It’s only when I believe a story, that I get hurt. — Byron Katie
I remember the time when I got my heart broken. When I realized that it was not going to work out anymore with the other person. One side of me still wanted to hold on, but the other side just wanted to let go and forget.
With all these mixed feelings I was pouring my heart to my sister who was kindly listening.
At that time I didn’t understand where my experience and the pain I was experiencing was coming from, and how I had everyhting within me to have the happiness I was looking for — much more easily I thought was possibly.
When I gained a deeper understanding of what was really going on healing after past hurt became effortless.
In this post I wanted to share with you my 4 biggest realizations I wish I had known back then, that can help us to heal from a heartbreak. They can help you to see how there’s no such thing as a broken heart, despite what we are used to call it, and how healing can happen in a heartbeat.
1. The other person cannot hurt you
Maybe the most powerful realization that can help us to let go of hurt (and the most difficult one to accept too) is to understand that the pain we feel is not coming from the other person.
— It’s coming from our own thinking.
What the other person says or does can’t hurt you, but the emotional pain you experience always comes from the way you see the situation. The feeling of hurt comes from all the stories we create around what really happens.
If the other person leaves us, the stories we tell ourselves how they never cared about us and how we might never find love again.
If you look closely you can see how even your own experience of your relationship was always changing depending on the way you saw it in the moment. When we realize this and stop holding onto our negative feelings by thinking about the past, pain disappears.
The feeling of hurt never comes from what happens to us, but from our own perception of the situation. When we understand this we can stop holding onto our past hurts and let go of our negative feelings. We can see how we have the power to see our situation in a new light.
2. We are always doing our best
Letting go of the past hurt helps us to see our situation more clearly. It helps us to see the innocence in our behaviour and how we are always doing our best. We are always doing the best we can given to the thinking we have in the moment.
Both you and the other person were doing the best you could given to the quality of thinking you had.
Whenever we get stressed and experience negative emotions our thinking goes south. Our perspective narrows down, we take things very personally and studies show that the smartest part of our brain stops working*. From this state of mind we often do mistakes, something that we regret later — Everyone of us.
That time when the other person said something to hurt us, that was nothing personal, he was just caught up in his negative thinking momentarily.
Given to the thinking we have what we do looks reasonable to us. It’s only after, when we relax and our mind calms down we can see more clearly and act more wisely. Seeing how this is true allows us to see the innocence in both ours and the other person’s behavior, which makes forgiving them easier.
3. Forgive so that you can move on
Understanding how the other person cannot hurt us, and how we are both always doing the best we can given to the thinking we have in the moment allows us to forgive the other person, so that we can move on more easily.
We can see how we were both caught up in our negative thinking and therefore unable to act wisely and we can see that the feeling of hurt is coming from our own way of seeing what happened.
We want to shift our focus from feeling hurt to seeing the innocence in us. Not only so that we can feel good again, but so that we can see more clearly what is really true.
Not only for the other person’s sake, but so that we can let go of our feelings of hurt, continue without the weight of our past and be happy again. You want to forgive the other person so that you can move on.
4. Your happiness doesn’t depend on the other person
When you see the truth behind the first 3 realizations it becomes easier for you to see that your happiness doesn’t depend on your past relationship. Whenever we let go of our negative thinking, our understanding can deepen and it becomes easier for us to see what’s really going on. It becomes easier for us to see where happiness really comes from.
Your happiness doesn’t come from the other person — It comes from within you. Happiness is a feeling created within, that is not dependent on our outside circumstances — Even if it sometimes looks like it is.
The only time when it looks like our happiness depends on the other person is when we are caught up in a thought, thinking about our past hurt or fears of the future. Whenever we let go of that thinking, our mind can calm down and we see things more in perspective again and we become more aware of the happiness that’s already within us.
Whenever we have a calm mind, we feel happy.
Seeing that the feeling of hurt we experience comes from our thinking, how we are all doing the best we can given to the thinking we have in the moment and how forgiving sets us free, allows our mind to calm down, so that we can become more aware of the happiness that’s already there.
Understanding this is all we need to heal from a heartbreak.
We can see that the heart was never really broken, but we were only momentarily caught up in our negative thinking and therefore feeling the pain created by our own thoughts.
Now we can see more clearly again and connect more with the happiness that comes from within, so that we can fall in love with life and find love again.
* Reference — April 2012 copy of Scientific American