July 29, 2013

Open Back Up to Love in 5 Steps. ~ Michelle Welsch

The pain that accompanies the death of a relationship can’t be rationally explained.

It’s a disappointment that happens to many of us, sometimes over and over again. It feels like your guts have spilled out onto the floor, leaving a burned forest to fill.

I’ve been there.

The challenge is to not let this pain become so great that the thought of opening up again to the magical, mysterious world of love is too frightening to overcome.

When I close my eyes and think about those moments of flying and soaring above the clouds with someone who adds joy and fire to my already-full life, the risk of heartache makes the leap into love’s arms more manageable.

But it’s not always easy.

If you’re having trouble giving love another chance, welcome Cupid’s arrow back to your door with these five tips:

1. Surround yourself with awesome people.

Post-breakup, you hurt, feel less than your best, and think frequently of the past. It’s okay. Without passing judgment, gently notice where your thoughts go.

I’ve found that moments of absolute vulnerability set the stage for the most intimate conversations. It is in these moments, when I feel “less than,” that a relationship surprises me or I discover a friend I hadn’t considered before.

By focusing on healthy communication patterns and “real” conversation, the world can reveal unparalleled learning opportunities and treasured friendships.

2. Do things that feel good.

Take it easy. Seek out activities and experiences that provoke energy and light. Sometimes, taking it slow and easy is fine.

Participate in movement that makes you feel like a million bucks, and then some. Splurge on a massage, or create a D.I.Y. home spa with candles and relaxing music.

Don’t feel like doing anything at all? Take the pressure off and don’t force it. There are times you simply need to stand under the shower and feel water drip down your skin. That’s enough. Be kind to yourself. Now is not the time to criticize or judge harshly.

3. Mix it up.

Incorporate new places and activities into your day. When I notice my mind repeating thoughts or memories over and over again, I try to interrupt the recording by participating in an unfamiliar activity.

Find a new Yoga studio or sign up for an art class. Learn a language. Travel. Take advantage of free online education: Coursera, Khan Academy, Academic Earth, Open Courseware Consortium, iTunes U, or Textbook Revolution.

It may feel like a temporary distraction, but try to get excited about creating new memories and stories with friends.

4. Find a passion project.

Direct excess energy into a cause you’re passionate about. Research local volunteer opportunities or raise funds for a nonprofit.

That blog you’ve been meaning to start? Do it. Now’s the perfect time to revisit that bucket list and start crossing items off. Offer time to a company whose mission and values inspire you.

5. Just breathe.

It’s tempting to become busy—too busy—to allow time for quiet reflection and honest consideration.

While appreciating the good from past flames, get ready for a new partner by envisioning this next great relationship. How does that make you feel?

Recovering from a broken heart takes time, and there’s no prescription for recovery. It’s difficult to trust that love will come again, but when you’re ready, it will.

I promise.

Like elephant love on Facebook.

Assit Ed: Moira Madden/Ed: Sara Crolick

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