Heartbreak is an event that everyone wants to avoid. When it hits, it can feel like the world is crashing down around you. It can cause you to question your goodness, your worthiness, and what you know to be true. For some, the loss is as painful as death.
It doesn't have to be this way. Heartbreak doesn't have to break you. Instead, it can make you stronger.
On a recent episode of On Purpose, Jay Shetty shared hope for anyone dealing with heartbreak. He has advice on how to move on, learn from it, and come out more beautiful in the end.
Get On My Level
The deeper the connection in a relationship, the harder it will be to get over the breakup. According to Jay Shetty, there are five levels of connection in any relationship – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and familial.
The more points of connection that exist in a relationship, the deeper that relationship is. Unfortunately, both parties in a relationship don’t always feel the same level of connection, which leads to more pain and confusion for at least one of them.
Jay Shetty believes that understanding the points of connection is not only vital for a healthy relationship, but also for having the ability to move on if it ends.
7 Ways to Not Let Heartbreak Break You
Jay Shetty knows how painful heartbreak can be. He understands the scary feeling of wondering how to move forward without someone who has meant so much. He acknowledges that telling someone to, “just forget it and move on” doesn't help.
This article contains his compassionate encouragement for how to pick up the pieces, process through the pain, and come out whole in the end. He also shares seven ways not to let heartbreak break you.
Step 1: Weigh the Bad More Than the Good
After a relationship ends, it is easy to reminisce and mourn the good times while seeming to forget the unhealthy parts that led to the relationship's demise in the first place. Well-meaning people may encourage forgetting and moving on, but Jay Shetty believes that's unrealistic.
“I'm not going to tell you to do that because I already know that you're going to dwell on it,” Jay Shetty told listeners. “I already know that you're going to think about it. But let me tell you HOW I want you to think about it.”
“Write down all that went wrong,” he continued. Being realistic about the relationship isn't meant to stir up pain or bitterness. It's vital to be honest about the issues within the relationship that led to its failure.
Jay Shetty believes seeing these things helps a person process through two things:
- The wrong things they are responsible for, giving them a space to own and acknowledging what they did, with the commitment to learn and do better next time.
- The realization that the other person was not the best choice.
Shetty warned listeners to be careful not to fall into what Thich Nhat Hanh calls familiar pain vs. unfamiliar pain.
Unfamiliar pain occurs when the relationship ends. This type of pain is natural, and working through it is a normal process.
“I'm in new territory,” explained Jay Shetty, describing what's going on in the mind of someone in unfamiliar pain. “I'm single again. I don't know what's going on. I don't know how they feel. I don't know how I feel. I don't know how to move on.”
Familiar pain, however, is another story. Familiar pain occurs when a person chooses to stay, even knowing the relationship is wrong because they're afraid of the unknown. Choosing the familiar may seem more sensible, but it's not best in the long run.
“We often choose knowing over goodness,” said Jay Shetty. “We'd rather know what's going to happen than expect to be treated with respect and worth.”
When you write down what went wrong, you give your mind the gift of awareness that the break up was for the best.
“You dodged a bullet,” Shetty said. “You were saved. If this person doesn't want to be with you, why are you going to force them to be with you?”
Step 2: Write Down Why They Were Wrong
It's impossible to forget about a lost love completely. Out of sight, out of mind doesn't work, no matter how hard a person tries. Healing requires dealing with the problem, and that means you have to get close to it.
“Write down everything that they personally didn't do right to you,” Jay Shetty instructed. “Write a quality or attribute, the way they spoke to you, the way they treated you. I want to again be certain within yourself that it was good you broke up.”
Awareness comes from getting closer to what went wrong, and awareness makes it possible to move on.
Step 3: Wrestle With the Way You Talk About Yourself
How a person defines themselves or their relationship will shape the way they see themselves. It is normal to feel hurt and vulnerable after a breakup, but words have power. It's important to be kind to yourself with your words.
Specifically, don't use the word, “broken.” He explains that when something is broken, it is defective or needs to be replaced. Saying things like this about oneself can wear down a person's self-worth and self-confidence.
“Only what you had together may be broken,” Jay Shetty said. “YOU are not broken. It's so, so important for us to be so mindful and conscious of the language we allow because the more you say, ‘I'm broken,' the more you feel “broken.”
Step 4: Wear Good Thoughts Like Good Clothing
Thoughts shape so much of a person's self-worth. Refuse to think thoughts that are negative or degrading, just as you would refuse to wear a poor-fitting or ugly piece of clothing. It's easy to fall into negative thinking during vulnerable times – don't!
To help listeners avoid negative thoughts, Jay Shetty challenges readers to think L.I.F.E. thoughts instead:
L – Do I like this thought?
I – Is this thought insightful?
F – Does this thought help me move forward?
E – Does this thought help me escape or elevate?
Do your thoughts fit the future you want to create? If not, get rid of them.
“You can't stop thinking, but you can change your thoughts,” Jay Shetty concluded.
Step 5: Wrap Yourself in Confidence
Confidence typically takes the biggest hit in a breakup, and it can be hard to recover. People who have their identity completely wrapped up in the relationship can find it difficult to regain their confidence.
“Your confidence is what is hurt and torn down after a breakup,” Jay Shetty explained. “Your confidence became as strong as that relationship was because you gave everything, right? We have this bad habit of making something our everything, and then we put all of our confidence into a relationship.”
“Stop putting your confidence into people and things,” he said. Instead, Jay Shetty encouraged listeners to rebuild their confidence by focusing on the 3 Es:
- Eating right
- Energy of the people around you.
Sometimes the end of a relationship can be the best thing for restoring confidence. Adopting the 3 E's is the launching pad for success.
Step 6: Watch Healing Bring Transformation
Kintsugi, an ancient Japanese tradition, restores broken pottery by fusing the pieces back together with silver or gold. Jay Shetty sees this as a beautiful example of hope after heartbreak.
“When something's broken, we usually throw it away,” Jay Shetty explained. “The Japanese believe that if you can put something back together, it actually becomes more beautiful.”
“Any scar, any wound, any pain, actually makes you more beautiful,” he said. “If you pull yourself together again after, it makes you more beautiful. It makes you more attractive, more powerful, and it makes you stronger.”
Step 7: Welcome the Light
So often, wounds and flaws are hidden or covered up, but Jay Shetty believes wounds have a purpose and potential for beauty.
“They're what allow you to become a better, more wholesome, more powerful, more beautiful, more incredible, more amazing individual,” he said.
Heartbreak does not have to lead to brokenness. Following these seven steps will ensure a path to a new future – one that's full of positive thinking, strength, and beauty.
Work diligently to discover the hidden beauty in heartbreak, and watch life flourish once again.
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “7 Ways to Ensure Heartbreak Doesn't Break You” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay's website at jayshetty.me.