilarating, liberating, empowering, life-affirming and freeing. This beats winning the lottery and winning a war hands down. Imagine taking off your sunglasses to find a world gushing love like a bunch of Beatles fans. The best part is that the love that will satisfy all your aches and pains is a part of you and you are a part of it. Love doesn’t cease because pain is present. The truth is that love exists within you and around you, always flowing through you. Ever wonder why “The Force” is such a compelling idea in the Star Wars movies? It is love. Don’t wait for Yoda! Trust that love is real, love is good, grief is healing and that you can heal your heart. It may take courage but you are strong enough to deal with pain and vulnerability, and you will never regret it. Be happier and healthier. Make love and loving a priority in your life.
Way of the Superior Man by David Deida
Loving What Is by Byron Katie
The New Rules of Marriage by Terrence Real
We by Robert Johnson