Heartbreak can come in many forms - obvious ones such as a break-up, divorce or bereavement, but also things like redundancy or retirement from long-term employment, the loss of a pet and from recognising that any stage of our life is over and that we must put it behind us.
A new book called You Can Heal Your Heart: Finding Peace After a Breakup, Divorce or Death, by Louise Hay and David Kessler, offers some gentle and common-sense advice about ways to recover from heartbreak.
Recognising that grief is real, and that part of getting over any loss is to grieve for it, Louise Hay and David Kessler explain that by telling ourselves positive affirmations we can learn to reach a state of peace. We can recognise the value of the past and learn lessons from it, but still enjoy all that life has to offer us in the future.
Positive affirmations are simple phrases that we can repeat to ourselves as a kind of mantra. Three very generic ones that I like from the book are: "I love life, and life loves me," "I have lived and loved," "I am healed."
I've used positive affirmations myself in the past, when times are difficult. My personal favourite positive affirmation - although not one mentioned in You Can Heal your Heart - is a quote from the historic anchoress Julian of Norwich: "All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well." Those simple words remind me that things can get better, and usually do.
The chapter of You Can Heal your Heart that most struck a chord with me was the one on bereavement. My mother died nearly three years ago, on 9 March 2011. Whenever the anniversary of her death approaches I still start to feel sad. I also miss her a lot at the time of her birthday, at Yule, on Mothering Sunday and even at Pancake Day.
You Can Heal your Heart includes several stories about people who had lost their mothers and how they came to terms with it. What I realised from reading the book is that it is OK to recognise my grief and to shed a few tears even years after her death. It simply shows that I still love her. However, this year I will put a moment aside on each of those days to recollect a joyful time when she was alive, and I will say to myself: "I remember my mother with love".
You Can Heal Your Heartis published by Hay House.
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You Can Heal Your Heart: Finding Peace After a Breakup, Divorce or Death