I cannot tell you how many times I have struggled with a bad breakup or a broken heart that just would not heal. So many times, I would reach the end of a thing needing closure and reassurance that a relationship was really over. I often wondered if there was anything I could have or should have done differently to keep love alive. As professional women it is easy to become skeptical about the potential within ourselves to discover love in such a fast-paced world.
I would inevitably become jaded, and find myself stuck in the past on the hamster-wheel of “what might have been.” I often felt as if no one will ever love me quite the same as so-and-so—let alone appreciate all of my beautiful quirks and kinks. I spent a lot of time worrying about my career and family prospects, and was plagued with nightmares about whether I would ever meet the “right” man and settle down. It eventually occurred to me that I had never stopped to ask myself if any of this was true or not. I never bothered to look deeper within myself to find the answers about my worthiness of love, safety, emotional security, and happiness. And most of all, how often did I really take a closer look at that lost love and ask myself, “Was I really ever happy to begin with? Did I even want him back?” (Short answer, NO!)
It wasn’t until I admitted that in fact he wasn’t so great after all that I realized closure is a gift that we give ourselves. Closure means giving yourself permission to cry, scream, yell, and melt through the pain all the way down to your very soul. Closure means releasing the bitterness and vitriol we have toward the one who “got away” or left. Lovelies, bitterness is not cute! It shows in our very countenance. It oozes through our dialogues and is magnified by our body language. In order to let go of our bitterness, we first have to admit we are angry, hurt, and shattered.
Modern media and uber-feminist propaganda have created a generation of women who are afraid to feel anything at all, let alone tell anyone else they do (lest one be deemed “weak” or “basic”). This couldn’t be further from the truth. Losing a love, important relationship, support system, or significant other is a BIG DEAL. Contrary to the bad advice you’ve been receiving from your friends, family, and social media—it is not something that you have to “get over” and put behind you. It is a real loss that must be properly mourned if you are ever to be free of it.
Honeys, it is OK to admit defeat, and to take time out to heal. Needing companionship, love, and connection with others (in conjunction with professional success on your terms) is a healthy, normal, and essential facet of humanness. In a time where cell phones, computers, armchair psychologists, and social media dictate who we are and how we communicate, one can easily fall prey to the false idea that good old-fashioned friendship and love do not exist anymore. But they DO! Friendships and relationships are essential components to emotional and physical wellness. Humans literally will die without touch. So, you ask, “How do I get over my bitterness and reconnect with others?”
Here’s how: LOVE. Love YOU, love your pain, love your heartache, love your tears, love your memories, and love your losses. Embrace each painful moment, until it does not hurt anymore. After all, no one ever got over a broken heart by pretending it wasn’t there. Yes, you read correctly, in order to move past your bitterness and anger, you must accept and embrace it. Finally allow yourself to feel all of those ugly negative emotions that you have been avoiding. In doing so, you finally allow your heart, mind, body, spirit, and soul to align with reality—and that is a beautiful thing. Allow yourself to be ‘OK’ with the fact that you’ve landed your dream job, and still want more out of life and love.
Healing, not forgiveness, is the opposite of bitterness. Healing is when you finally allow your wound to bleed, ache, and hurt until it does not need to anymore. When you scraped your knee as a child, you were not ashamed to wear a Band-Aid until a scab formed, were you? So why, dear swan, do you feel ashamed of your wounds now? The most attractive person in the world, is the person who is comfortably themselves. Let us move away from damaging messages that tell us we must be made of titanium, that only weak women need a man, and that strong women don’t get their hearts broken. It is these very messages that are keeping you locked in your cycle of bitterness and attracting relationships that do not allow you to open to love, intimacy, happiness, ecstasy, and pleasure.
As a certified love, sex, and relationship coach, it is my wish that you embrace your heartaches and pain, and nurse it like the fragile thing it is, until it evolves, grows, and changes into healing, self-love, and openness. The question is, are you willing to accept and embrace your bitter old resentments and show your broken heart?
Andrea Ortiz is an author and expert love, sex, and relationship coach helping single, strategically dating, or married women attract and maintain lucrative relationships.