Our STRENGTH OF A WOMAN series is in full swing and session three Healing from Heartbreak was such a gift for all of the women who were in attendance. So, we had to share what came out of it! It's important to note that heartbreaks are not limited to romantic partners, but also family members and friends. Here's what we learned from one of our go-to therapists, LCSW Porcia Seals.
Porcia's Heartbreak Recovery Process
1. Identify the wound. It’s hard to recover from something you won’t call out. Questions to ask yourself to help identify the wound:
• Who hurt you?
• What hurt you about what they did? What was the offense?
• What (emotions/feelings) where you left with as a result?
2. Identify how it feels in your body. Our bodies are always talking to us. We've just been trained not to listen. Our relationship with our bodies is our first and most essential relationship. Sometimes heartbreak simply reminds us of this.
3. Reflect on what you have been taught about pain and heartbreak. Go within and really get honest with yourself about what you've learned here. It's be challenging, but well worth it to identify your part in the problem.
4. Address the Void. Awareness is critical to recovery. What role did that relationship serve? What need did that person meet? What will you miss? Answering these questions will help you identify the gaps and figure out what you need to fill them.
5. Meet the Pain. When you give yourself dedicated time to feel your feelings, you avoid having them spilling over everywhere else in you life. This is where the phrase "hurt people hurt people" comes from. Avoid prolonging or contributing to a cycle of pain by not projecting onto others who were not the source of the original heartbreak. It's important to teach yourself something new. Learn your "style". Unlearn it. Then relearn a new one.
6. Find your people. Healing happens in community. One person cannot meet all of your needs. You need different people, in different roles, to meet the different needs that fulfill all of the different parts of you. Make finding safe people a priority.
Remember this when identifying safe people: Safe people know how to handle your pain. They won't throw it back in your face. It is a privilege to have access to people's pain.